Find your bliss—affordably—in Hawaii this year. A creative attitude toward planning your vacation will go a long way toward penny pinching, while also making your dream trip a reality. To start, decide if you want to island hop or spend your vacation on one island. Then, compare offerings: You can find airfare-and-hotel packages from the major airlines, online travel agencies, top hotel brands, and the state tourism bureau. Additionally, don't be hesitant about checking prices with smaller vendors such as bed and breakfasts, vacation rental properties, and family-run inns. Dealing with a smaller operation may also be more conducive to bargaining, or for requesting a little something extra for the price you've been quoted.
Also, consider day-to-day expenses in advance. You'll want to research your entertainment, tour, and other diversion options before you go so you won't get sticker shock once you've arrived. Additionally, you might even get a deal for advance reservations, and will certainly enjoy greater availability. Check out the Hawaiian Entertainment Book, available online for less than $25, which features coupons and discounts for dining, attractions, and of course, entertainment around the state. Other sites of interest include eCouponsHawaii, Hawaii Vacation Coupons, and Groupon (currently in Honolulu only).
At publication time, Pleasant Holidays was offering three-night vacation packages to Oahu starting at $465 per person. Other islands were a tiny bit more, with other three-night offers coming in at $485 for Maui, $585 for Kauai, and $649 for the Big Island.