A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Maui vs. Big Island of Hawaii

Should you visit Maui or Big Island of Hawaii?

Should I visit Maui or Big Island of Hawaii? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.


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.

Big Island of Hawaii

What comes to mind when someone says, "Hawaii"? Probably sandy beaches, coconut drinks and lazy days of tanning. It's a dream destination for those who want to get away, but the island of Hawai'i, or the Big Island as it's most commonly called, has so much more to offer than a place to catch up on your latest novel.

At 93 miles across, and a population of 185 thousand, the Big Island was once a large exporter of sugarcane. After its final plantation closed in 1996, tourism became the backbone of Hawai'i Island's economy. More recently, the Big Island has become the focus for sustainable tourism visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on your destination.

Which city is cheaper, Big Island of Hawaii or Maui?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Maui is $215, while the average daily cost in Big Island of Hawaii is $206. 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 Maui and Big Island of Hawaii in more detail.


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.

The prices for places to stay in Big Island of Hawaii can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $90, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $180.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Maui $108
    Big Island of Hawaii $90
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Maui $216
    Big Island of Hawaii $180


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.

The price of a meal in Big Island of Hawaii can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $85 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $34 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Maui $75
    Big Island of Hawaii $85

Local Transportation

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.

To get around in Big Island of Hawaii, the average visitor spends $30 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Maui $50
    Big Island of Hawaii $30


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.

In Big Island of Hawaii, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Maui $30
    Big Island of Hawaii $28


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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Big Island of Hawaii, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $26.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Maui $33
    Big Island of Hawaii $26

When comparing the travel costs between Maui and Big Island of Hawaii, we can see that Maui is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Maui vs. Big Island of Hawaii Travel Comparison

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