Your vacation dates are set, and you’ve got Maui on your mind. But before you find yourself swimming with sea turtles and devouring shave ice, you need to know how much a trip to Maui will cost you.
We break down the typical costs you can expect when visiting the island, along with insider tips on how to slash your budget — without sacrificing the joy of your vacation.
Featured image by Tyler Raye on Unsplash
Table of Contents
- Is vacationing in Maui expensive?
- What is the cost of a trip to Maui?
- Breakdown of how much money you need to go to Maui for a week
- Our sample 2022 Maui vacation budget
- Can I travel to Maui if I’m on a tight budget?
Is vacationing in Maui expensive?
Based on our calculations, a trip to Maui for two people can easily cost $500 per person, per day. So yes, Maui deserves its reputation as an expensive vacation destination.
According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, Hawaii ranks as the most expensive state to live in the U.S. For travelers, high costs in Hawaii translate to higher food, lodging, and guided tour costs.
When compared to other warm weather destinations frequented by U.S. travelers, Maui ranks among the highest — an average Maui vacation can cost five times more than a trip to Mexico.
Let’s compare the cost of other beach vacation spots:
According to the website Champion Traveler, a one-week trip to Mexico for two people averages $1,571, or approximately $112 per person, per day.
When visiting the Caribbean, Fodors estimates that a family of four will spend less than $2,000 for nearly a week (five nights). That calculates to $100 per person per day.
And according to Budget Your Trip, one week for two in the luxurious Maldives has an average price tag of $3,351, or $239 per person, per day.
What is the cost of a trip to Maui?
An average one-week trip to Maui costs around $7,000 to $10,000. For a luxury stay, expect to spend $18,000+ for top accommodations. If you’re on a tight budget, an economy trip costs around $3,500.
How much you actually end up spending on a Maui trip has a lot to do with where you stay. Most of your Maui vacation budget, at least 40% according to our calculations, gets eaten up by lodging expenses.
According to Hawaii’s tourism department, the average 2021 hotel daily rate in Maui County was $500. That’s an average of $3,500 alone for a one-week hotel stay — not including taxes (17.42%), parking or valet ($30 to $65 daily, depending on the hotel), tips for service staff, and applicable resort or check-in fees.
One way to cut lodging costs by thousands of dollars is to rent a condo for the week. The lowest cost Airbnb condos we found rented for as low as $135 per day, plus taxes and fees.
Transportation, such as airfare and rental car costs, make up the next largest vacation cost at about 30% to 40% of the travel budget.
Food, drink, and entertainment make up the final portion.
Breakdown of how much money you need to go to Maui for a week
We researched the typically cost of a trip to Maui, from a budget friendly getaway to a luxury vacation.
How much is airfare to Maui?
An economy round trip flight to Maui from the U.S. generally costs between $400 and $800 per person depending on your departure city, the time of year, and how far in advance you book your flight.
If you’re looking to splurge, business class or first class airfare to Maui can set you back between $1,200 to $3,000.
Flights differences based on the time of the year
We researched actual flight data from Los Angeles and New York during two different travel seasons in 2022:
- June 5 to June 12. This is when kids are on summer break and tourism on the island starts picking up.
- November 20 to November 27. While the fall months tend to see a slowdown overall, Maui sees an uptick in visitors during Thanksgiving week, one of the busiest travel seasons in the U.S.
We found the following Maui flight pricing as of January 2022:
Flight Costs to Maui’s OGG Airport
|Economy flight||Jun 5 to Jun 12, 2022||Nov 20 to Nov 27, 2022|
|from Los Angeles (LAX)||$395||$908|
|From New York (JFK)||$807||$940|
|Business class flight|
|from Los Angeles (LAX)||$1,279||$1,598|
|From New York (JFK)||$1,668||$2,910|
When comparing different travel dates, economy airfare from the West Coast ranged from $395 to $908. East Coast flights for the same dates yielded a smaller range — $807 to $940.
Flying business class from Los Angeles cost $1,279 in June versus $1,598 during the holiday season. Business class flights from New York cost $1,668 and $2,910.
How to compare typical flight costs from your location
To find out what flights from your local airport typically cost, search Google Flights with your vacation dates (or around the time you think you want to travel, if you don’t have a set date yet). One the results page, click Price Graph and scroll across different dates to compare flight prices.
You can also track prices for specific dates using Google’s free pricing tracker. Simply create a flight search. On the results page, click Track Prices. A small pop-up will appear. Click the ‘view’ link. Google provides a graph showing price fluctuations during previous months.
What does a hotel cost in Maui?
Expect to pay an average of $500 per night when booking a hotel in Maui County, according to a report published by Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. For a higher end luxury resort, prepare to spend nearly 80% more. Luxury rooms average around $880 per night.
Don’t forget to account for these common hotel or resort fees when comparing places to stay:
- Maui County general tax 4%
- State and county transit tax 10.25% + 3%
- Resort fee varies property
- Parking or valet fee varies by property
*Source for room rates: Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. We calculated the average based on 2021 figures for Q1 to Q3. (Figures for Q4 not yet released as of this article’s publication date.)
A vacation rental could help you cut costs
Because condo rentals tend to be independently owned, pricing can vary dramatically even within the same complex. Unlike a hotel, where every room has a standard design and service level, every condo unit is unique. Each condo maintains its own level of cleanliness standards, interior design, and level of service. For example, you generally won’t receive daily housekeeping service with a vacation rental.
When comparing the cost of a condo rental versus a hotel stay, consider these common fees that renters often pay:
- Booking or service fee
- Cleaning fee
- Occupancy taxes
On Maui, we found the least expensive 1-bedroom condo rental on AirBnb’s website advertising a nightly rate of $135. But when taking into account additional fees, that figure increased to $215.43 per night.
Here’s a sample breakdown of what one Airbnb condo rental costs for a week’s vacation in Maui. We calculate both the nightly rate and total pricing for the week:
|Nightly rate||Total for one week|
|Nightly room rate for 7 nights||$135||$945|
By finding a deal on a condo rental, you could cut your lodging costs by more than half, compared to the average $500 Maui hotel room.
How much are rental cars in Maui?
Many visitors prefer to rent a car for at least part of their stay on the island. But like Maui hotel rooms, renting a car isn’t cheap.
In 2021, Auto Rental News reported that Maui ranked first as the most expensive place to rent a car. It cost an average of $972 to rent a car for a week, or approximately $139 per day.
Similar to flight and hotel costs, rental car prices fluctuate based on demand and availability. High demand for cars with low availability caused prices to skyrocket in 2021. But despite Maui’s ranking, we found 2022 rental car rates for less than the reported 2021 average.
We found Maui midsize car rentals for around $740 per week in 2022. We also priced a Mustang convertible at just under $900 for the week.
We priced out different vehicles for June and November using Kayak.com’s search tool.
Based on our search dates, a midsize Toyota Corolla costs the same whether you book in June or November. The major price difference we encountered? In the luxury category, where a Mercedes rental cost more than twice as much in June as in November.
|Vehicle Type||Jun 5 to Jun 12, 2022||Nov 20 to Nov 27, 2022|
|Ford Mustang Convertible||$870||$830|
|Mercedes Benz C-Class||$2,378||$1,081|
We recommend booking well in advance if you know you need a car, but keep the booking cancellation policy in mind if you do. Rental car companies may offer a lower rate if you prepay when you book. However, you’re subject to a cancellation fee if you cancel your reservation.
How much should I budget for food in Maui?
Plan to budget around $75 per person each day for food on your Maui vacation. Your preferences here can swing costs dramatically based on your lifestyle — one dinner at Spago Four Seasons can easily run $250 per person, for example. But $25 per meal is a comfortable budget to explore local fare without needing to take out a second mortgage for your trip — or pinch every penny.
If you’re on a tight budget, renting a condo with a kitchen and buying groceries can cut expenses dramatically. You can also try the local food trucks for local dishes, such as loco moco or spam musubi, while keeping food costs manageable.
Is it expensive to take a tour in Maui?
Maui tours range from $49 for a farm tour to $500+ for a helicopter tour. While tours aren’t necessary for most Maui activities, having a local guide can add color and dimension to your trip. You can gain a local’s perspective on the island’s culture and history, find out about the best places to see and visit, and learn other insider tips about Maui. By choosing a tour for an active adventure, such as snorkeling or scuba diving, you also benefit from having a professional on hand if safety concerns crop up.
We researched prices for some of the most popular tours on the island.
|Tour||Adult Price||Child Price|
|Snorkel tour, 3 hours||$230||$183|
|Whale watching, 2 hours||$135||$102|
|Sunset cruise, 2 hours||$180||$135|
|Pineapple farm tour, 1.5 hours||$75||$55|
|Goat farm tour, 2.5 hours||$49||$39|
|Luau and feast||$183||$93|
|Sport fishing charter, 4 hours||$229||$229|
|Hana helicopter tour, 1.5 hours||$509||$509|
Our sample 2022 Maui vacation budget
Here’s what one average Maui budget looks like for one week in 2022.
|Flight||$1,200 round trip|
|Car ride to the airport and back home||$150|
|Rental car and fuel||$800|
|Condo rental / $350 per night||$2,450|
|Condo taxes, fees, tips||$700|
|Food, drink, and snacks||$1,100|
|Entertainment: Sunset cruise, Haleakala State Park admission, pineapple tour, snorkel gear rental||$1,000|
|Total cost for two people||$7,400|
Can I travel to Maui on a budget?
Yes, you can travel to Maui on a tight budget for around $3,500 for two people. By making mindful decisions and tweaks to your itinerary, you can go from a $7,000 vacation to spending around half of that amount.
Flight – Book an economy class during a slower time period to cut transportation costs. We budget $800 for two people on a round trip flight from the West Coast.
Also, instead of paying for a car to drive you to the airport and pick you up, ask a friend or family member to drive you. You won’t need to pay airport parking fees or rideshare costs.
Rental car – Instead of booking a car for the entire trip, rent an economy car for just a few days. Use the non-car days to explore on foot or lay out on the beach. We budgeted $450 for a four day car rental and $75 for gas.
Lodging – Stay at a vacation condo with a kitchen instead of a resort. We priced out a one-bedroom Kihei condo for $1,536. This price includes taxes and cleaning fees. The community doesn’t have parking or resort fees. Since there’s no daily housekeeping or valet staff, you also save by not paying tips.
Food and drink – With a full kitchen at the condo, you could spend a few hundred dollars on groceries for the week. We budgeted $300 for two people. That may seem like a lot, but grocery prices in Maui are typically higher than the continental U.S.
We also set aside an extra $100 for a few takeout meals, or treats like malasadas and shave ice. Stick to eating out for breakfast or lunch to maximize your food budget.
Entertainment – Skip the guided tours and explore the island on your own. If you’re an experienced snorkeler, rent gear and snorkel from the shore. Take hikes. Load a GPS guide (such as the Shaka or GyPSy app) onto your phone for a do-it-yourself driving tour.
For our budget, we set aside $30 for park entry to Haleakala and $100 to rent snorkeling gear for the week.
Total budget-friendly Maui trip: $3,511