A Travel Price Comparison for Hawaii Big Island of Hawaii vs. Honolulu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu?

Big Island of Hawaii

What comes to mind when someone says, "Hawaii"? Probably sandy beaches, coconut drinks and lazy days of tanning. It's a dream destination for those who want to get away, but the island of Hawai'i, or the Big Island as it's most commonly called, has so much more to offer than a place to catch up on your latest novel.

At 93 miles across, and a population of 185 thousand, the Big Island was once a large exporter of sugarcane. After its final plantation closed in 1996, tourism became the backbone of Hawai'i Island's economy. More recently, the Big Island has become the focus for sustainable tourism – visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on your destination.

Honolulu

Hawaii's capital city of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the state's center for government, finance, and transportation. It's also the home of Waikiki Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the state of Hawaii. Nearly one million people live in this Honolulu metropolitan area. This is almost 80% of the state's population. The city is not the relaxed Hawaiian destination that you might be searching for, but is instead a fast paced, cosmopolitan city. In addition to attracting many tourists every year, you'll also find international businesses, military defense and a diverse culture and population.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, and The Best Photography Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Honolulu or Big Island of Hawaii?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Big Island of Hawaii is $250, while the average daily cost in Honolulu is $284. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Big Island of Hawaii and Honolulu in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Big Island of Hawaii $112
    Honolulu $183
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Big Island of Hawaii $224
    Honolulu $366
Compare Hotels in Big Island of Hawaii and Honolulu

Looking for a hotel in Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Big Island of Hawaii


Hotels in Honolulu


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Big Island of Hawaii Hotel Prices and Honolulu Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Big Island of Hawaii $38
    Honolulu $26

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Honolulu

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Honolulu are as follows:


  • Rental Car for One Day
    $35
  • Airport Shuttle for Two
    $30
  • Hilton Parking
    $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Honolulu

Also for Honolulu, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Honolulu HNL Airport Round-Trip Private Transfer in SUV: $272
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Honolulu International Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal: $271
  • Arrival Transfer Honolulu Airport HNL to Beach Resorts by SUV: $211
  • VIP Transfer: Ko Olina to Honolulu Airport or Vice Versa: $199
  • Chief's Luau Admission Including Transfers: $181
  • HNL Airport & Waikiki Private Transfer by Brand New Mercedes Van: $160
  • Arrival Private Transfer Honolulu Airport HNL to Beach Resorts by Executive Car: $157
  • Private Transfer from Honolulu Airport HNL to Waikiki by SUV: $148
  • Oahu: 3 Ziplines and Coral Crater Tour with Transfer: $147
  • Honolulu Airport & Waikiki Hotels Private Transfer by Passenger Van(up to 14ppl): $140
  • VIP Transfer Between Waikiki & Honolulu Airport, /vice versa: $136
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Honolulu International Airport to Oahu Hotels or Cruise Terminal: $136

Is it cheaper to fly into Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu?

Prices for flights to both Honolulu and Big Island of Hawaii change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Big Island of Hawaii $106
    Honolulu $53

Typical Food Prices in Honolulu

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Honolulu:


  • Dinner for Two
    $73
  • Lapperts Hawaii Ice Cream
    $5.55
  • Chai's Island Bistro (for 2)
    $53
  • Cheeseburger Waikiki (for 2)
    $34
  • Matsumoto Shave Ice (for 2)
    $7.50
  • Hot Dog with the Fixins'
    $8.30
  • Sushi Dinner for Two
    $73

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Honolulu

For Honolulu, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Hawaii Food Tour - Off The Beaten Path : $150
  • Lanai Tabura curated Private Aloha Plate Food Tour from Honolulu: $239

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Big Island of Hawaii $35
    Honolulu $40

Typical Entertainment Prices in Honolulu

For Honolulu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Parking for Hike
    $5.00
  • Pearl Harbor Audio Tour for Two
    $12
  • 2 hr Dinner Cruise
    $85
  • 1 Day Kayak Rental
    $36

Tours and Activities in Honolulu

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Honolulu.

  • Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial, small group Tour: $80
  • 'Lost' and Movie Tour: $200
  • 1 Hour Private Luxury Classic Car Sightseeing City Tour Honolulu: $138
  • 3 Hour Sightseeing *SPECIALTY Tour: $149
  • 3 Hour Sunrise Photo Tour with Malasada: $65
  • 3 Hour Waikiki Waterslide and Ocean Playground Cruise: $113
  • 3-Hour Adventure in Waikiki Water Park Adventure: $127
  • 5 Hour Small Group Tour in Pearl Harbor and Honolulu: $145
  • 5-Star Oahu Sightseeing with local food & shrimp plate included: $133
  • 6 Hour Local Food Plate Jeep Tour: $230
  • 6 Zipline Tour at Coral Crater Adventure Park with Trans: $235
  • 8 Hour Circle Island Jeep Tour: $275

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Big Island of Hawaii $32
    Honolulu $6.47

Sample the Local Flavors in Honolulu

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Honolulu:

  • Shaxi Dive Bar Tour: $37


When comparing the travel costs between Big Island of Hawaii and Honolulu, we can see that Honolulu is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Big Island of Hawaii Expensive? and Is Honolulu Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu in the Summer?

Both Honolulu and Big Island of Hawaii are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

Big Island of Hawaii is cooler than Honolulu in the summer. The daily temperature in Big Island of Hawaii averages around 76°F (24°C) in July, and Honolulu fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

It's quite sunny in Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii usually receives less sunshine than Honolulu during summer. Big Island of Hawaii gets 169 hours of sunny skies, while Honolulu receives 303 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Big Island of Hawaii. In July, Big Island of Hawaii usually receives more rain than Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii gets 9.7 inches (247 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 0.6 inches (15 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Big Island of Hawaii 76°F (24°C) 
    Honolulu 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu in the Autumn?

Both Honolulu and Big Island of Hawaii during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In the autumn, Big Island of Hawaii is around the same temperature as Honolulu. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Big Island of Hawaii in October average around 76°F (24°C), and Honolulu averages at about 80°F (26°C).

In Honolulu, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the autumn, Big Island of Hawaii often gets less sunshine than Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii gets 138 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Honolulu receives 246 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Big Island of Hawaii. Big Island of Hawaii usually gets more rain in October than Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii gets 9.8 inches (248 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 2.1 inches (54 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Big Island of Hawaii 76°F (24°C) 
    Honolulu 80°F (26°C)

Should I visit Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Big Island of Hawaii and Honolulu.

In January, Big Island of Hawaii is generally around the same temperature as Honolulu. Daily temperatures in Big Island of Hawaii average around 72°F (22°C), and Honolulu fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Honolulu this time of the year. Big Island of Hawaii usually receives less sunshine than Honolulu during winter. Big Island of Hawaii gets 158 hours of sunny skies, while Honolulu receives 212 hours of full sun in the winter.

Big Island of Hawaii gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Big Island of Hawaii usually receives more rain than Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii gets 8.7 inches (221 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Big Island of Hawaii 72°F (22°C) 
    Honolulu 73°F (23°C)

Should I visit Big Island of Hawaii or Honolulu in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Big Island of Hawaii as well as Honolulu.

Big Island of Hawaii is around the same temperature as Honolulu in the spring. The daily temperature in Big Island of Hawaii averages around 73°F (23°C) in April, and Honolulu fluctuates around 76°F (24°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Honolulu. In the spring, Big Island of Hawaii often gets less sunshine than Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii gets 134 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Honolulu receives 253 hours of full sun.

Big Island of Hawaii receives a lot of rain in the spring. Big Island of Hawaii usually gets more rain in April than Honolulu. Big Island of Hawaii gets 15.6 inches (395 mm) of rain, while Honolulu receives 1.7 inches (42 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Big Island of Hawaii 73°F (23°C) 
    Honolulu 76°F (24°C)

Typical Weather for Honolulu and Big Island of Hawaii

Big Island of Hawaii Honolulu
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 72°F (22°C) 8.7 inches (221 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Feb 72°F (22°C) 10.8 inches (274 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Mar 72°F (22°C) 13.6 inches (345 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
Apr 73°F (23°C) 15.6 inches (395 mm) 76°F (24°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
May 74°F (23°C) 10.7 inches (272 mm) 78°F (25°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)
Jun 75°F (24°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 80°F (26°C) 0.5 inches (12 mm)
Jul 76°F (24°C) 9.7 inches (247 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.6 inches (15 mm)
Aug 76°F (25°C) 9.7 inches (247 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.4 inches (11 mm)
Sep 76°F (25°C) 8.5 inches (215 mm) 81°F (27°C) 0.7 inches (19 mm)
Oct 76°F (24°C) 9.8 inches (248 mm) 80°F (26°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Nov 74°F (24°C) 14.8 inches (375 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Dec 73°F (23°C) 12.6 inches (321 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)