You’ve finally done it: you’ve booked your flights and sometime very soon, you’ll be on your way to Maui! Well done, first of all – you’ve chosen to visit one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, and you won’t regret it.
Of course, you could show up to Maui completely unprepared and still have a whale of a time, but everyone knows that the best way to make the most out of any holiday destination is to put in the necessary preparation in advance. While Maui is a fairly spontaneous island, there are still a few things you can make sure to do before your vacation to help you get the absolute most out of your experience there.
If you’re off to Maui soon, don’t leave without checking off at least half of the items on this checklist:
Pack your sensible swimwear
It’s a bit of a no-brainer that you’re going to need a bikini or two for your trip to Maui, because, let’s face it, you’ll probably spend most of your trip lying on the beach with a cocktail in hand, working on your tan.
But don’t forget to pack your more practical swimwear too, because at one point you might be tempted into trying out one of the many water sports activities Maui has to offer. There’s plenty of choice for a beginner, so even if you’re not a seasoned kite surfer by any stretch, you can still get the adrenaline flowing with something a little simpler.
Plan wisely for the season
Maui has and on and an off season, like most vacation destinations do. Visiting off-season is usually an easy way to get a cheaper deal and a better selection on a lot of hotels and activities – but it does mean that you need to bear the weather in mind.
If you’re used to living in a cold, snowy environment, Hawaii in the winter is still going to feel like a proper tropical paradise to you. But if you’re not such a fan of the cold, make sure to pack a few outer layers for the windier evenings. This by no means that Maui is ever “cold” – snow on the island is incredibly rare! – but it might not be quite as boiling as you were hoping for.
Look into renting a car
We get it, driving in a foreign location is always a bit scary, but renting out a car really is the best way to make the most out of all the sights and landscapes that make up Maui. It’ll probably save you money overall, and it’ll be the far more convenient way to get you and your vacation mates around from hotel to beach and back again.
If you do decide to rent a car in Maui, make sure you use it to visit Maui’s must-see spots, including Hana, the red and black sand beaches, and the crater. You’ll save yourself oodles of time from avoiding public transport and being able to make your way straight there.
Book some restaurants in advance
We all know how fun it is to explore the local restaurant scene once you’ve made it to a holiday destination, but if you want to experience some of Maui’s finest award-winning restaurants, you’ll need to book them in advance to get a table.
The Hawaiian cuisine is nothing short of delicious, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a fair few not-so-delectable restaurants hiding amongst the decent places. It’s worth checking reviewing sites like TripAdvisor before you visit any restaurant just to be sure that it’s up to your standards.
Pack your sunblock
It should be an obvious one – but how easy is sunblock to forget? Put it at the very top of your packing list, and double-check that you have it before you lock up to go to the airport. While sunblock is of course available all over Maui, you will definitely find a better deal in a store back at home.
The sun in Maui can get pretty intense, so expect to burn even if you’re naturally darker skinned. Don’t forget your hats and sunglasses too, and a good water bottle to stay hydrated – the last thing you want is to be struck by sunstroke in the middle of your relaxing trip away!
Learn from others
Everyone who’s been to Maui has their own story to tell, and their own unique experiences to reflect upon. The nature of feedback is that you’re most likely to hear about something if someone hasn’t enjoyed it than if they have, but you can learn just as much from bad reviews as you can good.
Take all reviews with a pinch of salt, as they’re simply one person’s opinion of a place, an activity or an experience, and this can be affected by a number of different factors. That said, you can use reviews to generally determine how good or bad a place is overall. Somewhere with a whole host of five-star reviews is likely to be far more worthy of your time than somewhere with ones across the board.