What To Pack For A Maui Vacation
It’s been a bit over a year now since my last trip. So for my birthday this year, I decided that the one thing I really wanted was a tropical vacation. After some debate, I settled on a trip to Maui. I’ve been many times over the years. Honestly, I lost count long ago. But there is a long list of reasons it remains on the top of my favorites list after so many years.
What To Pack For A Maui Vacation
Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. If you’re flying out of Los Angeles or most of California really, you can easily get a non-stop flight. Flight time is around 6 hours there and 5 hours coming back. That makes Maui one of the closer tropical destinations to the west coast.
Whatever your preferred vacation style, Maui has something for you. That’s one of the reasons I can always happily go back. If high-end resorts are your thing, I recommend the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. It’s an absolutely beautiful property and the fact that every room is a suite is hard to beat. (There was a trip we took to Maui some years ago where we decided to stay at least one night at each of the resorts in Wailea. The one exception to that list was the Andaz, as it wasn’t built yet). Just wanted you to know that I wasn’t randomly picking a hotel as a favorite!
Wailea is a resort area on the Southside of the island. Located along an oceanfront stretch that also has the Grand Wailea, the Four Seasons, and most recently added the Andaz. There are also stunning beaches, high-end shopping, amazing dining, and award-winning golf courses if that’s your thing.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back trip, vacation rentals in Paia are a good option. Paia is a small hippie town located on the North Shore. You can easily spend a few hours exploring the shops and restaurants. Afterward quickly walk down to the beach to swim, sunbathe, and watch the bodysurfers.
Things To Do On Maui
If you have a car rental then definitely consider taking the time to drive up to the top of Haleakala. It’s a little over an hour of twisty, winding roads, but so worth it! At over 10,000 feet elevation, on a clear day, the views of the island are breathtaking. The only thing better is going up there for a sunrise. If you decided to go for a sunrise viewing, be sure to register your car with the park in advance. It’s only a $1 reservation fee, but they are now limiting the number of visitors into the park before sunrise.
Maui offers plenty of hiking for people that like to really get out into nature. ‘Iao Valley, Twin Falls, and the Bamboo forest are a few popular spots.
Driving the road to Hana will usually take up a full day, but is worth every minute. On this mini road trip you can stop at a black sand beach, a red sand beach, see waterfalls and swim in freshwater pools. At various points along the way you can stop at the roadside stands for fresh fruit, drinks, and snacks.
What To Pack For Maui
Maui’s yearly temperature average is in the mid-’80s. The coldest and most wet months are January to March. Summertime is the warmest and driest time of the year. But because of Maui’s micro-climates, you can drive from one area of the island to another and wish you had a change of clothes.
The islands in general tend to be very relaxed and Maui is no exception. There are very few dress codes, but you still want to dress appropriately for the occasion. If you’re staying at a resort then summer clothes are probably all you”ll need. But if you’re venturing out there a few things I think are a good idea to pack. So I’m sharing a list of essentials you need to bring to Maui no matter the season.
Maui Packing Checklist
Like I said earlier, the dress code is pretty relaxed on Maui, so lightweight tops will help keep you cool while outdoors.
An easy option for hot days.
If you decide to venture up the volcano you will definitely want long pants. When I say it’s cold up there, I mean it’s freezing! This will most likely be the only time you’ll want to be in pants.
These are good for any time but are especially a nice option for dinner at the resorts.
Long Sleeve Shirt
In the evening the temperature can drop a little. Also depending on the area, a long-sleeved shirt can help protect you from mosquitoes.
If there’s rain and you are out walking around you might want to wear a lightweight rain jacket, but it’s not necessary. A coat or at the very least a think sweater is a must for visiting Haleakala.
Sandals are of course the best option for walking on the beach or by a pool.
If you go hiking or enjoy long walks you’ll probably want to pack a pair of closed-toe shoes.
You can never have enough swimsuits!
A sarong is perfect for walking from the hotel room to the pool or down to the beach. Or from the water to lunch without having to get dressed again.
This will come in handy if you are boogie boarding, or if you don’t want any more sun on your chest ad shoulders.
Reef Safe Sunscreen
These are sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two common UV-blocking chemicals, that studies have shown can cause coral bleaching.
Only pack a towel if you’re not staying at a hotel.
All your regular toiletries, plus some after-sun care.
Be sure you don’t forget to pack for the appropriate amount of days! It’s also best practice to travel with any medications packed inside of your carry-on luggage. Just in case your suitcase is lost or delayed.
The sun is pretty intense. You don’t want to underestimate the amount of time your spend in the sun and how quickly you can get burned. It’s better to just keep a hat on when outdoors.
Besides putting you into instant vacation mode, they’re super convenient for carrying your books, sunscreen, water bottle, and whatever else you want down to the beach or pool.
Pack your favorites! The sun is strong and very bright here. Plus the reflection off the sand and water can make it even harder to see.
Bringing your own reusable bottle is always a good option. Besides saving some money, you can make sure you are staying hydrated while cutting down on plastic waste.
Waterproof Phone Case
Even if you’re not trying to bring your phone snorkeling with you, waves can sneak up on you while standing in shallow water taking videos or pictures. A waterproof case is just an extra precaution
Make sure to have a good quality camera. You won’t want to miss out on these memories.
If you’re traveling solo, or if you don’t like asking strangers to take photos, bring a tripod so you always have the option to arrange the perfect shot.
The Hawaiian Islands are all incredibly special and a Maui vacation will be an amazing time no matter the budget. From sleeping on friend’s living room floors to The Four Seasons, I’ve done it all. And I’ll keep going back cause it’s always an adventure!