Where to find cheap Honolulu & Hawaii vacation packages

by Elizabeth Penney  |  Published October 5, 2017

Lush green rainforests, golden beaches, warm water and year-round sunshine make Hawaii a true tropical paradise. Hawaii is made up of hundreds of islands in the South Pacific, but the heart of the Hawaiian Islands is Oahu, known as “The Gathering Place.” The capital city of Honolulu is the stuff of legends. Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor are sites not to be missed. Surfing, swimming, boating, snorkeling and hiking are all popular activities. The hotel options in Honolulu are innumerable, but most visitors opt to stay near Waikiki. One of the best ways to save money on a trip to Hawaii is to book a vacation package with airfare. TravelMag.com has researched several websites and found that both Expedia and Priceline offered great deals on family vacation packages as well as last-minute vacation packages to Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo: Daniel Ramirez via Flickr)

Expedia offered superior deals on all-inclusive packages to Hawaii on select dates in 2017 and 2018. The cost savings of purchasing a vacation package with airfare versus flights and hotels individually were significant, ranging from $100–$300 per person on week-long stays. For example, seven nights at a 4-star hotel from Dallas in February was $3,066 compared to $3,500 if booked separately. Similar discounts were found across the board. A 7-night trip from Chicago staying at a 3-star hotel was $3,234 versus $3,699, while a 4-star resort stay from New York was $4,014 compared to $4,547 if hotels and flights were purchased on their own. In addition to low prices on vacation packages with airfare, Expedia also offers 24/7 customer service and all fees — including resort fees — can be paid up front.
Priceline also offered significant savings on family vacation packages to Hawaii. Packages through Priceline offered an average savings of $50–$100 per person for week-long trips to the islands. For example, a 7-night stay for two at a 4-star resort on the beach was $3,998 from Denver, compared to $4,244 if the flight and hotel were purchased individually. Priceline also came out ahead on packages originating from the West Coast. A week-long package at a 3-star hotel with a nonstop flight from Los Angeles was $1,944 compared to $2,636. Though not a huge difference, Expedia offered the identical package for $154 more. Of note were Priceline’s “Express Deals,” which resulted in even further savings. These deals offered flights on unnamed airlines within a given timeframe. For example, flights between 6 a.m.–2 p.m. with no more than one stop (and a layover of no longer than three hours) saved nearly $170. TravelMag.com recommends checking both Priceline and Expedia to ensure you get the best possible package price.
Once you’ve settled on the right Hawaii vacation package, it’s a good idea to reserve tours and activities. There’s a lot to do on Oahu, and while sightseeing can be arranged individually, booking a package can save time and money. TakeTours.com offers numerous tours to all parts of the island. Most include entrance fees, transportation and a local expert to guide the way. For example, a 1-day tour of Pearl Harbor is $96 and includes visits to the USS Arizona, USS Missouri and the National Cemetery of the Pacific. For adventure lovers, $138 gets an all-in-one adventure at Kaneohe Bay for a catamaran cruise, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and more.