Kauai is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts. From the moment you fly over the island, you’ll see why Kauai is called the Garden Isle. As the greenest of all the Hawaiian islands, it’s popular with visitors who are into hiking, backpacking, and exploring as opposed to people who just want to chill at a beach resort.

While it’s possible to travel Kauai on a budget, costs can add up quickly, so be sure to check out this list of things to do in Kauai for free. Who knows, you might even be able to splurge on a once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Kauai, or a sunset dinner sailing cruise around the island!

 

Hiking and Backpacking in Kauai

Hiking on Kaua’i offers everything from hidden waterfalls, volcanic coastlines, and tropical plant life. Hiking is an ideal activity for those traveling to Kauai on a budget who want to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this Hawaiian island. From short paths to multi-day overnight treks, here are some of Kauai’s most impressive hikes.

Ke Ala Hele Makalae

This 8-mile long pathway hugs the east coast of the island and is ideal for either biking or walking. The pathway crosses through small towns where you can pause for lunch, breakfast, or refreshments.

Kalalau Trail

Free Things to do in Kauai - The Kalalau Trail takes you along the Na Pali coast of Kauai from Ke'e beach to Kalalau beach.

The 11-mile Kalalau Trail takes you along the Na Pali coast of Kauai from Ke’e beach to Kalalau beach. The Kalalau hike is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world through rugged terrain overlooking the churning surf below. The trail hugs the cliffs of the Na Pali coast and can be dangerous, so be careful and wear proper shoes. Most hikers complete the trail in three days with two nights of camping along the way. You are required to get a permit for backpacking along the Kalalau Trail in Kauai.

Koloa Heritage Trail

A 10-mile route takes you past areas that are important to Kauai’s history like the Spouting Horn, a geyser created when the surf powers through an old lava tube. The spout reaches heights of up to 50 feet and is the source of many Hawaiian legends.

Kuilau Ridge Trail

This 2.5-mile trail is one of the most stunning trails to explore the interior of Kauai. The beginning of the Kuilau Ridge Trail is at high elevation, and as its name suggests, you’ll mostly be walking along a ridge. While walking along this trail, you’ll experience a real jungle ecosystem with lush ferns below and towering canopy trees above.

Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail

This 2-mile hike begins at Shipwreck Beach and takes you along the uninhabited coastline and beaches of Kauai’s southern coast.

More Natural Beauty in Kauai

If hiking is not your thing, or if you need a break from walking, there are plenty of natural attractions in Kauai that are accessible by car.

Waimea Canyon

Due to its deep valley views, the Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There is no entrance fee to the National Park and visitors are welcome to visit the coffee farms as you drive through this beautiful landscape.

Blue Room Kauai

The Blue Room Cave, located only 200 feet from a nearby parking area, glows bright blue at high tide when the sunlight reflects off the seabed.

Hanalei Lookout

Free things to do in Kauai - visit the Hanalei Lookout

Enjoy sweeping views of Kauai’s natural beauty from the Hanalei Lookout. This is one of the most photographed spots on Kauai because of its panoramic view of the mountains, the ocean, and Hanalei Valley. 

Wailu River State Park

The Wailu River State Park is home to two famous waterfalls: Opaeka’a Falls and Wailu Falls. Both falls can be easily seen from the parking lot and viewpoint, so there is no need to hike to catch a glimpse of these falls. The way down to the base of the waterfalls is very slippery and muddy, so you should only explore the Wailu River State Park trails if you’re an experienced hiker with proper shoes.

Best Beaches in Kauai

Both the North Shore and South Shore of Kauai have breathtaking beaches. Here are some of our favorites:

Tunnels Beach

This snorkeling and diving beach is often called the best beach in Kauai. It’s called Tunnels Beach because of the many underwater lava tubes that can be explored by divers.

Haena Beach

Haena Beach is well-equipped with restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and barbecue facilities. With the dramatic Kauai mountains in the background, the stunning sandy beach makes a great sunset spot. The ocean current can be dangerous so take caution and pay attention to warnings from the lifeguards.

Lydgate Beach Park

Great for watching the sunrise, Lydgate Beach Park also has beach amenities and lifeguards on duty. The offshore coral reef protects the coast from large waves, making Lydgate Beach a great place to go snorkeling.

Native Hawaiian Culture on Kauai

Lawai International Center

The Lawai International Center is an archeological and cultural Buddhist center known for its serenity and healing powers. You can learn more about this place and the numerous shrines built in this place during a guided tour. The Lawai International Center is open for free admission on Sundays.

Kauai’s Hindu Monastery

This spiritual spot has Hindu temples and a beautiful botanical garden. The Hindu Monastery offers a guided tour once a week, so check the schedule online to find out which day the tours are running.

Free Hula Shows

Keep an eye out for free hula shows on Kauai

Among Hawaii’s best-known customs, a Hula show offers a great way to understand the local traditions. A handful of spots around the island offer free Hula shows on different days of the week:

Kauai Town Life, Art Nights, Museums

  • Hanapepe Art Night One of the things to do in Kauai for free – The Hanape Art Night is like walking through a free outdoor museum. You can soak in the town culture of Hanape by discovering the town’s history and art scene. In addition to musical performances and food stands, the Hanape Art Night features exhibitions from local galleries. Check out the nearby Hanapepe Swinging Bridge while you are there.
  • Old Town Kapaa Art Walk – Local music, food, and art exhibitions. The Old Town Kapaa Art Walk takes place on the first Saturday of every month.
  • Kauai MuseumThe Kauai Museum is one of the best things to do on Kauai, and on the first Saturday of every month, admission is free!
  • Waimea Walking Tour – Every Monday, there is a free walking tour where you can discover the best of Kauai with a local tour guide.

Only in Kauai

Kauai has a unique identity that sets it apart from the other Hawaiian Islands. Get to know the island with these unique things to do for free.

Grove Farm Train Day

The Grove Farm Train Day is a family-friendly event takes place on the second Thursday of every month. Visitors can hop on a steam-powered locomotive and follow the historical sugar plantation route in Grove Farm.

Moir Gardens

The Moir Gardens are a botanical area located on an old sugar plantation and is full of rare plants.

Menehune Fishpond

The locals built this manmade fishpond to catch fish. The Menehune fishpond is a well-preserved example of old Hawaiian aquaculture.

Food and Drink in Kauai

Food on Kauai can be very expensive, so it’s best to stay in accommodation that has a kitchen or kitchenette so that you can prepare your own food. Even though the prices at restaurants can be surprising, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the food and drink of Kauai on a budget.

Kauai Coffee Company

Take a free walking tour of the Kauai Coffee Company, the biggest coffee plantation in the United States. Learn about coffee-making from start to finish while enjoying beautiful grounds.

Farmer Markets

Farmers’ markets are held throughout the island of Kauai every week. Load up on fresh produce and locally-made products, or just enjoy the vibe at the market.

Koloa Rum Company Tasting

Stop in for a free (yes free!) rum tasting at Koloa Rum Company Tasting to try different flavored rums. Due to the popularity of the restaurant, there may be a waitlist, so it’s best to check the Koloa Rum tasting room website ahead of time.


Traveling to Kauai on a budget? Check out our blog for more budget tips, itineraries, and off the beaten path ideas!

Going on a traveling adventure may sound like a dream come true, but your bank account may disagree with you. Luckily, there are ways to have an awesome travel adventure whilst on a budget. With a little creativity, some compromise and planning, you too can travel like a boss, whatever your budget.

1. Decide On The Type Of Experience You Want

It’s important that you consider what type of experience it is you are hoping to have. If you’re seeking to explore cities, then you will most likely need to plan and book in advance. Booking.com is a good place to find affordable accommodation for your trip.

By contrast, a more adventurous experience can be a little more led by interactions and suggestions from locals. Decide too on whether you are aiming to travel alone or as part of a group, as this can impact your budget and whether you need to book ahead.

2. Manage Your Expectations

If you’re hoping to travel on a tight budget then you will need to make some compromises. Think carefully about what your priorities are. Be realistic and honest with yourself about the level of comfort you need and which luxurious items or experiences you want to invest in. You can save money by cooking meals rather than eating out, for example. Similarly, think about the form of transport you intend to use as this can greatly impact your budget.

3. Be Creative

Being realistic about your experience and priorities doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the bare basics for the entirety of your trip or depriving yourself of all luxurious experiences. Instead, think of creative ways to make the most of your adventure.

“Consider bartering to get reduced prices or discounts. Can you offer something in return for a cheaper night’s stay at a hotel, such as photographs for a website? Buy local produce and learn to cook local dishes as a way to save money and immerse yourself in the local culture,” says Karen Herman, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and NextCoursework.

4. Travel Slowly

One of the most common mistakes travelers make is to pick too large an area to travel around. Instead of trying to see too much and spending lots of time, money and energy, slow down. Focus instead on one region or country or even just a single country. This way, you’ll be able to immerse yourself more fully in the culture and have a deeper experience, whilst also saving money on travel expenses and accommodation.

5. Visit Free Attractions

There are an increasing number of large tourist attractions which are free or which have significantly reduced costs at least one day per week. Simply do some research before you travel and make sure you note down on your calendar which ones are free to the public on which days.

Of course, there are also some fantastic free outdoor spaces you can visit, including beaches, national parks or religious sites. If you’re trying to decide which places to visit, check out tiqets.com for some great ideas and deals.

Stick with your travel budget by taking advantage of free activities

Stick with your travel budget by taking advantage of free activities

“A fantastic way to discover a new place and orientate yourself in the process is to take a walking tour. There are free walking maps and self-guided tours which you can download for most major cities, so you can become your own guide,” says Anthony Sullivan, a business writer at Australia2write and Write My X.

6. Plan Ahead And Be Prepared

Plan ahead to make the most of your trip. Omio.com is a great website to help you plan and organize your travel throughout your trip. Make sure that you print off a copy of all tickets and booking confirmations as a back-up and that you have offline access to tickets, accommodation bookings and itineraries.

Be prepared with some offline entertainment whilst you travel to keep you entertained as well. Similarly, it’s useful to have a back-up charger or an external portable battery in case you get stuck somewhere where you can’t easily charge your electronic devices.

Conclusion

Having an amazing traveling adventure doesn’t need to be expensive. With careful planning, a little creativity, realistic expectations and by taking your time, you too can have a unique and rewarding experience.

We love the South American country of Argentina. A few years ago, Argentina was not considered a cheap place to travel, especially compared to some other affordable countries in South America. However, the economic situation had made the country even more appealing for people who want to go backpacking for cheap in Argentina. Nowadays it’s very easy to travel in Argentina on a budget.

Pick the optimal time to visit Argentina on a budget

The best time to travel to Argentina is November – February. When it’s fall and winter in the United States and Europe, it’s spring and summer down in Argentina. You’ll find unbeatable hiking conditions in Patagonia during this time of year. Spring in the Patagonian mountains is perfect for great hiking in this area.

Things to do in Argentina

The country of Argentina has something for every type of traveller: city dwellers, nature lovers, gourmet food lovers, and party-goers.

Buenos Aires

Travel Buenos Aires Argentina on a budget

When arriving in Buenos Aires, you will likely be surprised that a South American capital city can look so European. The city offers a world-class food scene, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful architecture.

Mendoza

Just 3 hours away from Buenos Aires, wine lovers will find the beautiful wine region of Mendoza. This region is the home of the world-famous full-bodied Malbec wine. Take a wine tasting tour by bike, bus, or on foot to sample different varieties.

Patagonia

Travel Patagonia Argentina on a budget

Patagonia is a dream come true for nature lovers. This beautiful region has lush forests, granite rocks, glacial lakes, and waterfalls, with stunning views from every corner. Don’t miss the city of Bariloche, also known as the Lake Tahoe of South America. This deep blue lake is famous for its Circuito Chico, a bike path that circles the lake and offers unbeatable views.

How to travel to Argentina on a budget

Before you travel to Argentina, it’s essential to plan your budget. You should, of course, take travel costs, accommodation, and food into account. Depending on the purpose of your trip, you may also want to set aside some money for museum entrances, package trips, or nights out on the town. Costs can add up quickly, especially if you feel that you want to get the most out of your journey. Luckily, cheap travel in Argentina is very possible. One main reason for that right now is that the Argentine economy is currently suffering from high inflation. This is bad news for locals, but it means that the foreign currency of visitors will go far!

Once you are in the country, there are many options that will help you stick to your budget. Most cities are easy to navigate by walking or with public transportation. In the cities in the north, like Buenos Aires and Mendoza, biking is also a viable option for getting around.

How to get cheap flights to Argentina

Find cheap flights to Argentina

The highest cost of your trip will probably be the cost of getting there by flight. Luckily, there are many ways to find options for cheap travel to Argentina. One of the best insider tips that we have to get a cheap flight is to sign up for a credit card that will allow you to earn points for your trip. The most important part of signing up for a new card is that many credit cards even offer a signing bonus in the form of credit card points, which you can use to purchase your flight. In fact, if you sign up for a new credit card at the right time, you can pay for your entire flight.

How to find cheap flights within Argentina

For travelling between cities in Argentina, you can travel for cheap by using a combination of flights and long-distance buses. Since Argentina covers a considerable distance, you can travel long distances on budget by using the website Despegar. This website is what the locals use. The site sells tickets at a discount because the Argentine government subsidizes some flight fares. Keep in mind that you may need to prove citizenship in Argentina, and if you are unable to verify this, you may need to pay the full price for the ticket before boarding your flight.

If you’re flying to Argentina or plan to take short flights within the country, we recommend using a few different flight comparison search engines. Kiwi is a new favourite among travelers. On average, we have found the cheap flights to Argentina with them compared to the other websites out there.

Of course, it is always worth checking Skyscanner to guarantee you’re getting the best deal. Both websites offer great flexible search options, allowing you to search the whole country of Argentina to find the cheapest airport to fly into, and also see prices for a full month if you’re flexible on travel dates.

Travel by long-distance bus

Long-distance buses are a popular way to cover vast distances and travel for cheap in Argentina. The buses are usually very comfortable, and some even offer sleeping pods. The long-distance buses are very affordable, and if you take a night bus, you will save the accommodation for the night. Most travellers have reported that it is worth getting the first-class ticket, which is still quite affordable. The buses even come with an attendant who will serve food and sometimes organize games to keep the passengers entertained! On our bus ride from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, we played a game of Bingo, and the winner received a bottle of wine!

One more thing to be said about bus travel is that you will be amazed by the sheer size of the country and the breathtaking landscape that you pass by. Even if budget is not a concern, travelling on a 14+ hour bus ride in Argentina is a fun life experience.

Meet fellow budget travellers in Argentina

Though part of the fun of backpacking Argentina is exploring on your own, there are situations, especially when venturing off the tourist trail, when it does make sense to go with a guide or a small group. For these times, a popular option among backpackers is G Adventures. They hand-select local guides to ensure authenticity and quality. This is especially a good option for those travelling Argentina alone who would like to meet up with like-minded travelers. Their most popular trips in Argentina are their 14-day End of the Earth Patagonia tour including Argentina and Chile, and their 19-day Patagonia Hiking trek.

How to find cheap accommodation while travelling in Argentina

Travel in Argentina on a budget by staying in hostels

It’s possible to find cheap accommodation while travelling in Argentina by using a combination of couch surfing, camping, and staying in hostels. This will help keep travel costs low while travelling around Argentina.

Couchsurfing

By far, the cheapest accommodation is Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is entirely free and is also a great way to meet locals who will usually show you around their city or help integrate you into their everyday life. It’s like having a free tour guide and a built-in friend in a new place.

Camping

Especially in Patagonia, camping is a popular way to find a free place to sleep. Most of the Argentine national parks have Camping Libre facilities. These camping sites are completely free, usually with plumbing facilities for campers.

Hostels

Of course, when it comes to accommodation, the cheapest way to travel in Argentina is to stay in hostels. You can expect to pay between $12 and $20 on average for a bed in a hostel dorm room. Private rooms in a hostel can cost about $25-$30 per night. Hostels are not only a great way to save money, but also a social experience. You might even learn some more travel tricks for travel in Argentina by chatting with fellow budget travellers in the hostels. We have had good experiences finding hostels in Argentina on HostelWorld. They have the most extensive inventory of hostels worldwide, and with over 10 million reviews and ratings from other travellers, you know exactly what to expect.

Find Hotels on a Discount in Argentina

Another good way to find cheap accommodation in Argentina is by checking hotels.com and booking.com. With both sites, you’ll find not only budget hotels, but also homestays, hostels, and other unique accommodation. We have discovered some great finds and have appreciated the ability to book ahead. You can use their advanced filtering to narrow your results by budget, location score, overall review score, and amenities. Many of the places on booking.com also offer free cancellation, which takes the pressure off the planning phase of your trip.

 

How to travel argentina on a budget

Listing your place on Airbnb can be a great way to make extra income when you are out of town. Over time, we have perfected our system for hosting on Airbnb. This checklist for Airbnb hosts is catered to people who are renting out their permanent home. We are not one of those corporate companies that buy an empty apartment to rent professionally.

Basic Requirements for Hosting on Airbnb

We started listing our 1-bedroom apartment on Airbnb for times when we are away. Not only has it helped us supplement our travel budget, but we also love knowing that our apartment is being put to use by fellow travelers! And hosting has proven to be a great way to keep on top of the deep-cleaning tasks that we used to dread. Somehow, scrubbing the toilet in preparation for a guest makes it feel less like a dreaded household chore! First off, a note about why we felt we were well-suited for Airbnb. These are not strict requirements but helps us provide the best guest experience for our guests.

An owner’s closet

Although Airbnb is a community built on trust, we felt it was a requirement to have a lockable location for valuables, documents, and personal clutter. Not only does it give us peace of mind, but it also helps to reduce the clutter for guests to make them feel at home. We store the following items in the owner’s closet:

  • Personal documents
  • Electronics and electronic cords
  • Bathroom and shower clutter. Bathroom counter-tops, shelves, and the shower should generally be free of personal items
  • Bedroom clutter. We don’t clear out our closets, but we do remove most personal clutter from shelves and surfaces
  • Extra coats and shoes that are normally in the entry-way
  • Laundry and laundry baskets.

Easy to follow directions for locating the apartment

Our apartment is centrally located in Munich with easy access to public transport. We think that the location of our apartment is part of the reason why we have received such positive reviews on Airbnb. Travelers might rent a car, but more likely they want an apartment that is easy to access when visiting a city.

A well-stocked kitchen

We have received positive reviews about how our kitchen is well-equipped to prepare meals at home. The ability to prepare meals is one of the reasons why people choose Airbnb over hotels, so make sure your kitchen enables them to do so.

A lockbox

Since we rent our place when we are out of town, often times we are unable to greet our guests personally. Initially, we asked a friend to meet our guests, but purchasing a lockbox was a game-changer. Now we can just send the guests detailed photo instructions for how to get in to the apartment using the lockbox. This also gives them complete flexibility on their arrival time. We have this one, it’s weatherproof and we just lock it to one of our bike’s in the back garden for guests.

Airbnb Host Shopping List

airbnb hosting welcome shopping list

We like to leave a few special touches for our guests. Small details show the guests you care about hospitality and these items won’t break the bank! A couple of days before check-in, we make a grocery store run to make sure we have a few things in the house. Here’s our Airbnb shopping list:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Olive oil
  • English muffins/small pack of bread
  • Baby Bell Cheese (universally loved and good for individual snacking)
  • Small jar of jam
  • Couple local beers or a small bottle of local wine
  • Chocolate for the pillow (we love the small Lindt truffles!)
  • Travel-sized toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel)
  • Extra toilet paper

One day before Check-in: Airbnb Host Checklist

airbnb host preparation checklist

  • Send a check-in note to the guest
  • Bathroom and bedroom clutter moved to the owner’s closet
  • Electronics and documents moved to the owner’s closet
  • Entryway coats and shoes moved to the owner’s closet
  • Turn on the guest fridge (we happen to have a small, spare fridge that we cleared out for our guests’ use)
  • Double-check guest sheets and towels are clean, if not, do laundry
  • Stock the guest fridge (see shopping list above)
  • Clean the water boiler (we live in Germany where the calcium builds up over time. A bit of vinegar solves this very quickly!)
  • Take out recycling and bring glass bottles away
  • Refresh kitchen labels if needed (we label our trash, and cabinetry to help our guests find the essentials)
  • Dust all surfaces
  • Deep clean toilet
  • Deep clean shower
  • Vacuum
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Set up the coffee/tea station

Day of Check-in: Airbnb Host Checklist

airbnb hosting checklist and welcome note

On the day of check-in, you should only have a few things left to do as you prepare to welcome your guests

  • Change the sheets
  • Our towels removed from the bathroom and kitchen and stored in the owner’s closet
  • Guest towels, toiletries, and chocolate on the bed
  • Fresh kitchen towel in the kitchen
  • One last scrub of the toilet
  • One last shower clean
  • Leave a welcome note on the coffee table
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Water plants
  • Leave 2 rolls of fresh toilet paper on bathroom shelves
  • Take the trash out, replace bags
  • Lock the owner’s closet
  • Leave the key in the lockbox

That’s it for our Airbnb host checklist! Hopefully, this will help you get started as a host on Airbnb.

 

Ultimate Airbnb Hosting Checklist

Airbnb Host Checklist