A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Kauai vs. Maui

Should you visit Kauai or Maui?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Kauai and Maui. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Kauai

Hawaii is certainly a bucket list destination, but what if you want to do it without being surrounded by tourists? You want the adventure of the land of volcanoes and less of the kids in water wings. Then Kaua'i is the island for you.

Kaua'i, or the "garden island," is full of tropical forests, little villages and even more laid back lifestyle if you can imagine. It's a smaller island at 560 square miles with a population of only 68,000.

With more coastline miles than any other island, Kaua'i is the result of massive erosion forming awe-inspiring sights like the Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast. The island experiences more rainfall every year keeping it lush and green all year.

You'll feel like you've walked into another world in Kaua'i. Because of height restrictions, this island's buildings are no taller than the coconut trees. So if you're looking for an escape from civilization, you'll want to head straight for Kaua'i.

Maui

Who hasn't spent at least one Monday morning fantasizing about holding a mai tai on a Hawaiian beach? A trip to Maui may be just what we all have in mind, but it's so much more than a drink on a sandy towel.

At over 700 square miles, the island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands with a small population of just over 140,000 people. The island enjoys approximately two seasons a year with a mild climate just about everywhere. Rough living, right?

Voted "Best Island in the World" by many in the travel industry, Maui is the center for whale watching, relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, and the home of a large and lush rainforest. It's no surprise that so many visitors come here to experience the many thing to do on Maui.

Which city is cheaper, Maui or Kauai?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kauai is $152, while the average daily cost in Maui is $215. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Kauai and Maui in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Kauai, $182 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Kauai, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $91, such as in a hostel.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $108. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Maui the cost is $216 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kauai $91
    Maui $108
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kauai $182
    Maui $216

Food

Food in Kauai costs travelers about $45 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

Maui food costs typically run travelers around $75 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kauai $45
    Maui $75

Local Transportation

Kauai's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $27 per person, per day on transportation in Kauai.

The average price of local transportation around Maui is $50 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kauai $27
    Maui $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kauai

Also for Kauai, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Round-Trip Transfer: Kauai International Airport to Kauai Hotels: $320

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Kauai can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $14 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Maui's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $30 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kauai $14
    Maui $30

Tours and Activities in Kauai

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Kauai.

  • Acua Park Adventure Package: $87
  • Poipu 8 line Zipline Adventure: $147
  • Private Kauai North Shore Tour: $232
  • Family Portraits, Senior or Couples Portraits, Wedding Photography, Photo Tours: $532

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Kauai, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Maui may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $33 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kauai $12
    Maui $33


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kauai and Maui, we can see that Maui is more expensive. And not only is Kauai much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kauai would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kauai and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Maui would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Maui than you might in Kauai.

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Kauai vs. Maui Travel Comparison

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