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Maui with teens….first trip (Feb., 2023) advice needed

Maui with teens….first trip (Feb., 2023) advice needed

Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 09:45 AM
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Maui with teens….first trip (Feb., 2023) advice needed

My family and I (myself, husband, and daughters 16, and 12) are visiting Maui the week of February 19th through February 25th. We are staying in a 1 bedroom condo at Honua Kai, and I have booked a rental car through National. My husband and I last visited for our honeymoon in February 2003 (stayed at the Fairmont in Wailea then).

I don’t have a plan yet but we arrive at 2 pm on Sunday and leave at 2 pm on Saturday.

My girls are pretty active and so far don’t have a long list of wants other than to see the sea turtles, getting true Hawaiian shaved ice, and going to Haleakala. My youngest had an awful experience on a fishing boat a few years back (YMCA trip) and now won’t go on any type of boat so I may need some land alternatives to see whales and turtles if she won’t get on a boat to see them (kind of hoping she will though). I am thinking a kayaking trip might be nice alternative (but neither daughter has kayaked before).

On our prior trip my husband and I went to Hana, Haleakala, went on a small whale watching/snorkeling trip, did a helicopter tour, a luau, and drove up the coast and found some deserted beaches right off the highway.

My girls are not big on fish (the younger one does eats plain shrimp) so food wise we will need places whose menus aren’t 100% fish. We also don’t plan on eating out every night and will probably take lunches with us during the day since we will have a full kitchen.

Is there anyway to have a luau experience and not pay $200+ per person? I get that part of it is entertainment but that just seems like a waste of almost $900 (I checked out the Old Lahaina Luau and the pricing for 3 adults (16 is an adult) and 1 child was $879). I was shocked. I don’t recall what we paid in 2003 (I am guessing between $50-$75 pp) but tbh we haven’t spent $900 on a meal for four people ever (and really don’t want to). Someone on Trip Advisor said that Costco used to have $79.99 luau tickets but those went away with Covid and the same luau at the Marriott in Wailea is now $225 pp. .

What are some recommended guide books?

Last edited by anniep625; Sep 3rd, 2022 at 09:50 AM.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 09:31 PM
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It would be very rare for a restaurant to only serve fish I don't think you really need to worry about that.

Instead of a luau, look around for the free shows of Hawaiian music and dance that may happen at a shopping mall, free stage, hotels, etc.

Not sure what to suggest for viewing turtles and whales if you don't go in a boat. I don't think a first time kayaking is going to work for that.

Will be interested to see recommendation, for guidebooks I usually use either Moon or Lonely Planet but I'm not sure about them for Maui. If you can use your public library, I'd just get a stack of whatever they have available for Hawaii.

suze is online now  
Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 10:35 PM
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I went with my teens in May. We didn’t do any excursion-type stuff, but they really enjoyed snorkeling. We just rented from The Snorkel Store and went wherever conditions were good that day. We also went to Hana and stayed the night at the camping cabins at Waianapanapa, and did some hiking, and that was a 2-day trip they loved. Other than that, we just had tons of shave ice and gelato. 😆

My kids don’t like seafood either, and their favorite places we ate were the food trucks near Costco right when we got there, the food trucks in Hana, and the pizza at Hana Farms.
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Old Sep 4th, 2022, 07:11 AM
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The cheapest gasoline on Maui is at the station next to Costco. You may have to wait in line for awhile. Maybe send someone into Costco to shop while the driver waits in line. Maybe cook your own luau and watch your entertainment on a big TV screen. In addition to fish dishes, Hawaiians make some good pork dishes.
If you want to get away from the coastline, go visit the Io Needle.
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Old Sep 4th, 2022, 11:11 AM
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I agree with most except about watching TV There is no reason you can't find some free performances of Hawaiian music and dance outdoors somewhere if you are interested. I especially love the keiki (kids) hula groups.

Plenty of chicken, pork, pizza, burgers, etc. etc. no reason to fear fish will be the only option. I have never encountered that anywhere.
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Old Sep 10th, 2022, 09:50 AM
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I went with my 12 and 15 year old in April and we all loved the Old Lahaina Luau. Yes, it is pricey, but I thought it was worth it. Everything is so much more expensive now than years ago on Maui and everywhere. It is a bit shocking to see the difference. On our Maui trip, we had a bit of a road trip and stayed all over the island. While at the Hyatt in Kaanapali we saw the Drums of the Pacific from our balcony and at the Grand Wailea we walked over to peek at their luau. In our opinions, the atmosphere of Old Lahaina was the best of the three. Here are the things the kids enjoyed most: Iao Valley State Park, stops on the RTH (we used one of the Gypsi travel apps to know where to stop), especially the one where my son jumped from the top of a waterfall into pool below (probably dangerous though), outrigger canoe from Wailea (maybe just one of you can take the child who is ok with water activities), Sea Maui snorkel catamaran from Kaanapali Beach, and jumping off Black Rock (the 15 year old did this, and yes I was scared, but lots of kids doing it). The 15 yo loved the Haleakala sunrise, but the 12 year old was too cold and tired and did not enjoy it at all.
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Old Sep 11th, 2022, 06:16 AM
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It's been a few years, but I've seen turtles when snorkeling off Makena and Maluaka beaches, just a little south of Wailea. No boat required. In fact, Maluaka Beach is sometimes referred to as "Turtle Town." You may also see whales from the shore in that area, as well.
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Old Sep 11th, 2022, 09:43 AM
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Haleakala is amazing at any time of day. I'm really glad our family decided to do it mid-way instead of for sunrise or sunset (so driving in the dark one direction).
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Old Sep 11th, 2022, 04:06 PM
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I hope the reluctant boat teenager will change their mind. There is nothing like being out on the water when the whales are breaching. We went with the Pacific Whale Foundation several times. One trip was a combination snorkel/whale watching trip. We saw lots of whales.

You can see turtles while snorkeling off the shore. They are so fun to swim with. I am sure wherever you rent snorkel gear can give you some ideas.

There is frequently Hawaiian music and entertainment at Kaanapali Mall- free.

We were at Haleakala at sunset. Really beautiful! And didn't have to get up early AM to see it.

The kids might like to try their hand at windsurfing. I think Ho'okipa would be good place for that. Should be able to find a place that gives lessons.


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