Ok, everyone, I know the subject line might sound unrealistic but it's true. Also just a heads up this might not work for everyone but it did for me and my wife. 

October of 2018 we went on a trip to Maui Hawaii for $1500 total for 2 people. 

Here is how we did it. 

The Flights 

I saved up airline vouches by taking the later flight. I used to work for a company that had to fly me around twice a year. I needed to be at my office the next morning but they would always put me on the 5:00 pm flights and they often oversold them so I would tell the desk attendant I would take the next flight if they could give me a voucher, or sometimes they would announce they needed to pick to take a different flight because it was oversold and I would volunteer. I had $800 in-flight vouches in 18 months. This paid for our flights because we went in the offseason so we found lights for a little over $400 RT. 

Ok so here is the crazy part that might not work for everyone. 

The Hotel 

I got a job at my local Marriott hotel working 1 day a week on Saturdays. This gave me an employee discount when traveling.  We had to be creative on where we stayed as well. we stayed  4 nights one place and 2 nights another. The discounted rates we not available for all 6 nights we were there so we had to switch properties mid-trip.  We stayed in a $500 a night resort for $99 a night and they waived the resort fee ($42 daily) because I was a fellow employee. 

The Rental Car 

I booked my rental car the day I got there. This was a little risky but it paid off. I don't remember exactly the price but I think it was like $128 for 4 days. So $25 a day. It would have been less but I upgraded to a jeep when I got there. 

Lastly, we saved money on food because we had a fridge and requested a microwave in our room and went to the ABC marts all over Hawaii and got normal deli food and snacks but for so much less.  

Let me know if you have any questions happy to help.

It was so amazing we are going back to Hawaii this year! 

 

Original Post

Thanks for sharing!

I used to work at Marriott too but I only took advantage of the discount once. You can get some great prices on great rooms though!

 

My wife and I actually just traveled to Hawaii in January to complete our 50 State trip we started back in September 2019.

We also were very careful with our money and implemented some hacks to help us go for just over $1,000 for the both of us out of pocket.

Here are some of the things we did to save money.

  • Booked flights with credit card airline miles rewards.

We met the requirements and earned 60K miles on the American Airlines card and were able to get round trip tickets to Honolulu for 30K miles each. Of course, that meant we had to travel from Fargo, ND to Chicago but since my wife's parents live there, it was a no brainer and we saved quite a bit of money!

  • Went with a Group

While its fun to travel just as a couple, it can be just as fun to travel with a group. To save some money we actually invited a couple friends and her brother also came. This allowed us to share the cost for things such as lodging and car rental, etc.

  • Stayed in AirBnb

I absolutely love AirBnb and I almost always search for an AirBnb over hotels. We were able to book an entire AirBnB with beds enough for all at a fraction of what a hotel would have cost us. This also gave us our own kitchen so we could make some of our own meals instead of eating out and we also had access to a laundry room to wash clothes

  • Booked a Car with Turo

Turo is basically the AirBnB of car rental. By booking well in advance, we were able to get an SUV that fit the whole group of 5 and it ended up only costing $60 bucks a person plus gas for a week. If you are making plans in advance, I definitely recommend at least checking Turo for better prices.

  • Used our Costco Membership

Everything in Hawaii is expensive, and groceries are no exception. Thankfully they had a Costco in Honolulu which we were able to utilize to buy some food in bulk and plan out meals ahead of time so we would't have to eat out every meal.

We still splurged a little on a few things but overall we were still able to do it for just around 1K out of our pocket.

 

It is so interesting to see how others use hacks to save a bit on travel!

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