The first cost you will need to worry about for a great Hawaii trip is the cost of getting you to the islands. To find good pricing on everything from airfare to accommodations and food, you will want to book as far ahead of time as possible, making sure your trip falls between April through the beginning of summer or in September or November, this avoids the huge crowds of tourists that swarm in during the Summer and winter holidays causing the prices of travel and accommodation to rise. Timing is key to both beating crowds and saving money when traveling to Hawaii.
To find a good price on airfare ahead of time, make use of a travel site such as Kayak, Priceline, or Trip Advisor, which will allow you to search flights way ahead of time comparing the best possible prices between dates and airlines. Flights to Hawaii can often get pretty pricey, climbing over $1000 round trip if you don’t plan carefully, but some simple searches on a travel site, making sure you searching for distant dates in the right months, can easily get you under $400-$500 depending on your departure location.
Even good deals for hotels in Hawaii can climb well above $100 a night, but like flying, booking ahead can save you money. My favorite option is to look for smaller hotels, as opposed to an expensive resort. They can give you a much more realistic island experience and if you find one with good reviews, you may be pleasantly surprised at how nice they can be. For example, the Manago hotel on the big island, has been open since 1917 and you can find a room there for under $60 a night, spending some time looking around and seeing what great finds others have made can be very beneficial to planning your perfect surf trip.
Many restaurants in Hawaii have some through the roof prices, this is partly because of the higher cost of living there, but mostly because they know the tourists will pay. There is a pretty easy trick to finding cheaper places to eat with great food without much effort, do a Yelp search for resteraunts in the city you decide to stay in, the site will let you filter by price categories and it will filter those results by customer ratings and reviews so you can read what other people had to say to find out where the best hidden deals on good food are.
Now that you have taken care of the boring stuff, you can start planning the surfing aspects of your trips. If you are a beginner, lessons will most likely be needed as surfing can be extremely frustrating when you are starting out. With Hawaii having such a huge surf culture, it will not be hard to find places offering lessons, but the pricing can vary greatly. Make sure you don’t pay more than $30 for an hours lesson, some places will try and have you pay double that but cheaper places do exist. You can use Yelp again to find deals are. If you are a more advanced surfer and don’t need or want lessons, you will still need a board if you didn’t bring one. Rentals are on option again here, but what I like to do is pick up a used short board for under $150 at a surf shop, giving you the ability to surf whenever you want wherever you want. At the end of your trip you can either sell the board back to a shop or someone else, or you can take it home with you. If you are surfing a lot during your trip, your board rental costs could very well climb above $150 anyways.