For College Students Hilo Hawaii is the Place to Stay

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

College Students on Vacation? 5 Reasons Why Hilo is the Place to Stay
For young people with a travel bug, places like South America, Europe, and Asia are high on the list. Affordable and breathtaking, these destinations require an immense amount of planning and penny-pinching – such is life as a college student. But there’s a corner of the U.S. that can provide incredible sightseeing, hiking, camping, and adventure for those who seek it out. Especially compared to the rest of Hawaii, the Big Island is an infinite source of wonder: sprawling tropical rainforests, immense waterfalls, and active lava flows in the volcanic regions are just a few of the attractions. But as with most things in Hawaii, a stay there can be expensive. However, the eastern Big Island city of Hilo is ideally suited to young travelers for the following reasons:

Cheap Accommodations
From a budgetary perspective, the two most efficient options for a stay in Hilo are camping and the Hilo Bay Hostel. Dorm-style, clean, and safe, the hostel is located in a century-old building with modern amenities. Rooms are comfortable and the shared bathrooms are remarkably clean and well-maintained; there’s also a shared kitchen for use throughout the day. The proximity of the hostel can’t be beaten – you’ll be walking distance to incredible snorkeling, museums, restaurants, and historic theaters. There’s a bus stop nearby and you can hire a cab from the hostel to get around. If you’re aiming for a stay on the Big Island and don’t want the hassle of a tent, you’ll be better off no place else.

Easy Access to Free and Cheap Activities
Hilo is home to many free and low-cost attractions, both natural and man-made. With some of the most amazing waterfalls in the world within easy reach, a trip to Hilo would be incomplete without an afternoon spent exploring the half-dozen or so falls in the area. But for those looking for more history or science in their travels, the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Lyman Museum, Botanical Gardens, and the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo are excellent choices that offer student discounts.

College-aged Nightlife and Population
With the University of Hawaii’s Hilo campus located in the center of town, Hilo is a bustling, active community during the school year. Bars, coffee shops, and live music events are heavily populated and energetic, making it a perfect way to meet new people during your stay.

Live Music and Cheap Drinks
Luckily, the nightlife scene in Hilo is among the island’s busiest and most musically-oriented. Multiple venues across town provide nightly live music and drink specials, allowing budget-wary visitors to experience some incredibly talented musicians local to the Big Island. Of course, there’s bar trivia, DJs, dancing, and karaoke spots scattered throughout Hilo’s downtown and college areas, keeping the options open for wherever the night may take you.

Away from the General Tourist Population
Relatively secluded from the tourist-heavy crowd that generally keeps to the western side of the island, Hilo is a great spot to see how life is lived in Hawaii and a chance to meet the locals who are lucky enough to call it home. This keeps the mood mellow, relaxed, and perfectly Hawaiian – a rare treat for visitors of any background.

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