5 Tips For Tourists That’ll Make Maui Locals Happy
Let’s face it, no one wants to look uncouth on vacation. That’s why most of us go out of our way to be as benign a presence as possible wherever we happen to be visiting. And in a place that gets as many visitors as Maui, everyone doing their part can make a big difference. With that in mind, below we’ve compiled our five favorite tips that won’t make you seem like a local but will at the very least make locals happy you’re here.
Consider Where You Are Spending Your Money
Maui relies a great deal on tourism dollars to power our economy, and you can help those dollars go further by helping them stay in our community. Doing so is easy, simply support local businesses whenever possible.
Studies have shown that supporting local businesses helps communities maintain more of their own wealth. For every $100 dollars spent at a local establishment, $68 will stay in the community. These small businesses are owned by our neighbors and employ friends and family alike—and providing a vital lifeblood for our community in the process.
Leave Your Bad Habits (and Attitude) on the Mainland
If everyday tasks such as driving usually leave you stressed out, use your trip to Maui as an opportunity to reset your expectations. Normally spending each morning swerving in and out of traffic with the pedal stuck on the floor? Try slowing down, going with the flow, and respecting your fellow drivers. And of course, never drink and drive.
This mindset can be extended to all interactions on the island. Try to enjoy living in the moment more. Be patient with servers and tour operators, many are still operating at limited capacity and with less staff, so don’t expect everything to come your way in a New York minute.
Make Sure You’re Camping Legally
If you are wondering if you might be camping illegally, it can be pretty easy to tell. Unless you booked your campsite ahead of time, you’re probably camping illegally. There is no free camping in any of Hawaii’s reserves or parks. There are a few places in local recreation areas where you can camp off-trails in designated areas, but this also will require a permit.
Furthermore, don’t park overnight on the shoulder of the road. Not only is it illegal and dangerous, but it isn’t comfortable to do either. There are no facilities for such campers and the resulting detritus can leave a lasting stain on the local environment that residents must deal with.
Learn About the Spirit of the Islands
Maui is much more than giving an aloha hello and goodbye. Taking time to learn about the deep and rich tapestry of life that has existed on the Hawaiian Islands for millennia is a crucial part of being able to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of such a special place and the Maui Historical Society is a good place to start your educational journey.
Part of learning about the spirit of the islands is respecting its culture and traditions.
Respecting the natural environment is the quintessence of this spirit, a concept known as kuleana. One important aspect of this is leaving Hawaiian things where they belong, in Hawaii. This means don’t take any souvenirs from nature home with you. Taking just a small lava rock or shell from the beach might seem like no big deal on a personal level, but if the millions of visitors to the islands all did this, there quickly would be nothing left for everyone to enjoy.
Know Your Own Capabilities
Whether it be hiking further than you normally would back home or overindulging on a night on the town, always try to remember your own limits. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean that there are no longer any consequences. So, make sure to listen to your body and stop before situations become serious.
Furthermore, never hike off of marked trails, not only is this bad for the environment, but it also will make it harder to find you in the event of an emergency. Always remember to bring plenty of food and water with you for hikes lasting more than an hour and always let someone know where you will be going and when you expect to be back.
We’re Always Here to Help!
There you have it, five tips that when properly employed will have Maui locals smiling the next time they see you coming. We hope you’ve learned something new and enjoyed yourself during the process. If you are looking for a local dive shop, please consider us at Dive Maui. We would be more than happy to service all of your diving, snorkeling, and whale watching needs. Be sure to reach out to us today!