Welcome to Maui!
This is my most visited island. It has roomy condos, beautiful beaches, jungle, city, and so many activities and amenities nearby pretty much everywhere you stay.
Kahului is Maui’s main airport.
An airport shuttle will take you direct to your chosen car rental place if you book through an airport location.
Kahului is approximately a 30 minute drive from Kihei/Wailea and 45 minutes from Lahaina / Napili areas.
Most car rental places are located at the airport accessed through an airport shuttle.
This is most convenient, however long lineups to pick up your car are very typical. Just remember… you’re in Hawaii! The wait will be worthwhile…
I like to book ahead through this broker in order to get the best current deal – Hawaii Discount Car Rentals
I like to reserve an intermediate SUV. They are high enough off the ground to handle a few potholes, especially if you are planning to head towards Hana.
I recommend reserving well ahead of time. You’ll get a better deal and cars can run out during season.
I suggest to Inspect the car before you drive off and make sure it’s the one you want. If you want something different, request it to be changed right away. You’ll lose your ‘deal’ but the car you want is a bigger deal than the price sometimes. (can you tell I’m a rental car snob?)
And bring your own car insurance if you can. Check your home car insurance before you leave to ensure you’re covered and what their criteria is.
I once drove for 6 weeks with 2 of those weeks uninsured because I didn’t realized my contract expired after 30 days! All you need to do is go back in to the car rental, sign a new contract to extend, and you’re good again.
Important: if you wish to drive on Lanai, you’ll want to read about their insurance glitch HERE
After collecting your luggage, head straight ahead and through two buildings to get to the shuttle pickup area, which resembles a back parking lot.
This is not well signed, so I suggest to ask for directions so you aren’t standing in the wrong pickup place.
Where to stay
The northern part of the island may rain/mist daily, however will be more lush. (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili, Hana)
The southern part of the island will still be tropical, however much drier with little to no rain. (Sugar Beach, Kihei, Wailea)
These days (after many visits) I like to stay in Kihei Akahi in Kihei. Kihei Akahi is an older, quieter complex with a private drive off the road overlooking a very pretty established garden.
I find Kihei in general to be more affordable than most other areas.
I suggest to shop through VRBO and choose a condo where your room is off the main roads if possible. For a full ocean view, you may need to be at least 6 floors up. A ground level is nice as well so you can walk the grounds with kona coffee in hand.
If you stay at least two weeks, I suggest to pick two different areas to stay. You will soon discover your favorite. It truly feels like two different vacations!
Suggested length of stay
I suggest at least 2 weeks. (I’ve stayed up to 6 weeks at a time)
Tips when you arrive
If you are arriving late in the day, call your condo manager right before your flight. (I make this call from the airport). They may give you your front door passcode early so you don’t have to worry about attempting to call them late at night to gain entry.
The condo fridges are generally 100% empty. Bring water, coffee and a breakfast snack to your condo at the very least until you can grocery shop the next day. Most stores close early so you may wish to bring coffee from home if arriving late. Ask me how I know…
Maui roads are easy to follow. Set your GPS to your condo address, and you’re off!
Easy day trip
If you wish to add an additional island to your stay, consider Lanai, home of the 600+ cat sanctuary and more! You can access Lanai through a 45 min ferry ride from Lahaina’s harbour.
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