Top Ways to Save Money
Here are 10 tips on how to save money while vacationing in Maui, Hawaii.
#1 Get a Kitchen
Some resorts and hotels have small kitchen areas and most all house or condo rentals have them. The reason this is #1 is because if you eat out for every meal, it'll be one of your biggest expenses. We love eating out, and if you do too, at least consider making packed lunches for when you're exploring, or better yet eat out for lunch and stay in for dinner (dinner is usually much more expensive.) We really like Maui Grocery Service for stocking your fridge before arriving with exactly what you want. You can choose exactly what you want beforehand, then have them deliver and put things away for you. Use the coupon code: MAUIWEB to get $10 off your first order.
#2 Arrive Off-Season
This way you save on both flights and accommodations. Usually off-season is around February to May and September to early December. Stay clear of peak holidays too like Christmas, Spring Break, Thanksgiving, etc... Sign up with a few airlines for special deal updates and consider last minute trips. Sometimes you can get really good deals by waiting for specials (though this can also bite you in the arse.) Call different resorts, hotels, vacation rentals and ask them about odd periods they have trouble filling and ask for a deal to come at that time. Everyone wins in this case.
#3 Travel in Groups
If you travel with another couple or another family, you can rent a house together and share vehicles. This saves beaucoup bucks. This also gives you a chance to get to know people better. Other than vehicle and accommodations, you can also save on groceries by buying in larger quantity and sharing. This is not always the ideal situation, so make sure you do this with people that are easy to be with and aren't too anal about splitting costs. Inevitably, one group will pay more than the other in the end. It's impossible to break costs exactly down the middle, so be willing to take on more cost without fussing. You'll still save a lot more than being on your own.
#4 Find Cheap or Free Activities
Maui is one of those places that has so much to do for cheap or free. We made a nice little infographic showing the top ten free things to do in Maui. Among these things are sunsets, snorkeling, Haleakala sunrise, whale watching, hiking, art galleries, and beach time. If you're active, Maui has a lot to do when it comes to exploring areas and seeing Maui by hiking and driving. For those more into relaxing, there are some great beaches to enjoy and amazing places to check out without getting out of the car.
#5 Car Rentals
Rent a car for the best price that has the best gas mileage. It really doesn't matter where you're coming from, the gas in Hawaii is most likely more expensive than back home (anywhere from $0.45 to over a dollar more per gallon.) Not fun. SO, if you intend to do any exploring, you'll want a very economical vehicle. If you do the Road to Hana, you're looking at filling the tank at least 1 1/2 times. If you have a rental walking distance to good beaches and a town, you can even consider knocking a few days off your rental. Some people opt to have no car at all and just get a shuttle to and from the airport. Some resorts and hotels have complimentary shuttles.
#6 Restaurant Special Deals
Not all restaurants are created equally. Some of the best are the most expensive. Some of the worst are also some of the most expensive. There are dozens of great places to eat on Maui that won't break your bank. Look for happy hour specials, lunch deals, and lesser known local joints with great food. We've listed our favorite Maui restaurants, but some of them are very expensive. Look into Food Trucks and some of the smaller places that have local crowds.
#7 Souvenirs with Value
There are a thousands spots on Maui selling souvenirs (at least!) Find the deals. If you're shopping at fancy, expensive malls like the Shops at Wailea, you'll be spending a bit more than you would at the swap meet or craft fairs. Look around and consider small items that you'd like to keep forever, or group gifts for family back home. You can buy packs of macadamia nuts, coffee or chocolates to give away to multiple people back home. This makes it easier for you to choose gifts and you don't have to spend as much time or money getting them.
#8 Reduce Waste
Most people's first stop before going to their hotel, resort, condo is at Costco. This can be a good and bad idea. You'll save money on a lot of stuff, but the problem that we OFTEN see is that people buy some things in bulk that they really shouldn't. Whenever friends come to visit us here on Maui, on the way to their airport departure, they stop by and drop off a bag of leftover products. Every time, we end up with massive, nearly unused containers of mustard and ketchup. Yes, sandwiches are a good idea, but how many would you need to make in order to finish off a large mustard barrel? If you do Costco, also do a normal grocery store for smaller items.
#9 Stay Safe
Something that most people never think of is the ridiculous expense of getting hurt while on vacation. Hospitals emergency rooms, ambulances, and specialty doctors are incredibly expensive even with insurance. I know you're thinking, "Skip this tip, cause I'm smart enough to not get hurt." Well, you might be smart, but injuries happen every day on Maui. That calm beach might just chuck you on your head in the shorebreak. The beautiful waterfall you're blissfully swimming under might have a log floating down stream above you. The serene view at the vista you've just hiked could be on loose ground along a cliff edge. There are so many different dangers that people don't think about. be smart, safe, sober, and respect the island.
#10 Don't Over Book!
Booking activities, events, shows, and reservations early online is a great way to save money. But, don't over do it. If you book 2 activities in the same day, keep in mind that you might be running around and not enjoying your trip as much (as well as spending much more than you would doing 1 activity and then watching the sunset.) We like to book 1 thing for each day, and leave the rest of our day as free time. We can't tell you how many people do the Road to Hana and expect to have time for another activity in the same day. Not likely. The people at Activity Authority understand this and have curated only their favorite activities at guaranteed low prices. Call them at (808) 892-3177.
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