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Our last minute Hawaii research had left us a little perplexed, it seemed we would struggle to find a hotel room for under $100 / night.

Our much anticipated layover in paradise was going to cost a little more than expected. In such a situation our usual plan of action would be to arrive at the destination, select a few hotels and try and barter the best deal for a night. This however was not going to work in Waikiki.

Landing later than scheduled due to delays we picked up our hire car and drove into the city. This would prove to be an error. My perception of Hawaii was one of island paradise, not a shopping complex, perfectly pruned and pampered, the streets were lined with designer shops, over priced restaurants and ugly high rise buildings.

It was evident we had under estimated the necessity of booking a room ahead of arrival, the Waikīkī skyline is dotted with an abundance of both high-rises and resort hotels all of which were almost fully booked. With average nightly rates of over $200 our low cost layover was in danger of bankrupting our budget.

After an exhausting few hours it was after midnight and we still had not found anything we felt we wanted to pay for. I almost keeled over when I was quoted $439 for a room we would have to check out of 10 hours later. This was not going well. We debated sleeping in the car but after a long haul flight the idea did not appeal.

At 2am we caved and paid $110 to lay our heads and sleep. Checking out at 11am the next morning we vowed to leave Waikiki and go in search of areas of the island untouched by Chanel and cement.

Heading round to the North Shore of the island it was incredible how quickly concrete gave way to a tropical landscape and we were soon driving through the Hawaii I had seen in the reams of travel literature available on the net.

Prior to our departure from the concrete jungle we had purchased a tent and sleeping bags from a camping store and were determined that we would not be spending a small fortune on our accommodation for the rest of our stay on the island. Just by chance we came across the Malaekahana camping ground where they had grass beach huts for rent at $40/night, this was more like it.

We spent the next few days exploring the local area, devouring prawns the size of my hand and attempting to catch some waves on surf boards we borrowed from the camp site.

If you are staying on Oahu and are on a budget then I would recommend looking no further for your accommodation, ‘ Malaekahana offers the best value for renting Eco-Cabins, Yurts, Li’l Grass shacks and tent camping, to name a few, in a remote “Old Hawaii” setting.

A world away from Waikiki, and minutes from, world class, North Shore, surfing at beaches Waimea, Sunset and the world famous Pipeline. Local visitor attractions include the Polynesian Cultural Centre, Waimea Falls Park and 36 hole, Turtle Bay resort and Golf club.’

Mahalo Malaekahana.

About The Author

Freelance writer and blogger Charli has lived in 6 countries, driven 25,000km across Australia, explored the lush landscapes of Central America and the frigid winters of North America. Currently visiting St Kitts & Nevis she plans to explore the world one country at a time.

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