When I was a little kid I would hear about people going on vacation to Hawaii. They would return with a tan wearing a cool Hawaii 78 t-shirt and a puka shell necklace.
Later, when I was a teenager, my favourite TV show was “Magnum P.I.”. It took place in Hawaii and every week I would watch Tom Selleck race around Waikiki beach in his red Ferrari.
Somehow, someway, I knew I had to get to Hawaii one day…
The above picture was taken last week while I stood on Waikiki beach. I didn’t make it to Hawaii until I was in my 40′s but have gone every May for the past two years. And you know what? It’s everything I had dreamed it would be. It’s a safe, clean, tropical paradise with a friendly local population.
I had been told for years that it was very expensive in Hawaii and that was one of the reasons I waited so long to go. A quick check on Expedia shows that flight and hotel from Vancouver for a week would cost $1,576 at the 4 star Hilton Waikiki (based on double occupancy). If you wanted to go cheaper they list some 3 star hotel packages for just under $1k.
Once there, I found that I didn’t spend any more money than I would at home. Our hotel room had a fridge in it that I loaded up with beer and food from the grocery store. At the funky Wailana Coffee House across from our hotel I could get eggs, bacon and all you can eat pancakes for under $10.
At around 4pm each day we would wander into town to take advantage of happy hour. At the P.F. Chang’s in Waikiki you could get beers for $3 and amazing Asian fusion food for $4-$7. At the Cha-Cha-Cha Mexican restaurant you could get chicken nachos that were big enough to feed three for $10.
You don’t have to be a guest at the hotels to enjoy their beach front bars. At night you can wander down the beach and watch all the shows and live music that the hotels put on. You can watch from the beach for free, or grab yourself a table and order a drink.
The whole point of saving and investing is to live a prosperous life and create rich experiences. I hope one day you find yourself wandering down Waikiki beach with someone you love!