If you don’t have a Costco membership and you are going to Maui, you might want to purchase one on-line before you go. There are SO many reasons why:
- A nice selection of high quality, reasonably priced, fresh, wild-caught Hawaiian fish such as Opaka Paka, Ono, Mahi Mahi, Marlin, not to mention Sashimi grade Ahi! Selection depends on the season.
- Car rentals from all the big companies are discounted when reserved on line through the Costco website. (See our post Where’s the best place to rent a car on Maui?)
- As of late 2012, gas at their brand new station was at least 30 cents cheaper per gallon than at most other places.
- Food and other items are almost the same price as those at our Costco in Washington State. (See our other postings in the category “Shop Like A Local” to understand how expensive food can be, but does not have to be, on Maui.)
- There is a large section of Hawaiian made items you can take home as gifts.
- Cheap booze!
- Aloha shirts are only $20!
- A HUGE supply of beach towels, snorkel gear, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc. NOTE: you won’t need these things if you stay at our condo, Maui Vista 2418. We supply all that as well as detergents, cleaning supplies, and paper products from, you guessed it, Costco!
A word to those that love fresh local produce: Costco carries a few local items, but see our post Rowena’s Farmers Market is No Ka Oi (The best!). You can’t do any better than Rowena’s in our opinion. Otherwise, Costco is well worth a stop.
At Maui Vista 2418 we’re often asked, “Where’s the best place to rent a car?” The answer depends on your needs. If you want a shiny new car and the convenience of renting directly from the airport, we highly recommend going through Costco’s website. If you’re not already a member, the savings will probably cover the cost of your membership and then you can shop at Costco when you pass it on your way to our condo! (You can join Costco on line at www.costco.com .) Although renting from the airport is convenient, it costs more because the airport tax is added to the price and, after all, convenience costs money.
Alternatively, you might consider a local vendor with airport shuttle service. Kihei Rent A Car is a locally owned company with airport service. http://www.kiheirentacar.com/index.html Book early because this business is popular among those in the know and they do run out of cars.
The cars at Kihei Rent A Car are not sparkling new, but they do the job at a good price. Although it will be tempting to rent the oldest models, drivers are hard on rental cars and we recommend renting the newest model year available. We’ve also heard stories of Kihei Rent A Car not getting upset if you return the car with a small scratch or bumper ding. This claim is supported on their website, something we’ve never seen on any major carrier’s site:
“Fewer Fines ~ Realistic Usage Expectations Kihei Rent A Car is a truly unique car rental organization on Maui. Through our years of experience in the industry, we have found that customers who rent new cars (like those models offered by the larger mainland companies) often regret their decision. Hawaii’s many terrains can be very unfriendly to automobiles. Upon returning their vehicles, rental customers often encounter hefty fines for blemished exteriors and soiled interiors as a result of touring the wild Hawaiian environs. Since our cars are used, we are not as strict when it comes to small dings and scratches.”
Regardless of where you rent your car, if you’re a Costco member and in the area, buy gas at Costco. As of late 2012, it was thirty to forty cents per gallon cheaper than most other gas stations. That’s a savings of $5 to $7 per tank!