Best Time To Go For A Discount Maui Vacation
When you travel to Maui is a huge factor in determining just how much money you can save!
High season runs from the middle of December until the middle of April. So, if saving money is a big priority for you, do your best to NOT travel to “The Valley Isle” during this time – you’ll pay a premium to vacation at this time.
The absolute cheapest times to travel to Maui are from mid-April until the end of June or from September to mid-December. The next best time is during the summer in July and August – this tends to be a bit more expensive than spring and fall due to the higher numbers of people taking their family vacation when their kids are out of school, but still tends to be less expensive than high season over the winter.
Your Guide To Seeing Maui On A Budget
Often, budget travelers have to make compromises in their itineraries and dream destinations because they’ll hear the name of a place and naturally assume that it is out of their price range.
A true traveler, however, knows that such places do not exist. Maui, Hawaii, is just one of the many so-called paradise destinations tailor-made for travel of any budget.
The following daily budgets do not include airfare:
Maui Shoestring Daily Budget: $20-$40
- (Couchsurfing/camping, public transportation, cooking own food, D.I.Y. tours
Maui Moderate Daily Budget: $60-$85
Maui Higher End Daily Budget: $100-$200
Wailea Where To Stay In Maui In An Upscale Resort Town
Kihei may not be a resort town, but you dont have to travel all the way to the west coast to find a coastal resort town. Positioned directly at the southernmost tip of the island, Wailea is another community that was built from the ground up as a resort community.
That means that theres little in the way of affordable lodgings and food but plenty of opulence for those looking to spend a little bit.
Deals can be found if youre willing to hunt around for specials on private condominiums and homes using services like Airbnb.
Wailea Beach earned the title of Americas best beach years ago, but its not the only beach within the community. Ulua Beach is a popular sight for people watching, and its filled with people on their morning jogs most days.
Polo Beach provides phenomenal snorkeling opportunities, while Makena Beach is the place that locals go to see sea turtles swimming in the bay.
As far as golfing goes, Wailea can comfortably hold its own with any of the communities on Mauis west coast.
If you choose this place to stay in Maui, youll have access to a full 54 holes designed to meet the needs of world class champions.
There are a decent amount of opportunities for day trips around Wailea proper as well. Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve has some great snorkeling, but it really sets itself apart from everything else thanks to the live lava fields within the park grounds.
The 6 Best Areas To Stay In Maui
Maui is an easy island to navigate. It is broken up into 6 main areas which we will highlight and let you know where we think are the best places to stay.
Regardless of which neighborhood you choose to stay in Maui, there is no shortage of amazing views. Although not a big island, Maui is best explored when you rent a car. It allows you to cover more of the island and gives you the freedom to enjoy the Maui culture.
Kaanapali Where To Stay In Maui For Families
If youre looking to stay in Maui, Kaanapali offers a luxurious range of opportunities, but youll have a hard time finding many budget options for places to stay, eat, or shop.
Unlike nearby Lahaina, this settlement was built as a resort. That means that everything from the condos to the beaches themselves are catered to the needs of visitors. It also means that theres a premium associated with staying here.
That said, Kaanapalis beaches are among the most beautiful and pristine in the islands. In fact, Kaanapali was the very first planned resort on the Hawaiian Islands, and you can see its DNA functioning in newer resorts both in Hawaii and far abroad.
That planning also means that youll never have to deal with traffic and always have access to beach side property. For many, the logical conclusion is to stay overnight at Kaanapali and then venture out to the nearby town of Lahaina during the day.
Its a sensible choice if it fits within your budget. A beach walk extends approximately two miles around the shore of Kaanapali, and its a stretch that largely provides access to anything youd want within the community.
The major shopping district of Whalers Village mall may be a little sanitized, but it offers a convenient way to get all of the fundamentals in a single place.
In terms of natural landmarks, few in Maui have as much potent mythology surrounding them as Puu Kekaa, known in English as the Black Rock.
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Central Maui And The Kahului
Central Maui is essentially the islands central business district. It is home to numerous businesses and administrative headquarters.
It is also where you will find Kahului Airport which offers the main port of access to and from the island.
Despite being such a business-oriented area, Central Maui has a lot of fun attractions for you as a tourist.
The most popular of these is the Iao Valley State Park.
The National Park is not only a breathtakingly beautiful natural attraction but also a place of great historical and cultural significance to the island.
It, therefore, promises to not just be fun but also be a really enlightening experience.
Kahului and the rest of Central Maui are also home to numerous restaurants and shops for you to explore while on your trip.
Makawao Impressive Landscapes And Hawaiian Cowboys
The Upcountry village of Makawao was once known for its vast and expansive plantations like much of the surrounding area is and while the region is undoubtedly home to some impressive landscapes, Makawao has really managed to carve out a unique name for itself thanks to its thriving art community.
Makawao isnt exactly a home of high art or experimental art, but it is home to a diverse community of hardworking artists and craftspeople, many of whom are following in traditions passed down generations.
The Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center regularly hosts exhibits spotlighting local artists and looking at the towns history.
A big part of that history is the paniolo. These Hawaiian cowboys are legendary in the Upcountry, and its something youll see all around you when you decide to visit the town of Makawao.
But if youre on Maui in July, youd be remiss to not catch the annual Independence Day celebrations. The annual Makawao rodeo is the main event on July 4, and its been an ongoing tradition for over a half century.
The charm of the town is easy to pick up on with a glance, even if most people treat Makawao as little more than a rest stop on longer routes. Makawao Forest Reserve does offer a peaceful respite in a forest that feels atypical for the islands.
Unfortunately, its a charm that it takes a while to really appreciate, but you can definitely find some long term places to stay if youre willing to look.
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Our Favorite Vacation Rentals On South Maui
Its hard to pick our favorite vacation rentals on South Maui, but as a rule, remember that vacation rentals in Kihei are going to be significantly cheaper than rentals in Wailea.
- Hoolei: This is a luxury vacation rental resort owned by the Grand Wailea. Here youll find villas with multiple bedrooms and stunning ocean views. While its owned by the Grand Wailea Hotel you dont get access to the hotel amenities. But you may not even notice because the amenities at Hoolei are top of the line. Book a villa at Hoolei here.
- Ekahi Village: This family-friendly resort features spread-out low-rise condo buildings. While its not on the beach, the condos are walking distance to the beach and to restaurants. Technically, these rentals are in Kihei, though they are so far south that theyre on the border with Wailea. So you get Kihei prices with close access to Wailea amenities. Book a condo at Ekahi Village here.
- Kihei Kai Nani: Across from Kamaole Beach Park II , these vacation rentals have everything you need. While they are all individually owned, the reviews are stellar. These one-bedroom condos have everything you need. The location is perfect, within walking distance to a beautiful beach and plenty of restaurants, this spot delivers exceptional value for the price. Book a stay at the Kihei Kai Nani.
Where To Stay In Maui
First upMaui is a pretty big island and while theres two major areas where visitors stay, the island is divided into four main regions:
West Maui: Majestic and rugged, West Mauis mountains yield to beautiful white-sand beaches where youll find Mauis oldest resort areas. Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kapalua, and Napili are all in the same general area, but all have very different vibes. The west side is the most developed part of Maui and its a big draw for visitors.
South Maui: Mauis other major resort area is on the south side where the beaches tend to be flatter and wider than on the west side and the weather tends to be a bit hotter and drier. This is where the resort areas of Maalaea, Kihei, Wailea, and Makena are located.
One of the biggest questions I get asked about where to stay on Maui is whether to stay on the west side or the south side and its a pretty nuanced answer so you can read a full post about that question here.
East Maui/Hana: The most remote side of the island, East Maui is mostly referred to as Hana, as in the destination at the end of the Road to Hana. While this is arguably the most beautiful part of Maui, not many people stay here. This could be because its super remote . As you might expect, there arent many places to stay around Hana. There also isnt much to do. You know, apart from hiking to hidden waterfalls and what not. Read more about Hana here.
Now, heres the info you really want
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Go Souvenir Shopping In Kihei
Want to find affordable souvenirs to bring back home? At Khei Kalama Village you can browse through boutique shops and outdoor souvenir stands to get the best price on gifts for loved ones at home .
We found some really cute shirts and bags for around $10-$20 in many different styles and colors. The store owners were very welcoming and if they didnt have the style of items that we were looking for, they gave us recommendations on where we could find them.
Cost: $10-$30 for most items. A free visitor parking lot is located across the street on S Kihei Rd.
The Best Places To Stay For
These are the places we recommend to stay for families, beach bums, luxury seekers, backpackers, surfers, and active adventurers:
Both Wailea and Kaanapali will make luxury seekers very happy.
If you like this guide and are also visiting other islands we recommend the following accommodation overview:
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Where To Stay In Maui In : The Best Condos Hotels & Vacation Rentals By Area
Where will you base for your Maui adventure? Its hard to go wrong! While its true that every area has trade-offs, you can still enjoy lush, tropical adventures and turquoise seas within easy striking difference from just about anywhere on island. Here are my best suggestions for where to stay in Maui:
There are five main areas to choose from when deciding on the best part of Maui to stay in: South Maui, West Maui Along the Road to Hana , Central Maui or Upcountry. Where you stay will depend upon your Maui itinerary.
Quick Answer: If youre in a hurry, here are my top recommendations below so you can check prices and availability now.
* For a detailed description of each area on Mauiand more options for hotels, condos and other vacation rentalskeep scrolling.
Buy Alcohol At The Local Market
We always head to the local market on our first day of arrival to Maui. We like to buy any snacks we didnt bring with us and, most importantly, buy a few six packs to have on hand at our hotel or apartment. We often travel with this insulated tote bag that doubles as an ice chest for the beach or other outdoor activities.
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Sheraton Maui Resort And Spa
Are you looking for a hotel on Kaanapali Beach that wont deplete your entire vacation budget? Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is the resort youve been searching for. This resort is located right on the beach and boasts outstanding amenities and accommodations. Guests are situated near top attractions, aside from the beach, including the Whalers Village Museum and Kaanapali Golf Course Resort South.
Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa offers guests a vast selection of luxury amenities all while staying within your budget. Youll have the ability to take advantage of amenities including:
- 5 restaurants, 2 poolside bars, hot/cold breakfast , a coffee shop/café, and room service
- Outdoor pool, a children’s pool, and a lazy river
- Health club and spa amenities such as massages and facials
- Wireless and wired Internet access
- Area shuttle
- Rooftop terrace
- Gift shopa
After learning about Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, you wont want to stay anywhere else in Maui.
Best Airbnb In Wailuku: Renovated Plantation Home
Yeah, so its not exactly cheap but it is cheap for Maui plus youre getting a lot of bang for your buck! A small cottage housing up to three peeps, it still holds on to its historic fel but the amenities have been updated theres even A/C! The owners also run a business right next door so anything you need help with theyre right there.
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Have A Donut At Komoda Store And Bakery
Komoda Store and Bakery is a local store in the small town of Makawao that is famous for cream puffs, donuts on a stick, and other freshly baked goodies. Walking by on the street you might not think much of this shop if it wasnt for the line that usually wraps around the corner.
Komoda Store and Bakery has been making yummy sweets since 1916. We stopped by here during our bike ride down the Haleakal Volcano to load up on carbs and some delicious sugar energy.
Cost: Around $1.00-$1.75 per item
Location: 3674 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768
Stop By The Rainbow Trees
The Rainbow Trees in East Maui is a stunning stop that doesnt cost a penny. These trees are located along the Hana Highway so visitors can stop and explore them freely without paying any entrance fees.
These Rainbow Trees grow in a cluster next to the Hana Highway just past mile marker 6.5. There is one large grove here with around 20 Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees, but there are more trees further up along the highway.
The Maui Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees are made of many different colors due to peeling tree bark. The green layers are the newest ones while the maroon, orange, and red are the oldest layers.
Location:Rainbow Trees, Haiku, HI 96708
Maui is an expensive destination, but by visiting these free and cheap locations, you wont be coming back from your vacation stressed out about bills and budget.
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Plan Your Maui Vacation With These Resources
Travel Planning Resources
Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.
Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner
Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.
Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:
- World Nomads – Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
- Allianz – Occasional Travelers.
- Medjet – Global air medical transport and travel security.
Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.