Maui: Make Your Dollar Go Further

Say aloha to Maui, and mahalo for all your pre-planning! You’re about to learn how to stretch every dollar on your Hawaiian family vacation.

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Airfare to Hawaii is always a little expensive – in fact, airfare is rarely cheap to anywhere – but spending island time with your ohana (that’s family in Hawaiian if you’re not familiar) doesn’t have to break your vacation budget. Give yourself a pat on the back and say mahalo for all your planning ahead because you’re about to learn how to make every dollar go further in Maui with this helpful guide.

An up-close view of red tropical flowers at Maui Tropical Plantation on an overcast morning.

Sample Some Sweet Fruit

To really savor the tropical flavors and beauty of Hawaiian culture, start your vacation off with a trip to Maui Tropical Plantation. There, you can hop on a fun tram car and tour a real tropical fruit farm nestled among the greater West Maui Mountains. Bet your kids don’t know much about how tropical fruits like coconuts, pineapples, and mangoes grow – but they’re about to find out! On the same property is Bailey House Museum, which is free for children under 7. There, you can see all kinds of cool artifacts from before settlers even arrived on the island.

Smell the Flowers

You probably can’t help but admire those sweet-smelling flowers strung together to make all those leis – but what kind of flowers are they? Spend some vacation time to learn all about the native Polynesian and Hawaiian plants at Maui Nui Botanical Garden, maybe one of the most peaceful spots to relax in the beauty of Maui. Free events are often scheduled throughout the year, so log on to the website to see what’s planned when you’re there.

A kite surfer is spotted in the water at Kanaha Beach Park on a partly-cloudy afternoon.

Bask in the Sun, Brah

Of course, no trip to Maui/Kahului is complete without lots of time on the pristine, white-sand beaches. Come on, it’s Hawaii! Just remember that many of the beaches have very beautiful but also very strong waves, so be careful when letting little ones near the surf. If you head to Kanaha Beach Park, you can enjoy plenty of free entertainment just watching windsurfers jump and glide over the waves.

Hungry Yet? Try Hawaiian Treats

Picky eaters may face a few challenges if you just randomly pick spots to eat. The locals tend to eat some very interesting dishes. Luckily, there are also lots of family-friendly spots that are inexpensive and have comfort foods galore. Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes offers yum-yum breakfasts like Bananas Foster pancakes, while Acevedo’s Hawaicano Cafe has cool lunch items that mash up Hawaiian and Mexican flavors. Da Kitchen is a favorite dinner spot with local dishes and tasty classics like fried noodles.

A young boy bodyboards on the beaches of Hawaii on a cloudy morning, enjoying his summer vacation.

Playtime to Cool Down

To make sure you and your little ones don’t get too much sun, plan some play time indoors. The Keiki Playhouse is an interactive playroom where kids can pretend to be pirates, veterinarians, and little drivers. Older kids may prefer the Fun Factory in the Maui Mall, with arcade games that can score them some fun prizes. (And the adults can score some air conditioning.)

Super-stoked for your family vacation to Maui? Check out our other Maui guides for even more trip-planning inspiration.

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