Maui is a very laid back place, and for the most part, people who live here are friendly, helpful, and welcoming to visitors. We love sharing the beauty and joys of our island. Especially to visitors who are polite and respectful of the Hawaiian Culture and land. Life on Maui is definitely different from where you are accustomed to. Sometimes the best part of traveling, is diving into new cultures and stepping out of your comfort zone. I have gathered some travel tips Maui visitors in Maui in order to make your stay more welcome.
My helpful tips will earn you a smile of approval from those who live here. Maybe you will even get a friendly “shaka”!
Hawaiian time is a way of life on the islands. You will hear locals refer to things being done on “Hawaiian time” or “Maui time.” Life tends to move a lot slower here. Although we may set a specific time for something, most people aren’t as punctual as those on the mainland. And that is okay! Make sure to be patient with this laid-back island approach to time. Hawaii is a small chain of islands. We like to drive slow, and not feel too rushed. That’s part of the beauty here. You will probably leave feeling refreshed!
No more plastic bags!
Plastic shopping bags are now prohibited on Maui. Unfortunately they were flying all over the island with the strong winds and nesting in the trees. This was a huge problem on the environment! Now, stores no longer provide them. Did you know that they will be fined if they do?! Maui shopkeepers will not ask you “paper or plastic?” Instead, they will offer you a paper bag or ask if you brought your own or need any bag at all. We highly encourage you to bring in your own reusable shopping bag. Either that, or re-use the brown paper bag that was used for a previous grocery run. Anyone trying to better the environment will be very appreciated here.
Shoes off at the door
It is customary when visiting a local’s home to remove your shoes and leave them just outside the door. You know you will be entering a good party when you see a pile of shoes outside the entrance! Some businesses, condos, and vacation homes might also ask you to honor this custom, and it is very polite for you to do so. Sometimes it is also acceptable to place your shoes just inside the front door instead of outside. Don’t forget to remove your shoes before entering a local home! You will even get used to a lot of the local residents being barefoot frequently. Don’t be alarmed! It’s just that surfer island lifestyle 🙂
Native Hawaiians are very proud of their rich history and culture. Hawaiian culture is unique in all the world. Visiting Maui, you will be exposed to Hawaiian language and music, see hula dancers, hear chants, and see various Hawaiian arts and crafts. Locals love when visitors show a genuine interest and respect for the historical and cultural aspects of this island. There are many opportunities to learn about and experience authentic cultural traditions on Maui. This will enhance your visit and make it all the more memorable. We recommend participating in a cultural activity while you’re here and be respectful toward Hawaii’s cultural traditions.
Respecting the environment
Hawaii’s land and sea environment is fragile. We ask that you keep this in mind as you are enjoying your vacation. People and endangered animals and species call this their home. Much too often, especially this past year, we have seen people come from around the world and treat the environment poorly.
Here are a few pointers to help out :
- Dispose of your trash properly Don’t leave cigarette butts or any trash for that matter on the beach.
- Wear reef safe sunscreen– This one is incredibly important! Many, many sunscreen brands contain chemicals that are very harmful to the ocean, coral reefs, and its animals. Hawaii has ban two chemicals in sunscreen that have been proven bad. However, we are finding that there are still many harmful chemicals inside these sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide are reef friendly choices. Check out this list for some safe options!
- Don’t take any lava rock! This is considered bad luck.
- Don’t touch the turtles or seals! These beautiful and endangered animals swim and roam freely on the islands. You will be ever so lucky to see them! It is our job to keep at least 10 feet of distance. I know it is tempting to get close for some photos or to pet them. However, this can be so harmful and startling to the animal! You can also get fined up to $10,000!
- Recycle! Believe it or not, Hawaii doesn’t have the best recycling system. You will see many recycle bins on the streets of California and other states, but Hawaii unfortunately doesn’t have this luxury. What is recycled, is then shipped to Asia to start the actual recycling process. In the end, it is better to avoid all plastics when possible. However, you can collect your recyclables and bring them to the dumps located in multiple towns on island!
Aloha and Mahalo
“Aloha” (ah-LOW-hah) can mean “hello” or “goodbye” depending on the circumstance. “Mahalo” (mah-HAH-low) is “thank you.” You will often hear these words on Maui. You can’t go wrong with these two words! Say “aloha” to people, respond in kind when it is said to you, and thank people with a sincere “mahalo.” It is totally okay to say “aloha” and “mahalo”!
Well, did these travel tips for visitors in Maui help? We sure hope so! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us! We love sharing our island and advice with all of you beautiful people. Thank you for taking the time to read this and help make a positive impact on our islands!