How Much Does a Month in Hawaii REALLY Cost?

Jenna Kutcher 

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February 3, 2017


I can close my eyes and be transported back to the exact room when I first made the decision that this thought wouldn’t be a thought much longer, we were going to turn it into a reality. You see, I’ve always loved to travel. Growing up, we didn’t travel a ton but whenever we did, it was THE best thing ever (even a trip to the Wisconsin Dells where we all shared a hotel room at the Shamrock Hotel!) I had this vision of Drew and I taking time for rest, a sabbatical of sorts for people who never seem to slow down. It started as a vision but with a little research and some work, this vision is turning into our reality come February.

We made the choice

Choosing to spend an entire month in Hawaii was the easy part, figuring out how to make it happen was where the work came in. This trip was two fold: setting aside a good chunk of time to just be present, away from work, and together. It was also somewhat of a ledge that was necessary for Drew to be pushed off of in order to really make some big moves in his life (leaving his job, starting his business.) I knew that the security of his job would be too appealing and if we didn’t go big or go home, we would likely continue on the loop we’ve been running these past five years. It was time to break the cycle – what better place to do that than on the beaches of Hawaii?

The truth around cost

Let me break it down and be entirely candid about what a month in Hawaii truly looks like (warning: this might surprise you!) I want to also tell you this: traveling requires sacrifice, saving, and a lot of planning. In having almost a full year to make this dream a reality, the daunting numbers didn’t seem as scary as we got closer to booking things!

Flights: 2 x $924 = 1,848.12

Car Rental for 30 Days: $314.88

Airbnb for 30 Days: $3948

Total output for 30 Days in Maui: $6,111

Now, just a year ago we spent 10 days in Maui. We stayed at a 5 star resort, ate out almost every meal, did all the excursions including the helicopter tour and drank the drinks! We spent almost $7,500 in those ten days (and it was certainly worth every penny!) So when we thought about spending a month we quickly freaked out thinking it was impossibly out of reach, but in realizing that our flights were a big chunk of the budget and finding a place to stay would be the next large expense, we realized that if have a place with a full kitchen, we can cook in a lot, buy groceries, and enjoy Hawaii for almost the same cost (but for triple the amount of time!)

How to make your dream a reality

Is there a dream you’ve been dreaming but are too afraid to figure out if it will ever become a reality? (No judgment, we’ve all been there!) We hit a point in our lives where we stopped and said, “Why are we waiting?” After some research, we realized that we could make it happen NOW. The truth is, nothing is promised. What would it look like for you to set aside a few hundred dollars each month? What would it look like if you sat down and ran the numbers to see if you could make that dream happen? What would it look like for you to budget so that these dreams could become a reality?

When you hear we will be in Hawaii for a month, instead of wondering how we are making it happen or questioning if we won the lottery and didn’t tell anyone, understand that when you learn how to budget, save, and spend carefully, you are granted opportunities that might not be within reach otherwise! We can’t wait to spend February 1 – March 1 resting, enjoying the sun, and becoming Hawaiian locals. We hope this won’t be our first month long rendez vous together… where to next?

Heading to the big island?

Check out my very own curated travel guide to Maui here! 

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  1. Girl, you got a steal of a deal on that rental car! I lived on Oahu for four months (I’ve head Maui’s transportation is more reasonable) and rental car rates were through the roof. Enjoy the sun, surf, and Hawaii life!

  2. Rebecca says:


    Are you missing a few numbers in your airbnb and car rental? Those seem like crazy low prices and they don’t add up 😉

    You may already be in vacation mode! I moved to Paris for three months and it was the best decision. Have a fabulous adventure!

  3. Fernanda says:

    Hawaii is such a paradise! My hubs and I went there for our honeymoon in 2012 and loved everything about it. (Awesome planning skills, Jenna!!!)

  4. amanda peters says:

    iceland (ive been for 13 days and it wasnt enough). but i could see myself making new zealand an expanded trip. so much to discover.

  5. Tobi Beck says:

    So inspiring! My wife is a retired police officer. 3 months ago, I left my corporate job for peace and passion after a year-long scare with cancer. We raise my 13 year old nephew. We are living off her pension and a small bit from a part-time job. We downsized our home from nearly 3,000 sq ft to 1500 and it was the best thing for us. I’m now focused on selling our excess – learning to live minimally & it’s glorious!! I’m finding the space and freedom to begin my art career. That’s success!! Peace is success!! Cliche, but life really is to short!! And anything is achievable with planning and sacrifice. Absolutely love this dedication to wellness for you both individually and for your marriage. Genius. Enjoy every second!!

  6. Alexis says:

    I just listened to 2 of your podcasts last night on my flight home and I’m so inspired! The first one where you told listeners what you were afraid to tell them had me in tears at one point and then laughing hysterically the next (insert where Alaina Kaz was on your show). I love them and they provide me a perfect downtime while I’m flying home after long weeks at the office. However, I’d love to know who your renting the car from (company? Airbnb hosts?) My husband and I would love to do this as well and are looking for any tips on how to budget with car expenses and stuff.

  7. Casey D says:

    So inspired by your trip! If I can ask – how the heck did you get a car for 30 days, for that cheap? I’m spending 5 days in Florida, and with a major discount code our vehicle is almost the same price! Now, granted – it is a big vehicle because we’re toting my extended family around, but still we usually get a budget car for like $20/day if we’re lucky. 🙂 Please share your wisdom.

  8. Macy says:

    That really is much more affordable than I expected! I think I would spend a month in Paris. A good friend lives there and it was be wonderful to stay for a longer amount of time than we have before. And quick weekend trips to Croatia or Germany would be amazing. ENJOY!

  9. Jen Herrmann says:

    Love this and an awesome post per usual! You’re so great at breaking things down and making the daunting attainable. I’d LOVE to live in Australia for a month – particularly in Melbourne. Maybe one day that dream will come true as well 🙂

  10. Jocelyn Vande Velde says:

    Tulum, Mexico. With the whole family. It will happen. Promise 🙂

  11. Sheila Mulko says:

    Back to Italy. Cinque Terre down to the Amalfi Coast, one cannot stop from saying WOW..not just at the stunning vistas but amazing foods too. Wondering what kind of wow adventures await for my hubby and me the further south we go.

  12. Debra Norris says:

    Omg, Croatia.
    It’s a little pricey to get there but so cheap to stay. Plus, you’re a short distance from Italy so there’s that.


  13. Brynna says:

    Paris! I’d love a chance to brush up on my French, feast on pastries, and hang out at the Louvre (it would probably take a whole month to get through it!)

  14. Get it girl! Thanks for being so candid. I can’t wait for all the pics to start rolling in. Talk about a dream!

  15. LOVE THIS! Good for y’all! Looks like y’all’s time in Hawaii was incredible! Good for you! We took a 2 month honeymoon sabbatical in SE Asia because it is so cheap over there, and we felt like “if not now, then when?!” Even though it took a lot of planning and some leaps of faith, it was the best two months of our lives.

  16. Katie says:

    My husband and I are hopping to make month-long sabbaticals part of our life in the next year or two. We LOVED our 10-day trip to Thailand, but would also love to spend time immersing ourselves in the culture of France & Italy.

    Thanks for outlining how this really is possible!

  17. Joyce says:

    Thank you so much for being candid about the costs. I have recently started travelling and I love to hear what the cost is for other people.

  18. Suzanne says:

    I know this is an old post but with our monthlong Hawaii trip less than a week away I can completely relate!

    I was curious to know about how much you budgeted for spending money? We also have an air bnb and will be eating in often but I want to treat ourselves in moments where we find it worth it. I just don’t want all of those moments happening in the beginning and then have to live off rice and beans for the rest of the trip 😆

  19. Jennifer says:

    This is awesome. Can I ask how getting the Kutcher Kondo played into this? How did you find it and did you make bigger sacrifices at first and then it started helping fund the dream?

  20. Debra says:

    South Korea! I definitely want to spend time in Seoul, Busan, and other cities. I just want to eat and take photos all day!

  21. K.M. says:

    People always comment when they hear I have an subscription that it is “so expensive”. It’s only $400 a year but to other people it’s a scandalous luxury. They have smart phones. I don’t. They have a brand new car. I don’t. We give up what isn’t important to us to get what is.

  22. Nicole Baldwin says:

    How did you get a rental car so cheap?

    • Ruth says:

      Just found this when researching living a month in Hawaii and also would like to know how you found a rental car for 30 days for $315???

  23. Lisa says:

    We always rent a condo or apartment and found it was so much more affordable when we travel. I still can’t believe the car rental was so cheap though. Good price as well for a condo, I think we paid close to $1500US for a week


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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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