Heading off to Maui? Here are some tips to save you money at this often expensive Hawaiian island.
Local rentals: At the top of the home page for the Maui News website, you'll see “Vac Rentals.” If you click on that, you'll see a list of live links for rental brokers and the condos they offer, starting at $95 per night. I strongly recommend getting a kitchen, which will save a lot in the long run. (And pick up the local papers while you’re there to look for money-saving coupons.) Details: www.mauinews.com.
Sign up for airline alerts and check your frequent-flier points. American Express has a partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, so you can easily transfer your points, but sign up in advance.
Maui Tickets For Less. A reader recommended this firm, which offers discounts on luaus, snorkeling trips, ATV tours, golfing, sightseeing, pretty much anything you want to do there. Peruse the offerings at www.mauiticketsforless.com.
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Save on groceries and more. Expect to be thunderstruck by the cost of groceries, but keep in mind how far they have to travel to get there. Do you belong to Costco? There’s on on Maui close to Kahului Airport. In addition to food, check out any discounts available for local restaurants and events. When I looked at the Maui page at www.costco.com/hawaii-tickets.html (type “Maui” in the search window) it includes golf for two for $149, a dinner sail for $69.99, a Maui Theatre $100 gift card for $69.99 and more.
If you don’t want the hassle of grocery shopping but you want food to appear magically in your room, consider the Maui Grocery Service. For $39, with a $5 off coupon for the first order, it will stock your room for you before you get there. You can choose from 5,000 items. Details: www.mauigroceryservice.com.
Bring your own snorkel gear. This is the time of year that Costco starts putting out its snorkel equipment, which might be worth bringing in your suitcase, or call the Maui store and see if you can buy it there. Then, you can easily snorkel without having to rent gear.
Parking in Maui can be costly. If you’re driving to an activity, make sure to ask the company ahead of time where you can park for free. And, if you can’t, maybe consider another option.