Yes things are expensive on Maui, but there are lots of things to do so that even the most budget conscious traveler can have a great time on Maui. Here is a list of budget saving tips and activities that I’ve discovered over the last several years while exploring Maui on numerous trips.
Maui Budget tip #1: Eat in. While some don’t consider it a vacation if you have to cook and clean, this will save you a ton of money. Most condo’s have BBQ’s available (make sure – ask) so cooking is really a snap. You can take your food to the closest beach park and enjoy a million dollar view while saving money. For food shopping, avoid national grocery chain stores. Click here for more on eating on Maui.
Maui Budget tip #2: Good deals on Maui condos, particularly in Kihei, can be found. Kihei Bay Surf is one example of a budget friendly condo that is nicely maintained, and is right across the street from a small beach park. Questions to ask to ensure your Maui budget condo lives up to expectations: does the unit face the road (susceptible to road noise)? Does the unit have a kitchenette and BBQ? Has the unit been remodeled recently?Is there A/C? Are pictures of the inside AND outside of the unit available? Click here for more on where to stay in Maui.
Maui Budget tip #3: Rent an older but reliable car. Why be like everybody else and pay for a new rental car? Save a ton of money by renting from a place like Maui Car Rentals. They are friendly, save you time by picking you up at the airport, and you are supporting a locally owned business as well. If you still want to stick with a newer car, check out this page for tips on saving money on traditional car rentals on Maui.
Maui Budget tip #4: Head to Maui during low-season (summer), or a “shoulder season” such as April/May or Sept/October. The crowds are lower, and you can usually find great deals on condos as the owners are all trying to fill them up!
Maui Budget tip #5: Look for Happy Hours and other eating specials. For example, Ocean’s in Kihei has Taco Tuesday ($2.50/taco…full meal for under $10 with a drink). Everybody claims they have the best happy hour on Maui, so just check the internet and follow your fancy!
Maui Budget tip #6: Nobody can charge you a dime to spend as much time on a beach in Maui as you want to! My quick list of favorite beaches on Maui: Small and beautiful: Napili Bay. Boogie Boarding: D.T. Fleming and Big Beach. People watching beach: Kaanapali and KAM 1,2,3 in Kihei. See my posts on Best Maui Beaches for Boogie Boarding, Best Maui Beaches for Snorkeling, Best Maui Beaches for Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), for more info.
Maui Budget tip #7: The best things on Maui are free. Take a walk! There is a great beachside walk in the Wailea area (start at Ulua beach and walk south for as far as you like), several great beach walks in Kihei (along Kam 1, 2 and 3 or further north by Waipu’ilani Park), a boardwalk at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, just to name a few.
Maui Budget tip #8: Stroll Lahaina for free! If you want an excellent, moderately priced meal while there, you must go to Aloha Mixed Plate!
Maui Budget tip #9: Bring your own snorkel gear, or rent for a week for a pretty reasonable rate from any number of local shops. Click here for more information on snorkeling on Maui.
Maui Budget tip #10: Check out the surf action at Ho’okipa Beach Park. While you are out there, visit the fun town of Pa’ia and get a bite to eat.
Maui Budget tip #11: Take a drive up country. Wander through the towns of Makawao and Kula with no particular agenda. If you want to get away from the heat, take the fun road up to Polipoli State Park (absolutely free!)
Here is a Maui on a Budget Infographic for another view on how to save money while on Maui.
Check out this good list of free, or close to free things to do on Maui.