UNITED STATES—While traveling opens you up to fun and fulfilling experiences, we all know it isn’t a cheap affair. This is why we wrote a previous post on ‘7 Ways to Manage Your Money While Traveling Abroad’, starting with comparing domestic and foreign currencies to have an accurate idea of the budget you need throughout the trip.

But given these tight economic times, it helps to monitor your expenses not only when traveling abroad but also for domestic trips. Take, for example, how a road trip in another state like Hawaii can quickly rack up costs in terms of fuel, parking, food, attractions, and more. So, here are 4 tips to help you drive around Hawaii and maximize its scenic islands without making a huge dent in your wallet.

  1. Plan your route

As cliché as it sounds, planning is key to saving money on your travels. For road trips, in particular, it helps to determine your destination and overall travel period to have a baseline amount for gas and accommodation if it’s an overnight drive. If you need help choosing a scenic drive in Hawaii, Hawaii Magazine recommends buckling up for a legendary road trip along Maui’s 52-mile Road to Hana, which takes approximately two hours if you drive from Kahului, where the main airport is located.

Meanwhile, a breathtaking climb up the Waimea Canyon Lookout in Kauai starts from Waimea Town, about 30 minutes from the vantage point. Try using Google Maps to find the optimal route with accurate estimates from the starting point to your destination.

  1. Choose the right rental car

Since you’re on a budget, you’ll probably rent a car for your road trip. But remember that your choice of a rental car can significantly influence your savings. While vehicle types like sedans and luxury cars are available at trusted rental services, you should rent a car that can handle the different terrains of Hawaii and save you money. This is why you should consider renting a Jeep Wrangler in Hawaii. The economic benefits of the Wrangler include convenient pick-up locations that help reduce transfer fees to discounted rates and decent fuel economy.

The Jeep Wrangler is also highly capable of exploring rugged trails along Mauna Loa and Road to Hana, helping you save money since you don’t have to rent a different vehicle for these destinations. Make sure to book in advance to ensure vehicle availability with the best deals.

  1. Stop by free cultural attractions

If your road trip takes an entire morning or afternoon, you’d want to add stopovers to make the long stretches of driving feel less tiring and overwhelming. Aside from stopping by public beach parks, you can also immerse yourself in Hawaii’s culture and history, which you can conveniently do without having to spend a lot of money.

For instance, Oahu has several museums you can visit and explore for free! Hawaii State Art and Museum, which hosts modern art galleries and a sculpture garden, is free for visitors and residents alike. If you’re traveling with kids under 18 years old, they’re eligible for free admission at the Honolulu Museum of Art, where you can explore galleries, watch a film, and even participate in art classes.

  1. Pack meals and snacks for the road

Hawaii has a number of local restaurants worth stopping for, such as Hana Ranch Restaurant, which specializes in farm-to-table dining for a more authentic experience. However, traveling on a budget means you have to limit these dining stopovers and opt for preparing affordable meals and snacks yourself. Whether you’re driving alone or with family and friends, consider packing healthy and road trip-friendly foods like sliced fruits, sandwiches, and protein bars.

Clearly, it’s possible to travel around Hawaii’s one-of-a-kind islands without putting your finances in trouble. Happy travels!