Currency

US dollar ($)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than $100

  • Dorm bed: $25–45
  • Local plate lunch: $6–10
  • Bus fare (one way): $2–2.50

Midrange: $100–250

  • Double room with private bath at midrange hotel or B&B: $100–250
  • Rental car (excluding insurance and gas) per day/week: from $35/150
  • Dinner at casual sit-down restaurant: $20–40

Top End: More than $250

  • Beach resort hotel room or luxury condo rental: more than $250
  • Three-course meal with a cocktail in a top restaurant: $75–125
  • Guided outdoor adventure tour: $80–200

Bargaining

Polite haggling is only ever seen at farmers markets and roadside stalls selling art, crafts and souvenirs, and even then, it's rare. Everywhere else, the expectation is that you'll pay the stated price.

Money

ATMs are available in cities and larger towns. Credit cards are widely accepted (except at some lodgings) and are often required for reservations. Tipping is customary.

ATMs

  • ATMs are available 24/7 at banks, shopping malls, airports and grocery and convenience stores.
  • Expect a minimum surcharge of around $3 per transaction, in addition to any fees charged by your home bank.
  • Most ATMs are connected to international networks (Plus and Cirrus are common) and offer decent exchange rates.

Credit Cards

  • Credit cards are widely accepted and often required for car rentals, hotel reservations etc. Some B&Bs and vacation rentals refuse them (pay in US dollar traveler's checks, personal checks or cash instead) or else add a 3% surcharge.
  • Visa, MasterCard and American Express are most commonly accepted, followed by Discover and JTB.

Exchange Rates

AustraliaA$1$0.72
CanadaC$1$0.74
ChinaY10$1.44
Euro zone€1$1.04
Japan¥100$0.85
New ZealandNZ$1$0.69
UKUK£1$1.22

For current exchange rates see www.xe.com

Money Changers

  • Exchange foreign currency at Honolulu International Airport or the main branches of bigger banks, such as the Bank of Hawaii or First Hawaiian Bank.
  • Outside of cities and larger towns, exchanging money may be impossible, so make sure you carry enough cash and/or a credit or debit card.

Tipping

Tipping is not optional; only withhold tips in cases of outrageously bad service.

Airport and hotel porters $2 per bag, minimum $5 per cart

Bartenders 15% to 20% per round, minimum $1 per drink

Concierges Nothing for simple information, up to $20 for securing last-minute restaurant reservations etc

Housekeeping staff $2 to $4 per night, left under the card provided; more if you're messy

Parking valets At least $2 when your keys are returned

Restaurant servers and room service 18% to 20%, unless a gratuity is already charged (common for groups of six or more)

Taxi drivers 10 to 15% of metered fare, rounded up to the next dollar

Traveler's Checks

Traveler's checks have pretty much fallen out of use. That said, traveler's checks in US dollars are still accepted like cash at many tourist-oriented businesses in Hawaii, such as vacation rentals, B&Bs, hotels, resorts and higher-end restaurants. Smaller businesses like grocery stores and fast-food chains usually refuse them.