Maui on a Budget

Maui on a Budget

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Maui on a Budget!

The “Valley Isle,” Maui has charming little towns, wonderful warm sandy beaches, great restaurants, artists communities and so much to do – an extended stay is certainly in order.    I’ve been to Maui several times and while there is certainly a lot to do, it is also a very relaxing place.  Maui on a budget is a great escape from the cold winter at home.

After a busy trip to Honolulu on my first trip in the early 80’s, I asked several retired volunteers where I worked what was their favorite island?  Maui won by a landslide. I made my reservations and stayed north of the busy resort area of Kaanapali in the Kahana neighborhood.  The condo was in a very nice smaller building, facing the water with a small beach and pool.  The cost was about half of what I would have paid at one of the big resorts.   I found a little market within walking distance and stocked up for the week.   The village had several nice restaurants and bars with poo-poos (happy hour food) where I went for dinner and to watch the sun set.   While there, I got great tips from the locals on favorite snorkeling spots and hidden places most tourists don’t go. 

The second visit took me to Kihei, south of Lahaina.   This is another small community and my studio apartment was $1,400 a month – just $46 a night!  Right across the street from the Kalepolepo Beach Park and walking distance to a grocery store, restaurants and a great outdoor market.   This is very close to Molokini island, a submerged volcano just a short boat ride from town that is world famous for scuba diving and snorkeling. 

Yes you can stay in a fabulous resort with amazing rooms that costs hundreds of dollars a day.  But if you would like to live on a budget in paradise for a month while it is snowing and frozen at home – contact a rental agent that specializes in monthly rentals.   You won’t get daily maid service or a concierge desk.  But you will have the opportunity to speak with someone who knows your unit, the area,  and what you can expect.  

Staying for a month gives you time to really know a place.   After a couple of days wandering my neighborhood, I usually rent a car for 3 days and branch out.   I often take the bus – a fun experience all in itself – where I get to leave the driving to someone else and enjoy the view.  It’s fun to strike up a conversation with another rider – often a local who knows the area really well.

A couple of things to recommend before we leave Maui.  Definitely go out to Hana to see the pools and enjoy the ride – this is a whole day trip.   Go to the top of the volcano at sunrise and then ride a bike down the hill to the bottom.  (Take some water!)  Take a whale watching trip. Drive around the north end of the island to the little towns on the loop road.  This is the ‘little seen’ part of Maui!  Take a boat ride out to Molokini – even if you don’t want to snorkel or scuba.  And make time to sit on the beach at sunset and watch the sun go down.    Ahhhh.  Maui!  Can’t wait to go back.

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Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!


Michael is a retired, single, world traveler who enjoys being outdoors, a good pint of beer or glass of wine, and museums.