“Mai Tai Mayhem” The beloved Mai Tai is a staple of any vacation worth its poi here on Maui. Only adding to the appeal of this tropical libation is the fact that this beauty is often complimentary. That’s right FREE! The combination of exotic drums and gently scented breezes and aloha spirit make this cocktail a sweetly hidden threat. A “couple” of Mai Tai’s can easily become a “few to many”. Beware this tropical sunset colored cocktail may leave you feeling a bit green aboard your early morning snorkeling tour. Keep an eye on early morning plans while planning you vacation.

“landlocked” Seriously there is nothing out there on the water that you can’t see more comfortably from shore while on vacation. Whale spouts (breaths) can be spotted from shore while avoiding the stinky whale breath experienced by those up close.  If you are “lucky” enough to get out on a vessel with a hydrophone you won’t even be able to hear yourself talk over the “beautiful” whale songs piped through the onboard speakers.  For those that choose to book a seat on a whale watching adventure, here is a word of warning. The experience that many have on a small group tour that takes you right out to the majestic humpback whales can be a bit magical. Once you witness these gentle giants up close and personal, you may never be able to simply watch from your Lanai again.

“Culinary Coward” Loco Moco, spam musubi, and shave ice, if they were so delicious they would serve them on the mainland like McDonalds and Olive Garden. Don’t get sucked into all those road side fruit stands and farmers markets either. Some of these places even try to push tropical smoothies on you. Does pineapple, Lili koi, and passionfruit even really sound good? Best to stick to the tried and true foods from home.

 "Hangin too Loose” Most folks don’t see this one coming. For many the “aloha spirit” strikes directly upon arrival and sets one’s normal brain to” Maui Time”.  This particular syndrome affects folks in the most unforeseen ways.  Normally, you would see people jumping off of Kaanapali’s Black rock; you may snap a photo and discuss it over dinner.  Now that you are “hangin loose” you may give a whoop and get in line. Such enthusiasm is great until you swim back to shore all exuberant and realize that your wallet and cellphone are still in your now soaked shorts. Sometimes this “no worries” feeling can manifest when you leave your purse with everything in it on top of your car and drive off into the sunset. Hey, you don’t need “stuff” in paradise.  Sure security won’t let you anywhere near a plane without your I.D., no worries stay for a while.

“Underprepared for Adventure” Make sure that you plan any strenuous/dangerous activities for the very beginning of your vacation. Scheduling your bike tour down Haleakala on the first day will ensure that any minor injury or soreness will plague you for the remainder of your trip. Also, sunblock is highly overrated. Sure it may hurt to move or wear clothes, but how else do you plan to prove that you were on vacation. Just wing it, what kind of a “stick in the mud” books a whale watching tour in advance? Like it really matters that they often sell out quick during the high season (see#1 Landlocked).

“Overcrowded and underwhelmed” Many folks prefer a smaller more “intimate” tour experience. How on earth are you going to be sure that you are in a “worthwhile” spot if there aren’t crowds of others there? Sure you could look an attraction up on TripAdvisor or Yelp, but then you are only taking a bunch of other people’s word for it. The whole “online review racket” could be there just to throw you off the scent. Best to follow the tour buses and look for activities that really pack em in. You may not be able to get an unobstructed view of anything, but you won’t be the only one.


“No Time for Maui Magic” Make sure to squeeze every last second of your vacation into a regimented schedule of activities and tours. So what if you end up not having a moment left to watch the surprise monk seals basking on the beach, you have plans! Mai Tai by the pool, no time for that. Google it and make it at home! Some less experienced travelers may book a few highlight activities during their trip and leave a little free time for some Maui Magic, but where’s the fun in that?

(BONUS) 8. “Legend of the Lava Not Left Behind” Take a picture, bring home an Aloha shirt, leave the lava rock behind. This particular mistake may not ruin your Maui vacation but it may have the power to curse any future vacation. Lava rocks arrive back on Maui by mail on a daily basis from tourists claiming to have had bad luck after taking the lava rocks home. You are now experts so don’t make this rookie mistake. Your vacation should leave you feeling nothing but aloha.