US dollar ($)
Budget: Less than $100
- Hostel dorm bed: $25–35
- Hostel room with shared bath: $75
- Plate lunch or poke bowl: $6–10
- Bus fare (one way): $2
- Stargazing on Mauna Kea: free
- Room with private bath at midrange hotel or B&B: $120–200
- Rental car (excluding insurance and gas): from $35/175 per day/week
- Dinner at informal sit-down restaurant: $20–40
- Snorkeling tour: $100–150
Top End: More than $250
- Luxury B&B or resort room: over $250
- Three-course meal and cocktail: $75–100
- Guided outdoor adventure tour: $80–200
- Helicopter tour: $200–500
With a few exceptions (mainly farmers markets), prices are fixed on the Big Island and bargaining is not an accepted practice.
Credit cards are widely accepted by most businesses (except some lodgings) and often required for reservations. Traveler's checks (US dollars) are occasionally used.
Available in all major towns.
- ATMs are available in all major towns and 24/7 at most banks, convenience stores, shopping centers and airports.
- Expect a minimum surcharge of $2.25 per transaction, plus any fees charged by your home bank.
- Most ATMs are connected to international networks (eg Plus, Cirrus) and offer decent exchange rates.
- Hawaii's two largest banks are Bank of Hawaii (www.boh.com) and First Hawaiian Bank (www.fhb.com).
Out-of-state personal checks are generally not accepted, except at some privately owned lodgings (eg B&Bs, condos, vacation rentals).
Major credit cards are widely accepted. Typically they're required for car rentals, hotel reservations, buying tickets etc. B&Bs, condos and vacation rentals may refuse credit cards or add a 3% surcharge.
Rather archaic nowadays, traveler's checks in US dollars are still accepted like cash at bigger tourist-oriented businesses in Hawaii, such as resort hotels. Smaller businesses like grocery stores usually refuse them.
Tipping is not optional; only withhold tips in cases of outrageously bad service.
- Airport skycaps & hotel porters $2 to $3 per bag, minimum per cart $5.
- Bartenders 15% to 20% per round, minimum $1 per drink.
- Housekeeping $2 to $5 per night, left under card provided; more if you're messy.
- Parking valets At least $2 when handed back your car's keys.
- Restaurant servers & room service 15% for substandard service, 20% for good service, unless a gratuity is already charged.
- Taxi drivers 15% of metered fare, rounded up to next dollar.
A 4% state sales tax is tacked onto virtually everything, including meals, groceries and car rentals (which also entail additional state and local taxes). Lodging taxes total 13.25%.