Zip and Rappel Tours, Maui, HI
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How to Save Money on Maui

Maui’s beautiful sights are one well-known and often-discussed topic; another is the expense associated with traveling to Maui—one of the most remote places on Earth. If you’re on a budget, and want to save money on your Maui vacation, you’ve noticed that everything, from food and accommodations to fuel and excursions, costs a little more than it does on the mainland. If you have some time to plan and shop wisely, you can save money on Maui and make more of your vacation to Hawaii’s unique destinations.

Save Money on Maui Vacation with a Waterfall Rappel with Rappel Maui

Take the Road Less Traveled

Vendors off the beaten path are often able to offer better retail prices on items like groceries, clothing, souvenirs, swimwear, snorkel gear and more. Look for activity desks and sales agencies that are off the main drag. Google and TripAdvisor forums make this easier than ever.

Try Hotel-affiliated Activities—Even if You’re Not a Guest There

If you’re out of ideas, or if you’ve hit a streak of bad luck with the weather, resorts are a great place to get the ideas flowing. You likely won’t find deals at places like spas there, but you might find something fun to do at one of the activity desks.

You don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to use the activity concierge or sales desk, and some desks can be more price-competitive than others. Larger resorts also offer indoor and outdoor classes, from flower arranging and hula, to fitness and surfing. Some hotels also sell day passes to exclusive pool use. Some hotels and resorts will offer you discounts if you attend a presentation.

Meet Two or More Goals with One Activity

Some activities are combinations by design, but there are many more that let you double up on the action by coincidence. There are hike/kayak combo tours, cruise/snorkel tours, helicopter/hike tours, and more.

There are also tours that let you see sights as a bonus to taking the tour, as opposed to being the main attraction. For example, when you take a Rappel Maui tour, you drive down half of the famous Road to Hana with views of all of its scenic jewels before you even get to the main activity.

Exclusive, Online-Only Deals

Some of the more established or web-savvy tour operators will run specials on their activities that you wouldn’t know about unless you subscribed to their newsletter, or filled out a form at their web site. Take your time looking through an operator’s web site, and call or email to ask about accommodating your budget.

You may also be able to buy coupon deals at third party sites, such as Yelp, Groupon and others. A reputable operator will let you easily and reliably unsubscribe from their sales communications.

Visiting During Certain Times of Year, and Booking Activities During Certain Times of Week or Day

Do you have flexibility when you travel? Look into visiting Hawaii during slower periods, when the demand for activities is less intense will save you money. Not only do you stand a chance of scoring a discount, but tour groups are usually less crowded during low season.

The best times of the year to save money on Maui are usually in October, November, January and early February.  Certain days of the week can also be less busy than others. At Rappel Maui, lower volume days are usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Find out which days cruise ships dock at an island’s harbor—these are usually higher volume days on an island in general.

Discounts for Volume

Are you able to round up a group of several participants? You might be able to get a volume discount if you book a group of greater than 5.

Look for Hidden (Muddy) Gems

It sounds strange, but consider activities that you didn’t know you wanted to try—like walking down a waterfall while suspended by a rope. Because there are so many outdoor activities in Hawaii, there are probably some activities that you might not have known were activities.

Look for places and activities that are new or off the beaten path—literally. For example, you won’t find any big mainland-style water parks in Hawaii, but you will find natural caves and lava tubes to explore. If vacations are good for something, it should be for getting wet, muddy, and suntanned.

Last-minute Deals and Discounts

While you might be taking a chance with sold-out tours and limited availability, some operators will offer you a discount at the last minute, or for a less popular tour time. If there is a tour time that’s discounted, ask if the time of day makes a difference in the quality of the experience. Just keep in mind that most tours have a 48-hour cancellation policy. Check policies carefully when booking any tour.

If All Else Fails, Try Asking

If you call a tour company and ask if there is a discounted rate on any tour, what’s the worst that can happen?