Why Does It Cost So Much On Maui (and How To Save)

Maui is a dream vacation for many, known for its stunning beaches and lush green valleys.

However, if you’ve never been to Maui, or Hawaii for that matter you might be curious to know: Why does it cost so much on Maui? 

Although Maui is beautiful, it’s important to be aware and prepare yourself for the cost implications of planning a trip there. 

What Contributes To Maui Being So Expensive?

Maui is renowned for its natural beauty. From its volcanic landscapes to its black sand beaches, every view is simply breathtaking. However, at what cost can you visit paradise on earth? 

Maui is notoriously expensive, and there are a few factors that contribute to Maui being an expensive vacation destination. 

Biggest Expenses of Planning a Trip to Maui


One of the biggest expenses of a trip to Maui is the flights. How much money you’ll have to budget for flights will depend on when you intend to travel to Maui. For instance, you can expect to pay a lot more money for flights during the peak season than you would during an off-peak month.

Maui’s off-peak months usually come after the holiday season, from mid-April through to the late summer and before Thanksgiving. 

Depending on where you are flying from, flights are usually around $350 to $900 for an economy class round trip to Hawaii from the East Coast or Midwest during an off-peak month. On the other hand, from major West Coast cities, round-trips in the off-peak season can cost between $160 and $500.


When it comes to planning a trip to Maui, another large expense is your lodging. That being said, it is worth noting that how expensive your lodging is will depend on where you stay on the island and the kind of lodging that you choose. 

Hotels and other types of lodging vary in terms of price, depending on the type of lodging you opt for. For instance, staying in a hotel in Maui is going to be more expensive than a condo. For a mid-range hotel, rooms can cost anywhere between $200 and $300 per night. On the other hand, for an apartment, condo, or small house, you could expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $200 per night, especially if you’re not bothered about staying away from the beach.


Another expense that you’ll have to take into consideration when visiting Maui is the price of food. Keep in mind that everything has to be shipped to Maui, adding a lot of cost to most food items. This applies to food that you get at the grocery store to ingredients that restaurants need to prepare food, if it is not locally grown. 

Although how much you spend will depend on where you eat and whether you cook for yourself and your family, the food on Maui is notably expensive.

On Maui, you can expect to spend a lot if you intend to eat out for every meal. For breakfast, you could spend anywhere between $10 and $15, anywhere from $15 to $30 for lunch, and considerably more for dinner, depending on the restaurants that you choose.

That being said, the meal prices can vary, as there are a wide variety of expensive and cheaper restaurants available in Maui.

Tips For Saving Money When Staying On Maui 

When you’re planning a trip on a budget, it is always important to have a few ideas on how you can cut costs so that you’re not anxious about money and can simply enjoy your vacation.

Check out the tips below on how you can save money:

Book Flights In Advance And Go During An Off-Peak Month

An important tip to remember when you’re planning a trip to Maui is to book the flights in advance. If you’ve done the budgeting, and already know when you can take the time off work to go to Maui, then book your flights as soon as you can afford to! The sooner you book, the better, as the flights become more expensive the longer you leave them.

Alongside this, making sure that you strategically plan your trip during the off-season is bound to save you hundreds of dollars on your flights, lodging, and food. Although you might have dreamed of spending the holidays with your family in a tropical paradise, your budget might not allow for it. That being said, a great money-saving tip is to book your trip in accordance with the off-peak season.

Stay In A Condo And Cook For Yourself 

Another great way to save money when traveling to Maui is to book a condo over a hotel, as you will have the opportunity and kitchen facilities to cook for yourself.

Eating every meal out when you’re on Maui can become expensive very quickly, especially if you have a large family and you’re on a long vacation. In fact, food can take up the majority of your budget if you’re not mindful about where and what you’re eating. That being said, being able to cook breakfast and lunch in the comfort of your own rental can provide your bank account with some relief, and you won’t have to spend an extravagant amount of money on every meal out. 

Alongside this, the more money you save cooking for yourself can be spent on special meals out with your family without worrying about how much each meal will cost. Instead of feeling limited and searching for the cheaper restaurants out of necessity, you’ll have more breathing room to eat where you want without feeling stressed if a particular restaurant is more expensive than you had hoped. This will allow you to relax and truly make the most out of your vacation!

Buy Food And Drinks At Costco

Buying your own food at Costco is a great tip to save money and goes hand in hand with staying in a condo with your own kitchen facilities. Although groceries can be expensive on Maui, they are significantly cheaper than eating every meal in a restaurant.

Having the freedom to make and pack your own breakfast and lunch is a cheaper way to enjoy Maui. Whether you’re out hiking or snorkeling for the day, you’ll feel much more prepared for the adventure knowing that you have your own food packed and don’t need to rely on restaurants and bars when you’re out and hungry.

Alongside this, everyone likes to let loose on their vacation, but buying cocktails and beers at bars on Maui is expensive. That being said, making sure that you buy a few alcoholic beverages in Costco and have them chilled in the refrigerator for when you’re home can help you resist the temptation in a restaurant and significantly cut the cost of your trip.

Rent A Car 

If you know that you’re going to be doing a lot of sightseeing and have planned lots of excursions when you’re on Maui, renting a car is a great way to cut back on transportation costs. 

The cost to rent a car will vary and can depend on where you are staying. However, you will likely save a lot of money by renting a car if your lodging is far away from the beach and requires transportation to and from excursions. 

However, if you’re staying in a hotel that provides its own transportation to such activities, you might find that renting a car is an unnecessary expense, so make sure that you consider the location of your lodging.

Eat Where The Locals Eat 

A great tip to save money when you’re eating out every night is to ask locals for their recommendations and eat where they eat. 

Not only will eating in tourist restaurants consume your vacation budget very quickly, but quite often the food isn’t as spectacular, either.

By eating where the locals eat, you are more likely to discover authentic, hidden gems and you will probably save a lot of money if you’re not falling into the tourist trap of visiting restaurants in tourist districts. However, local doesn’t always equal cheap, so make sure that you ask to see the menu before you eat in a restaurant to check if it is within your budget. 

Bring Your Own Snorkeling Gear 

Another money-saving tip when you’re traveling to Maui is to bring your own snorkeling gear.

In a beautiful location with a ton of tropical fish, it is likely that you’ll want to try some water activities in Maui. 

That being said, renting snorkeling gear can cost about $15 a day depending on the location, and for a large family, this cost can accumulate significantly that you will have wished you brought your own gear.

Planning a trip to Maui can be expensive. However, with the right planning and budgeting tips at your disposal, you can make the most out of your trip without worry!

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