Now that you’ve fallen in love with Okinawa (and what’s not to love?) you’ve been singing its praises to anyone who will listen. It turns out everybody got the message, the Instagram pics, and the Facebook posts.

Having done so, it’s no surprise that they’re eager to come for a holiday in Okinawa, and they’re turning to you for travel advice. That’s just fine when they have a budget that can easily stand the cost of Okinawa as a holiday destination, but if their money is tight, visions of couch surfers, extra catering and a disrupted workday schedule could be flashing before your eyes.

Relax. You can still be a good host by providing local advice that will help them have fun for less. Pass on these budget holiday tips.

Search Airbnb for Cheap Accommodation EARLY

You know it. Japan isn’t exactly cheap, and Okinawa’s hotels and hostels will provide exactly as much value as your visitors are willing to pay for. If that’s not much, things could get pretty basic.

If you’re not keen to have guests in your home or have limited space, Airbnb in Okinawa offers an alternative, but not as many options as you or your guests might expect. Japan’s regulations have made a lot of Airbnbs close their doors.

Being able to make savings involves lots of research for Airbnb deals and early bookings to secure space at good establishments with low rates.

Tell Them to Eat Like Locals

Your friends will be tempted with great food and excellent restaurants during their visit. While you’ll be able to point them towards the best places to spend tourist bucks and splurge, don’t forget to recommend the best street food too.  

Even the unadventurous, who prefer to stick with Western cuisine, will enjoy treats like chilled tropical fruit on a hot summer day. As for those who want to eat exotic seafood and authentic dishes, they’ll be in budget gourmet heaven.

Cheap, Discounted, and Free Things to Do

Scenic beauty will greet your friends at every turn during their visit. Finding free things to do and wonderful things to see won’t be an issue. However, if they are planning sightseeing trips outside the reach of Naha’s usual public transport, the expense of hiring a car might seem inevitable.  

Tell your friends that some bus tour operators offer packages that include free or discounted entry at popular attractions, and even lunch, at prices not much higher than the public bus fare to a single destination outside Naha.  This is a great way to get discounted aquarium tickets plus transport, plus a bunch of extras, so it’s a great deal.

As always, there are often discount travel and shopping offers for those with military connections. These may change over time, so remind your military friends to check it out for themselves when planning their holiday.

Of course, you’ll help out with the itinerary, but don’t let them give you the job of being travel-agent. Since planning is key when looking at ways of saving money, your budget holiday buddies should be able to do their own legwork given a few pointers.

Tips Toolbox

A frugal mindset isn’t the same as being mean. If your friends are worried about their holiday costs, they need to be all the more alert while on holiday in Okinawa.  51 percent of Americans say that they usually spend more than they should while on holiday.

Okinawa offers reasonable options for holidaymakers, but your guests will need to be mindful about saving money. If they aren’t, reality, in the form of a nasty post-holiday credit card bill, could come back to bite. General tips always apply.

  • Use cash. Yes, credit cards are more convenient. They can be a little too convenient when you’re in a relaxed mood and budget-breaking temptation strikes. Besides, visitors to Okinawa will need cash for small vendors, etc.
  • Drink tap water anywhere in Japan – but Okinawa’s water doesn’t taste that great. A water bottle with built-in filter solves the problem
  • Limit holiday shopping. Strolling around shopping districts in tourist areas with a credit card in your pocket and time on your hands is a recipe for budget trouble.
  • Track your spending as you go. It doesn’t have to be a drag. There are tons of easy-to-use apps that do the job for you.