For many of us, aside from the excitement of Christmas, November is a pretty gloomy time of the year. Cold weather, work overload, and not a vacation in sight…
It’s not surprising that November is the most common month for people to start thinking about their next summer vacation. Most people book their trips in around January or February, but deciding where you want to go takes a lot of weighing up the pros and cons.
The problem with choosing just one big summer vacation a year is that there are just too many places in the world to consider! How can you possibly decide which is your favourite when you want to choose them all?
It’s quite simple, actually: you just have to do your research. While some destinations may appear perfect in the travel brochures, in reality, there are certain aspects of them that aren’t so great.
Luckily, not all holiday destinations are a let-down in person. If you’re looking for a getaway that you’ll never forget about – and, in fact, will probably want to return to time and time again – you can’t go wrong with Maui.
Where Is Maui?
Maui? You’re probably thinking. Sounds familiar, but I can’t quite pinpoint where it is. That’s because Maui is a tiny island found in Hawaii, so even if you know someone who’s been before, they probably just told everyone they went to Hawaii for simplicity’s sake. Which is a shame, because Maui really deserves more attention! It takes roughly five hours to get to Maui from California, so although it’s not a short travel to get there, it’s more than worth the journey.
Why Should I Visit Maui?
Whether you’ve visited Maui before, or your summer vacation will be your first experience of the island, it’s bursting with so much appeal that we often find it difficult to summarise exactly why we love it so much. But, for the sake of convincing you to choose Maui as your next summer vacation destination, we’ll give it our best shot.
Here are 8 reasons why you should add Maui to the top of your vacation list immediately:
The beaches are to die for
What’s the number one reason you head out on a summer vacation? The beach, of course! Luckily, Maui is famous for its beautiful sandy white beaches and crystal-clear seas. If variation is your thing, you’ll be impressed to hear that Maui’s beaches come in all different colours – some of them are even red or black – and you’ll be blown away by the scenery while you paddle your toes in the cool waters.
The cuisine is delicious
When you picture yourself on your summer vacation, food most likely comes into play somewhere within your imaginings. Whether you’re a self-confessed foodie or you’d rather kick back with something easy, you’ll find that Maui has something to suit every taste. Maui’s cuisine is very much traditional Hawaiian, so expect lots of seafood dishes, great tasting coffee and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. You could visit Maui just for the tasting experience you’d get alone.
It’s home to some impressive mountains
Sure, city breaks are nice, but they’re never going to give you the stunning scenery of a summer vacation destination like Maui. No matter how much relaxing you’re planning to do on your stay, make sure you dedicate at least one day to visiting the Haleakala Crater. With a summit of over 10,000 feet, it’s safe to say that the views you can get are outstanding – now that’s one for your Instagram profile.
It’s a nature lover’s heaven
There’s nothing more serene and tranquil than being surrounded by the calming sounds of nature. If you love nature as much as we do, Maui will hit the sweet spot for you. There’s plenty of local wildlife to look out for, and every winter, from around December to April, you may even spot a whale in the seas if you’re lucky. It’s definitely worth considering a whale watch boat ride if you’re visiting Maui in peak whale season.
You’ll never tire of its history
Maui is an impressive little island with a fascinating history. Considering how small it is, you’d be surprised at just how much has happened in Maui that makes an incredibly interesting read. If you enjoy learning the history behind your vacation destinations, make sure to stop by at Maui’s museums to find out all about how life on the island has changed over its years of human inhabitation.
It’s great for water sports fans
Summer vacations are all about lying back in the sand and sipping cocktails for some people, but for others, the more activity-packed their trip away, the better. Maui might be beautiful and tranquil, but it also offers up plenty for the liveliest of vacationers, including a whole array of water sports. From surfing and paddle boarding to kitesurfing and windsurfing, there’s something for every adrenaline junkie out there.
You can immerse yourself in its culture
One of the best things about Maui is that it’s pretty much the epitome of the Hawaiian culture. You’ll find plenty of traditional and culture-driven events taking place all over the island on a near-daily basis, and the locals are all to happy too show off their heritage and keep up with the island’s historical traditions. If you’re after the Polynesian feeling of tropical sunsets, friendly alohas and a glass of Mai Tai on the beach, you’ll find it in Maui.
The hotel selection is epic
Of course, your summer vacation is more about your destination than your choice of accommodation… but boy, can a well-chosen hotel make the difference between a good vacation and an exceptional one. The hotels in Maui are like something straight from the front of a holiday brochure, with gleaming swimming pools and whitewashed buildings and perfectly manicured green gardens, palm trees galore. Generally, the more leeway you have with your budget, the better the experience you’ll get.
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.