Maui on a budget – the best tips to explore on the cheap

Maui is the second biggest island of Hawaii, and a true natural beauty! Just becauseit is a popular travel destination and full of fancy resorts doesn’t mean it has to be expensive though. There are plenty of affordable ways to experience Maui! For travelers thinking about a trip to this little tropical island, here are our tips to ensure you fully experience paradise for your holiday savings.


This might not sound like the holiday of your dreams if it involves work, but trust me, a very fun way to afford spending time on Maui is at a workaway. We worked 20hrs a week and lived in a beautiful private yurt for a month, could eat fresh and organic vegetables and fruit from our own garden and even had a car available to go on roadtrips and grocery-shopping. Gerry and Janet (and their friends and family) Kupa’a farm welcomed us onto their property. We worked on the fields with organic vegetables, planted seeds, harvested crops and picked coffee (that was then roasted and sold, some of the best we have evertasted!).

Relax at the beach

A day at the beach is an important part of any Maui visit. Escape the resorts and head for a local hideout to save some serious money. Baldwin Beach was a personal favorite for boogy boarding and an ocasional jog, Makena State Park is famous for sunsets. Pack a towel, a picnic, and some good sunscreen and kick back beneath the shade of a palm tree for a day of cheap fun.

Visit a lavender farm

Ali’i Kula farm not only has beautiful purple fields of flowers to remind you of the French Provence, they offer all kinds of lavender producst. The giftshop filled with tea, scones and soap is expensive but fun. Entrance fee is $5 but the views from up there, the smell and the informative tour are definitely worth it.

Take advantage of free entertainment

Luaus are probably fun and beautiful, but the costs add up (most cost upwards of $100). For budget-friendly alternatives on Maui, check out the hula shows and ukulele lessons at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. Whalers Village in Ka’anapali has free events on their stage, including lei-making classes, hula classes, and arts and crafts sessions, with live music on weekend nights. Enjoy free music shows on the Baldwin House lawn along Lahaina’s famous Front Street or check out Kaanapali Beach’s bar district for stage performances.

Go snorkeling

Any time you stick your head under water for more than 10 minutes you will probably spot a sea-turtle! Bring your own gear and spend some blissful moments breathing underwater in the company of these fantastic animals and much more aquatic life like colorful fish and coral.

Spend a rainy day in a museum

If it rains, escaping into a museum is an affordable and informative alternative activity, like anywhere else in the world. At the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, you can broaden your knowledge of humpback whales for free, the Whalers Village Museum is only $3, Bailey House Museum offers history for $7 and the Lahaina Heritage Museum asks for a donation.

Go for a hike

Hitting the trails is a great way to see the island in all it’s lush glory. For a short but beautiful walk with views of the valley where parts of Jurrasic Park was filmed, check out the Waihee Ridge Trail. Feel like a sweat and it’s wailing season, choose Lahaina Pali Trail. If you are interested in seeing a bamboo forest and waterfall, hike up Pipiwai Trail. When you feel more like a casual stroll, head out to the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. Or if you are feeling brave, hike through the volcano crater of Haleakala at night to catch the sunrise, one of the most memorable hikes we’ve ever done.

One thought on “Maui on a budget – the best tips to explore on the cheap

  1. Last year I took my family to Maui for ten days – with the five of us flights and our condo were over $10,000…and that didn’t include food or entertainment! We really enjoyed the Road to Hańa though!
    Sending you some love from GLT <3

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