If you’re planning a trip to Maui in the upcoming year, you’re in for a treat. Amazing sparks ignited here over the past two years. With fewer people on island, communities took time to reflect on our culture and how we wanted to share it with you. There is still the sparkling aqua ocean, stunning sandy beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, and more. But by Maui getting in closer touch with its cultural and historical roots, you are in for a more enriching experience than ever.
We field many visitor questions, which helped us put together some great tips for you to have an amazing Maui vacation in 2022, whether it’s your first time or your 50th.
1. Should you visit more than one island?
While each of the main Hawaiian islands has its own distinct flavor, unless you have more than two weeks, we’d advise you make Maui your vacation home base. If it is your first time visiting, you may want to start with this island overview.
Being a three island county, including Maui, Molokai, Lanai (or 5 if you count the uninhabited island of Kahoolawe and Molokini islet), there is so much to do without even leaving the area. This is one reason why Maui County is considered the best for snorkeling, diving and other water activities. There are also plenty of outdoor activities and hikes, from an easy stroll to much more challenging adventures. The famed Road to Hana and Haleakala National Park are all-day outdoor adventures (with quite a bit of driving). The outdoor orientation of the islands make it a easier and safer to enjoy yourself while we are still working through the pandemic. Check out our comprehensive online guide for anything you might want to do on the island.
In a time when people are limiting travel, sticking to one island might be best. If you really want to get out a little further, you can easily take a day trip on a ferry to Lanai, or fly to Oahu for the day and tour the Arizona Memorial.
2. What cultural opportunities are there?
Most people attend a luau at least once, as these are great opportunities to learn about Hawaii’s history and culture through song and dance, plus ono (delicious) food and drinks. But if you really want to dig in deep to Maui roots, consider volunteering on vacation with Maui Cultural Lands. You might help unearth an ancient heiau (place of worship) or replant some native flora and fauna. You will definitely leave richer in knowledge than when you arrived.
If this is your first time here, this article provides a brief cultural primer. Don’t be afraid to talk to local people- we love sharing our aloha for the islands. There are also many cultural sites and museums to explore.
3. What’s the best time of year to visit Hawaii?
There is truly no bad time to visit Hawaii, but there are some factors that make certain times of the year more optimal than others.
Summer, Spring Break and the Christmas holidays through February are the most popular times to visit. Spring and Fall are quieter, and slightly less expensive.
Weatherwise, Hawaii is subtropical, which means that you will have warm weather year-round. But it does rain here, especially on north and east shores. It is what keeps the island green and beautiful. Generally, it’s sunniest on the south and west shores, which is where most visitors like to stay (with the Maalaea area being in between). And, if it’s cloudy on one side, you can drive to the other and usually find sunshine.
The chart below breaks down the average temps and rainfall by month. Note that Maui island has 14 micro climates, so if you plan to go to the 10,000ft peak of Halakala volcano, prepare for chilly temps, or through the east Maui rainforest to Hana, prepare for, well you know, rain!
4. Pre-planning is important
The key takeaway for 2022 is plan ahead. Maui was shut down for nearly a year—some businesses didn’t survive and many residents moved off island. While everything that can be open is, there is plenty to do and new businesses are springing up, personnel shortages can affect wait times in restaurants or activity schedules. This means you need to make reservations farther in advance for most things you want to do- at least three weeks in advance is suggested for activities, and even farther out for restaurant reservations and rental cars. We ask for your patience and aloha if you do need to wait- it is not the service personnel or rental counter attendant that is causing the delay. Relax and live on Maui time!
Here is one insider tip that can relieve the restaurant wait. Many restaurants, including fine dining, have upped their game regarding to-go menus and online ordering. So skip the wait, order out from one of our amazing eateries, and dine al fresco at the beach or on your condominium lanai, where you can always get a table at sunset!
5. Plan your accommodations
As one the largest and longest running vacation rental companies on island, Destination Maui Vacations has a wide selection of fully equipped beach condos in the best locations for different sized groups and budgets. Our website has a full gallery of photos of each unit, so you know exactly what you are renting.
Destination Maui Vacations has stringent cleaning policies in place to address COVID-19 concerns. In addition, we have maintained a flexible rebooking policy. We are committed to ensuring our guests feel comfortable booking, and are taken care of if plans change. Destination Maui Vacations has been recognized for extending these policies far longer than others in the industry.
6. Read up on COVID-19 restrictions
Before traveling, read up on current COVID-19 restrictions, which do change from time to time.
Entering Hawaii: There is still a 10-day quarantine in effect for travelers heading to Hawaii as part of the Safe Travels program. But there are two ways to bypass this quarantine.
First, the vaccine exemption. Fully vaccinated travelers can bypass quarantine by uploading a copy of their vaccination card to the Safe Travels website before their trip. Currently, this is only available to visitors who were vaccinated in the US and its territories. There is also an important update. Maui County has made an additional provision that “fully vaccinated” means you have also received at least one COVID-19 booster.
The other option is to get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the last leg of your flight to Maui.
While in Maui, there is an indoor mask and social distancing mandate in effect. So, bubble up indoors before ducking in to a store or entering a restaurant or other business. Once you are seated at a restaurant, you can remove your mask if you choose.
As always, we are happy to answer your questions when planning your Destination Maui Vacation!