Make the most of your trip to Maui with some of these useful tips born and bred from lessons I have learned throughout my travels to the Valley Isle.
1) Rent a Car on Maui
As I mentioned in my post on where to stay, the island of Maui is small yet sprawling. Getting from destination to destination can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 5 hours. If you aren’t staying close to the airport and plan on taking a few day trips, definitely rent a car.
The hotel shuttles are painfully slow and ain’t nobody got time to waste dropping fellow tourists off at their respective hotels..
You have margaritas to drink!!
You may be thinking.. what about all the mai tai’s I’m going to drink daily?! Uber is around for the nights when you want to have a couple too many drinks.
- Exception: If you are solely going to Maui to park it in a beach chair, renting a car probably isn’t worth it, just uber to and from the airport and chiillll, baby baby, chill.
2. Go to Costco or Walmart straight from the airport when you arrive
Stock up on food and drinks at a cheaper rate at these big box stores before making the trek to your final destination.
- NOTE: Costco closes at 8:30pm Monday-Friday and Walmart closes at 11pm, so it can be a tight timeframe as many flights don’t touch down until 9:00-10:00pm. If you’re with someone, split up to get shopping done quickly. Pick up a frozen pizza and salad mix for the nights when you’re exhausted from the day and just want something easy. Buy liquor and beer/wine here too to save a few bucks. There is no wiggle room to buy alcohol past 11pm as the computers shut down, so pretend you are the Amazing Race and get to that cashier!Shout out to the Walmart cashier for cheering me on as I sprinted to her with four wine bottles in my hands.
You the real MVP.
3. Bring a Back-up Camera Battery and Phone Charger for Excursions
If you’re like me and trigger happy, a back-up camera battery will come in handy on road trips to Hana or adventures to the crater. The worst thing to happen on a road trip is to have your battery die right before some of the most beautiful sights of the day, and then you just have to sit there and enjoy them without documenting them for everyone back home to see.
4. Bring a change of clothes on day trips
Bring an extra outfit along on day trips, especially if you are on the other side of the island. After the Road to Hana, we zipped into Paia for dinner and it was so nice to change out of our muddy clothes into some nicer outfits to walk around town to have dinner and drinks before heading back to our hotel.
5. Make sure you have cash with you on the Road to Hana
…or you might end up hangry in the confines of a small yellow camaro ready to kill each other. There aren’t many food options in Hana and most are cash only.
6. Pack some warm clothing if you plan on doing the Haleakala Crater
It’s effing freezing up there! Also, as of February 2017, you need a reservation for sunrise as they only let a certain number of cars through. Book ahead here
7. In Peak Season, make Dinner Reservations ahead of time
8. Bring a Bikini or Swim Trunks with you everywhere
You never know when you might come across an inviting natural pool or want to go for a dip in the ocean on the drive home from somewhere.
9. Ask the Locals for advice
As I mentioned, the locals in Maui are some the friendliest I’ve come across. Chat with them about some hidden gems, good places to eat and places to skip. I find asking waiters/bartenders/uber drivers to be great resources for some off the beaten path adventures and restaurants.
10. FOOOOOOD … eat all of the foods
Take advantage of the island offerings and eat local ingredients like fresh fish and fruit whenever possible. Research some recipes that feature ingredients like pineapple, sweet onion or ahi tuna like this amazing ahi tuna bowl. You’ll save money by cooking yourself and you’ll have a few recipes to take home when you are feeling nostalgic!