A $4 MILLION vacation: Separate flights, luxury hotels and plenty of golf... the price of Obama’s annual Hawaiian holiday soars

  • Obama's Air Force One flight estimated at $3,271,611
  • Total travel costs for Hawaii holiday are $3,629,622
  • Housing comes to $151,200 and hotels at $72,216
  • Hawaii Reporter estimates total cost at $4,113,038

Barack Obama’s annual vacation in Hawaii this year is likely to be his most expensive ever - and the majority of it is being funded by the taxpayer.

The President will travel separately to his family this time because he wants resolve the payroll tax cut issue before leaving Washington D.C.

First Lady Michelle took their children this weekend in a flight that cost an extra $100,000 - and her husband’s round-trip journey will be $3,271,611.

The President was scheduled to begin his trip on December 17. Last year's holiday, pictured here, was also delayed

Fun in the sun: President Barack Obama relaxes with the family in Hawaii during a previous holiday. This year's trip is likely to be his most expensive ever

The bill for the trip went up last week when Mrs Obama decided to take Sasha and Malia herself while her husband tries to save the U.S. economy.

His flight was estimated by the Hawaii Reporter as the largest expense of the holiday trip, which will cost more than $4million in total.

The U.S. Air Force calculates it costs $181,757 per flight hour to operate Air Force One.

Travel time direct from Washington D.C. to Hawaii is about nine hours, which gives a total of $3,271,611 there and back.

Lookout: Security behind a house overlooking a beach near where First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are staying in Kailua, Hawaii, on Sunday

Additionally, the cost for a USAF C-17 cargo aircraft is required to carry Presidential limos, helicopters and other equipment.

Flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is a 21.5 return, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour, a GAO report said.

A four-to-six member Marine Corps unit is on a separate flight for extra security, at an estimated cost of $258,000 - not including their hotel costs.

According to the White House Dossier, Mrs Obama’s early trip to Hawaii cost about $100,000 including travel, security and personnel.

Exotic: People walk past a security tent on the beach at Kailua Bay not far from where Mrs Obama and her daughters are staying in Hawaii, on Sunday

It is thought the accommodation costs run to $151,200.

President Obama's family covers the cost of a private beach front residence in Kailua, Oahu, for the holiday, which costs up to $3,500 a day, or $75,000 a month.

But taxpayers take care of housing for Secret Service, Coast Guard and Navy Seals who guard the rentals and arrive a day ahead of Mr Obama.

That is about $21,600 per home for approximately seven houses rented for 18 days. There is also a hotel bill for $72,216.

Time apart: Michelle and her daughters, Sasha (right) and Malia (second from left) will be flying on the taxpayer's dime to the island paradise with Obama

Time apart: Michelle Obama and her daughters, Sasha (right) and Malia, pictured on the family's Christmas card, will have their flights paid for by the taxpayer

The President’s staff and White House Press Corps are staying at the Moana Surfrider, which costs from $177 to $450 based on the time of year.

TOTAL COST: $4,113,038

TRAVEL: $3,629,622

  • Obama's Air Force One trip: $3,271,622
  • Support aircraft: $258,000
  • First Family's early flight: $100,000

HOUSING: $151,200

  • Secret Service, Coast Guard and Navy Seals housing

HOTEL: $72,216

  • 24 staff in Moana Surfrider hotel


  • Local police: $250,000
  • On-call ambulance: $10,000
SOURCE: Hawaii Reporter

Excluding tax, meals and other charges at the more conservative rate, that amounts to more than $72,216 for approximately 24 members of staff.

Then there's the local taxpayer costs of $260,000. The overtime for local police in Oahu is expected to cost taxpayers $250,000.

A city spokesman said an ambulance that travels with the president at all hours will cost an additional $10,000.

Several costs are unknown and will not be released by the White House, citing security reasons.

Some include security upgrades, additional phone lines, bullet proof glass, car rentals, fuel, travel costs for staff travelling ahead of the President.

The estimated cost for a 17-day round trip for a Hawaii holiday for the President, his family, staff and security is $4,113,038.

A spokesman for the White House told the Hawaii Reporter that the costs are 'in line' with other presidential vacations.

President Obama says that he may skip his annual holiday trip to Hawaii to fix the budget crisis if that's what it takes to get it down

Commitment: Obama will miss the start of the annual holiday to his birthplace in order to fix the budget crisis. It is unknown when he will be able to join the family

It is not yet known when President Obama will fly out to Hawaii, with the death of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il likely to delay his trip further.

Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama all arrived in Hawaii at the weekend and spent their first night there on Saturday. Friends joined them soon after.

President Obama has been told of the North Korean leader's death but is also locked in a payroll taxes showdown with Republicans.

He has called close friend President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea to discuss any potential implications of the death, reported AFP.

Extending the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits have been a keystone of President Obama's effort to spur a revival of the flaccid economy.

But many Republicans believe the unemployment coverage is too generous and that cutting the payroll tax does not create jobs.

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