We all know that Maui isn’t the cheapest vacation destination. And yet it seems many of those who come are bitten by the Maui-bug. Here are some tips on how you can save money booking a vacation rental.
Book directly with the owner and avoid the middle-man.
I really cannot stress this enough. VRBO/Homeaway now charges a service fee to guests of anywhere from 5-12% (this is in addition to the owner paying a listing fee). The guest does not actually receive a service for this fee (ironically), the fee goes directly to the parent company Expedia. This service fee was implemented in February 2016 (initially at 4-9% but has recently increased). AirBnB is no better, they also charge guests a service fee, theirs is anywhere between 6-12%, however the owner does not pay a listing fee – rather just a 3% credit card transaction charge.
Hesitant to book directly because you don’t want to be scammed? No problem, check out MauiOwnerCondos. This is a listing site that verifies the condo’s ownership. Owners pay a flat rate to advertise their condos on the site with no additional fees payable by the guest.
Disclaimer: when booking a vacation rental it is always important to do some additional research to make sure you do not fall victim to a scam.
As you know, there are different seasons here on Maui. High season typically runs from mid-December through mid-April. This coincides with Christmas, whale season and generally winter on the mainland. Different owners have different season schedules as supply and demand varies even between complexes (complexes more popular with families will have an increased summer rate also for instance). There are definite savings to be found for instance by booking early December vs mid-December.
Ask about cash payment discounts
The majority of guests want to pay by credit card which provides an added layer of security and often gives them points or cash-back. But, especially if the condo has been recommended by a friend or you know the owner, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’d consider a cash discount since they’d be saving on the credit card fees.
How can you book one of our condos?
The cheapest way to book our condos is to book directly or through MauiOwnerCondos. Yes, I also advertise on VRBO and AirBnb.
Unfortunately if you initiate the booking process through VRBO or AirBnB, I cannot offer you to book directly. I’m sorry. Though I would love to, both VRBO and AirBnB have severe penalties for owners who try to direct potential renters off their sites (as they then lose revenue). What you can do, is click onto my website and email me directly off VRBO or AirBnB.