Visit Maui on a budget and cheap, cheap (updated 2023)

Maui is definitely an expensive island to have a quality vacation without spending a chunk of change. But you can still have a great time without blowing your budget and even splurge for some of the nice and fun activities to do around the island. If you’re looking to visit and experience Maui on a budget and planning on Hotel, Air transportation, car rental and dining options, check out this guide on how to do Maui on the cheap and still have a great time.

Can you really do Maui on the cheap?

To do Maui on the cheap, follow these tips:

Travel during the low season (mid-April to mid-June and September to mid-December) when airfare, hotels, and car rentals are often cheaper.

Stay in affordable accommodations such as budget hotels, hostels, vacation rentals, and campsites instead of expensive resorts.

Cook your own meals using the kitchens in your accommodation or affordable grocery stores on the island.

Use public transportation such as the Maui Bus, rent a bike or walk to explore the local areas.

Take advantage of free activities such as hiking, visiting beaches, exploring parks, and attending local events. Check the local tourism website for more information.

By following these tips and our detailed guide below, you can enjoy Maui while saving money.

Maui on a budget

Travel to Maui in the Off season

Off season in Maui is short from April to May and then September to October timeframe. You’ll find cheaper rates for airfare, hotels and even entertainment tours. This is probably the best consideration for traveling to the island and securing the best deals for all your planning efforts.

Also, you’ll have less crowds visiting in the off season which is a good option considering how crazy travel to the islands have been lately especially to Maui.

Save on Car Rentals

Save on Car Rentals

The big ticket lately to visiting the island is the lack of supply with car rentals and bumping up daily rates, so you definitely have to book way in advance to secure your rental car situation. There are a variety of search car rental aggregators but the best we find for getting a good deal is with Discount Hawaii Car Rental. Or compare here with

” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”>Kayak, Find Cheap Car Rental Deals! Take up to $10 off with Promo Code CAR10 Book Now!” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”>CheapOair. You’ll find the search capability covers most of the major rental agency brands and breaks down into types of vehicles, dates and price ranges.

Other rental car considerations

Compact cars are typically cheaper and give good gas mileage and gas is typically very expensive in Maui

Check your car insurance provider to see if rental cars are included with your policy so you don’t have to pay extra on your car rental and opt out if it is covered

Use the cheap gas finder app to get the best gas prices around the island.

When you visit places, plan accordingly to bunch up all the attractions and activities in just one area of the island to save on gas, time and transport to all the places and activities you want to visit and experience.

Find good prices on airline fares

Find good prices on airline fares

Getting a good airline fare to the islands takes a little bit of effort and research to score the best prices to the islands. Typically, it makes sense to have a flexible time frame and sign up for alerts to airlines or search consolidators offering specials certain times of the year.

One of those is Find the best flight deals starting as low as $51 with Travelocity!” target=”_blank” aria-label=”Travelocity (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”>Travelocity or even last minute flights on Hawaiian Airlines: Search Flights” target=”_blank” aria-label=”Hawaiian Airlines (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”>Hawaiian Airlines which offer fantastic rates from the west coast to the island and have plenty of flights to various locations. If you sign up for a Southwest credit card then you get a companion pass by just paying the taxes on it.

The cheapest flights typically offered to Hawaii are from the main hubs at Honolulu and Kahului in Maui and interisland fares are priced competitively if you plan on visiting nearby islands.

How to save on hotels or housing alternatives

One of the biggest budget components to visiting Maui is find a place to stay that fits into your budget. One way of doing this is to search with a variety of search hotel sites like Cheap Hotel Deals! Save up to $10◊ off our Fees on Hotels with Code HOTEL10. BOOK NOW!” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”> CheapOair, Honolulu Hotels” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow” class=”rank-math-link”>Kayak that you can set your own criteria for days and daily rate range you want to pay for.

If you plan on making most of your own meals then sites like Saving Money on Food and Drinks

West Hawaii on the Big Island by NOel Morata

Saving Money on Food and Drinks

Skip those expensive tropical drinks

Fancy drinks add up real fast at a local bar or pricy hotel oceanfront venue. Easier on the budget is to buy your own from Costco or a local market and take it to the beach for sunset or a fun picnic experience. Bring your ice tote bag drinks and favorite beverage and you’re all set to enjoy a fun venue for cheap where you are staying or somewhere outdoor by the beach or beautiful picnic area.

Cheap pupus or bring your own snacks

Cheap pupus or bring your own snacks

While shopping at Costco, farmers markets or the groceries make sure to pick up some favorite local snack food or try some of the local take out foods from take out spots or food trucks around the island. Bring your own food is the way to go and you can pick your own spot to hang out for free.

Other good dining options for Maui

Pop up road side stands

Local take out mom and pop shops

Food courts

Food Trucks

Happy Hour venues

Eat local with the small take out places, food delis and food courts and look out for local specialty foods like lau lau, loco moco, poke, bento boxes with spam or a variety of popular Hawaiian food to go.

Shop farmers markets and go local

Shop farmers markets and go local

You can support local growers, food preparers and other vendors by going to local farmers markets to get your fresh produce and tropical fruit, locally prepared snacks and finished goods, crafts and art along with other take away souvenirs or gifts that you can buy direct from the source. Not only are you supporting local businesses but getting fresh and local foods at great prices.

Check out the best markets to shop around Maui here for a list of farmers markets locations around the island.

Eat at Food Trucks around Maui

Some of the local specialty foods or what’s being offered from the food truck vendor from Thai food specialties, locally sourced shrimp over rice and mac salad, Hawaiian traditional food to a global range of delicious food to go. An affordable alternative to eating out, this is an easy and delicious option especially when they are conveniently located to popular attractions or locations on the islands.

There are a variety of places to try food trucks in Maui, you can try Honoapiilani Food Truck Park in Lahaina, the area around Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary on the Hana Hwy in Kahului area and in the Kihei area around Kalama Park is a cluster of food truck venues to try out. For a map and locations, check this link here for more details on Food trucks in the area.

Other Maui travel topics

Free things to do in Maui now

20 fun and cool things to do around Lahaina

Explore the best snorkeling spots around Maui

The best snorkeling spots around Maui

Conclusion of Maui on a budget

Conclusion of Maui on a budget

For Maui fun, you’ll love explore all fun activities and attractions around this easy trips to explore around the entire island. I hope this gives you some great ideas of things to do and see around the town and outlying areas to visit for cheap and on budget. If you can think of other suggestions or tips, please share them in the comment section below, thanks.

Disclosure – some of the links above are to affiliate sites that are either reviews or recommendations if you book helps to keep our site running. We appreciate your supporting our website meanwhile

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  2. Maui on a budget - This Hawaii Life - […] you want to travel to Maui on a real budget and save here then visit during the off season…

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.