Trip Coach: April 25, 2006

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Andrew Doughty, author of "Maui Revealed", answered your Maui-related questions

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha from Hawaii! I am very happy to be here and look forward to answering your questions about Maui. If I don't get to all of you, my apologies in advance. You may find also the information you are looking for in our book, "Maui Revealed, The Ultimate Guidebook." 3rd edition ($15.95). Which can be bought at any bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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Houston, TX: I would like to know your recommendation on the best strategy to see the sunrise at Haleakala Crater. Since I have not made hotel reservations, should I book one closer to the crater or maybe take a tour from Lahaina?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Houston, TX -- I wouldn't base my hotel on being near Haleakala Crater. If you are not a morning person, a tour will get you up there and keep you fed and happy. If you prefer to go it alone, take your warm coats with you and a lot of hot coffee and leave early to get the best views and parking. Call 808-877-5111 to get the times of the sunrise and get there at least 1/2 hour before. Bring a flashlight with you. For other tips see our book on page 121. Enjoy Maui!

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Wareham, Massachusetts: I am planning a one-week trip to Maui on December 2, 2006. We would like to stay in a rental house on or near the beach and like to snorkel. We are considering West Maui, Lahaina, and South Maui (Kihei and beyond). Based on weather and surf conditions in early December -- which would you recommend?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Wareham, Massachusetts -- Personally I'd try S. Maui in December. Be sure and check the ocean for conditions at that time of year as it can get rough. Enjoy.

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Philadelphia PA: We will be spending a week on Maui in January. Snorkeling is our main concern. Can you tell us where the best snorkeling is and what area we might stay in to be close by. Thanks

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Philadelphia PA -- Snorkeling varies with ocean conditions. And in winter this can vary a lot. Some places to check out are: Kamaole I and II near the point or South of Wailea Beach or Black Rock at Ka'anapali Beach. We list many other places in our book on page 225. Again, snorkeling depends on Mother Nature and even she can turn a great spot into a horrible one. Mornings are always the best time to snorkel.

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Fairfax Virginia: : I want to plan a family trip to Oahu, Maui and the big island of Hawaii next year. The ages range from 3 to 58! I would like to know the best way to go about planning how to get there, where to stay and what to do. I have been to Hawaii twice; on my honeymoon and a cruise. I was thinking about going either in early April or late June. Thank you for any help you can provide. Ruth

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Ruth in Fairfax Virginia -- You have your work cut out for you planning a vacation for that large a group like that. I'd try and stick with June for better weather and prices on hotels. We have a book for each of the islands you are considering (Oahu, Maui and The Big Island) and tons of information on planning for your best ever vacation in each. There is something for every age on each of the islands you have chosen. Happy planning.

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Maui, Hawaii: We will be traveling to Maui in April or May 07 for my friends wedding. We all (bride/groom included) live in the upper peninsula of MI so it's taking some planning. We would like to stay in condos preferrably on the shore but we don't want to break the bank to do it. Any suggestions? There will be the wedding party, all in mid 30's, parents of bride/groom and 2 children ages 11 & 13. Thanks!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Maui, Hawaii -- Condos in N. or S. Kihei will suit your budget and your needs to be on a beach. Check our 3rd edition Maui Revealed book for detailed reviews of all the condos. Have a great time at the wedding.

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Venice, CA: I need a couple of ideas for a summer vacation that's safe, but still fun for a solo woman traveler. I'm thinking tropical, resort, pool, spa, activities, and upper-scale. Air from Los Angeles and hotel for about seven nights leaving
anytime during the week of June 24th. HELP! Thanks!!!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Venice, CA -- You can't go wrong at the Four Seasons Maui -- even if you are traveling alone it will not disappoint and will pamper you in every way!

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Boston, MA: Hi! Thanks for reading my question. My mom, sister and I will be heading down to Maui in October (10/15-10/22). It's our first time to Maui and we are staying at the Westin - it's timeshare. When should we start looking for tickets - we want to get the best deals - any suggestions? And secondly, What is one thing we should definitely do before leaving Maui? (I am 26, my sister 23 and my mom is 50.) Thank you in advance!!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Boston, MA -- Start looking for tickets now for October. The road to Hana is a must-do and Haleakala will never cease to thrill as well. But Maui has some fantastic beaches so make sure you make time to just relax. Enjoy!

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Dallas, Oregon: Mr. Doughty, We love "Maui Revealed"-- It's been our constant companion our last two trips to Maui. We're going again next month (May 27 through June 3). We're planning to drive to Hana from our WorldMark resort in Kihei along the southern coast (backwards from the "usual" route). Yahoo's driving directions have us turning left off of Highway 31 about a half mile sout of Alanui Kealii Drive and going 4.7 miles on Kealakapi Road to Kula Highway. All other maps I've checked do not show a road connecting Kihei to Kula Highway. Is this merely an error by Yahoo, or is there in fact a driveable road (Kealakapi) there? We will be driving a full-size sedan (Chevy Impala or similar) while in Maui. Our daughter and son-in-law drove the southern coast in a compact this past winter, so I'm sure it's quite passable in a full-size car. Thanks in advance for your response. -John

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha John in Dallas, Oregon -- This is the most common question -- so much so that we have a permanent update on our web site and even mention it again in our book on page 139. There is no accessible road connecting Hwy 31 and Hwy 37. Yahoo is wrong. You gotta go the long way, Brah!

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Boise, ID: We are big fans of Mr. Doughty's travel guides on Hawaii. We are considering getting married in Maui next winter (Feb-Apr timeline). What are the best places to get married? Any hints on how to organize a wedding from a distance without using the hotel's wedding planners?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Boise, ID -- And congratulations on your up coming wedding. Wedding planners are mentioned in our book on page 26. They can help you plan your dream wedding at almost any location you pick or they can suggest some. A beach always makes a beautiful and memorable setting.

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Flushing, NY: My family and I will be touring the Hawaiian islands this May with a packaged tour. While in Maui, our hotel will be located in Kihei. I was wondering if there is public transportation we can take to get to Skyline Eco Adventures to try out the zipline adventure. Thanks.

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Flushing, NY -- Public transport on Maui not will get you anyplace near your Skyline Eco Adventure. You are best off renting a car as you would have to wait for a taxi to come collect you after the tour if you took one there. Happy zipping!

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Fort Wayne, IN: I'm interested in knowing if Andrew has info on the best timeshare (purchase) properties on Maui. Love the humor and wonderful info in those blue books! Thanks!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Fort Wayne, IN -- Sorry we don't review timeshares on the islands.

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Elk Rapids, MI: We are planning our 5th trip to Maui for January 2007. What are the best inexpensive Maui restaurants? Inexpensive meaning...inexpensive for Maui!!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Elk Rapids, MI -- We list over 120 places to eat in our 3rd edition. Cheap eats also depends on what you are wanting to eat, when and where you are. You probably won't find many cheap eats in Wailea. But there are plenty of places that won't kill your wallet and still make your taste buds happy.

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Ottawa, Canada: Where is the safest and most economical place to find a one or two bedroom unit in Maui in January 2007? Thank you.

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Ottawa, Canada -- N. Kihei can be a very good value as can S. Kihei. Start looking at condos in those locations with your own list of criteria. Again, we list and compare all the condos and resorts with unbiased reviews in our 3rd edition of Maui Revealed. January is high season, so expect to pay more than at other times of the year.

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Long Island, NY: My family of 4 (2 young teenagers and husband) visited Maui last August 2005. We visited Haleakala on 2 separate days but on both days, it poured cats and dogs on the summit. We waited, but the rain did not let up. We are thinking of returning to Maui just to hike at Haleakala. What is the best time of the year to visit Haleakala to ensure we'll be able to do some hiking? Thank you.

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Long Island, NY -- Sometimes it rains even in paradise. Summer is your best bet, but Mother Nature has her own ideas sometimes. Happy hiking!

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Minneapolis, MN: My husband and I are traveling for the first time to Maui mid-June this year to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We want to see the must-see sights but still have some time to relax. We will be on Maui for only 5 days after spending 4 days on Oahu. So far I have only booked the Old Lahaina Luau. We are staying near Kahana. We would also like to do a snorkeling trip (not sure which one -- have never snorkeled before), travel the road to hana, and get a massage on the beach (not sure where this is offered). I also thought Warren and Annabelle's would be a fun night out. Any comments/suggestions for us would be greatly appreciated.

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Minneapolis, MN -- Congrats on your 20th anniversary! All the things you have mentioned sound great for your trip. You may also consider a dinner on the beach of your choice with Tableside Chefs 808-875-8980 for that very special night. For spa massages try either the Four Seasons or the Grand Wailea. We compare all the snorkel boats in our book as there are many to choose from and each offers a unique adventure and experience.

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Cambridge, MA: I am always seeing ads for cheap condos in Maui, but I can't figure out a good way to tell how nice they are or compare prices and find the best deals. Any suggestions? I've been to Maui before and stayed on Kaanapali Beach, which was a bit crowded for me. I liked the area further north of there and also the area around Kihei. Thanks.

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Cambridge, MA -- Condos are always sort of gamble as it really depends on the owner and condition of the condo. We compare all the condos and resorts in our book, Maui Revealed, and give an unbiased review of each place relative to each other spot in the same area. There are nearly 150 reviews in our book. We personally visit each place we write about in our book. You may want to pick up a copy to help guide you into the right condo complex on the island.

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Dixon, CA: My brother is getting married in October at the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena. My family has been to Maui and stayed in Lahaina. I've checked the Maui Prince, and it's a bit to pricey for my family of 5 to stay there for my brother's wedding. Can you recommend a nice place to stay on that side of the island that's an affordable, but still nice? Otherwise, we'll be heading back to Kahana. Thanks! Kim

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Kim in Dixon, CA -- Try looking into a condo in S. Kihei for your family. If you prefer a resort, you are better off in West Maui but it will put a lot of driving between you and the wedding at the Maui Prince.

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Camarillo, CA: We need help entertaining our grandsons (6 and 3) in Maui, while their parents are attending a friend's wedding on the island. We will have them for 4 days and do not want to spend the whole time on the beach or in the condo watching videos. Any kid friendly events or sites would be gladly appreciated. We have been to the island before (my daughter and her husband have never been to any of the islands) so while we want to give them the opportunity to have some very special time together, we will need some R&R at the end of the week. Any suggestions for some dining and dancing that is a little "older"? Also, what are the cheapest car rentals? We will need two. Are Luau's kid-friendly? Great article, we are looking forward to trying many of your suggestions.

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Camarillo, CA -- Small kids and adults alike will enjoy the Maui Ocean Center and there is a boat called the "Reefdancer" that is a semi-submersible. Their trip is really geared for younger kids and the price is reasonable. Take the shorter morning trip as it is long enough for younger kids. There are so many places for you to get some "adult time" R&R and some dancing...try some of the resorts in Wailea. Car rentals don't vary much, you may get your best deal on the Internet -- expect to pay more for your gas than the car! Lu'aus are kid friendly and a lot of fun. Enjoy Maui!

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Brighton, MI: We are planning a family trip to Maui next April for a week. The three kids will be 16, 14, and 10. We prefer smaller low rise condos with a pool and a great beach for swimming and snorkeling. We don't care for all inclusives, but rather are trying to get away from crowds and relax. We are striking out in our search. The Kaanapali condos are all too big and are high rise (equals crowds), and the shores of Napili or Kapalua seem iffy. We need a two-three bedroom unit. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Brighton, MI -- Teens will love being located near Lahaina and all the "action". Try the condos called Puamana just north of Lahaina town -- it's a quiet detached condo community. If not there, try the smaller condos in S. Kihei as the beach is great. Maybe the Hale Hui Kai? Another option may be to look into renting a house. We list many reputable rental agents on our web site's links page http://www.wizardpub.com/maui/maulinks.html#60 who can hook you up with a great house. Enjoy Maui!

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Shelton, CT: My family will be visiting three of Hawaii's islands this July. One week will be spent on Maui. What activities do you recommend for a family with children (ages 8 and 10)? Also, should we take a surfing lesson on Maui or on the more famous island of Oahu at Waikiki Beach? Thank you. -Penny

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Shelton, CT -- Small kids will love the Maui Ocean Center in Ma'alaea and adults like me like it, too. Kids love the beach and Maui has so many great ones to enjoy. For surfing with young ones, I'd do Waikiki.

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Ossining, NY: I plan to take a NCL cruise next June that will stop in Maui twice. What do you recommend we do as excursions on those days?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Ossining, NY - I'd spend one day seeing the Hana Highway sights. It is a not-to-be-missed adventure on Maui. The other day is really up to you, there is always a great beach to explore or maybe a snorkel trip (though you may be sick of boats). Even a drive up to watch the sunrise from Haleakala is very memorable (bring your coats!). Maui is full of adventures -- enjoy.

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Pine Grove, PA: We will be spending 2 weeks in Maui 5-14 through 5-28. My husband wants to see Pearl Harbor during our stay. What is the most affordable way to do an overnight stay in Honolulu? Also what activities do you recommend on Maui for a 3 1/2 year old?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Pine Grove, PA - You will want to arrange the inter-island portion of your visit to Pearl Harbor while you are on the mainland. Get the best deal you can on airfare and stay in Waikiki for the one night. You can get some great deals in Waikiki. Maui Ocean Center for your 3 1/2 year old will be a delight and of course the beach! Don't miss the touch pool at the Ocean Center.

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San Diego, CA: Andrew, My husband and I are going to Maui from Dec 14-21 this year. We're 35 & 36 years old, no children. We are staying at a timeshare on Kannapali Beach we exchanged into. Given that we won't be able to stay at different towns on Maui overnight, what is the best way to see most of the island during the week? No helicopters please. We enjoy outdoor activities and are fairly coordinated and athletic. Thanks so much, Christine

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Christine in San Diego, CA - The best way to see Maui is with a rental car, our book, "Maui Revealed," and your adventurous spirit. Our maps will lead you to places you never imagined and we list so many things to see and do in our book that I can't possibly answer it all here. Maui offers the most activities of any island. We devote 59 pages just to activities. Take your time and savor all that Maui has to offer.

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New Haven, CT: We'll be travelling to Maui for our honeymoon the dates of August 8 - August 18th. I've had a rough time finding cheap(er) car rentals. I do have your book which suggested several spots, but they all seem to be quite expensive. I've heard that others have booked through Priceline "name your own price" at around $18/day, but I've not had that luck. We're still looking at $30+/day for a convertible. Any tips or suggestions? I'm thinking booking last minute may be a solution, but I'd hate to have to pay MORE for waiting too long. Your book has been GREAT so far. We've already begun to plan our days with it!

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha New Haven, CT -- Car rentals in Hawaii are based on supply and demand and so prices don't vary too much. $30+/day is about the expected price of a convertible. You will pay more for gas than the price of the car at this point. You can always go with a lesser type (economy) car and save your money for more activities or eating out. If you wait too long to get your car there may not be any available at the price you want. We have a certain number available here on each island and when they run out, you're walking. Enjoy your honeymoon.

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Hermosa Beach, CA: Going to Maui for the first time in June. We're starting our 12 night honeymoon trip on 6/27 with four nights at the Cliffhouse on the A'apali Ocean Outlook property at Pali Uli. Are you familiar with this property? What would be the best restaurant in the vacinity (Huelo) for a romantic dinner? Thank you so much! James

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Hermosa Beach, CA -- For dinner you will want to back track to Mama's Fish House on Hwy 36 at the 8 mile marker for a romantic dinner. You won't find much out where you are staying for food and may have to back track most of the time for those days. Be sure and make reservations well in advance (808-579-8488) at Mama's. Pa'ia has some good places to eat as well. Happy honeymoon!

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Helena, MT: We're going to Maui in May and are going to stay several days in Hana. Rather than return the same way we came - west on the Hana Highway - we want to continue southwest on highway 31 and make a loop of it over the gravel road. What do you think? Unwise? Unsafe, or a do-able (and interesting) drive?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Helena, MT -- You should be able to drive the bottom end of Maui in your rental car. Yes, you can go all the way around the bottom over the gravel part of the road. Enjoy the sights around, to and from Hana.

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Denver, CO: Hello, Andrew. I was very excited to see that you were hosting the forum this week! My husband and I along with his twin brother and twin brother's wife are taking a 6-night trip to Maui on September 12-18. We've already booked in a house in Hana for the last 3 nights (hanaalohamaui.com), and are looking for the perfect place to stay the first 3 nights. We'd love to have a place with a view, deck, semi-private with a kitchen so we can make excursions during the day (to Molokini and Haleakala) and then come home at night to cook and relax. Looking at Maui Revealed we're guessing the the Paia area is our best bet, but we're having a little trouble finding a place that will take us for only 3 nights on the north shore. Any recommendations?

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Denver, CO -- Contact some of the rental agents in our book on page 290. Sometimes they have an "in between" booking and will make an exception to fill the time for a short stay. You may have to endure an extra cleaning fee. It never hurts to ask - even if it states a minimum stay. Being a low season you should find a willing rental at that time. You may not find much in Pa'ia - try N. Kihei if you have no luck. Have a great trip in September.

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Channahon, IL: Planning a trip to Maui in February. Want to do the Road to Hana. Is it possible to consider taking the road past the Seven sacred Pools along Rt 31 to Keokea? We will rent a jeep. Enjoyed your books (I have Maui, Kaui and Big Island).

Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: Aloha Channahon, IL -- Yes you can travel past the 7 Sacred Pools along the bottom of Maui. You will have to continue up hwy 37 to Kahuluhi. Some maps show a dirt road connecting the Hwy 37 and Hwy 31 but it is a gated and locked road and not accessible to the public.

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Andrew Doughty, wizardpub.com: That hour went very quickly. I hope everyone has a great time on Maui. Please check our web site for updates to our book before you go. Enjoy -- Mahalo and aloha!

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