Maui - too expensive?

Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Maui - too expensive?

We are thinking about a honeymoon to Maui - however one of our friends made an offhand remark about Maui being the most expensive of the islands. We have found a condo there for about $300 per nite - what are your thoughts about that statement that Maui is the most expensive of the islands?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:13 AM
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On our recent trip to Maui, Big Island and Oahu we found that gas was most expensive on Maui.

But restaurants seemed to be about the same all over.

By staying in a condo, you afford yourself the ability to save some money by having breakfast in and buying things to make lunches [picnics etc] and even cook dinners a few times. That means your dining out bill will be lower.

There are lots of things to do that won't cost money during the day or at least directly. Depending on where you are staying, you can go to different beaches, hike, tour the island etc and it won't cost a fortune.

You can take a sunset catamaran cruise instead of an all day cruise which will save $$.

SO, it really boils down to how much you have to spend and sticking to that budget, if $$ is an issue.

If you were just asking about a $ to $ comparison, I think all of the islands are costly but this is a honeymoon...go for it!
Hope this helps...
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:32 AM
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I think that comment has no bearing on your choice of honeymoon sites. You can spend a fortune or be a budget traveler on each island. You need to make choices based on what you want to make your honeymoon experience special. I think Maui has a larger number of expensive accomodations to chose from than, say, Kauai, but what impact does that have on you?
Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Well, I do think that Maui is a relatively expensive island - which is not all that surprising really considering that it is a world class destination, drawing folks from all over the world.

Having said that, it is true that you CAN find a variety of price-points for accomodation and dining. Certainly your approach of going with a condo is much more cost effective than staying at a resort (though obviously you may not have all the amenities of a resort - on the other hand, you will typically have much more room).

To save even more money, you might even consider booking your condo though "by-owner" type websites such as VRBO.COM. Condo prices can vary a great deal, depending on the quality of the condo, it's location and the booking method. When we were there in May of last year, we found a place for under $100/night in South Kihei. It was only a ground-floor garden view unit, but it was fairly private, clean and with 2 bathrooms, in a complex with very nice grounds and a decent pool, close to a wide variety of restaurants and shopping, and across the road from a great beach. We stayed 10 days and had a great time. Of course for a honeymoon, you may well desire a bit more upscale place, but for us it was just fine.

It's also true that Maui can be a reasonably priced destination - depending on your activities and choice of dining locations. The fabulous beaches (and Maui has a LOT of them) are of course free. You can swim and snorkel to your hearts' content all day and not spend a dime - and while it is true that there are plenty of things to see on the island, and gas prices are pretty high nowadays, the fact is, Maui is a pretty modestly sized island and you will probably use a lot less gas than you might expect. If you do opt for the cost of a rental car there are lots of places you can drive to that will cost you very little (especially if you pack lunch).

In regards to dining, there are a lot of very nice (and expensive) restaurants - which are a fine choice for a special evening. Keep in mind though that there's also a good collection of reasonably priced (and even cheap) restaurants as well, especially in the Kihei area (not sure where you are considering staying). Along with those fancy/expensive places, there's always Denny's or even fast food places like Subway etc if all you want one evening is a quick, cheap and easy bite to eat. With a condo, there's also always the option of buying groceries and eating "at home". While groceries on the island are probably more than they are in your hometown, eating at home is still a reasonably cost effective approach. So with a good mixture of eating breakfast at "home", grabbing lunch at an expensive place, and an occasional dinner out at a nice restaurant, Maui CAN be a reasonable-priced destination. It all depends on what your expectations are and what kind of budget you have.

Hope this helps,


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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 08:32 AM
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We usually get a 2bdrm, 2 bt condo for ~$150, car for <$15/day, and use coupons to rent water gear. Picnics on self-guided island tours, grilling at the condo grill, shopping with your Safeway card or at Costco--maui can be pretty cheap if you just do a little research and planning.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
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As Ag mentions, it's not about which island you choose, it's what you do once you get there. You can travel budget-style or high-end, or in-between, on any of the islands.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 02:48 PM
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I stay in the $75.- to 120.- range when I go to Maui (mostly B&B's, some studio type rooms too), in Upcountry. So you don't have to spend $300.- a night as others have said.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 02:59 PM
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If you don't allow yourself to get sucked into the 'for-tourists-only' spiels the hotels spin for you, Maui can be a reasonable place to stay. Instead of being carted out to the volcano to snorkel for $$$ each, we were curious and stopped on the side of the road where we saw a good many cars parked and shimmied down a good size cliff to the most beautiful, secluded beach for FABULOUS snorkeling where the locals were swimming. Upon talking with another couple who did the snorkeling trip, we discovered we saw way more wildlife than they did and it didn't cost us a dime! There are a lot of things geared just for tourists and as long as you avoid them, any trip can cost a good deal less. We have also found if you'll ask the people who live there what fun things there are to do, you'll actually end up having a much better time than falling into the tourist trap.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Even our condo/hotel right in Lahaina was ~$200/night and was perfectly adequate in a great location imo. Shop at the Safeway, eat "plate lunch", you can have a ball without spending a bunch.

Just stay away from those helicopter rides, sunset booze cruises, etc.
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Old Nov 4th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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Hi there. We just returned from our honeymoon. We stayed in Napili Bay for $115 a night. We did have a kitchen and had yogurt most mornings. You can just be choosey. I would go to Kimos (fish on oceanfront) and Mala (means garden-everything is grown locally) for your nice dinners, both in Lahaina. We did spend a lot, but looking back, we could have cut a lot of corners. There is also an affordable place in Lahaina for lunch-- about 8-10 per person with an oceanfront view. You do snorkel right outside your hotel and you see amazing things, sea turtles, great fish, eels. We went scuba diving 2 times and I think the sharks and the depth were about the only differences. You can also go to see the sunrise at Haleakala -- free and maybe my favorite thing on the whole trip. We also went to watch surfers on the north shore and drove to Hana. All cheap or free. On the road to Hana there are guys selling Macadamia nut brownies for like $2 and fresh tropical flowers for next to nothing. Entrance to the Nat'l park is like $10. You can hike through a bamboo forest and hang out at the 7 pools and Oheo Gulch for hours. They are mesmerizing. Do not waste your money on a luau, we did ($210 plus grat). We are going to Costa Rica soon. It is a wonderful destination and much more affordable, much more rugged and crazy driving. However, the beaches on Maui are the stuff of dreams! Gorgeous! Whatever you decide, enjoy and congrats!
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Old Nov 5th, 2006, 09:54 PM
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Price can be an issue on Maui, but don't forget the beaches on Maui are fantastic so I wouldn't stay TOO far away. It's worth it to be near the beach this time.
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Old Jun 27th, 2008, 11:46 PM
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I agree with most previous posters. Try checking out (stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner) for condos or even craigslist. I have been researching for a family vacation (4 of us) and have seen many lovely places for around 125.They were just too small to accomodate all of us. I think Lahaina Shores has beach front condos. Anyway, I booked 7 nights through Priceline and got the Marriott in Wailea for 170 per night( website is 340). Probably could have gotten it for less...just impatient. Then got a rental car for $18 a day (we needed a bigger car than you will). This is our 5th time to Maui. Definatley, follow the advice of Anita G. and drive around and explore coves and roadsides with lots of cars. WE did that and ended up off some road toward the lava flows in Wailea and to the most lovely snorkeling cove. Have fun and enjoy your honeymoon!!
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 05:16 AM
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Note the original thread is from 2006--wonder if suec1 and spouse went to Maui.
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Old Jun 28th, 2008, 11:17 AM
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WOW!! Good thinking about reading the date of the thread!! They could be married with kids or divorced and looking for a great trip with their divorced friends!!DUH!!I really need to pay more attention!
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