One of the best ways to cut costs on your Hawaii vacation and keep your travel budget lower can be through your accommodation.
And one of the best places to find cheaper accommodation can be through an airbnb vacation rental or home!
Different people are looking for different things in their Hawaii vacation. Maybe an airbnb rental isn’t what you’re looking for out of your vacation. If you’re looking for a place to stay on Oahu that’s oceanfront on Waikiki Beach, a traditional hotel or resort may be the way to go.
But if you’re looking to save some money on your Hawaii expenses, accommodation is a good place to do so! And so is food.
Staying in a vacation rental can do both. With airbnb, not only can you find places to stay that can be a bit cheaper than Waikiki hotels, you can find a place to stay with kitchen access too. Food is another area in which Hawaii expenses can add up quickly. Being able to cook a few of your meals yourself can end up saving you money.
And if you want to save even more money on your Hawaii vacation, use this referral link for a discount on your first airbnb booking!
You can start exploring vacation rentals in Oahu right here. (If you’re on the mobile Pinterest app, first open up this page in your web browser where the search for rentals will work better!)
If you'll be snorkeling on your next vacation, consider wearing these types of UV swim shirts, and also see some snorkeling essentials for Hawaii. And for Hawaii vacation ideas, see great short hikes on Oahu with ocean views, and great scenic drives to plan on Maui, and great areas to visit as you circle the Big Island, and great coastal hikes on the quiet island of Lanai!
What types of airbnb rentals are there?
There 2 main types of vacation rentals and homes listed on airbnb.
You stay with the host
With some listings, you will be staying with the home owner in their home. You can think of it like staying over at a friend’s house. Many are renting out a spare bedroom in their home. This is the more traditional way of airbnb.
You can also think of this type of airbnb listing kind of like a homestay, like how college students often stay with a local family when they study abroad in Europe. They do that so they can learn more about the local culture. You may learn more about Hawaii from your airbnb host than you would staying in a hotel. Although, this depends on how much you want to engage with your host, and how much your host is able to interact with you.
You have the vacation rental to yourself
With other listings, the owner may not live there, and you can get the whole place to yourself.
Which is better?
This completely depends on what you are looking for out of your Hawaii vacation! The rentals in which you stay with the host are generally cheaper since it’s a shared house.
Tips for finding an airbnb rental on Oahu
Where on Oahu should you look for airbnb homes?
In general, when it comes to hotels, most people stay in Waikiki. But that’s mostly because that’s where pretty much all of the hotels are located!
When you’re staying in a vacation rental, you’ve got a few more options! Although there are areas on Oahu that are harder to come by. There aren’t so many options for airbnb vacation rentals on the North Shore, for example.
Even so, you may just make your decision based on where you can find the cheapest place in which you like the arrangement and amenities offered!
But other than that, there are a few things you may want to think about to decide where on the island to search for a place to stay on Oahu.
Will you be renting a car, or will you be relying on taking the bus?
If you do manage to find a place to stay in Oahu that’s a little under your hotel budget you can also consider making up for it by renting a car. (That’s the excuse you can give yourself anyway. ;))
If you’ll be renting a car, it opens up your options even more on which area to stay, since it won’t be as inconvenient as relying on the bus to go places.
If you’ll be taking the bus everywhere, you’ll want to make sure that there’s a bus stop reasonably nearby where you’re staying.
What do you want to do in Oahu?
It may also be helpful to know the locations of the places you want to visit.
Good thing there’s this Oahu map so you can see where on Oahu popular tourist attractions are located.
Chances are not everything will be on one part of Oahu, but if many things that you like are, you can take that into consideration.
If you’ll be taking the bus everywhere, just keep in mind that waiting for the bus and transfer time can add up. Outside of Waikiki and Honolulu where the bus is frequent, the bus may pass by just once an hour. But if you don’t mind that (and you find that to be a part of the adventure!), then the bus can be a great way to save some more money in Hawaii and see the island. It’ll force you to take in your surroundings more fully as you patiently wait for the bus. 😉
Explore the map on airbnb
When you don’t really have a preference of where you want to stay, it might just be easiest to start exploring the map of vacation rentals available to give you an idea of what kind of airbnb vacation homes are out there. You can have a look at the prices, and from there decide what activities you may want to do in the area.
Remove the “instant book” filter
When you have decided on a vacation rental you like, the next step is to book! Some hosts have their profile set up so that you can immediately book the listing and have confirmation of your rental. Other hosts have it so that you will submit to book, but they will manually approve you to stay in their home.
Sometimes, when you are searching for airbnb listings, the default will be to include only rentals that allow you to book instantly. Since many airbnb hosts like to first have a look at your profile, you may be limiting your options by filtering the search to only show the instant booking listings. Instead, remove the filter and search for all listings to see if it will give you better options for places to stay on Oahu.
Understand what’s included and what’s not in your airbnb home
Read the listing carefully
Many airbnb hosts will provide quite a bit of details so that you can understand what to expect with a stay in their home. They may also tell you if they are close or far from certain tourist attractions. Some hosts provide more information than others.
Also look through all of the pictures that are in their profile. Once again, some hosts provide more pictures than others. You may get a picture of just the room, or you may get a slideshow of rooms from the entire house, bathroom included!
If you’re unsure about anything, you also have the option to message the host to ask questions, without any obligation to stay with them.
Read reviews carefully
Once again, this is to better understand what you’re getting into with any particular vacation rental or home.
You don’t want to immediately write off airbnb homes with negative reviews though, because sometimes, people are complaining about things that are stated in the profile. Other times, it could be something that may be a concern, but you may decide that it doesn’t bother you so much.
Consider that different people have different expectations for a Hawaii vacation, so take a look at the different factors involved to decide if it’s a legitimate complaint. How much are you willing to sacrifice to save money in Hawaii? 😉
Time to start looking for places to stay on Oahu!
Okay! So ready to save some money and find yourself a vacation rental on Oahu for your Hawaii vacation?!
And don’t forget to sign up for airbnb through this referral link so you can get that discount!
HAPPY OAHU VACATION PLANNING!
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- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see more about the best shoes for hiking in Hawaii.
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Swimwear for snorkeling and beach- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!
- What to wear hiking
- Snorkeling essentials for Hawaii
- What to wear on a cruise formal night
more Hawaii travel tips:
-- Oahu travel planning map
-- 3 day Oahu itinerary
-- 2 week Oahu itinerary
-- Best short hikes on Oahu with amazing views
- BIG ISLAND:
-- Big Island travel planning map
-- 7 day Big Island itinerary
-- Best beach hikes on the Big Island with amazing views