Many people dream of a Maui vacation. They envision luaus on the beach, ukulele lessons under palm trees, and mai tais at sunset. The price tag on that dream getaway can quickly get out of hand – but there are ways to vacation for less on Maui. You can easily spend $7000 for a one week Maui holiday including airfare, but we have a few tips on how to substantially lower that number.
Next to flights, accommodations are your biggest expense. You can lower that cost considerably by using a site like AirBnB or VRBO – and the longer you stay, the more you’ll save. Keep in mind that properties on or close to the beach are usually more expensive; consider staying Upcountry in Makawao or Kula, instead – you’re only about a 30 minute drive from the beach and you get the beautiful views of the island.
With a little more research you can eliminate your accommodations cost completely by house sitting. Some house sits do come with responsibilities such as caring for animals, so keep that in mind. Check sites such as Trusted Housesitters or Mind My House for opportunities.
Many people think that you have to pay big bucks to get a good meal when traveling, but we know from experience that this isn’t the case. Maui has plenty of dining options that won’t leave you with an empty wallet.
If you’re staying in accommodations with a kitchen, you’re laughing. The cost of raw ingredients may be higher here than on the mainland, but cooking for yourself is nowhere near as expensive as heading to a restaurant for every meal.
You can purchase your ingredients from the grocery store, directly from farmers at the many farmers markets, or lower your expenses even more by picking your own vegetables at a u-pick farm.
If you’re driving the road to Hana, stop at the numerous fruit stands and fill your belly with delicious fresh fruit while supporting locals.
Need a break from cooking? Maui has plenty of food trucks, mostly parked around Lahaina and Kihei. There are some in a lot across from Costco in Kahului and a few on the road to Hana as well.
You can also find them at Maui’s Friday night town parties during the summer. The party rotates from town to town every Friday, giving you a chance to discover a different area, though most of the food trucks are the same at each location.
Some of the best entertainment on Maui is free. If you enjoy the beach, there are plenty of beaches all around the island to keep you busy swimming, snorkeling or sunbathing. Some of our favourites are Makena and Paia beaches. Kapalua beach is popular with snorkelers, too, as you’re almost guaranteed to see green sea turtles.
Hiking is also very popular on Maui and trails are abundant, but heed flash flood warnings or you may be in for more than dramatic scenery.
Taking in a luau can also be a lot of fun and you’ll learn about Hawaiian history. The most popular luau on Maui is the Old Lahaina Luau next to the Aloha Mixed Plate restaurant. If it’s luau food you’re craving, they share their imu-cooked kalua pork with the AMP.
The Feast at Lele is also popular. If you want to take in a luau but don’t have the scratch to spend, head over to Betty’s Beach Cafe for happy hour, situated at 505 Front Street, grab a seat at the front and you can watch the luau next door at Feast at Lele, while sipping cheap drinks.
If your mind is set on a Hawaiian vacation, following these few tips are a great start to an affordable get away. Do you have any other money saving tips to add to this list?