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Hawaii Camping Guide: How to Stay in Hawaii on the Cheap

Hawaii camping is some of the best in the world, and it’s also a way to stay in Hawaii on the cheap.

No matter which major island you stay on, you’ll be able to find a campground to stay at. The rates for campgrounds are pretty similar to dorm rooms at many hostels, but you get the added advantage of staying out in nature.

Here are some tips for camping in Hawaii:

First, pick your island.

As mentioned, every island has campgrounds available for residents and non-residents alike.

Pick your island based on what type of vacation experience you’re looking for. All Hawaiian Islands offer some of the world’s most gorgeous natural scenery, but each has its own flavor.

Oahu is great for big-wave surfing or enjoying the big city life. Maui and Kauai are good for quiet getaways and the Big Island is the best of both worlds.

Second, pick your campground.

Each island has wilderness preserves and areas where you are permitted to camp. Some are even on the beach.

Here are a few of the best Hawaii campgrounds:

  • Bellows Field Beach Park, Oahu
  • Kahua Nui-Makai, Oahu
  • Kea’au Beach Park, Oahu
  • Waimanalo Beach Park, Oahu
  • Koke’e State Park, Kauai
  • Polihale State Park, Kauai
  • Na Pali Coast State Park (with 4 campgrounds), Kauai
  • Kipahulu Campground, Maui
  • Kanaha Beach Park, Maui
  • Hosmer Campground, Maui
  • Spencer Beach Park, Big Island
  • Laupahoehoe Beach Park, Big Island
  • Kapa’a Beach Park, Big Island
  • Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Big Island

Seems like Hawaii has plenty of camping to offer, doesn’t it?

This is great news if you’re looking for cheap places to stay in Hawaii. However, since campgrounds can fill up, it’s a good idea to do research and dig up every campground you can find on your island of choice.

That way, if a campground is full, you can pick another one and reserve a site there.

Third, get your permits.

Permit requirements vary from park to park and island to island.

Many campgrounds can be booked online, which saves you serious time and money. Some online reservation systems even include maps of the campgrounds and available campsites, so you’ll know what you’re getting before you even arrive.

And, much of the time, you can purchase permits up to a year in advance. If you plan far enough in advance, you can camp your way through Hawaii and spend only a fraction on lodging compared to standard Hawaiian resorts.

Fourth, plan your agenda.

Once you’ve got your camping permits, you’re free to plan the rest of your vacation.

Every Hawaiian Island has plenty to offer the vacationer, including many cheap and free activities. So when you camp your way through Hawaii, you’ll end up saving even more money on your vacation.


For more information about saving money on your next Hawaii vacation, visit Hawaii Discount’s travel blog.

Hawaii Discount offers the best deals on Oahu tours, Oahu activities, and Oahu vacation packages. Please remember that popular activities sell out frequently. We recommend making reservations well in advance of your trip.

To book an affordable Hawaii tour or activity, call 1-866-482-9775 today.