It won’t be easy, but there are ways to enjoy Maui on a Budget. And through the years I have discovered several things you can do to save money. Hopefully, some of these suggestions will give you a positive visit to this beautiful island paradise without breaking the bank. So here are our suggestions for Maui on a Budget.
When to Come
Choose to visit the island during the off-season and absolutely don’t come over the Christmas holidays. July-October is a great time to visit and the island is quieter and you will have a wide choice of accommodations.
Where to Stay
There are many, many condos available for rent and you will find it less expensive to stay in a condo than in a resort. By renting a condo rather than a hotel you can cook most of your meals and not blow your budget on eating out. Condos usually offer great pools and barbeque area for guest use.
If you have a Costco membership use it. Although the Maui Costco can be very busy, you can really save money by shopping there. We did price comparison on cases of beer and it was astonishing. Gas at the Maui Costco is also much less.
We also found prices at Foodland and Times grocery stores were less than Safeway.
It’s pretty hard to visit Maui without a rental car. Unless you are only staying for a couple of days I highly recommend you get a car. But there are several rental agencies on the island renting older model cars for much less. We have used Kihei Rent a Car several times. The cars we have rented are Nissans, about ten years old, run great and get us where we need to be. About $39 a day this last visit as compared to $99 at the more well-known brand name rental agencies.
Dining out in Maui is pretty expensive. There are some family friendly restaurants so be sure to read our post Maui Restaurants 2022. It also is less expensive to visit some of the restaurants where the locals go…I recommend Sam Satos and Saigon Cafe. Another really great way to save money dining out while getting to enjoy some of Maui’s best restaurants is to go to Happy Hour. Many restaurants have a daily Happy Hour and you can get a reduced menu but the same great food for much less money. Our favorite Happy Hours are Gannon’s in Wailea, Three’s Bar and Grill in Kihei, Fleetwoods in Lahaina, The Five Palms Restaurant in Kula and Dukes in Kaanapali. There are many more too, get a much more comprehensive list here Maui Happy Hours.
Consider eating at some of the local food truck villages that have popped up around the island over the past few years. Maui has tons of food truck options now including in Kihei, Kaanapali, Wailuku, Kahalui and more. Read this for more.
Before you spend $50 at Costco to buy a beach chair, double check with your condo to see if they have chairs available. Many condos have chairs, snorkel gear and even boogie boards available for their guests.
If you need to rent or purchase, check out the local family that sells used equipment in their front yard, located in the 1000 block of Front Street in Lahaina. I have not purchased here but they offer chairs, boogie boards, pool noodles and floats and sometimes snorkel gear at a reduced (gently used) price. Why buy new and then discard? Recycle and reuse is the way to go!
The beaches are free of course (did you know every beach in the state of Hawaii is a public beach) and many beaches are great for snorkeling. You don’t need to pay for an expensive tour to Molokini to see beautiful fish and coral. Check out this list here.
Now you won’t get up close and personal, but from late November – March you can whale watch right form the beach. There are 10,000 humpback whales that visit the waters between Maui, Lanai and Molokai every winter. With so many whales it’s not difficult to see them from the beach or from the look out point located on the Honoapi’ilani highway between Kihei and Lahaina.
Hiking is free and there are some wonderful hikes on Maui. Check out our post Six Great Hikes on the Island of Maui. A Maui hike also affords you the opportunity to bird watch, whale watch and enjoy the local flora of this island. By the way, if you are a Senior and have an America the Beautiful National Park Pass be sure not to leave it at home. The pass will save you the $30 entry fee into Haleakala National Park.
Luau’s are expensive, and when you are trying to do Maui on a Budget they are out of the question. But if you want to see a free hula show during your visit, there are several places that offer shows at different times depending on the time of year. Lahaina Cannery Mall, Maui Mall, Whaler’s Village, Four Seasons Resort Wailea and Kaanapali Beach Hotel all have shows sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines. See the schedule here.
Other Cool Stuff
Visit Ho’okipa to watch the surfers….its absolutely remarkable and its free. While you are there you will probably also see turtles. This is the beach you can almost always be guaranteed to see turtles hauled up and sunning themselves on the beach. We have also seen the Hawaiian Monk Seal sleeping on the beach here. A rare treat. Remember…the seal and the turtles are protected…stay back and enjoy from a distance.
A lot of people try to go to Haleakala for sunrise. I admit it’s a cool thing to do. But sunset is easier and free. There are dozens of places to watch the sunset from Makenna to Kapalua, for free.
Maui on a Budget
Yes you can do Maui on a Budget with a little frugal planning. It’s worth it to enjoy this island paradise, even if you are watching your pennies. Maui No Ka Oi!
Did you see our post Maui Best Restaurants 2022 ?
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I have loved your Hawaii posts! You guys look like you belong there, and have shared some beautiful experiences.January 6, 2023 at 10:26 am
Thank you HeatherJanuary 6, 2023 at 6:01 pm
Wow. Great tips as there’s so much you can do there on a budget.January 6, 2023 at 5:44 pm
With some effort there really is.January 6, 2023 at 6:01 pm
Some brilliant tips for travel in Maui on a budget …stunning photos…January 6, 2023 at 9:24 pm
thank you. I love it there and its hard not to take a good picture.January 7, 2023 at 10:23 am
My fiance and I were JUST talking about Maui tonight and how we want to visit the island next time we go to Hawaii. Were you able to see the red sand beach while you were there?January 6, 2023 at 9:52 pm
I have seen it in the past, but not this last trip. Also the black sand beach is cool too.January 7, 2023 at 10:23 am
Maui will probably be the next island that I plan a trip to. Thanks so much for sharing this.January 7, 2023 at 5:26 am
I have lots of Maui blogs…hope they can help you plan.January 7, 2023 at 10:22 am
These are excellent tips for visiting Maui on a budget. They are detailed enough to really find cheap things to do. Thanks for the great information. I hope to go to Maui soon.January 7, 2023 at 6:00 am
You are welcome!January 7, 2023 at 10:22 am
These are such helpful and insightful tips, especially about the rental cars and using Costco (who would have thought?).January 7, 2023 at 7:16 am
Glad its helpful!January 7, 2023 at 10:21 am
We sure did find Maui and most of Hawaii more expensive than we expected. Our flights there were reasonable so I guess that balanced it out a bit. We actually moved our travel dates out by 2 weeks to get some savings on accommodations. We love the idea of returning in whale season and catching views right from the beach. Some good suggestions for a return visit.January 7, 2023 at 9:39 am
I’m smitten despite the $$$ 🙂January 7, 2023 at 10:21 am
I’d love to visit Hawaii but I’m always hearing about how expensive it is. It’s great to know that it’s possible to do it on a budget too.January 7, 2023 at 11:21 am
Worth a try!January 7, 2023 at 3:58 pm
Wow! Some great tips here. Reusing and recycling is indeed the way to go.January 9, 2023 at 3:04 am
Thanks. I agree. Always too much waste.January 9, 2023 at 4:37 am