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Each week on the road brings forth a new set of challenges. Those challenges are often slightly more uncomfortable when you refuse to pay for a $45 a night hostel and its pouring with rain all week. The generous couch surf hosts of Kauai had dried up after serving me well in the first week. What to do? My streak of almost 2 years backpacking with never spending $12 or more on a night of accommodation was about to be broken by a crappy dorm bed on the island of Kauai. Disaster.

Alas, good things come to those who wait and the Instagram gods shined on me as always. I was chatting to Nico on Instagram, a French cliff jumper, and videographer who had been sleeping in the back of a Toyota Prius. I was out of couch surf hosts and his mate was leaving Kauai. So the Toyota Prius journey began.

For the next seven days, we adventured around Kauai island in our car. During the night we would pull into a beach parking lot, rearrange our gear, pull down the seats and settle in for another night of uncomfortable sleep. It wasn’t an ideal way to live and sleep but it gave us the freedom to hike and explore at our will.

The mighty Prius in one of our overnight parking spots!

Pros of sleeping in a Toyota Prius with another guy

  • Freedom to drive and adventure around the island during the day
  • $20 for accommodation and car rental total per person per day
  • Better than camping in the rain
  • All of our gear is always with us

Cons of sleeping in a Toyota Prius with another guy

  • Space is very limited for two guys in the back of a Prius
  • The Prius seats don’t lay flush/flat so it hurts your back
  • There is nowhere to store your we/muddy shoes overnight
  • Wet and muddy shoes make the car stink
  • Personal space is next to none
  • The car steams up at night because rain means we cannot have the windows down

Overall, it seems that the pros outweigh the cons and it is one of the best ways to explore Kauai on a budget. The rental was $40 per night split between us so only $20 each. So for just $20 we had a car and our accommodation compared to $45 for a dorm bed each at the hostel and no transport.

This week I did some insane hikes. So insane that I’ve been staring at one of the photos I took for a while now. I just checked it again now. This week I hiked Wailua Falls, Opeakaa Falls, Okolehau/Twin Peaks, Mahaulepu, Makahela Falls and Kalepa Ridge. The rain stopped me from hiking more but looking back it’s a good week of mountain exploration despite the weather.

These are my favorite hiking photos from the past seven days!

The most insane sunset of my life on Kalepa Ridge


Moments before the clouds cleared we were fogged up on the Kalepa Trail waiting to see the epic scenes behind the clouds


The sun slowly fades on Wailua Falls


Sometimes you have to include strangers in your photos to show the scale and immensity of the places you visit!


Hiked down into the jungle to this gem. Opaekaa Falls.


Me myself and the rope at the top of Okolehau Trail


Our new mate JD sending it at Makaleha Falls




Thursday 11th of October 2018

Hey Jackson, Love your photos and you sharing your experience! My husband and I are trying to do as many hikes in Kauai in 4 days as possible- which do you recommend as must-do's? Which beach parking lots do you recommend for parking car in for sleeping? Any other solutions to car-camping (either sleeping in car or pitching tent next to car)?