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Empty Itinerary

Los Angeles...
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Empty Itinerary

Hello! This will be my first trip to Maui (in May). We are going for 5 nights and about 5 full days. We currently don't have anything planned and just want to relax, lay on the beach, snorkel a bit and enjoy food/drinks. I've been seeing a lot of full itineraries on here and am begining to wonder if we may get bored with not having any activities planned? Is it ok to just 'wing it' when we get there? Will we be missing out if we skip the Road to Hana and Haleakala? Why do so many people pack their itineraries full of activities that require driving/rushing all over the island? Does anyone go to Maui to just sit/relax and do nothing? Thanks in advance :)

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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1. Re: Empty Itinerary

Different people have different vacationing styles. Just do what ever YOU want to. Sure, you will miss out if you don't go to those places as I love them both but there is nothing written that says you have to go. For first time visitors it's always best to explore a bit and relax a bit. There is a big difference IMHO between driving a somewhere on Maui and rushing somewhere on Maui. Don't know too many people who are rushing!!

Just do whatever floats your boat, it's your vacation. If you get bored, there will be plenty of things to do.

San Carlos...
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2. Re: Empty Itinerary

I never have an itinerary. I have a few things in mind I may want to do, but being on vacation for me means having no schedule to keep as much as possible. Running around from one high energy activity to another in Hawaii is madness IMO. Each to their own.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Empty Itinerary

Aboslultely. Even during our first few trips we did not even think about having an itinerary. I see people pack their vacation like a cruise ship schedule. We wing it and feel very comfortable doing that. I do dive so I schedule those trips in advance and then we just fill in as we go. We don't know how we will feel until the day Others like to have that structure and that is fine for them. But don't feel guilty about wanting to just lay around, get the lay of the land and then decide if you want to do something. May is off season so it should not be too busy. We have a trip planned in May and no real plans other than diving. we're talking about Hana and the bamboo forest, but we'll wait until we get there to decide. Maui is beautiful lots to do, but to us the only must dos are what we want to do.

Alaska
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10,685 posts
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4. Re: Empty Itinerary

Lol.......my husband and I will be there in 28 days and our itinerary is relaxing and doing nothing! But I also have a list of restaurants, beaches and two reserved whale watches for our eight nights on Maui. We are coordinating our list with our daughter's future in laws plus our son, daughter and her fiancé will be with us. They have a pile of stuff on their list while we have lots of beach time and good food. We have been to Hawaii 4-7 weeks a year for the past five years.......it has been several years for them. That all makes a difference.

For you, as a first timer, figure out the restaurants, beaches and places you'd like to visit. Don't necessarily have it laid out day to day because flexibility is key, to account for the weather and your mood. Reserve the one or two tours or restaurants that matter to you. And get ready to love Maui! Deb

Omaha, Nebraska...
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5. Re: Empty Itinerary

We're going in May, too, and the only thing I have "planned" (really, there's no SET plan, just pretty sure I want to do it) is one day doing the Road to Hana. I'm the planner and my husband is a go with the flow kind of guy. I'm trying to adopt his attitude this time. :)

ON, Canada
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6. Re: Empty Itinerary

It's OK to do whatever you want on your vacation - no need to feel like you have to do what others are doing. You know what you need on your vacation - others might have different priorities ... there is no right or wrong way to vacation.

If you get bored, it's easy to find something to do or somewhere to go.

Some people like to book an activity or two in advance that they know won't be available for booking once they are there. If there's nothing that you feel is important (e.g. luau or catamaran trip) then just winging it sounds perfect.

Enjoy!

Oceanside...
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7. Re: Empty Itinerary

I'm with everybody else. I always 'wing it' and do exactly what you are doing. That does backfire at times on Maui because in the middle of the week you may decide you want to do 'X' but all those people with planned iteneraries have booked everything solid :) If I only had (5) days, I'd relax for (4) of them and take a slow drive just checking out some scenery on the 5th day. It's not that big of an island and you can really see alot in one day.

IMO, you aren't missing anything by not going to Haleakala. The Road to Hana is very cool and I drive it every other trip but I wouldn't fret over not going.

Dallas
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8. Re: Empty Itinerary

Our first trip we totally winged it once we got there and it worked out perfect. This trip, I feel like we should do more, see more, etc. rather than just lying around on the beach or at the pool as I don't know when we will be back. So I am going to try and have a day or two of excursions and see some things we didn't do before but at the same time, still plan for a lot of relaxing. I think a planned activity or two is good and the rest just see what you feel like doing.

California
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for Oahu
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9. Re: Empty Itinerary

Welcome to TripAdvisor, Samantha!

<<This will be my first trip to Maui (in May)>> This is key. You have never been to Maui before ... and many of those who encourage you to "fake it" have been plenty of times. I personally don't think it is fair to encourage first-time travelers to plunk down big bucks on a vacation ... and then tell them to wing it once they arrive.

Yes, you DO want a itinerary. A rough one. Pin down those things that need reservations ... like luau or helicopter tours or catamaran sails. Fill in the days with other things ... Haleakala, the Maui Ocean Center, the beach ... hanging in out ... sleeping in. Do you have to stick to your itinerary once you arrive? No - not at all! Make sure that you know the cancellation policies on anything reserved. Oh, and blocking time for some restaurants would be good, too. A rough itinerary can serve as a reminder list, too.

Don't fly all the way to Maui ... and then not see Maui.

Planning an itinerary is a great way to learn about Maui ... what your options are. It will keep you from just scratching your head and looking at each other every morning. A plan will help you get up and out. And if you decide to trash it ... then trash it.

Will you be missing out by skipping Haleakala? Oh, yes!

Spend some time with your maps, too.

Our first trip to Maui was not our best by far! We did not do our homework ... and there was no TripAdvisor. Put a little effort into this, and it will pay you back ten-fold. Would you recommend that folks come to LA and wing it?

ON, Canada
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10. Re: Empty Itinerary

<<" I personally don't think it is fair to encourage first-time travelers to plunk down big bucks on a vacation ... and then tell them to wing it once they arrive.">>

But we didn't encourage the OP to plunk down big bucks; they made a conscious decision to come to Maui to "relax, lay on the beach, snorkel a bit and enjoy food/drinks."

It's a short trip ... 4 full days ... and maybe they are getting away from extremely busy lives and need that down time more than a list of things to do. And what better place to enjoy down time than on a beach on Maui :)