Traveling to Maui is a dream of many and no one wants to spend more on their vacation than they have to. That’s why we’ve put together our Top 12 Ways To Save Money On Your Maui Vacation. If you’ve dreamed of coming to Maui and you’re ready to pull the trigger then you’ll want to start here with these money saving tips!
1. Travel during low or shoulder seasons
Avoiding peak or high season can offer some real saving advantages. Aside from the bonus fact that the island will be less populated during low or shoulder season allowing you to avoid the crowds, the significant savings will really add up. Airline prices will be lower as well as accommodation rates. Our low season aka Summer Value Season starts in mid April and carries through the end of October, with our ‘shoulder’ or Fall season running November to mid December. Lots of time to plan within to save $$
2. Book a condo for your lodging
If you’re here on our website, then you’ve already discovered the advantage of booking a condo for your Maui vacation. The advantages of having a fully equipped condo is like having a home away from home – chock full of all the amenities you would expect in your own home. With our full kitchen you can cater your meal budget to eating in or dining out or any combination of the two. Depending on the location, condo rates can be vastly cheaper than resort rates. We strive to keep our rates low and yet offer all the comforts of your own home, just in Paradise! We offer free parking and because we’re within walking distance of just about every thing you could need you’ll save gas money on getting around.
3. Book direct
Middlemen always want their financial cut, vendors and suppliers have to increase their rates to cover these expenses. When you book direct you have the added satisfaction of saving middlemen fees. This can be true not only for condo rentals, but for local car rental or local activities. You’ll NEVER pay a booking or ‘convenience’ fee when you book direct with us. Here’s an example of fees charged by vacation rental booking sites
Fellow vacation rental owner Dan O’Connor has written a great blog post on how to save money by avoiding booking fees that truly do not offer any added value to the renter.
4. Eat In
With a full kitchen outfitted with brand new top end appliances and every kitchen gadget we could think of there’s no need to eat out every meal. Shop the local grocery stores and prepare your own budget friendly meals. Attached to the house keys you’ll find our local grocery store discount cards. Present them at check-out at the grocery store for added local’s only savings. We offer a nice sized Igloo cooler so that you can pack your snacks and lunches for the day saving you money by not eating out.
5. Happy Hours
If you do want to eat out, take advantage of happy hour pricing. Most restaurants offer great deals during happy hour for both eats and drinks. For example, right next door at Fred’s Mexican Cafe Happy Hour Tuesday Taco deal along with an order of guacamole and chips is very filling. Plus their gigantic Margaritas are delish and for an added BONUS you can request a table on the patio and watch sunset. We’ve also had some amazing Mai Tai’s and pupus (appetizers) at Monkeypod Kitchen during their Happy Hour when they offer 1/2 off select drinks and appetizers/pizzas. Read more about Monkeypod’s Mai Tai’s here.
If you’re traveling on Maui, check out our post on the 7 Best Happy Hours In South Kihei
6. Groupon or LivingSocial
Leverage the discounts available from these two discount sites. Pay in advance for your activities or gear rental. You can also search online for discounts. Be sure to call vendors direct to make sure you’re getting the best deals.
7. Free activities
There’s truly no shortage of activities on Maui and many can be done for free or very low cost. When our son was young we loved Geocaching together. Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt! Maui has literally dozens of hidden Geocahces of all sizes. Membership is free and often you’ll only need your Smart Phone to find them.
What a great way to discover the island doing a day of treasure hunting (as with all actives, please play it safe and respect private property and Maui’s ecology). Maui hosts a few wonderful museums as well. Discover all you can about Maui history and culture. Fancy hiking? There are wonderful hikes to discover in Maui from the southern lava fields near La Perouse Bay to the Iao Valley in the West Maui Mountains and every waterfall in between. A list of great hikes can be found in the Maui Guidebook as suggested in a previous post. Of course beach hopping is free and we provide as a courtesy to our guests, all the necessary gear for a day at the beach including snorkel sets, cooler, beach chairs, umbrella and more.
8. Put your membership cards to work
If you’re a member of AAA, AARP, are a student or have a military ID, put your memberships to work and ask for discounts at venues that charge admission. Bring your National Park membership or Senior Pass with you and use it for Haleakala National Park.
9. Travel light
No need to pack a lot and pay for checked luggage. We offer an ensuite washer and dryer for your convenience so you’ll find that you can pack all you need in a carry-on. We’ll cover in a separate post how to pack for Maui but the general rule is that you’ll only ever wear half of what you bring, and ‘take twice as much money and half as much clothing’ is a popular tip given to Maui travelers.
10. Plan in advance
This may seem pretty obvious to most. As a former travel agent I’ve found that many don’t know that there are savings to be had by buying your tickets 14 or 21 days in advance. With an island destination, savings can be had by even booking further out than that. Most of our guests plan months in advance. Booking too far out can cost more and booking too close in can also raise the price. There’s a ‘Goldilocks’ time frame that’s ‘Just Right’ and that leads to our next tip…
11. Sign up for Airline alerts
We’ve signed up to get fare alerts from Virgin (Alaska), Hawaiian Airlines and so on so that we know when they’re running their airfare specials. Signing up for alerts from flight tracking sites such as Hipmunk.com or Google flights can keep you in the loop of when fares are lower.
12. Car rental on a shoestring
A car isn’t absolutely necessary on Maui and clever and frugal travelers can get by with public transportation, however if you want to get around to more out-of-the-way spots on the island and you have a limited number of days, then a car is a must. Spending a little extra time making some phone calls or internet inquiries will save you some hard earned dollars. Try a few of the local car rental companies and check their prices. Our FAVORITE local car rental company is Kihei Rent A Car. Their value cannot be beat. We’ve also heard good things about Maui Cruisers and Maui Bio Beetle. Other options are Priceline, where you can name your lowest offer price and it might be accepted is the price is right. Pick the smallest car you can to accommodate your family. If you, your family and all of your luggage will fit in a small economy car then you’re sure to get better gas mileage. Gas is much more expensive in Maui than it is on the Mainland.
Splurge On What Matters Most To You, Skimp On The Rest. Make your bucket list and decide what things that you want to do and can afford to do. These are the things that you should splurge on. Plan a few indulgences and use the savings on the items above to allow you to splurge on your one or two big ticket or more memorable items while on Maui like a day at the spa, an upgrade to a convertible or Jeep or a fantastic golf package.
I spent may years packing a tent and camping gear to Maui and sleeping on the sand at Papalua Beach Campground because I was truly on a strict budget. I’m certainly dating myself as this was back in the days that you could still check two bags for free. One day I’ll write another post of our camping adventures on a true shoestring budget!