A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America California vs. Hawaii for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit California or Hawaii?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for California and Hawaii. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: California or Hawaii?

California

California is the most populous state in the U.S. and is known for a variety of attractions such as Hollywood, warm beaches, the San Francisco bay area, Redwood trees, national parks, and stunning mountain vistas. With a variety of locations and activities to offer, California has become one of the premier travel destinations in the world.

Hawaii

Located towards the center of the Pacific Ocean and the northeast corner of Polynesia, Hawai'i is the 50th state of the United States of America. It is a major tourist destination for travelers from around the world and as such, its economy is very dependent on the tourist dollar. Historically, the state had strong whaling, sugar and pineapple industries, but today tourism and the military make up a significant part of the economy. The state includes many islands that spread over 1,500 miles, but there are eight main islands which have a diversity of natural beauty and interesting landscapes. The islands offer visitors many impressive features from the beautiful beaches to the lush interior. There is a lot of hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving available throughout the islands. The capital of the state is Honolulu, which is also the largest city. Both Hawaiian and English are spoken throughout.

Which place is cheaper, Hawaii or California?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in California is $252, while the average daily cost in Hawaii is $342. 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 California and Hawaii in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    California $116
    Hawaii $214
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    California $232
    Hawaii $428
Compare Hotels in California and Hawaii

Looking for a hotel in California or Hawaii? 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 California


Hotels in Hawaii


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    California $43
    Hawaii $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in California

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

  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach Airport(LGB)-Departure Transfer: $66
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $121
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $61
  • World Cruise Center to Long Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $66
  • Universal Studios to Long Beach Airport (LGB) - Departure Private Transfer: $81
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in San Diego HTL-APT(SAN): $47
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in San Francisco HTL-APT (SFO): $119
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in San Francisco APT-HTL (SFO): $141
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Los Angeles HTL-APT (LAX): $111
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Los Angeles APT-HTL (LAX): $111
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Francisco City to Airport: $55
  • Transfer in private vehicle from San Francisco Airport to City: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hawaii

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

  • Waikoloa beach hotels to Kona Intl. Airport (KOA) - Departure Private Transfer: $76
  • VIP Private Transfer Between Waikiki, Airport, Cruise, 1-6 People: $135
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Honolulu HTL-APT (HNL): $81
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Honolulu APT-HTL (HNL): $81
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Kauai International Airport to Kauai Hotels: $26
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Honolulu Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal: $39
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Oahu Hotels or Cruise Terminal to Honolulu Airport: $20
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Kauai Hotels to Kauai International Airport: $13
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotels to Kona International Airport: $18
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Maui Kahului Airport: $13
  • Shared Departure Transfer from Waikiki Hotels to Honolulu Airport: $18
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Maui Airport to Hotel: $13

Is it cheaper to fly into California or Hawaii?

Prices for flights to both Hawaii and California 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
    California $48
    Hawaii $77

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in California

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

  • San Francisco Virtual Food Tour with Local Guide: $19
  • Thai Cooking Class in Fullerton near Disneyland California: $66
  • Encinitas Food Tour: $70
  • Carlsbad Food Tour and Wine Tasting: $75
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure Buena Park: $79
  • Seaport Village Food Tour in San Diego : $79
  • Little Italy Food and Drink Walking Tour - Pizza, Pasta & Piazzas: $81
  • San Diego Vegan Food Tour: $85
  • LA Venice Beach Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • San Francisco Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $86
  • San Francisco North Beach and Chinatown - Secret Food Tours: $86
  • Venice Beach LA Food Tour: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Hawaii

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

  • Waikiki Firework Cruise with Dinner Reservations: $95
  • 2-Hour Dinner Cruise in Honolulu: $97
  • Honolulu's Best Lunch Time Walking Food Tour : $99
  • Moonlight Dinner Cruise in Honolulu: $106
  • Sunset & Fireworks Dinner Cruise in Honolulu: $107
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise in Honolulu: $107
  • Ahi Uila Fire Show and Dinner: $110
  • Walking Food Tour Exploring Hanalei: $119
  • From Ma'alaea Harbor: Sunset Dinner Cruise Aboard the Quicksilver: $120
  • Best Food Tours on Kaua'i: $125
  • Explore Waimea Town on a Walking Food Tour: $129
  • Hanalei, Kauaʻi Walking Food Tour: $129

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    California $63
    Hawaii $38

Tours and Activities in California

For California, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2 Hour Private Tour in Malibu Majesty: $35
  • Guided Hiking Tour in Big Bear with Sunset Champagne toast on Private Dock: $55
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission Ticket: $24
  • Streets and Stairways of San Francisco with Local Guided Tour: $50
  • #1 Sonoma Walking Food, Wine & History Tour (Small Groups): $179
  • "Drink, Mingle, & Dance!" Club Tour (4 clubs included): $35
  • "Drink, Ride, Sing, & Dance!" Bar Tour (4 bars included): $33
  • "Summer of Love" tour in Haight-Ashbury in French: $63
  • (30-40Min) Airplane San Francisco Bay Flight Tour: $279
  • 1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $73
  • 1 Hour GPS Guided Scooter Tour: Harbor/Gaslamp Quarter: $92
  • 1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour: $79

Tours and Activities in Hawaii

For Hawaii, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • "Tour de Honolulu" Foodie Bike Tour: $169
  • Guided Kayak Tour to Kailua’s Twin Islands: $175
  • Kauai Sea Kayaking 10 mile tour - Na Pali Iki (Polihale to Milolii): $275
  • Kayak Whale Watching Tour (7am-10am): $100
  • New Year’s Eve Midnight Cruise: $246
  • Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial, small group Tour: $80
  • Private Upcountry Farm Tour on Maui : $300
  • Sunset Tour to Haleakalā National Park from Paia : $189
  • 'IMILOA - Express Na Pali Sunset Tour: $179
  • 'IMILOA - Express Nā Pali Snorkel Tour : $201
  • 'IMILOA - Express Whale Watch Cocktail Tour: $122
  • 'Lost' and Movie Tour: $200

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    California $21
    Hawaii $19

Sample the Local Flavors in California

Also in California, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Private Self Guided Tour and Bar Crawl in Chinatown San Francisco: $4.00
  • San Jose Bar Hunt: Sweet San Jose Bar Crawl: $12
  • Sacramento Bar Hunt: Sacramento Sprint Bar Crawl: $12
  • Long Beach Bar Hunt: Long Beach Boss Bar Crawl: $12
  • San Diego Bar Hunt: Slammin' San Diego Bar Crawl: $13
  • Vintner's Private Wine Tasting Experience: $20
  • Wine Tasting Audio Tour - Amador County CA: $30
  • San Diego Small-Group Gaslamp History Tour Pub Crawl: $30
  • Wine Tasting Audio Tour - Lodi California: $35
  • LA Ghosts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Walk with Spirits: A Haunted Pub Crawl in San Francisco: $45
  • 2 to 3 Hour Bar Crawl in Castro San Francisco: $49

Sample the Local Flavors in Hawaii

Also in Hawaii, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Whiskey Tour - Koʻolau Distillery - Kailua, Hawai'i 96734: $25
  • Shaxi Dive Bar Tour: $37
  • WINERY OENO Island Style Wine Tasting: $39
  • History Tour Pub Crawl in Waikiki: $45
  • Maui Farm Distillery and local craft experience Full-Day Tour: $195
  • Maui Tour : Iao Valley, Hawaiian Distillery and Lavender Farm Tour: $300


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between California and Hawaii, we can see that Hawaii is more expensive. And not only is California much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to California would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in California and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Hawaii would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Hawaii than you might in California.

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


Which has a larger population, California or Hawaii?

California has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Hawaii. When comparing the sizes of California and Hawaii, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.