Another Day in Paradise for $5.50

Paradise

by Ryan

For less than the cost of a McDonalds “value” meal I was able to experience some of the best Oahu has to offer. It’s ridiculous how cheap you can enjoy places… that is… if you’re smart and are okay with stopping and smelling the roses.  Honolulu is ranked as the 25th most expensive city in the world, yet it really doesn’t feel like it when you play it smart.

The past couple weekends I’ve had a blast, meeting new people, going for hikes, scenic tours, and exploring all the things Oahu has to offer. The funny thing is… at the end of the day, I still have money in my pocket!

Here’s a couple of things I’ve done in the past week or so, the combined cost of which was $5.50.

  • Hiked a scenic national park
  • Saw Monk Seals (I almost tripped over one… quite embarassing!)
  • Whale watched
  • Body boarded
  • Traveled over 200 miles
  • Experienced Pineapples from all around the world at the Dole Plantation

So How’d I do that all for $5.50? The secret to Another Day in Paradise for Cheap…

Here’s my secret… I took the bus!  I also didn’t buy anything while on my journey. Honestly, the only thing I spent money on was the bus fare. Everything else was outdoor activities that didn’t require money. The body boarding was made possible by meeting up with a friend who had an extra board, which she had simply because the people who lived in her apartment before her left it there. It was ugly as sin, but I didn’t care and it caught waves just as well as a cool looking board.

Some additional secrets…

  • Pack a large bottle of water… Don’t buy overpriced and environmentally damaging bottles.
  • Pack some peanut butter sandwiches, carrots, and apples.
  • Don’t get lured in by buying touristy “stuff.”
  • Find locals who know the area and can tell you the best spots.
  • Bring a book and pad of paper so you can be productive while riding the bus.
  • Carry a backpack at all times so you can pack these things.

That’s it.  It’s so incredibly simple.  I had an amazing time this week without needing to rent expensive gear, charter boats, use a car, or spend money on souvenirs.  Heck, why do I need souvenirs when I live here?

You too can come to Oahu and do the same thing. Don’t buy into the hype and be a typical tourist, rather do things like the locals, walk around rather than driving, and stop and smell the roses. You’ll have a much deeper vacation experience and have more money left in your wallet.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

LeanLifeCoach January 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Be careful inviting people to Oahu, most of the U.S. is currently frozen. We might just take you up on your offer!

More power to you for living the dream!

Ryan January 10, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’ll try to not be too literal about my invitation, but I’m sure the Hawaii tourism board will love me for it! Unless of course everyone comes and doesn’t spend much money either.

Robyn January 11, 2010 at 3:59 am

Yea for the Bus! I’ve been taking the bus roundtrip to my work – and everywhere else – for several years. And since I don’t have a car, I’m never tempted to be lazy and drive. Also, Boulder has a bus that goes right to a local ski area, Eldora. I have a bus pass so I can ride for “free” (subsidized by my work). So in the winter I’ll often ride the bus, ski on the Forest Service trails and eat the lunch I brought. I have an amazingly beautiful day of outdoor exercize in the mountaints – for free. Same goes for summer as I can go to the mountains for hiking.

Investing Newbie January 11, 2010 at 7:35 am

I just ruled out Hawaii as a possible vacation spot because of money!! I think it is also because we wanted to fall right smack into the touristy trap and not blend in with the locals. However, it is still on my hit list of Places I NEED to go Before I DIE or ELSE I’ll Die. I’ll make sure that when I make it there, it will be of the cheaper variety.

Kevin January 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

Wow…. I love Hawaii…

I honeymooned in Maui a few years back. Unbelievable. I’ve been all over the Caribbean and I love Hawaii.

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