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  1. This strip is SO true! Hickam is a wonderful base with great facilities and located in a tropical paradise… We were stationed there from 1979-1982 so this info is definitely dated. We got to do a lot of touristy things that most people try to cram into 10 days to two weeks spread out over a three year tour. BUT…Hawaii is a VERY expensive place to live! Here are a few tips for surviving a tour in Hawaii with your finances intact…

    When you get checked in and have a local address the first thing you should do is open up a checking account with a local Hawaiian bank, get yourself a Hawaii mailing address, and get yourself a local (area code 808) phone number! Have your Hawaii address and phone number printed on your checks. This will set you up as a “local” when you go to check in at hotels on the islands. This lets you get the “Kama’aina” rates at hotels all over the islands…and they are SIGNIFICANTLY less than the rates charged to people from “the mainland”!

    When we were there the cost of giving in and putting Hawaii license plates on your car was SIGNIFICANTLY lower than paying them very high fees for “registering” your out of state plates.

    Shop at the commissaries! They have significantly lower prices than the local supermarkets!

    Take advantage of MWR benefits like the Hale Koa on Waikiki, Belliwes AFS, and Kilauea Military Camp (on the Big Island)!

    Enjoy your tour, and take advantage of every way to reduce your out of pocket expenses during your tour! We loved our three years on island…as expensive as it was!

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