Do you know how to get a trip to Hawaii for practically free? If you’ve ever wanted to take a trip to Hawaii, here’s how you can do it for almost free. Follow these easy travel hacking steps and you’ll be sunning on the beach.
Wyatt’s home from college for spring break and during dinner we were talking about where we might go for summer vacation. We’ve always taken a trip to Hawaii every summer since he and Zeke were little, except for the time we went to Belize. We love Hawaii. After all, who doesn’t? And when you can travel hack a trip to Hawaii it’s even better. First Class flights and staying at a fancy beachfront hotel for practically free. Here’s how you can get cheap flights to Hawaii for $5.60.
How to Get a Trip to Hawaii for Practically Free
Our last trip to Hawaii was 8 days on the island of Kauai. The First Class plane tickets to Hawaii were only $5.60 each way per person.
Eight nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai cost $0.00. Yep, our hotel, one of the many Hawaii hotels and resorts, was completely free.
How’d we do it? Through travel hacking: using airline miles and credit card points. And you can do too! Here’s how.
You can read about our entire trip in future blog posts. But here’s a quick rundown and how it’s possible to take a trip to Hawaii for pennies.
Because everyone wants to visit, it can be hard to find cheap flights to Hawaii. But you can use airline miles to pay for your plane tickets to Hawaii.
You can use credit card points to pay for your Hawaii resorts. Making your entire trip to Hawaii practically free. Your only cost to get there will only be the airline taxes of $5.60 per person.
Pro-tip: The airline taxes of $5.60 per person cost the same flying in coach or First Class.
Look for latest travel rewards cards.
Summer in Kauai
If you have school-aged kids, you have to travel during school breaks. This can be very expensive.
I like to get as much as I can for as little as possible. That’s why travel hacking is so addictive. It’s a game I’ve been playing since 1994.
Jeff, the boys, and I flew First Class to and from Hawaii in July. We used 37,500 American Airlines miles each flying to Kauai. Coach tickets would have been 17,500 miles each.
It made more sense to use miles for First Class tickets instead of coach because:
- You pay the same amount of taxes flying First Class or coach
- You get free checked bags (a savings of $25 per person)
- There were more flights to choose from
- We avoided flying overnight (I hate red-eye flights)
Although we used American Airlines miles we flew on Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. You can use American Airlines miles on partner airlines like Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
Pro-tip: Flying in coach? You get one free checked bag (up to 6 people) if you have the Alaska Airlines credit card.
Note: American Airlines changed their award chart. Now, you’ll pay 40,000 American Airlines miles for First Class flights to Hawaii or 20,000 miles for coach seats.
- 4 First Class one-way tickets on Alaska Airlines from San Diego to Kauai
- 2 First Class one-way tickets on Alaska Airlines from Kauai to San Diego
- 2 First Class one-way tickets on Hawaiian Airlines from Kauai to Honolulu
- 2 First Class one-way tickets on Hawaii Airlines from Honolulu to San Diego
The total cost for airfare: $44.80
8 Nights Hotel
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai because it’s on the beach, has freshwater pools, and a 150-foot slide! For our trip, it cost 22,000 points per night. Hyatt changed their award chart so now, you’ll pay 25,000 points per night.
The total cost to stay at one of the best Hawaiian resorts: $0.00
In other trip report summaries like 2 weeks in Hong Kong and the luxury guide to Sydney, I included costs for transportation, food, and activities. But some readers emailed saying they prefer only seeing the flight and hotel costs. And they would like it broken down in a table.
How to Earn the Miles and Points
Earning airline miles and credit cards points is easy. Here’s exactly how you can earn the miles and points for a free trip to Hawaii.
The Alaska Airlines First Class award tickets, one-way SAAver awards, cost 37,500 American Airlines miles per person.
You can earn cheap tickets to Hawaii by applying for credit cards.
Earning American Airlines Miles
Citi American Airlines Executive Card
You can get 50,000 American Airlines miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening your Citi American Airlines Executive card.
Citi American Airlines Cards
All three of the Citi American Airlines cards are offering 30,000 miles each when you spend $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening:
- Citi American Airlines Platinum Select World Mastercard
- Citi American Airlines Platinum Select MasterCard
- Citi American Airlines Business
And you can get 25,000 miles after spending $750 in purchases within 3 months of opening your Citi American Airlines Gold MasterCard.
Earning Hyatt points
You can get 2 free nights at any Hyatt from the Hyatt credit card. If both you and your partner apply for a card, that’s 4 free nights. Short on points? You can transfer Chase Ultimate Reward points to Hyatt.
Look for latest travel rewards cards.
We enjoyed a fun summer vacation for 8 days in Kauai. And despite going during the peak season, it didn’t cost us a fortune. In fact, we hardly paid anything. Our trip was practically free.
Our First Class flights to and from Kauai costs $5.60 per person each way. And 8 days at the Grand Hyatt Kauai were free.
Stay tuned for more posts on how to get a free trip to Hawaii.
How to Use Rewards Points for Cheap Travel
Read these posts on how to use airline miles and points to travel for cheap.
- Review: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Los Angeles to Frankfurt for $40
- Our First Class Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu to Sydney Flight for $63
- The How to Luxury Guide to Sydney on $85 a Day
- Two Weeks in Hong Kong & Australia on $93 a Day
- How to Fly Free for Two Years
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Featured image courtesy of Grand Hyatt Kauai