Island life makes you feel like a better version of yourself…more relaxed, a little more adventurous, and let’s get real…a lot tanner! It’s an escape from reality, a time to reconnect and remember what is important, and a place to inspire you to live a more full life even when you return home. Maui is very special to my family for these very reasons. We leave behind any stress when we arrive on the island and fall into a state of childlike happiness.
I have compiled some tips to make your island vacation luxurious yet affordable. This itinerary will leave you feeling like doing a hula dance!
- Stay on Pacific Time to maximize your days. The sun sets early so we love to enjoy the sunshine hours and get up early while in Maui. After all, we have some tanning to do!
- Don’t forget your sunhat, snorkel gear and antifog. You can purchase these before your trip and get a snorkel set that is lightweight to pack. This will save you a ton of money on rentals. We love to explore and drive around the island and pop in and out of beaches. The snorkel day trips take you to the same snorkeling spots only they are pricey and less intimate.
- Rent a convertible 6 months in advance to get the best price. We rented at Alamo for $640 for 15 days from Costco. It was super easy and only took 20 minutes to get our car once we landed.
- Upon arrival head over to Mama’s Fish House. It is close to the airport and some of the best fish on the island! It’s pricey, but so so so worth it for the fresh fish, ocean views, and Hawaiian vibes to set the mood for your vacation. Make a reservation in advance!
- There’s a Costco close to the airport, so we always stop and get waters, wine, snacks, and extra sunblock. Their poke is amazing for a snack!
- We stayed in Kapalua at the Ritz Carlton for the fist part of our trip.
- Drive to Napili Beach to hike to the breathtaking Nakalele blowhole through the Acid Warzone.
- Expert snorkeling can be found at Mushroom Rock and then hike on over to the Olivine Pools.
- Drove around the Northern tip of the island toward Kahakuloa and be sure to stop at the green hut on the left side of the road for the famous banana bread and lilikoi butter at Julia’s…yum!!!
- Stop at Maui Fish Market in Honokowai (a cool little beach town) for macadamia crusted fish for lunch or dinner. If you have a grill at your hotel, you can buy fresh fish like Ono or Opakapaka and prepare it later. This place is fresh, authentic Hawaiian and super inexpensive!
- Leave early for the Road to Hana which is our favorite thing to do on the island. I have a separate post on this! It’s an all day affair so bring snacks, waters, sunblock, hiking gear, swimsuits and towels. You will be seeing some of the most amazing waterfalls and beaches in the world.
- You can use the driving app that gives you a tour when you reset your odometer to 0 at the intersection of Highway 36 and 365.
- The weather is always off and on rainy so don’t fear if you get a bad weather day. There will be pockets of rain and some much-needed rays of sun throughout your journey!
Haleakala! This is one of the most beautiful points on Maui. Many people choose to see the sunrise and get up very early in the freezing cold. We have done this and love it, but once you have seen it once, I recommend skipping the early morning drive and heading out around 8 or 8:30am. It costs $20 to get in. Tip: if you go to Ohe’o Gulch/Pipiwai trail within 3 days you won’t have to pay the additional fee.
- We hiked the Sliding Sands Trail which was a 3 hour round trip hike but you can go as far as you like and turn around early. This is a beautiful and moderate hike. It starts out going downhill and ends with a nice uphill hike! Glutes!
- After your hike there are a bunch of scenic stops you should make on your drive back down.
- Take a dip in the sea and a sunset snorkel at Black Rock by the Sheraton. The lighting around 4 or 5pm is out of this world to see families of sea turtles.
- Check out Honolua Bay for some great snorkeling. Check conditions first as it can get too murky for snorkeling at times.
- Walk the Kapalua Coastal Trail for some gorgeous views. It is an easy 2-3 hour walk. Start at DT Fleming near the Ritz and hike to Oneola Beach.
- Drive to Wailea. We like to stay on this part of the island too.
- Snorkel at Ahihi Cove, a small bay by the Dumps where there are lots of fish!
- If you want to splurge, enjoy a 4 handed massage at Grand Wailea spa, where the hydrotherapy is incredible!
- Te au Moana Luau at theMarriott Wailea has great food and entertainment! It’s not your average cheese luau!
- Snorkel at La Perouse Bay and the Dumps for some excellent fish and snorkeling conditions!
- Relax at Big Beach and Makena Beach.
- Enjoy an early dinner at Coconut’s Fish Cafe. The fish tacos are out of this world and fairly inexpensive. You will be wanting seconds!
- Walk the strand from the Fairmont to the Four Seasons to the Andaz. There is great snorkeling at Palauea (White Rock) beach. There are some beautiful areas along this strand to put down a town and enjoy the sunset, wine and music.
- Treat yourself to dinner at Monkeypod for delicious fish and pies. It’s pricey, but worth it!
- If you’re feeling daring, try surf lessons early in the morning. Wailea has smooth surfing for beginners and Lahaina is better for intermediate surfers or beginners who want a little more excitement!
- Enjoy the last vacay day at the beach with a little parasailing or just kick back with a daiquiri, a great book and work on that sun-kissed glow!
Mama on the Glow