Backpacking Maui on a Shoestring Budget

If you’re a budget backpacker, you might not think of Maui as the cheapest destination to visit. It’s a place that many people visit for a luxury vacation, so there are lots of high-end hotels and fancy restaurants all around the island. But if you know where to go and what to do, you can definitely enjoy Maui and all it has to offer on a backpacker budget. Don’t think it’s possible? Read on to find out how you can travel Maui for cheap.

Get Artsy

Maui on a budget
Along the streets of Laihaina, you’ll find many art galleries showcasing local artwork against a beautiful ocean backdrop in this old whaling area of town. Friday Art nights are a great way to mingle with other art lovers and check out the dozens of artists who open their galleries for you to explore (for free!) and enjoy some complimentary appetizers and wine.


You don’t have to spend tons of money on a whale-watching excursion in order to spot these beautiful and majestic creatures. In Maui, you can see them from the land for free, and avoid the massive crowds of tourists as well. One great place to spot whales from land is at McGregor Point, around mile 9 of Highway 30. There’s also a Whaler’s Museum in Laihaina with free admission where you can learn about the history of whaling in Hawaii.

Hula hula

You don’t have to be staying in an expensive luxury hotel in order to enjoy the luau environment in Maui. Several hotels offer hula music and a free hula show in the evenings that you can enjoy, no matter where you’re staying. Maui isn’t known for its hotels or family vacation rentals always being affordable, but you can definitely find accommodation on a budget if you really try, especially in the low season.

Browse the markets

A gnome to inspire you
This is one activity that’s technically very cheap to do, but watch out because you might not be able to resist buying some of the lovely souvenirs from the island. Every Saturday starting at 7 am is the Maui Swap Meet, a place where you can explore all sorts of local handcrafts and souvenirs, all for an entrance fee of just 50 cents! Don’t miss the chance to sample one of the delicious local taro breads here for breakfast.

Get spiritual

There are so many ancient stone temples in Maui to explore, for the spiritually inclined travelers. Heiau is the name for these stone temples and you can find them all throughout the island. Most are free to visit, and those that do charge an entrance fee are quite reasonable.

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