At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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Are you looking for an inexpensive way to stay in Kauai? Consider staying at one of the many hostels and budget accommodation places available on the island.

Hostels are ideal for travelers who are looking to save money without sacrificing quality, comfort, and convenience. Kauai has a variety of hostels and backpacker’s lodges located throughout the island, offering both dormitory-style rooms and private single or double rooms.

This island holds some amazing Hawaii gems, which may look familiar to fans of movies like Jurassic Park and other jungle-inspired stories. It’s the ideal getaway for backpackers in Kauai who want to explore without breaking the bank.

Read on to discover the best budget accommodation options in Kauai.

Best Hostels in Kauai (+ Budget Hotels, Inns, & Motels)

Currently, only two official hostels are operating on Kauai, but visiting this tranquil island doesn’t need to be an expensive trip.

If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Kauai, you’ll find a variety of options to choose from. You can stay in a hostel, motel, or campground, or you could try CouchSurfing or Vrbo.

Kauai Beach in Hawaii

Many of the cheaper hotels and inns are found in and around Kapaa, but you’ll find a few scattered around the rest of the island as well. Here are the two hostels, plus a few other cheaper accommodation options on the island.

Tip: Read my guide on how to find the best hostels wherever you travel.

Kauai Beach House

This is one of Kauai’s beachside hostels you cannot miss because of its idyllic location on the famous Kapaa.

This hostel offers a variety of accommodations, from shared dorms to private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The hostel also provides amenities such as free WiFi, hot showers, and a communal kitchen for all guests to use.

There’s also a communal pool for guests to use. Nearby, you will find several restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as easy access to the beach. The hostel has recently undergone renovations (as have many of the island’s establishments).

Kauai Island in Hawaii

Camp Sloggett

Camp Sloggett is a campground, lodge, and cottage accommodation run by YWCA Kauai within Kokee State Park. This hostel is perfect for those who want to experience nature while enjoying all of the amenities that come with lodging at a campground.

The accommodation offers both dorm-style and private rooms, as well as tent camping (for more adventurous guests). Facilities include free wifi, hot showers, a communal kitchen and dining room. Guests can also take advantage of the onsite pool and spa area.

Kauai Shores Hotel

The Kauai Shores Hotel is a beautiful accommodation that overlooks the stunning Kauai shoreline. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful vacation.

The hotel offers spacious rooms with incredible views of the ocean, surrounding mountains, and a gorgeous tropical garden.

Despite having a private beach, Keurig coffee machines in the private rooms, and 24-hour reception, the price per night (for standard rooms, at least) are on the lower end of the scale. There’s also a beachfront restaurant and a beach club bar for guests to enjoy.

Kitesurfer in Kauai

Kauai Palms Hotel

If you’re looking for a simple place to stay, the Kauai Palms Hotel is a great option. The hotel is conveniently located next to the airport and offers free onsite parking for those who are driving around the island themselves.

The rooms are simple yet cozy and come with fridges, air conditioning, and TVs. There are also a few rooms with their own kitchenette for a  fully self-catering trip. Plus, the hotel is affordable, making it a great option for budget-minded travelers.

​​The West Inn Kauai

The West Inn is close to Waimea Historic Town and is perfect for the solo traveler. There are coin-operated laundry facilities, vending machines, and outdoor BBQ grills for all to use.

The inn is welcoming with its tropical-themed decor and smiling staff. Plus, each of the private rooms comes furnished with a fridge and microwave, so you can save money and keep your own food in your room.

Kauai Aerial View in Hawaii

Tip Top Motel

The Tip Top Motel in Kauai, Hawaii, is a great place to stay while on vacation. The motel is located right nearby Kalapaki Beach and offers a convenient location to explore the island.

The rooms are clean and comfortable, with private bathrooms, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The motel also offers a variety of amenities, including a pool, a hot tub, and a barbecue area, as well as a restaurant on site.

A Bit About Kauai

Kauai is a beautiful island located in the state of Hawaii. It’s often called the “Garden Isle” because of its flourishing vegetation and many waterfalls.

Kauai is also known for its beaches, which are some of the most beautiful in the world. If you’re looking for a tropical paradise to vacation in, Kauai is definitely worth considering.

Kauai Waterfall in Hawaii

Kauai is the fourth largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and it features stunning, lush rainforests and a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you want to spend your days swimming, snorkeling, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, Kauai is a great place to visit.

Is Kauai Hawaii Expensive?

This is not known to be one of the cheap Hawaiian islands to stay on, but it is possible to find Kauai hostels and backpacking budget accommodation.

These inexpensive accommodations are great for those traveling on a tight budget, allowing you to stretch out your money further.

The great thing about visiting this island is that so many of the best activities on Kauai cost little to no money. The beaches, hiking to ‘secret’ waterfalls, and generally enjoying the natural beauty are all basically free.

Is Kauai Very Touristy?

Perhaps the best thing about this island is its serenity compared to the other Hawaiian islands.

While Kauai is popular with some tourists, it is not as heavily trafficked as some of the other Hawaiian islands. There are still plenty of secluded beaches and natural areas to explore, so it’s easy to find a cozy spot if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.

Kauai Landscape in Hawaii

Final Thoughts on Booking a Hostel in Kauai

Kauai might be a real-life paradise, but even if you’re on a budget, you can still have an incredible time. There are plenty of budget-friendly hostels, hotels, and inns to choose from on the island, so don’t be afraid to book your Kauai accommodation and explore this magical place.

If you’re a solo budget traveler looking for a comfy but cheap place to sleep at night while you hike, swim, and explore the island, there’s more than enough space for you.

So don’t get distracted by the bigger, brighter, and louder islands — although each of them has its own attractions. Try a trip to the “prettiest island in Hawaii” for some outdoor adventuring and a little bit of mindful tranquility.

Essential Info: Logistical Tips and Tricks to Book your Trip

BOOK YOUR FLIGHT
Regarding cheap airfare, I highly recommend using Skyscanner and Expedia. These are two of the sites I use the most due to their exhaustive search on several websites and airlines around the world. They usually bring the cheapest fares.

Additionally, I recommend getting the WayAway Plus membership to save money on cheaper fares and earn cashback (sent straight to your PayPal) on your bookings.

BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION
For hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and other types of accommodation, I highly recommend Booking.com. They are my go-to booking site because they usually have the cheapest fares.

If you’re a registered Booking.com user (“Genius”), you can take advantage of their “Genius discount” to save even more money. I almost always book my accommodation with Booking, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars with their Genius discount.

And of course, as one of the largest travel booking sites in the world, Expedia is another excellent accommodation booking site with a free reward program and discounted member prices.

If you’re looking to save money by staying at a hostel, HostelWorld has the largest inventory of hostels with shared dorms and private rooms. On the other hand, Vrbo offers a wide variety of rooms and apartments at affordable prices.

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance with comprehensive coverage will protect you against unexpected events like theft, cancellations, injury, and illness.

I use HeyMondo to insure my trips and recommend them. Their affordable plans offer a 24/7 assistance platform for claims, medical coverage for every traveler, adventure sports and covid-19 coverage, and more. And better yet, GloboTreks readers get 5% off their plan! Get a quote.

Alternatively, if you’re a nomad and travel often or long-term, then SafetyWing could help you save a lot of money on long-term travel insurance.

FIND THE BEST TOURS AT THE BEST PRICES
If you’re looking for the best day tours and cheapest ticket entrances to local attractions, I recommend checking Viator, as they have the largest selection of attractions, passes, and activities all around the world.

BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION AHEAD OF TIME
Bookaway
 offers the easiest and most accessible way to book overland transportation with local operators, be it by bus, train, ferry, plane, mini-van, or even private transfers.

If renting a car, then I highly recommend DiscoverCars to get the largest car selection at the best price.

OTHER TRAVEL AND MONEY-SAVING TIPS?
Lastly, check out my resources page for some of the best products and companies to use for your trip. If you like saving money (like I do!), then this page will help.

Best Kauai Hostels & Backpackers Budget Accommodation
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