A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America South Lake Tahoe vs. Honolulu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Honolulu?

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

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the largest town on the famous Lake Tahoe that straddles the California-Nevada border in the Sierra Mountain Range. Located just south of Reno, Nevada and about 2 hours east of Sacramento, the Lake Tahoe area is easily accessible to many visitors.

Lake Tahoe is known for skiing and other winter sports, as well as plenty of warm weather activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, mountain biking, and more.

South Lake Tahoe has plenty of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shopping. This is a good town to base yourself if you're looking to explore the area, as it has a large number of amenities.

Located on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe is the town of Stateline. Here you can find some casinos, as gambling is legal in Nevada.

If you're looking to go skiing or snowboarding, the Heavenly Ski Resort can be found on the southern edge of the town of South Lake Tahoe. Naturally, more ski resorts are located around the lake as well.

As swimming is also popular, several beach areas are on the southern section of the lake including the Regan Memorial City Beach, Lakeside Beach, Pope Beach, Emerald Bay State Park, and the Edgewood Resort area (on the Nevada side).

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.

Which city is cheaper, Honolulu or South Lake Tahoe?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in South Lake Tahoe is $94, while the average daily cost in Honolulu is $196. 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 South Lake Tahoe and Honolulu in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Travelers usually pay around $230 for a double occupancy room in Honolulu If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    South Lake Tahoe $43
    Honolulu $115
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    South Lake Tahoe $86
    Honolulu $230

Food

On average, meal and food prices in South Lake Tahoe cost around $30 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 $12.

In Honolulu travelers spend around $42 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $30
    Honolulu $42

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:

  • After Dinner Tour along the Famous Waikiki Beach Strip: $68
  • Majestic Sunset Dinner and Cocktail Cruise with Live Entertainment: $97
  • Hawaii Food Tour - Off The Beaten Path: $110
  • Hawaiian Style Cooking Classes in Honolulu: $125
  • Da Local's Food Tour: $130
  • Three Star Deluxe Sunset Dinner & Show: $151
  • Private Hawaiian Food Tour by Bike in Oahu: $159
  • Oahu Fireworks Dinner Cruise: $162
  • 4th of July Sunset Dinner and Fireworks Cruise: $170
  • Oahu Food Tour with Emmy-Winning 'Cooking Hawaiian Style' Host: $177
  • Aloha Plate Food Tour: $177

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around South Lake Tahoe is $20 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.

To get around in Honolulu, the average visitor spends $21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $20
    Honolulu $21

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:

  • Departure Transfer: Airport Shuttle Honolulu and Waikiki or Cruise Terminal: $15
  • Arrival Transfer: Airport Shuttle Honolulu and Waikiki or Cruise Terminal: $15
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Honolulu Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal: $16
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Oahu Hotels or Cruise Terminal to Honolulu Airport: $16
  • Arrival Transfer: Airport Shuttle Honolulu To Ko'olina: $22
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Honolulu Airport to Hotel or Cruise Terminal: $33
  • Private Airport Transfer: Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Honolulu: $44
  • Private Airport Transfer: Honolulu to Honolulu International Airport (HNL): $44
  • Honolulu Private Airport Transfer by Minivan - To Hotels in Waikiki: $48
  • Private Transfer from Honolulu (HLN) Airport to Waikiki: $56
  • Private Transfer from Waikiki to Honolulu (HLN) Airport: $56
  • Arrival Lei Greeting and Round Trip Waikiki Transfers: $57

Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Honolulu?

Prices for flights to both Honolulu and South Lake Tahoe 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

South Lake Tahoe's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $45 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.

In Honolulu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $32 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $45
    Honolulu $32

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:

  • 2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe: $99
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe: $94
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $62
  • Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake: $392
  • Lake Tahoe Scenic Driving Tour: $249
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley: Full-Day Narrated Bus Tour: $60
  • Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour: $179
  • Happy Hour Cruise: $90
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay: $90
  • Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls: $265
  • Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour: $265

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.

  • Honolulu Downtown Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Diamond Head Hiking Narrated Tour: $5.00
  • Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center Tour: $6.99
  • USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour: $7.99
  • East Oahu Shoreline Drive Audio Tour: $12
  • Oahu Grand Circle Island Audio Driving Tour: $12
  • USS Arizona Memorial Deluxe Tour: $13
  • Arrival Trasfer: Airport Shuttle Honolulu and Cruise Terminal: $13
  • North Shore Grand Circle Island Tour’s Honolulu Airport Shuttle Waikiki Hotel: $14
  • USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour and Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center: $15
  • Honolulu Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Bishop Museum General Admission Ticket: $25

Alcohol

The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in South Lake Tahoe per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Honolulu, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.18.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $28
    Honolulu $5.18

Sample the Local Flavors in Honolulu

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Honolulu:

  • Shaxi Dive Bar Tour: $68


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

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South Lake Tahoe vs. Honolulu Travel Comparison

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