Female Solo Journey on Maui - Help......

Mar 24th, 2006, 06:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Female Solo Journey on Maui - Help......

I'm traveling from the east coast to Maui for my first time for a couple of weeks -April 18 thru May 1 (great tix price so I couldn't pass it up). I'm planning on spending the entire time on Maui. Photography is my passion so exploring the island and seeing it through a camera lens is my goal. I’m really looking for interesting things off the beaten path - basically on a shoe-string budget. I’m 33 AND a recent grad school graduate wanting to seek some ‘me time’. I know this will be a great solo adventure I'm sure of it. However, advice from fellow travelers would be so appreciated.

Traveling this length of time does take a large 'hit' in the pocketbook when it comes to accommodations so I need help...... I've read tons and tons of travel books and guides.
Thus far, I've booked a couple of nights in a cabin at the Wai'anapanana State Park (Road to Hana) when I first get there.

Other than that I’ve looking into staying a couple of nights in bed and breakfasts and hostels around the island or wherever. I figure staying a couple of nights in various areas will provide me the opportunity to ‘see and experience’ some great stuff. Thus, the need to save some money by staying in hostels will hopefully (fingers crossed) off-set the expense of bed and breakfasts or hotels. Anyone have any luck with any of these or recommendations?

General places to see and places to stay away from while traveling solo is welcome.....

wander_lust is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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We just got back and for the first time drove past Makena to the lava flows at the end of the road by La Perouse Bay. We had no idea there was lava on Maui like that and as a photographer, I think you'll be really pleased with the stark landscape. It's really hot out there, so go on a cloudy day or early or late (but then you're going to do that anyway for the light). Also Makena State Park's cliffs were nice to photograph, and if you're looking for rainbows seems there is always one behind Lahaina in a light rain. (Just like in the postcards).
Peterman is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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The Lonely Planet board would be a good place to search (or ask) for info on Maui hostels. I always liked to stay in hostels at least sometimes when traveling alone, to meet other travelers, have dinner partners, etc.
christy1 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Just got back from Maui...and although I didn't travel solo this time I have in the past and it's incredible. Your trip will be awesome! Consider picking up the Maui Revealed and or Driving & Discovering Maui & Molokini (this one directs you to good spots for photos, what time of day etc)

We really enjoyed Paia and upcountry on this particular trip. Met so many nice & interesting folks in those areas... there's no shortage of beautiful scenery and I had a blast with my new Nikon. Haleakala, Road to Hana (waterfalls, bamboo forests, black sand beach, oheo gulch), Iao Needle valley, northwest Maui, South Maui beaches, La Perouse Bay (where the last lava flow occured) etc Have fun exploring! Stop at Hookipa if you are interested in photographing the windsurfers or just want to watch... I want to back!

I'm too an east coast gal and enjoyed getting lost in paradise. aloha!
acaigirl is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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Thanks for the info re: lava from near La Perouse Bay. Sounds like a must-see.


Founds some great info on the Lonely Planet board re: hostels.


Thanks so much for ALL of your suggestions.

wander_lust is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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^^^ for 2awesomekids
suze is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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You should plan to drive up to Haleakala. Many people go for the sunrise (it's really cold and may be cloudy), but you should think about going during the day. The landscape is amazing - makes you think you're on the moon. And there are plants up there that aren't seen anywhere else. You might also try the Maui Tropical Garden. There are tours to take, but you can take lots of wonderful pictures of plants without taking the tour. It's located near the Iao Valley and free to get there.
Good luck and have a great trip.
MinnieNo1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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A great place to eat in Hana is about a mile or so in to town from where you are staying in the cabin. There is a guy , Ben, who bbq's in his front yard a really good plate lunch. The world stops there as well. It is fun. Get out to the pools before 9 am as after that it is crowded. Or again, after 5 pm for the same reason. Have fun. g.
goldee is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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With a couple of weeks, I think I would do two islands, particularly if you are a photographer. I would spend a week on Maui, and a week on the BI.
Spokaneman is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Again thanks to all who have offered up some suggestions....

Looking forward to more great advice!
wander_lust is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 01:50 AM
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I was going to recommend some cottages which my aunt has stayed at (and was near where we've always stayed), in the North Kihei area, called Nona Lani Cottages. So I went to their website (http://www.nonalanicottages.com/) to see their prices. Not real cheap at $100. but virtually beachfront. Really nice.

But I do notice that they also operate a hostel in Wailuki, with much cheaper rates. Can't speak to its quality, but if the one is nice, the other can't be too much different.
EnricoIV is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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After thinking about it, I thought I should expound more on my post above.

We've spent a lot of time on Maui, and like to go "native" rather than do the touristy route. And settled into this area as our favorite. I'm not crazy about Lahaina ... it's too touristy. But if I was to stay in that area, I'd go for the Pioneer Inn, a smaller, older hotel right on the waterfront and in the heart of the "old town" area. Other than that, you'd pretty much be up in Kaanapali which is total tourist.

I'm going to totally concur with the Upcountry/Paia suggestion. It's my favorite part of the island. And very different from the rest. Kula Lodge is pretty remote, halfway up the volcano, but has some cabins (I think they are). I've not stayed there, and don't know the rates, but the restaurant is pretty good and not overpriced. The grounds are gorgeous, my favorite artist has a gallery there, and its in the heart of the protea growers.

But back to the north Kihei area. Across from the Nona Lani cottages the beach is a state (?) park. Weekends, you'll often see families gathering for luaus in celebration of this or that. The Kihei Outrigger Club is right in the area, and most mornings we'd see them out paddling on the ocean. There's a little market next to the cottages, where a couple days a week they have a farmer's market with great fresh-grown things. Just about across from that, a creek cuts through the beach. So it's not continuous. But north of the cut, you've got a long, uninterrupted beach. Up in the cove is a turtle sanctuary. We used to quite often seen whales out in the bay, and the sun sets in that direction, and it's gorgeous. Basically, a photographer's dream.

My suggestions for food are to frequent the places the locals eat. Little restaurants in strip malls, etc. Look for places specializing in plate lunches. If you want to eat "fancy," go for lunch, not for dinner.

I'm sure this is more than you want to know. But I looove this area. And haven't been for several years. <<sigh>>
EnricoIV is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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Try to spend a few nights in Upcountry Maui. I love being on the green, grassy lower slopes of Haleakala, looking down at the tiny towns and blue ocean below. A great place to stay is Banyan Tree Cottages, just outside Makawao. These are old plantation buildings in a lovely garden setting. There's a nice pool and hot tub, and the views at night of the starry skies and twinking lights are awesome. The cheapest cottage is $110 a night, but there is a little kitchenette, so you can save $$ by eating "at home". The website is www.hawaii-mauirentals.com
Barbara5353 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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I stayed in Kihei last summer, and though it wasn't alone...it was in some condos across the beach from Kam II and it seemed like a great area to be if I were traveling alone. It had a more beach town, casual feel and there were several shopping areas and little eateries/pubs within walking distance. The beach across the street was great. I've traveled alone on a very short trip to Oahu and personally, I would prefer renting a small studio or staying at a BnB as opposed to a Hostel, guess I still like to have my private space. BnB's are great too because you get a lot of tips & advice on the sites & where to eat and of course..start everyday off with a nice, tasty breakfast Thanks again iamq, makai1, & iceeu2 for the well wishes on my upcoming wedding on Oahu. After my first trip to Hawaii a few years ago, I found these boards and the fodorites on the Hawaii boards have been so helpful in my planning several return trips since then.

Since a few asked I posted some of our travel plans below and maybe this will help any other fodorites who plan on getting married on Oahu.

We're staying the week in a vacation rental in Punaluu. I just love this little area because the beach houses have wonderful, secluded beachfronts and in 15-20 mins you can be in the Turtle Bay area or North Shore or just 30 mins to Kailua & Lanikai beaches and when you need the big city fix, Waikiki is about 45mins away.

Our small, but tropical elegant wedding will be at a private beach estate in the Ko'Olina area and we're checking into the Marriott Ko'Olina Beach Club for just the wedding night.

Welcome dinner at Shorebird. Hey can you imagine how fun it will be for 20 of us to be grilling our own dinners while taking in the sunset at Waikiki Beach The food is pretty tasty, good prices prices and for the guys w/ big appetites (like my FI) they have the all you can eat salad bar.

We're going to order food for a group picnic at the beachhouse in Punaluu, anyone have any ideas on good, cheap catering in the Laie area for about 15 people. We were thinking L & L?

BI honeymoon:
We reserved 2 nights at the Volcano Teapot Cottage http://bbonline.com/hi/volcanoteapot/index.html. It had nothing but positive reviews on Trip Advisor, the owner was very helpful when I spoke with her, and it has a private outdoor jacuzzi, which is a big plus for me.

Rest of our stay will be 4 nights at the Hapuna Prince via priceline for $180 per night. Using http://www.biddingfortravel.com & http://www.betterbidding.com tips, I was able to pinpoint our chances at getting this hotel, so we saved almost $100 off the normal discounted price of $270.

Contrary to our usual vacations, we don't want to do too much site seeing while staying at Hapuna, but my main question would be if we spent just 2 days on activities & sites during our time on the Kohala/Kona coast...what should we see & do?

Thanks again and I will absolutely be posting a TR after our big trip!
ggrtist is offline  
Mar 30th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Wanderlust, I'm sorry...I have no idea what happened. I hit post my reply and it put my other post up...I apologize! I can't even find that post now.

Here was my post to you:
I stayed in Kihei area last summer, not alone but that's where I would feel comfortable alone. It was across from Kam II and it was a nice little beach town area, casual feel and little shopping centers and eateries nearby. I traveled to Oahu on a very short trip solo once and personally, I would prefer a studio or BnB as opposed to a hostel. I guess I like my private space still and the tips you get from the hosts, as well as starting each day out with a tasty, hearty breakfast
ggrtist is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 190
Just did a google search for hostel on Maui...interesting results...don't know how current the results are, but you might give it a try.
circa2 is offline  

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