A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Kauai vs. Oahu

Should you visit Kauai or Oahu?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Kauai and Oahu. 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.

Kauai

Hawaii is certainly a bucket list destination, but what if you want to do it without being surrounded by tourists? You want the adventure of the land of volcanoes and less of the kids in water wings. Then Kaua'i is the island for you.

Kaua'i, or the "garden island," is full of tropical forests, little villages and even more laid back lifestyle if you can imagine. It's a smaller island at 560 square miles with a population of only 68,000.

With more coastline miles than any other island, Kaua'i is the result of massive erosion forming awe-inspiring sights like the Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast. The island experiences more rainfall every year keeping it lush and green all year.

You'll feel like you've walked into another world in Kaua'i. Because of height restrictions, this island's buildings are no taller than the coconut trees. So if you're looking for an escape from civilization, you'll want to head straight for Kaua'i.

Oahu

Hawaii is the epitome of paradise, and at the heart of paradise is the island of O'ahu (or Oahu). While it's only the third largest of the Hawaiian islands, O'ahu, or "the gathering place," is the most populous in the state with approximately 976,000 people calling O'ahu home, many of which live in the capital city of Honolulu.

Which city is cheaper, Oahu or Kauai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kauai is $152, while the average daily cost in Oahu is $266. 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 Kauai and Oahu in more detail.




Accommodation

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

The prices for places to stay in Oahu can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $190, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $380.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kauai $91
    Oahu $190
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kauai $182
    Oahu $380


Food

Food in Kauai costs travelers about $45 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $42 per day in Oahu for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kauai $45
    Oahu $42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Oahu

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

  • Honolulu Food Tour: Eat Like a Local: $117
  • Honolulu Food Tour: Best of Chinatown: $146


Local Transportation

Kauai's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $27 per person, per day on transportation in Kauai.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Oahu than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $17 on transportation in Oahu on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kauai $27
    Oahu $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kauai

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

  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Kauai International Airport to Kauai Hotels: $320

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Oahu

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

  • Private Honolulu Transfer: Cruise Port to Airport or Hotel: $128
  • Private Departure Transfer: Oahu Hotels or Honolulu Cruise Terminal to Honolulu International Airport: $115


Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Kauai can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $14 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing expenses in Oahu, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $22 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kauai $14
    Oahu $22

Tours and Activities in Kauai

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

  • Acua Park Adventure Package: $87
  • Family Portraits, Senior or Couples Portraits, Wedding Photography, Photo Tours: $532
  • Poipu 8 line Zipline Adventure: $147
  • Private Kauai North Shore Tour: $232

Tours and Activities in Oahu

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

  • Best of Private Tour: $211
  • Customizable Island Tours Tours on Oahu: $925
  • Family Majestic Private Circle Island Tour: $198
  • Half Day Oahu Combo Adventure: Bike, Sail and Snorkel: $139
  • Intimate WWII: Honor our Heroes and Historic Honolulu Tour With Lunch: $168
  • Kualoa Ranch - Taste of Kualoa Farm Trolley Tour: $51
  • LGBTQ Friendly Semi-Private Circle Island Adventure: $198
  • Magic Island Trikke Tour: $157
  • Oahu Personalized Private Tour: $880
  • Oahu Private Honeymooners and Lovers Tour: $610
  • Oahu Private tour start from North Shore: $288
  • Oahu Shore Excursion: Rainforest Hiking Adventure: $80


Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Kauai, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.

Typically, people visiting Oahu spend on average $5.18 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kauai $12
    Oahu $5.18



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kauai and Oahu, we can see that Oahu is more expensive. And not only is Kauai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kauai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kauai 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 Oahu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Oahu than you might in Kauai.

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Kauai vs. Oahu Travel Comparison

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