Should you visit Hawaii or Alaska?
Should I visit Hawaii or Alaska? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
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.
Alaska joined the United States of America as the 49th state. The US purchased the area from the Russian Empire in 1867 for just 7.2 million dollars (about two cents an acre). It became an organized territory in 1912 and a state in 1959. It is separated from the rest of the country by Canada and, although it is the largest state, it is the least densely populated and for many years had the lowest population. It covers an area equal to California, Texas and Montana combined and lies on the Arctic Circle. Many people consider Alaska to be the United State's "final frontier" because of its vast wilderness. It is also where you will find the highest point in North America.
Which city is cheaper, Alaska or Hawaii?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Hawaii is $274, while the average daily cost in Alaska is $195. 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 Hawaii and Alaska in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $340 in Hawaii For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $108. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Alaska the cost is $216 on average.
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.
In Alaska travelers spend around $45 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one 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.
The average price of local transportation around Alaska is $41 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
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:
Private Round-Trip Transfer: Maui Kahului Airport to Maui Hotels:
Is it cheaper to fly into Hawaii or Alaska?
Prices for flights to both Alaska and 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.
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.
Alaska's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $52 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Tours and Activities in Hawaii
For Hawaii, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Shore Excursion - Hawaii Volcano Tour:
Maui Tour : Road to Hana Tour from Lahaina:
Segway Mamalahoa Tour - 120 Minutes - Rating: MODERATE:
Maui Private Tour: Adventure With A Local:
Kalaupapa Discovery Air and Ground Tour- Maui Departure:
Private Tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:
Private Shore Excursion Tour - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:
Deluxe Big Island Mercedes Guided Tour to Anywhere:
Tours and Activities in Alaska
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Alaska are as follows:
Denali Park Zipline Adventure:
Prince of Wales Island Bear-Viewing Tour By Air From Ketchikan:
Typically, people visiting Hawaii spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Alaska per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Hawaii and Alaska, we can see that Hawaii is more expensive. And not only is Alaska much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Alaska would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alaska 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 Alaska.
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