Planning to take your family to Maui? How the 4 of us traveled to Maui for less than $3,000. I am sharing some of the pictures we captured on our trip and a summary with links of videos for each day spent. Lastly, I will share my record of the total cost of the whole trip at the end of the post so you have an idea of the total cost.
When we went to Hawaii for the first time in 2015, it was very costly. The whole trip cost us about $4,000 total for 5 days in Oahu. This is for a family of 4 and we didn’t eat out at any extravagant restaurants either.
Our 2016 Maui, Hawaii Trip Tips
So… how did the four of us traveled to Maui for less than $3,000? During our second trip to Hawaii we wanted to find ways to save some money. We did some research and came up with the best deal for us. As a result, our family was able to save almost $2,000 by doing one simple thing.
My husband and I, opened up credit cards that gave us hotel and travel cash value to help us fund our trip. We stayed at a hotel that offered free breakfast which we took advantage of. Instead of a luggage, we each brought a carry-on which was free on the plane. Be careful to check on current carry-on rules as it has changed. Most budget flights now only allow one personal item.
You can view our trip below
We woke at the break of dawn to drive from Sacramento to Oakland Airport to catch our early flight. We parked our car at the airport for the duration of our trip and while there, had breakfast at Silver Dragon and Starbucks.
The flight was about 5+ hours so be sure to pack your iPad, iPhone or laptop for entertainment. We recommend Hawaiian Airlines because they offer two free drinks and a free meal while traveling to Hawaii.
We arrived at Kaui Airport waiting for our next flight to Maui. To refuel our body, we stopped at HSM for brunch. We had a 1 hour wait before boarding to Maui.
We arrived at Maui Airport at noon, then picked up our rental from Dollar Car Rental and checked in at the Residence Inn for our first two nights there. It was our anniversary so the four of us celebrated at Pita Paradise which was about 2 blocks down. We recommend eating here if you are up for pasta. They have wonderful people who provide awesome service!
It was pretty hectic to always be on the go. We enjoyed our breakfast at Residence Inn then went off on our adventure to explored Ocean Aquarium Center. If you love corals, crabs, turtles and saltwater fishes, this is the place for you. We spent a good amount of time there enjoying the outdoor saltwater pond, indoor tanks and the turtle exhibition.
We made several trips to Walmart for water, snacks, take outs and lounged around. Then… we walked down the street to Ulua Beach Park in Wailea-Makena to enjoy the scenery. This is considered the south side of the island but is on south-west which has a beautiful view of the sunset.
Also note that the beaches on the West side of the Island are more calmer and peaceful than the beaches on the East side.
Felt so wonderful to wake up to breakfast at the Residence Inn. We spent the day at Kapulau Beach. On the way back to our hotel, we stopped by a Farmer’s Market for some fruits then checked into our condo at Maui Vista Condos in Kehei. Finally, we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool.
Destination of the day is Iao Valley State Monument. There is a small hike trail and waterfall. The place is surrounded with beautiful plants and fruits while everywhere else on the Island seemed to be warm and hot, it was cool and cloudy here.
Next stop is a nearby beach on the way back to our hotel. After a short rest, we booked an appointment at a plantation for zip lining fun.
In the evening we were off to the beach again.
My husband woke us up at 3:00 am in the morning to go watch the sunrise at Haleakala National Park which is about a 2 hour drive from where we were at. I suggest you go around this time to avoid traffic. Even at 3:00 am you will find that there are already many travelers on the road. When you have reached the destination, make sure to find a spot where you can see the sunrise. Be sure to bring warn clothes because it is very freezing, cold up in the mountain.
Here are some pictures of the sunrise at 6am in the morning.
Afterwards, we attempt the Road to Hana and only went 1/5 of the way. We were tire and drained so the furthest we went was to the The Garden of Eden Aboretum. We had to go back to the hotel to rest from the long day.
When traveling to Hawaii, just remember that most likely your first day or last day will be a day of just traveling. On our last day we traveled from Kahului airport to our connecting flight in Oahu airport and from Oahu airport to Oakland airport. Make sure you check out properly and have all your belongings packed.
Remember, you can’t bring anything back from the Island so if you found some cool live rocks, sand or shell, you’ll have to leave it there. You do not want to get held back at the airport customs.
The Credit Cards we used to help us Fund our Trip
Marriott Rewards and Capital One Venture both play an important role in how the four of us traveled to Maui for less than $3,000.
If your credit is low, see our related post on How to Increase your Credit Score after a Foreclosure where we discussed how we increased our credit score by 200 points.
1. Marriott – We opened 1 Marriott Rewards card. This card have an annual fee of $85.00. You will be charged immediately for this fee. We took advantage of the points and used $800.00 earned for a 2 night stay in a Marriott hotel. If you no longer need this card, cancel it after 6 months of spending your points to avoid fees. We kept ours for two years because we have racked up points from spending and the card also gave us a free room every year on our anniversary date.
2. Chase Venture – We opened 2 Capital One Venture cards, one for my husband and one for me. This card also include an annual fee but it is waived the first year. On one card, we earned and used $494.11 to help towards our last 3 day stay at our condo. On the second card, we earned and used $545.15 to help towards our flight. These cards require you to spend $3000 within 3 months to earn $500 dollars. We managed to spend that amount paying bills, buying groceries and getting gas. We had to spend $3000 on each card which is a total of $9000 spent to earn these bonuses. It may be hard for the average person to spend that kind of money in a short amount of time.
It was easy for us because we used our cards to purchase products for our other online business. We stocked the items and then sold it a few months later.
You should plan your spending and do it all at the same time and charge it on that one card to get your cash bonus. If you are going to be making a large purchase like an Iphone X, you should wait till October, November and December. Most people do their Christmas shopping and holiday spending during this time. If you add up all your spending during this season, it may exceed the $3000 requirement to get the bonus.
One more thing you can do is to get your bills paid through your card. We have our electricity (SMUD), mobile phone (TMOBILE), auto insurance (Liberty Mutual) and home insurance (Liberty Mutual) paid using these credit cards. Just this alone add up to over $500 per month. So $500 x 3 months is already $1500 spent. If you funnel your other spending to this card, you can easily reach the $3000 spending requirement.
Our total Trip Detail
Below is my record of our spending for our Maui trip to Hawaii in 2016. As you can see, we would have spent $4,654.64 but with the credit card rewards we saved $1,839.26 which brought our price to $2,815.38.
Our traveled to Maui totaled $4,654 but with the cash bonuses that we received, we were able to off set our cost. We spent less that than $3,000 for our Maui trip.
If you are looking to go on a trip, I recommend you take advantage of opening a credit card that give good rewards such as the two that we used, along with our tips. It will definitely save you money. I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for stopping by.
1. To qualify for good credit cards that offer rewards you need to have good credit. See our related post: Increase Your Credit Score
2. Need to make more money to fund your trip? See our related posts on what you can utilize to earn extra cash for your trip: Take Surveys that Pay Cash , Make Money Online By Selling your Unused Items , Use Ebates for Free Cash Back
3. Start a traveling blog to document all the places you’ve been to. See our related post to get your blog started today: How to create a WordPress Website