I've spent time on Maui before and love it for the variety of activities and ample natural beauty.
I thought Maui would be more remote-feeling than built-up Oahu but more family-friendly with a young child than Kauai or the Big Island, known for great hiking that we knew we wouldn't do with a young, fidgety child.
I found cheap flight deals to Maui from Los Angeles but was shocked by my hotel search results. I wanted to stay in a nice hotel with child-friendly pools and food and drink service as opposed to a condo or Airbnb where we'd have to make our own meals.
I was a parent who wanted to be on vacation, after all.
But a standard room in a four-star hotel cost nearly $1,000 per night when I searched on Google a few months in advance. Even smaller hotels with fewer amenities commanded $700 per night.
On Oahu, in Honolulu, on the other hand, I found standard hotel rooms for around $250 to $300 per night on Google.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, which had all the amenities I wanted, starts at $279 for a standard room, depending on the time of year, a representative for the hotel told Insider.
I could book a one-bedroom suite there for the same price as a standard room on Maui.
Not wanting to spend all our time in Honolulu, we decided to start at the Hilton for three nights, followed by a two-night splurge at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, before wrapping up at The Royal Hawaiian back in Honolulu on Waikiki Beach for two nights, which I booked with credit card points.
Seven nights at four-star hotels would not have been possible for us on Maui, and all three were in places we had never been.