We had a great time in Maui, while staying on a budget. We ate a lot of local food and spent a good amount of time driving around the island and visiting beaches. I made a list of Maui budget tips and eats, but many of the tips can also be applied anywhere. I think most people think Hawaii is very expensive, but it’s not if you know what to do and where to eat.
Maui Budget Tips and Eats
- If you arrive late, stay at an airport hotel such as Courtyard Maui Airport Hotel. As of this writing, the hotel is only a 5 minute free shuttle ride away and 20,000 Marriott Rewards points.
- Consider bringing or buying a cooler to store cool drinks and water. You will save money by buying drinks in supermarkets and using a cooler to store them.
- Rent a car with Priceline Name Your Price or Ultimate Rewards. Both these options are cheap and you can find rentals for about $30-$35 after tax.
- Get an Economy Car because a small car is easier to manuever when driving to the Road to Hana.
- Road to Hana is an amazing experience that is free to do. Bring food and water because the food along the way is overpriced and mediocre.
- Eat picnic lunches. Ahi Poke and spam musubis are my favorite and they sell them for cheap at Foodland supermarket. Use a cooler to keep it fresh. Foodland Poke is better tasting than many restaurant Poke.
- Eat at Food Trucks and Food stands for great local food. We ate at Geste Shrimp and Ono Tacos, they were priced very reasonably and tasted way better than fancy expensive touristy restaurants. The best meal was at Eskimo Candy, Mixed Ahi Bowl was awesome!
- Eat early during Happy Hour. We ate at Paradise Grill and it was 50% off ALL food items. FrugalTravelLawyer points at this site, where it lists out most of the happy hours in Hawaii.
- Buy souvenirs at Costco. It is much cheaper buying souvenirs in bulk at Costco than other places in Maui.
- Costco Gas is the cheapest on the island that I’ve found, about 30 to 40 cents cheaper per gallon.
- Hike in Lao National Park, which only costs $5 to enter and has breathtaking views.
Below are some of my photos in no particular order. If anybody has any other Maui Budget Tips and Eats, you can post below. We had a great trip eating lots of good food and avoiding most tourist traps. My travel style might not suit you, but hopefully I can give some ideas on planning a budget Hawaii trip.