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What’s the Deal With Prices for Hawaii Travel?

When Aloha and ATA folded this spring, prices for airfare to Hawaii skyrocketed. Since then, airfare has gone down a bit, but remained about $100 higher than spring fares. However, declining hotel demand has caused many properties to reduce rates and offer specials. If you’re hoping to go to Hawaii sometime this year:

  • While fewer travelers are heading to Hawaii, there are also fewer flights between Hawaii and the mainland because of capacity cuts, so don’t expect fares to go down anytime soon. Fares look like they’ll hold steady in the late summer and fall, but increase by $200 or more over the holidays.

  • If you’re flying from the West Coast, San Francisco seems to be the cheapest departure city. Prices from Oakland, where many Hawaii flights were cut, are much higher. Fares from Los Angeles and its secondary airports are also more expensive.
  • Hotel bookings in Hawaii are down by up to 30 percent, particularly at the higher-end resorts, so look for accommodations deals before you book. Many resorts offer free nights, off-peak rates, and other discounts this summer. However, occupancy rates and prices have gone up at budget hotels as more people try to save by staying at less luxurious properties.
  • Booking an airfare-and-hotel package may be the way to go to get the lowest prices. From the packages SmarterTravel.com has examined, prices drop substantially for August stays compared to July stays. Look for prices to drop even more during the fall when the number of travelers tends to decrease.
  • The same expensive fuel that makes airfare expensive also makes food in Hawaii costlier. As shipping costs have gone up, so have restaurant prices. Be prepared for expensive luaus and other meals out.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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