Memorial Day travel: Kama’aina prices in Hawaii

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Memorial Day weekend is approaching and KHON2 wanted to know how much locals would need to shell out for a staycation.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation also expects a busy travel season as summer draws near.

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Everyone could use a little rest and relaxation after dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Kama’aina rates help locals out, but Maui’s Hotel and Lodging Association (MHLA) said high demand will factor in.

“But again, you know, pent up demand and people are just now feeling comfortable to travel,” MHLA executive director Lisa Paulson said, “and because of that, we are seeing our average rates for this weekend at about $500 a night.”

Below is a breakdown of neighbor islands and their average kama’aina hotel rates over the Memorial Day weekend:

  • Maui: $500 per night
  • Hawaii: $380 per night
  • Kauai: $500 per night

The Big Island had the cheapest rates and the Hawaii chapter chair of the Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA said hotels still have rooms available.

“Memorial Day weekend is a popular weekend for kama’aina getaways, but yeah, I think everybody I talked to still has some rooms available,” HLTA Hawaii chapter chair Craig Anderson said, “so, if you’re still looking for a getaway, call now, operators are on standby!”

Gas is top-of-mind as well, below is an AAA breakdown of different prices by the gallon across the islands:

  • Kauai: $5.75
  • Honolulu: $5.30
  • Maui: $5.51
  • Hawaii: $5.57

Anderson said rental car issues earlier in 2022 seem to have eased, however.

“After the closures, it was hard to find rental cars, and that lasted for several months, but I haven’t heard of any issues of scarcity of rental cars recently,” Anderson said.

Hawaiian Airlines said they have not made any changes to flights, but KHON2 found roundtrip tickets to the Big Island, Maui and Kauai for $109 that leave Honolulu on Saturday, May 28.

Transportation officials expect a busy weekend for all Hawaii airports and recommended getting dropped off early to avoid parking hassles.

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“That’s probably the best advice I could give as far as how to have yourself sort of a headache-free memorial day weekend,” said DOT spokesman Jai Cunningham. “Maybe you think, ‘Hey, neighbor island getaway, I get there an hour before.’ You may want to make it an hour and a half.”

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