I have shared a few posts about our trip to Maui and wanted to do one solely based on our favorite word over here – BUDGET! Hawaii seemed very out of reach and had I not had a trip planned for work we probably would not have gone for quite a few more years. We honestly spent less than we did on our honeymoon to Mexico and were surprised
We would all go to Hawaii if it was affordable right? There are a few key things we did that made our trip somewhat affordable.
Invite some friends along! Lodging and shared expenses becomes much more affordable when you get to divide the costs in half.
- Stay at an Airbnb. The resorts in Maui are AMAZING – but if you plan to be adventurous like us, then it’s not worth it to pay for a fancy room you are hardly in.
- Limit eating out. We only ate out once (maybe twice a couple times) per day and stocked up on snacks well before we even went to the airport. Eating out can be super fun but it is a great way to cut costs if you are up for it!
- Plan ahead! We paid for as much as possible beforehand and it truly helped us stay on track with our spending money.
FLYING & GETTING AROUNDIf you are planning on going for a week, flying out Saturday morning and flying back Saturday night (landing Sunday morning) is the way to go. We had some flight vouchers so our flights were a bit cheaper but a quick google search shows you could fly two people round trip from KC in early February for $1,078. The Alaska Airlines option with a connecting flight in San Diego with a 21-hour layover is the option we chose. We used some hotel points for a hotel room near the airport and got a rental car for the day and visited the zoo. I highly recommend booking with Alaska – the service was great and the flights weren’t even close to full. Be sure to pack some snacks for the long plane ride (6 hours!). I didn’t want to look backf at our bank account and seeing we spent $40-50 on crappy airport food.
We flew out early the next morning and landed in Kahului around 11:00 a.m. We booked a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for the whole week. You will definitely need a car rental to see all the sites we did. If it’s just two of you a convertible is a great option as well. I used this site and got a great rate of $395 for the whole week. Also be sure to bring your Costco card. Gas was over a $1.00 cheaper at Costco, though you will have to wait in line a bit. We spent around $100 total in gas for the week we were there.
We stayed at this Airbnb from Sunday to Thursday morning. It doesn’t look like much from the photos but it had a great location in Kihei and was right across from the beach. The rate was unbeatable for a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom. A lot of the condos are 1 bedroom with a pullout couch so if your group is up for that sleeping arrangement there are many more options in the South Maui area. (Feel free to use this link if you book! I get
We stayed at the Sheraton Maui Resort in West Maui from Thursday to Saturday. I booked one night with points and the second night was around $260. I would highly suggest ending your vacation at a resort. We ran around a bunch the first few days so it wasn’t worth paying for all the amenities for the resort since we were hardly at our place. We planned to slowed down the pace and hung out at the hotel the last two nights. There are not as many condo options in West Maui and the resorts are a bit more affordable as well. I would strongly suggest a condo in Kihei/South Maui for the first part of the week also since you are a lot closer to most of the activities and a variety of great beaches.
As for activities we booked a lot of the options ahead of time. There is so so so so so much to do in Maui that is essentially free or very affordable. We paid for most of it ahead of time and JR mentioned how less stressful it was to have everything paid for before we left. I highly suggest paying for as much upfront as possible – most activities have a 24-48 hour cancellation policy so if something comes up you can still cancel. We booked the Haleakala sunrise tour,a snorkeling tour, a luau, and a whale watching tour ahead of time. Linked are all the actual tours we booked. I wouldn’t recommend the luau we went to – if you can get a spot at this one, it was the most highly recommended and books up fast.
It was super convenient to stay at the Airbnb in South Maui specifically since there are so many great beaches. They had some beach chairs, a boogie board, and beach towels that we were able to use and we brought our own snorkeling masks (highly highly recommend these!) It would cost around $25-30 a day to rent them so you are much better off investing in some of your own equipment. We didn’t spend a dime and snorkeled some of the top beaches in the world! West Maui has great beaches too but not as many.
If when we go back I think we would invest in some snorkeling fins as well. We loved the snorkeling and fins make such a difference when you are near the beach with a heavy current. These look like a great option.
We stopped at Costco and Walmart when we arrived and stocked up on some breakfast items, alcohol, water, and snacks. The Airbnb option also helps since you will be able to cook at your place. We decided to skip on breakfast and made eggs and bacon and
We checked out a few happy hours from 3-5pm (which is pretty much dinner time for those in Central Standard Time) and went to the Monkeypod happy hour twice! Plan on spending around $40 per couple at even the somewhat affordable dining places. If you go to nicer restaurants you might get up into the $50-60 per couple.
Overall it was still a bit expensive but very affordable compared to what a travel agent might quote you or what you might have
Flights: $1,078/ couple
- San Diego Hotel: $150/night
- San Diego Car Rental: $30/total
- San Diego Zoo: $98/couple
- Car Rental: $395/total
- Airbnb (4 nights): $831/total
- Resort+Parking (2 nights): $520/total
- Haleakala Sunrise: $1.50 reservation fee + $25 park fee (total per car)
- Snorkeling Tour: $220/couple
- Whale Watching: $87/couple
- Luau: $250/couple
- Spending Money: $900/couple
- Costco Gas: $100/total
- Luggage Fees: $25/per bag
- Costco Food and Snacks: $50/couple
- TOTAL $3759.25
If you have been dying to check out Hawaii it might be a bit more affordable than you think! Check out our other posts for our full trip and more in-depth info on some of our excursions!
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