Maui Travel Tips
Traveling to Maui is always fun, but sometimes the details can get in the way of your enjoyment. Here are some Maui travel tips that we have found helpful to get the most out of your Maui vacation.
Maui Travel Tips
Packing Travel Tips
With the exception of the Upcountry and Haleakala regions, Maui’s temperature stays pretty warm. Most people who spend a week on Maui do not need to bring an enormous amount of clothes. A few shorts, a pair of jeans, some comfortable short-sleeved shirts, a couple of bathing suits, and of course fresh underwear may be all you need. Most of the hotels and condos have laundry facilities for your clothes – one of the most convenient travel tips to know about! If you run through what you brought, you can always do a load of wash.
If you are planning to head to Haleakala for sunrise, you should bring a light jacket or sweatshirt and a long sleeved shirt. If you get cold easily, bring a coat. It can get pretty cold up there, but it does get hot in the daytime, so layering is one of the most important Upcountry travel tips we can offer. Some activities like horseback riding, biking the volcano, and ATV tours require long pants and closed-toed shoes, so be sure to pack those if you intend to do any of those!
Island attire is generally casual. It is not unusual to see people dining out in shorts and T-shirts, but if you prefer to dress up a little, that is not uncommon either. A few of the more upscale restaurants do require that you not wear swimsuits, but that is generally the limit of dress restrictions. To many who live here, “dressing up” is a nice aloha dress or a nice pair of khakis with a nice aloha shirt. Chances are, you would feel out of place in any sort of jacket or cocktail dress in all but a few of the fancier restaurants.
Remember, it is your vacation to Maui, so dress however you are most comfortable. I am simply offering a few Maui travel tips to help you make your own decisions.
Do I need to rent a car?
The bus system implemented in 2002 has made traveling in Maui without a car much easier. Even so, I believe that renting a car is important for making the most of your Maui vacation. Having your own car allows you to be on your own schedule, so that you can travel when and where you like.
If you intend to spend all of your time at one of the resorts, however, you may not need a car. There are great guided van tours that will pick you up from your hotel and take you to Hana, Haleakala and Iao Valley. However, there are many out-of-the-way places such as Makena Beach, Ahihi-Kinau Reserve, and La Perouse Bay that you cannot see without a car. If you have small children, the car rental companies offer child seats for a fee. You may find that your child is more comfortable in a familiar car seat, though.
There are several advantages to booking your activities before you travel to Maui. Although it is rare, some activities become completely booked up to two months in advance. The Old Lahaina Luau is regularly full at least two weeks in advance. Booking before you travel also gives you an opportunity to build an itinerary. This way you can plan a “Hang at the Beach Day,” or a “Go to Hana Day” as well as decide which activities you want to do and how they will impact your schedule.
Just so you know, most activities will allow you to cancel for a nominal fee up to 48 hours before your activity date. And one of the best travel tips possible is this one: any time you do this work at home frees up more vacation time to just enjoy being on Maui.
If you are looking for a place to book all of your Maui activities, try one of our sites such as Maui Vacation Network or Hawaii Discount Activities. The latter has activities on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
What do I need to take to the beach?
Everybody needs something a little different at the beach, but here is a list of the things you might want to take.
Maui is very close to the sun, and for some people, 15 minutes without sunscreen is enough to get sunburned. Apply liberally, remembering to cover the back of your neck, the backs of your knees, and the tops of your feet! Always apply at least 10 minutes before you go outside. That way it will soak in, last longer, and provide better protection. Many people put it on and go straight into the water, where it washes off almost immediately. They then get terribly sunburned, and the sunscreen creates a slick on the water and in the reef. Go ahead and use a 30 or above SPF, and use “reef safe” sunscreen. You will get plenty of sun vacationing on Maui.
Most of the beaches you visit will have good snorkeling available, so be sure to bring along your snorkel gear. Take a look at our Maui Snorkeling Tips page to answer any questions about snorkeling. Quality snorkel gear fitted to your face can be rented at any Boss Frog’s location.
Beach toys can be whatever you or your little ones enjoy. Anything from a Frisbee or football to some pails and shovels for making sand castles. It might not sound like much, but it can go a long way in making a day at the beach more enjoyable for everyone.
Bringing a cooler to the beach can make it much easier to enjoy a full day in the sun. Pack plenty of water to keep you hydrated, and add snack foods or a lunch so you can stay the whole day!
A reclining beach chair can make your stay on the beach much more comfortable. You can rent beach chairs from Boss Frog’s if you don’t want to purchase them for your stay.
A boogie board can make playing in the waves even more fun.
After a dip in the ocean or washing off the sand in an outdoor shower, it is always nice to be able to dry off. If you like to lay on the beach, a larger towel called a “beach” towel may be good, too.
For some folks, the perfect way to relax at the beach is with a good book. Enjoy a vacation on vacation while soaking up some warm rays.
How do I prepare for the Road to Hana?
Making the journey to Hana can truly be one of the best travel experiences in the world. But, the Hana Highway has also been known as the divorce highway, as it can be a stressful journey. To have a comfortable and happy experience, follow these simple Road to Hana Tips:
- Don’t Drive Yourself – Leave the driving to a professional by taking a Road to Hana Tour in a coach or van. Just enjoy the ride with your family. This is the best way to see Hana, because you won’t miss a thing, and you can relax.
- Get the Road to Hana CD – If you do decide to drive, get the Road to Hana CD that will guide you to the best spots, as well as give you some cultural and historical information. These CDs are inexpensive and can be purchased here.
- Follow the Road to Hana Travel Tips – See Maui Vacation Network’s Key Tips. For more detailed tips, go to the Maui Information Guide.
If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 1-888-700-3764.