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Old 10-14-2011, 07:51 AM
 
Location: NY
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When planning travel to Hawaii, how do you know how much to budget for food? I know it costs more than on the mainland, by a considerable amount. Therefore, in a long vacation (6 nights) I would want to be prepared for the expense ahead of time.

For those who go to Hawaii, generally what is your food expenses? How much do you budget?
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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I've never been to Hawaii but I know what I experienced going to Vegas once. I ended up looking for the closest cheapest place to eat and just ate there all the time. Still spent more than I wanted though lol.
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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I see you're from NY - not sure what part of the state - if NYC are then you should be fine. I'm from Pittsburgh, PA and have lived in DC plus have family in Chicago and NYC. IMO the food in Hawaii didn't seem particularly expensive - especially compared to the hype about how pricey it is there. We didn't do 4 star restaurants - had mostly basic fare and even some food truck meals. We didn't have a specific budget just for food but felt the prices were reasonable and didn't break the bank.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
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It depends on how often you eat, dietary restrictions, etc. When we're hungry, we eat. My insight is only from visiting a friend in Oahu four times over the last 10 years. Have never budgeted for food but it is an interesting concept. I did see quite a few chain restaurants in Waikiki and I realize you're probably talking about Hawaii, the "big island" which I can only imagine isn't much different in terms of chain restaurants. We usually get our recommendations from bartenders and servers as they seem pretty connected in what goes on behind the scenes in various restaurants.

You might try posting this on the Hawaii forum and get some locals to help you.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Texas
14 posts, read 29,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkered24 View Post
When planning travel to Hawaii, how do you know how much to budget for food? I know it costs more than on the mainland, by a considerable amount. Therefore, in a long vacation (6 nights) I would want to be prepared for the expense ahead of time.

For those who go to Hawaii, generally what is your food expenses? How much do you budget?
It really depends on how often you eat. My sister and I spent an average of $40-50 on lunch or dinner for the both of us. I believe you can eat cheaper but we didnt want to safe $$ on meals.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Portland, ME
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If you have the opportunity to cook your own food, that is certainly the cheapest way! (though grocery stores are expensive too!) You will only be blown away by high prices in "tourist trap" type restaurants right on the water. Ask someone who works where you are staying for tips on where the locals go and the prices will plummet.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nschink View Post
If you have the opportunity to cook your own food, that is certainly the cheapest way! (though grocery stores are expensive too!) You will only be blown away by high prices in "tourist trap" type restaurants right on the water. Ask someone who works where you are staying for tips on where the locals go and the prices will plummet.
Ya that's true - "local" food was cheaper - Rice, macaroni salad, shredded pork & cabbage - good stuff but way salty.
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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It wasn't clear to me where in Hawaii that you meant. If you mean the "Big Island", I didn't see too many deals when I was there.

In Honolulu, I found two decent options. Both are food courts. The first food court is the one at the Ala Moana Shopping Center, next to Ala Moana Beach Park. Lots of individual restaurants and cafes are selling food there and the competition helps keep the cost down. The other option is the food court at the International Market Place. Same situation there. Pretty everything has to be brought into Hawaii and you are paying for this expense. I would budget about 50% more than I would plan on paying for the same meals on the mainland.
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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You need to ask yourself a bunch of questions.

1. Do you want to travel all the way to hawaii to cook the same foods you eat at home? If not, plan on eating out.

2. When you eat, are you looking for food or are you also looking for a local (whatever you perceive that to be) meals? If you want food, there are Applebys and Mcdonlads, but if you want a certain local flavor with the food, you will need to eat where you get those meals.

3. Do you want to sit, order and eat or are you looking for more. If you expect a certain vibe, you have to go where you get that vibe and expereince.

No matter what you think, most people visiting Hawaii expect to leave with a certain feeling they take away with them. How much of the Hawii expereince you want to have to feel like it was a memorable trip will dictate the cost. Call it what you want, touristy, chincy, staged; you need to feel like the trip was special and food certainly can go a long way to satisfying that need.

You may also want to post this on the Hawaii board of CD as many people can tell you where you can get what you need out of the experience without spending a arm and a leg.

Aloha.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Traverse City, MI
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We were in Waikiki last month and ate in restaurants for 3 meals for a week. I would say the cost is about 10% higher than here in Michigan.
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