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

Should you visit California or Hawaii?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. So, let's dig into it.

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 city 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 $197, while the average daily cost in Hawaii is $269. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for California and Hawaii in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in California, $182 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in California, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $91, such as in a hostel.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $330 in Hawaii For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    California $91
    Hawaii $165
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    California $182
    Hawaii $330

Food

On average, meal and food prices in California cost around $37 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $15.

Hawaii food costs typically run travelers around $61 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    California $37
    Hawaii $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in California

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

  • Napa or Sonoma Dinner Transportation: $500

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in California than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $32 on transportation in California on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Hawaii than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $29 on transportation in Hawaii on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    California $32
    Hawaii $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in California

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

  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Walnut Creek to SFO (one way): $199
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Vallejo to SFO (one way): $259
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from St Helena to SFO (one way): $497
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Yountville (one way): $372
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to St Helena(one way): $497
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Sonoma (one way): $376
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Napa (one way): $372
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to East Bay (one way): $262
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from SFO to Calistoga (one way): $499
  • Sedan Airport Transfer from Napa to SFO (one way): $372
  • Sedan Airport Transfer Sonoma to SFO(one way): $423
  • SUV Airport Transfer from Yountville to SFO (one way): $449

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Hawaii

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

  • Private SUV Transfer on Maui To Wailea: $289
  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Maui Kahului Airport to Maui Hotels: $456

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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in California, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $49 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Hawaii, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $31 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    California $49
    Hawaii $31

Tours and Activities in California

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

  • 6-Hour Private Sedan Napa or Sonoma Wine Country Tour from Napa: $557
  • Bay Area Sight Seeing Tours: $500
  • Bay Area Tour With A Cantonese Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Chinese Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Farsi Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A French Interpreter: $239
  • Bay Area Tour With A Mandarin Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Pashto Interpreter: $252
  • Bay Area Tour With A Persian Interpreter: $225
  • Bay Area Tour With A Portuguese Interpreter: $252
  • Bay Area Tour With A Punjabi Interpreter: $252
  • Bay Area Tour With A Spanish Interpreter: $225

Tours and Activities in Hawaii

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

  • Deluxe Big Island Mercedes Guided Tour to Anywhere: $1,240
  • Kalaupapa Discovery Air and Ground Tour- Maui Departure: $425
  • Maui Private Tour: Adventure With A Local: $332
  • Maui Tour : Road to Hana Tour from Lahaina: $179
  • Private Shore Excursion Tour - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: $685
  • Private Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: $485
  • Segway Mamalahoa Tour - 120 Minutes - Rating: MODERATE: $190
  • Shore Excursion - Hawaii Volcano Tour: $106

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting California spend on average $17 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Hawaii spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    California $17
    Hawaii $16

Sample the Local Flavors in California

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

  • Healdsburg Wine Tasting and Food Pairing Guided Walking Tour: $119
  • Golf Somm - A Sommelier-Led Golf and Wine Tour in Napa Valley: $308
  • 6-Hours Customized Private NAPA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hour Customized Private LIVERMORE Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private RUSSIAN RIVER Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay: $480
  • 6-Hours Customized Private SONOMA Valley Wine Tour From San Francisco Bay Area: $480
  • Napa Wine Tour: $500
  • Sonoma Wine Tours: $500
  • Napa Valley Wine Tour Planning and Transportation: $513
  • 8-Hour Napa Valley Wine Tour: $570
  • Sprinter Wine Tour: $700
  • Sonoma County and Napa Valley Private Wine Tour: $775


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.

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California vs. Hawaii Travel Comparison

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