Vacation planning for Maui is just as exciting as getting there for me. I love doing the research and planning to see as much as possible. There is so much to see and do on the islands it is important to have a clear game plan of where you want to go most. Make sure to plan days for adventure and days for some good ol’ r’n’r on the beach. When in Hawaii you are on island time which means its best not to rush anything, the vacation will fly by fast enough on its own. Planning ahead means no stress and no wasting time on trying to decide where to go and what to see because you already know what you want to see and where you want to eat. I have been perfecting the art of travel planning for years and now I am going to share my tips and tricks with you so you can have the best time on your tropical vacation.
I love travel guides they hold so much information that can’t be found anywhere else. I like to read them cover to cover in preparation for my trips. They are easy to navigate if you are looking for specific information too. If I could I would buy the new edition everytime I book a flight but for now I just pick up a copy at the library and renew it as soon as possible so I can submerge myself in the contents for as long as I can.
I like to buy the sticky tabs to mark locations that catch my eye. But if I have my computer out I will type in the area of interest on Google Maps so I can look at reviewers photos to see if it is as worthwhile to see as the travel guides say. Sometimes its hit or miss. I then star everything that seems like an interesting spot.
Google Maps is the perfect tool for planning a trip and documenting everything you want to see. I like to start out by starring my hotel and then seeing what kinds of nearby restaurants are around. I then see if the restaurant looks like my kind of place by reading the reviews and scanning through the photos of the food. Then when I find a restaurant that looks good I will click on their website to get a look at their full menu and prices.
Once I have all of the nearby restaurants picked out I look for activities, shops, and beaches. Then I will move on to all of the towns on the island to see if there are some cute spots to take a day trip to. Then I find even more inspiration about planning a trip to Hawaii by perusing peoples blogs and vlogs through Pinterest and YouTube. There are always hundreds of blogs about the exact same places you are traveling to and the blogs give a real-world perspective. I like using blogs as a travel tool because the content is very real and relatable. People who have traveled before you know whats worth it and what is overrated. Blogs are the new word of mouth in my opinion. But always get the lo-down by talking to the locals too, they always have hidden gems that nobody else is talking about on the internet.
Since I am traveling with my family we have been talking about what we want to see over the last few months. Everything that we all wanted to see together I put on our itinerary list. Once you get a good itinerary list you start planning the days out. I start by pinpointing the time we arrive and start planning out meals and our stops from the airport to the hotel that we can hit up first thing. I look at the Google map of all the stared places and map out our best course to efficiently drive and stop without having to go back and forth. Once we are on the road we know exactly where we are going and what we are doing. Of course, these can be loose plans, you never know how you are going to be feeling, or if the weather may get in the way. But you can always switch around days or just throw the itinerary out the window. But that is why I planned beach days and days for adventure every other day. That way after a long day of hiking we can relax with our Mai Tai’s on the beach the next day and never have to touch the steering wheel.
I am a visual person, so once I have my itinerary set I will make a vacation vision board. I write down what is planned and wherever we are going I screenshot a piece of my google map with the directions and how long it will take us to get there. You see I have done all the navigating ahead of time, so there is no confusion, and no wasted time. Then everything we want to see has been prioritized with the most important things we want to see. If we have extra time on our hands or if we are looking for a place to stop while we are driving around then I just pull up my Google map and see what starred places are around. Now my trip is organized and I am ready to adventure. Maui here I come!!
What do you think about these nifty vacation planning ideas? I know we are not all keen on making travel plans but I am here to help. If you are not big on the organization or if you just hate putting in the time to research where you are going, I can help. I can be your tour guide, get you to your destination with no stress, that is what vacations are for after all.
Thanks for reading! -Jess