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Driving Road to Hana on our own?

San Jose, California
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Driving Road to Hana on our own?

So I've read various websites and books that say this is a must to go on the road to Hana. Now my big question is whether or not we should attempt doing this on our own or go through a tour guide. Does anyone have any recommendations? I will be on the island in Oct for our honeymoon and trying to plan the itinerary. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Reedsport, Oregon
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1. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

We have driven it 3 times and love it. Just be sure to bring your patience and drive defensively and you'll do great. It's a beautiful drive.

My father and step mom took a tour once and got very sick. They were in the back of the bus and it swung back a forth so bad they said they'd never go back again. Not the way I'd like to see that part of Maui.

The big advantage of going on your own is you go where you want not where someone else takes you to. Also you stay as long you want.

SF Bay Area
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2. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

Get a guide and do it on your own, at your own pace. That way your time and schedule is your own and you can stop and see anything you'd like for as long as you'd like and finish when you're done on the RTH - not when a tour ends.

Enjoy your trip!

Camarillo...
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for Maui
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3. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

Absolutely you can do it on your own - and at your own pace. There are several companies that offer audio guides that you can pop in your car CD player. The guide will point out places to stop and explore along the way. Our favorite is the one that Snorkel Bob's sells. Not only is it infomative, but its very entertaining and will keep you laughing the whole trip.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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4. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

I have done it on my own, more times than I can count and have also taken a tour.

Doing it on your own is very easy. You can start and stop when you want and spend as much time at each stop that you want. We usually leave Kihei early (6:00am) and spend at least 12 hours on our trips. Remember, your rental car contract will prohibit you from driving further than Kipahulu and you will turn around and go back the same way you came. Go to the Hana Forum and on the right hand side you will see a menu of Top Questions. You will find all kinds of info about the road to Hana.

The disadvantage of taking a tour is you go where they want you to go and limit your time at each stop.

The advantages of taking a tour is no one is hampered from looking at the scenery because you are the person who is driving. The tour van's are generally small, like 12 passenger. The guides are full of wonderful info and stories you will hear no where else. They are allowed to drive past Kipahulu and you will see the wonderful scenery that you will not see if you drive yourself.

Mount Vernon,Il
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5. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

We have driven it ourselves like so many other have said, but like msfuzz says if you let someone else drive you can enjoy the scenery more. I really like to travel at my own pace but I would like to try it the other way once just for the idea of not worrying about the drive. However, I can see the possibility of getting sick on a van ride with all those curves.

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

we did it last year on our own. we absolutely loved it! i bought the maui revealed guide book and read up on it and highlighted the spots we wanted to stop. it's a great book and very informative. at first i was hesitant to do drive it on our own, but it was very easy and beautiful. i'm glad we it on our own. if you need other info you can message me.

Saint Cloud...
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for Oahu
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7. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

You'll enjoy the trip much more on your own.

You'll enjoy the scenery much better also as you'll be in the front seat of a car rather than on just one side of a tour bus.

You can stop along the road at many of the waterfalls that tour buses cannot stop at.

You can stop where you want & for as long as you want.

Lots of Maui websites including a Road To Hana section:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29220-s2/Maui:Hawaii…

Stops along Road to Hana & ratings of the stops (Note: the ratings are just from one Maui forum member, though they are pretty accurate in my opinion):

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29220-c2253/Maui:Haw…

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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8. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

Aloha,

Here's a link to a recent thread in which this topic was discussed. See my pros and cons list for facts that may help you decide.

You won't need to buy the CD tour unless you want to......it's rent able at many locations, too.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29220-i86-k373549…

Seattle, WA
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9. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

This question comes up a lot, and I think it's worth mentioning that more tourists drive the Hana Highway "on their own" rather than taking a tour bus. There are a lot of tour buses, to be sure, but most people drive on their own. I don't have any data to back this up, but it's just my observation after several visits. :)

One thing I really love about this drive is that it's so easy to personalize to your preferences - you can drive the whole way without leaving the car once, or you can stop at every wayside for hikes and photos. Most people have fun somewhere in between, and it's harder to personalize your drive if you're on a bus.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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10. Re: Driving Road to Hana on our own?

Aloha,

Pensive, the tours are very, very popular-though I don't know that anyone's ever counted the cars vs. vans. Very few tours use "buses" that Dusty described-they're just too big to make it around the curves. I think the largest tour vehicle these days is a 25 seater. What you say about DIY is part of what I listed too; here's the post I tagged:

Aloha,

Criss, this is one of those really tough questions-for the exact reason that you posted! Here's my pros and cons......just my opinion.

Pros:

1. Someone else does the driving so everyone gets to relax and see more.

2. The tours know how to time the trip.

3. The guides do it for a living; they know what looks good or not every day.

4. The guides will give you more "local" info and history.

5. The guides know what's safe or not.

6. Your food is included on most tours and you don't have to do the packing or cleaning up!

7. Tours can legally go around the back side.

Cons:

1. Once you're on the van-that's it. No turning back if someone decides they're "done".

2. Limited time at stops may not please you.

3. You might not want to go all the way to Hana.

4. You might not want to go around the back side anyway.

5. Some tours seem to promote certain places or vendors.

6. The better tours will be around 10 to 12 hours total.

7. It will cost more than DIY.

When I was in the business, I really did recommend a tour for most people. It took the pressure off and they had a lot more fun in the end. But I was picky about my vendors and tried to match people to vendor. These days, I still think that Valley Isle Excursions and Temptation Tours do a great job.