travel tips

Beach Holiday Preparations: Top Tips To Maximize Your Fun In The Sun

Evolutions in the world of travel have opened the doors to various holiday adventures. Sometimes, though, you simply can’t beat a few days of sun, sea and sand. This is the ultimate form of relaxation and is particularly rewarding when you lead a hectic life. If you’re going to take this type of vacation, though, it’s vital that you make the most of it.

Here are my five simple tips to ensure that those lazy days on the beach are everything you hoped for and more.

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Get the beach bod. Nobody in this world looks perfect, but having confidence in your skin is vital. Even if you don’t usually subscribe to the idea of sculpting a better body, having more confidence on the beach will improve the trip greatly. A few weeks of increased exercise and healthy nutrition will make a telling difference. Besides, it’ll make you feel far less guilty about tucking into those holiday treats.

Stay by the beach. Jetting off to a warm climate with sandy beaches is great. Unfortunately, the enjoyment will be greatly reduced if you have to travel an hour to actually reach the beach. While you will seek comfortable accommodation, the location should be the priority. In Florida, you can find a host of great properties at However, it’s not just the Sunshine State where being a stone’s throw from the beach is key. Always check this factor before booking.

Go at the right time. Depending on where you’re going, the climate can change through the year. An appreciation of those elements is vital. Whether it’s these great winter destinations or simply adjusting the dates for your trip to a set location with the weather in mind doesn’t matter. Of course, this may result in an increase in flight prices and other costs. Still, a 15% increase for triple the fun is a worthy trade off.

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Do something new. Sitting by the sea with a cocktail or 10 might sound like heaven. Still, you don’t want to return home feeling as though you missed out on an opportunity. The beach is a great place for snorkelling and other adventures. Visit to get a diving camera for the ultimate photos and memories. Meanwhile, water sports or even helicopter rides can be a great way to do something extra. Even if you simply explore the local area or take a day trip to a nearby city, this will leave you feeling far more satisfied with the trip.‎

Pack the right things. Having already established that looking great on the beach is key, finding the right fashion trends should be on your agenda. You may assume that the local stores will have all the necessary lotions etc. But you don’t want to waste your entire first day sourcing those goods, so packing those is vital too. Apart from saving time once you’ve arrived, it’ll put your mind at ease during the preparations and planning phases.

travel tips

The Bright Lights Of LA

There are so many different cities that you could visit in the US, all of them offering their own unique experience. Some are definitely more popular than others, and one that always have an amazing stereotype surrounding it is LA. Los Angeles is a city in southern California, and it is known for being home to the rich and famous, the infamous Hollywood sign, the walk of fame, and many more. But those are all just the things relating to celebrities, and boy are there a lot of them. However, there’s just so much more to LA that draws millions of tourists in each day. If you’ve got LA in your sights, here’s why you should be visiting.

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The beaches are one of the main reasons why so many people come to LA. They have long been famous for their incredible stretches of sand, lovely blue warm waters, and plenty of things to do on the beach. Venice beach is one of the largest beaches, and most famous. It has a unique style to it, there are usually tons of street performers lining the strip, as well as multiple shops to tickle your fancy. If you’re feeling extravagant, you could even hire a Los Angeles charter jet to travel up state a little further. As they do, you can usually have some of the best views of LA beaches, as there is honestly just so many of them. Santa Monica beaches is another famous set. Both of these are home to the celebs, and if you’re lucky enough, you might even get to see a sneak peak of one or two relaxing on the beach!

Amusement Parks

There’s plenty to do to keep you occupied in terms of beaches, but if you’re looking for a bit of fun with amusement parks, LA is your place to go. The biggest one on most people’s hit lists is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Whether going with children or not, it’s a firm favourite due to the sheer scale of it, and the fact it feels as though you’re being transported to the set of Harry Potter itself. There’s also the Santa Monica pier which is great for a few amusement rides, classic theme park games, as well as a lovely sunset if you’re there of an evening. The amusement park on the peer stays open until late at night, when it does get dark, the vibrant lights of the theme park look amazing.

The Nightlife

If there’s one thing LA knows how to do right, it’s throw a good party. Well, you’d expect it to with the potential for many celebs to suddenly wonder in. Make no mistake, it is one expensive night out, but it is one to remember. If you head to downtown LA, you’re going to have a slightly more relaxed, definitely not as expensive night. Head up to Hollywood and you’ll need to take a hell of a lot of money with you. However, you do have the chance of meeting a celeb!

Foodie, travel tips

The Best Ways To Eat On An Adventure

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Food. For a lot of people, this is the single most important part of travel. Giving you the chance to experience a place on a truly local level, this part of your vacations can be made to be very exciting, adding a big element to your time away. Of course, though, it isn’t as simple as sitting at a table to eat. With all of the options you have available, it can be hard to choose the best for you, and a lot of people find themselves regretting their choices when they get home.

All-Inclusive: This sort of break has been dropping in popularity over the last few years, and is probably the worst for those looking for a chance to taste local delights. Hotels offering all-inclusive packages will almost always handle things from a buffet. While this is nice when you’re trying to relax, it won’t give you the chance to eat anything exciting, and this will leave a lot of people feeling bad about choosing it.

Fully-Serviced: As a modern alternative to all-inclusive breaks, fully-service apartments are on the rise. Using a break from a company like, you will have access to your own chef while on your vacation. Giving you the power to eat whatever you like, while also exposing you to local cooking, this is a great way to keep the process nice and easy.

Local Dining: Wherever you decide to stay, there will always be restaurants around your hotel, and one or two of them will offer an authentic experience. Of course, while trying to eat like a local, it will be best to find the places where the locals go. Achieving this goal can often be done before you ever set off, using tools like Google reviews to see what other people think of a place before you start.

Cooking For Yourself: Most hotels, apartments, and other forms of accommodation will come with the means for you to cook for yourself. If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, the access you have to local ingredients could be exactly what you need to experience what you want from your break. Of course, to help with this, it will be a good idea to learn some recipes before you set off, or you may find that it is hard to get started on the first night.

Street Food: Finally, as the last option to consider, there is rarely anything more authentic than the street food you find in a city. Often prepared with local people in mind, this can be a great way try something new, without having to look far and wide for it. Of course, as the biggest benefit of a place like this, you won’t ever have to book a table or be turned away.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it should be nice and easy for you to get to work on the food you eat while you’re away. A lot of people find it hard to enjoy this sort of experience when they choose the wrong options. Of course, though, great food is often exactly where you wouldn’t think to look.

travel tips

Rutland: A Luxurious Country Escape

Rutland’s motto is “Multum in Parvo”, meaning “much in little”. As the smallest county in England, it’s certainly little but there’s an awful lot to it as well. If you live in London, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the high life around the city, but sometimes the way to experience luxury is to get some peace and quiet. Rutland is only a couple of hours away from the capital, and could offer you the perfect place to hide away if you want a quiet weekend. If you’re planning a trip away this spring or summer, you could do worse than spending some time in Rutland.

Choose Somewhere to Stay

Rutland might only be small, but there’s still plenty to do and it’s worth staying for at least a couple of days. Finding somewhere to stay should be your first step if you want to have a relaxing time. Luckily, you have a number of great options for a country house hotel in Rutland. Choose the right hotel and you can benefit from beautiful grounds and even a swimming pool. If you want something a bit smaller, you can also find some great guest houses, B&Bs and even pub rooms that will still offer you the comfort and convenience you’re looking for.


Places to Eat and Drink

It wouldn’t be a luxury weekend away if there weren’t good places to eat. Part of the fun of going away is that you can eat what you want and explore the local food and drink culture. Rutland is home to the restaurant with the longest-held Michelin star in the UK, and there are other fantastic restaurants on offer too. But if you’re not looking for a 2 AA Rosette restaurant like Lake Isle Restaurant, there are pubs, cafes and places to get afternoon tea. The Grimsthorpe Castle Tea Room is one option for the quintessential English pastime of drinking tea and eating tiny sandwiches, scones and cake.

Arts and Culture

Rutland has plenty of nature and wildlife, but it’s also a place that’s brimming with culture. Theatre is a particular attraction, with the open-air theatre at Tolethorpe Hall, where you can watch a production from the Stamford Shakespeare Company. There’s also Uppingham Theatre, where you can find everything from music to children’s theatre. If you prefer looking at art, you can find galleries like Goldmark Gallery and Orange Street Gallery. Uppingham has plenty of antique shops too. Each year, you can also enjoy Rutland’s arts festival, which gives you the chance to explore a range of different arts.

Visiting Stately Homes

For a luxury weekend, there can be nothing better than exploring some luxury homes. Rutland has some fantastic stately homes that you can visit, both within Rutland and just outside of the county. Rockingham Castle was built by William the Conqueror and opens for visitors in the spring. You can tour the castle or the gardens, or visit the tea rooms or gallery. There’s also Burghley House in Stamford, where you will find the Gardens of Surprise, as well as The Orangery Restaurant. In other counties nearby, you can visit Grimsthorpe Castle, Belvoir Castle, and Belton House.

Museums and Historic Buildings

On top of stately homes and art galleries, you’ll also find historic buildings and museums to explore in and around Rutland. Oakham Castle dates back to the 12th century and it’s free to visit all year, although it’s closed on Tuesdays, Sundays and bank holidays. It received funding for renovation in 2016 so it continues to be cared for. You might also want to visit the Rutland County Museum, where you can learn about history from a huge range of periods. There’s natural history from the Triassic and Jurassic periods, collections from both world wars and other military conflicts, and items from home life in Rutland through the years. There’s something for everyone, no matter what type of history you’re interested in.

Relaxing Spas

If you prefer not to move much while you’re away, instead of getting out and about, spending some time at a spa is also possible in Rutland. You can get spa treatments at Barnsdale Hall Hotel near Oakham, and there’s the Clarins Health Spa at Stapleford Park. If you go just over the border, you can also find Rushton Hall’s Stableyard Spa in Northamptonshire and Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire.

Spend a luxurious weekend in Rutland, where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There’s plenty to do – or not do if you prefer to stay in.

travel tips

Fun in the Sun or Travel Terrors?

Holidays are supposed to be an amazing time. We only get a handful a year, so it’s important to make the most of them when the opportunity arises. Travelling to exotic destinations and experiencing a new culture is good; in fact, it’s out of this world. Of course, there are cons as well as pros, the main one being health. Anytime a foreigner lands in a new country, the hazards to well-being are massive. And, that’s without including a never-heard-of-before disease. No, common issues often turn a dream into a nightmare, and here are the ones to watch out for on your next trip.

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When the weather is good, it’s nice to hit the beach and top up on the tan. After all, we all need to make hay while the sun shines. The problem is the intensity of the burning ball of flames in the sky. At home, you may be able to wander around without any cream or lotion on your body because your skin is used to the heat. Abroad, the UV rays may be stronger and burn the skin as a result. Even a relatively small patch of red is enough to stop you from lazing by the pool or splashing in the sea. Please, use a high factor cream and top up during the day to avoid a nasty scold.


Sunstroke will ruin a holiday and that is a fact. Once it hits, you’ll be hugging the toilet wishing for death. It is that bad. Too much sunlight plays a part, yet the main culprit is not drinking enough fluids. Let’s rephrase that – “not drinking enough” water. There are bound to be beverages flying around, but you have to be sure to top up of the body’s H2O levels. A lack of the liquid will lead to headaches, migraines, and a host of bodily issues. If you do like a beer, try and have a glass of water too.

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Again, allergies have less of an impact at home because the body is familiar with pollen count. When it isn’t, you are and understand how to stop sneezing and watery eyes from destroying the day. Unfortunately, it isn’t something we think about on vacation. Do they even have hayfever in other countries? Yes, they do, and the pollen there can be more intense. The best bet is to take hayfever relief tablets along for the ride and pop them when necessary. Just check what type of drugs you’re allowed to bring into the country so you don’t get stopped at immigration.

Delhi Belly

Although the name suggests it’s based in India, in reality it’s a stomach bug. Indeed, bacterium or a virus may not be involved because water displacement can be a cause. So, while you have to drink plenty of H2O, don’t take any chances. Always buy drinking water from a shop or supermarket and make sure the seal is unbroken. Also, use spring water to brush your teeth to avoid ingesting any unwanted bacteria.

Have you suffered from these in the past? How do you fight back?

travel tips

 Hop Into Your Campervan And Explore New Zealand

The best way to experience the vast number of attractions New Zealand has to offer, is to get comfy in your campervan and head off into the unknown. New Zealand has so much to offer and who knows what scenery and hidden gems you will uncover as you drive into the sunset!

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New Zealand covers all tastes and interests in what it has to offer. There is plenty of action for adrenaline junkies, culture, museums, mountain trekking and helicopter flights around glaciers – to name a few!

If you are planning on touring around New Zealand by motorhome, the following tips will help.

Choosing your vehicle

Unless you normally reside in New Zealand you will need to hire your motorhome on arrival. Try to budget for as much space as possible. Your trip is likely to last at least two weeks, so you and your family don’t want to feel cramped. Of course you will hopefully be enjoying the fabulous New Zealand lifestyle, so you won’t be sitting in your campervan for long periods.

If you have never travelled in a motorhome before, carefully research the facilities your family require and ensure they are included. For example if you are planning on staying on a remote camp site you may need the convenience of a large water tank.

If you enjoy the whole motorhome experience you may even find yourself considering class b rv’s for sale on your return!


You will need insurance to cover the rental period of the motorhome. Most motorhome hire companies offer insurance as part of the rental package in case of accident, fire and theft. Your credit card company will also offer insurance protection on vehicles of a certain size. It is important to check the exact cover.

Ensure you take out travel insurance as this will cover you for any healthcare and medical intervention required. Be sure to check what the excess is on your policy.

Remember to take copies of all your insurance documents with you, also email yourself a copy just in case details are lost.

What should you pack?

In theory you should need to pack little more than your clothes and buy groceries whilst on the road. Most motorhome rental companies hire out there vans extremely well equipped, with sufficient pots, pans and utensils suitable for the sleeping berth number. Bedding should also be included.

Don’t forget to pack your driving license along with important contact details in case of emergency. Other useful items to pack include, sunscreen, first aid kit and travel adapters.

Maneuvering your motorhome

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Motorhomes are remarkably easy to drive, especially as motorhome companies tend to lease vehicles that are new and in good roadworthy condition. In New Zealand, you drive on the left, which is the same as in the Uk.

Although easy to drive, it will take a little time to adjust to the width and height of your van. Practice and be very aware of bridges and tunnels with restricted height.

Due to the size of a motorhome, it is inadvisable to travel into cities where space is restricted. A better option would be to leave your motorhome in the campsite and travel by public transport or taxi when visiting the city.

All you need to do now is plan your route and enjoy your trip!

travel tips

 I Would Love To Visit (Enter Destination Here), But…

When it comes to getting away, most of us have a list of things we would love to see and do. You could call it a travel bucket list. It contains your dream destinations, and experiences you’d love to pursue. The trouble is that most items on said list are followed by a large, and never fading BUT.

I would love visit to this place but…

I would love to do this but…

But money, but time, but motivation. Over time, it becomes less a list of things you’d love to do, and more a reminder of what you never will. Either way, it’s a sad way to live. Which is why we’re going to take a closer look at three common travel list wishes and dispel the buts which follow.

I would love to visit that ONE destination, but…

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We all have at least one dream destination we’re sure we could never get to. But if the stars aligned, THIS is the place we’d go. For some people, it’s Australia. For others, the Caribbean calls. Either way, you likely print pictures of this place to get you through. So, what’s stopping you? In truth, it can be a few different things. Money is a big one here, as you well know. Fear can also stand in the way. It could be fear of the long flights or the creatures you’ll encounter during your stay. Either way, it’s hard to overcome. BUT, not impossible. If you look into how much it would cost, you can set about a savings plan. If you look into facts and figures, those creatures might not seem so dangerous. And, if you visit a doctor, you can even overcome flight anxiety. Bish, bash, but nothing.

I would love to vacation on a yacht, but…

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Come on; we’ve all dreamt of this at some stage. If only you could be like guys on the films, taking those gorgeous women onto your yacht. You would be the stud of the century! Most commonly, though, money and means get in the way here. You can’t afford a yacht. Even if you could, you don’t live near the sea. Fear not, my friend. There’s a little thing called a yacht charter to rescue you. Here, you rent a yacht for a few hours, or a weekend. It already has a docking area, so that’s covered. And, a rental shouldn’t set you back too much, either.

I would love to visit those scenes on television, but…

You know the feeling; you’re watching Game of Thrones and driving yourself wild looking at the scenery. And, no, we aren’t talking about Daenerys… There are some pretty spectacular scenes on this and many other shows. But, they’re just sets, right? You can’t visit them. WRONG. In truth, many programs like this are filmed on location. For instance, all those King’s Landing scenes are shot in a Maltese fortress city called Mdina. And, you can visit that whenever the mood takes you.

travel tips

Tired Of The Same Old Vacations?

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There’s nothing like taking a vacation. That chance to get out there and see the world is one of the best things there is and anyone who gets the opportunity to do it is incredibly lucky! Which makes it all the more sad when people find themselves in a position where they feel as though they are getting bored of the same old types of travel over and over again. Taking the same kind of vacation year after year is bound to get boring after a while Even if you’re going to be most exotic place in the world, it’s going to lose some of its charm after a while. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to bring back your love of travel.

Get off the grid

We all spend so much of our time connected thanks to the internet and smartphones that it can often be difficult to create that line between your normal life and your vacation. Being connected to the people around you is great, but it can also be a real drag to be constantly checking up on things like social media when what you really want is to be enjoying your time away from all of that. Getting off the grid and being able to enjoy your vacation free from all of that is one of the best things that you can do to recharge your batteries and remind yourself that you don’t need to be glued to your phone all of the time.

Do some good

A lot of the time it can feel as though traveling is a little, well, self-indulgent. After all, you’re doing something that is almost entirely for yourself. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you feel as though you could be doing something a little more worthwhile on your travels then why not see if you can do some good while you’re out in the world. Whether it’s animal volunteering opportunities in Africa or environmental conservation in South America, there are always causes that need support all over the world. Being able to use your vacation time to do something good in the world can be one of the most fulfilling experiences there is.

Stay where you are

When was the last time you really explored where you live? Most of us are so familiar with our hometowns that we never really think about them. Well, if you really put in the effort to go exploring, then you may well end up finding that the places near where you live have a lot to offer. That way you can enjoy new and exciting things with all of the comforts of home thrown in for good measure!

The wonderful thing about doing these things is that you can always go back to the more familiar styles of vacations that you’re used to. After all, taking a break from them can help you to see them in a totally new light. The key is to make sure that you’re not doing the same things time and time again until you can no longer see what it was that you loved about them in the first place.

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How to Vacation in Maui on the Cheap

Hawaii is known as an expensive vacation destination, and the island of Maui is no exception. However, my sister and I recently returned from eight nights on this tropical paradise, and we did it on a budget! If you’d like to see Maui, Hawaii without the typical price tag, take a few of our tips.

(Note: Although we did get good deals on our flights, airline tickets involve too many factors, such as season, origin, and personal resources. I’ve decided that, because all the variables that went into our flights probably can’t transfer to yours, to leave this expense out. If you want to save money on flights, there are plenty of articles out there dedicated to just that!)

Some links are affiliates. All links are personally recommended by me!


For the most part, I just used what I already owned to pack my bag. In Hawaii, you can wear shorts and swimsuits year-round, but I also packed a rain jacket for the unpredictable weather changes as well as leggings and a long-sleeve because I wanted to hike Haleakala with its cold summit. Since most of the clothes were compact, it was easy to fit everything into carry-on luggage and not have to pay for a checked bag.

One thing I did need to buy was razors. I ordered a starter pack from Dollar Shave Club, which included a handle, four blades, and some travel-sized toiletries, all for $5. Better yet, I took advantage of a Dollar Shave Club deal on Swagbucks, so I was paid back in rebates.

One item I knew I’d need, but didn’t have was a snorkel. I decided to just rent one in Hawaii. However, before going to the snorkel rental shop, we stopped at a grocery store. There I found snorkels for the same price as a one-day rental. Since my sister and I both knew we’d be snorkeling multiple days, we bought these and made our money back with our first swim. I snorkeled a total of three days and saw some incredible sea life, making it a worthwhile purchase.


We rented dorm beds at Maui’s Banana Bungalow Hostel. This was by far our biggest expense on the island, and one of the most expensive hostels I’ve ever stayed at. But the $51.40 per night was much more reasonable than any Maui resort or vacation home. I suppose the only cheaper option would be camping, but that is only available in remote areas, and I wanted to be close to the action. Plus, the hostel offered more than just a bed to sleep on. Banana Bungalow provided other money-saving measures that I’ll explain through the rest of this post.

Check out other affordable Maui accommodations on Airbnb… and get $40 off your stay by using this link!


While most Maui vacationers rent a car, here’s our big money-saving secret: we didn’t drive at all! The main reason I chose to stay at Banana Bungalow was because they offer different tours to different parts of the island each day of the week. I ended up going with them to several famous beaches, Haleakala National Park, and even the Road to Hana. Of course, the drivers/guides work for tips, but these tours were worth more than pricey commercial tours.

Since Banana Bungalow is near downtown Wailuku, we simply walked to town to eat good food and see some incredible sites. Iao Valley is in the rainforest about three miles outside of the city, so we hiked there one day. For other excursions that we took on our own, we utilized Uber and Lyft. As it was our first time using these rideshare apps, we got registration bonuses, and I also used my Swagbucks to get a free $25 Uber gift card. We would just compare prices between Uber and Lyft and go with whatever was cheapest for our situation. (Use Uber promo code jessical42262ue to get a $15 Uber ride for free! For Lyft, use promo code LIPPE15551 for a special discount.)


Thankfully, most of Maui’s attractions don’t cost a dime. All beaches are open to the public. Swimming is free. Hammocking is free. Hiking is free. Most parks are free. With the Banana Bungalow tours, we didn’t even have to pay for gas or parking. The only activity expense I had with these tours besides tip money was the national park entry fee into Haleakala.

Since my sister’s birthday was in the middle of our trip, we decided to celebrate at Maui Tropical Plantation. We originally weren’t going to take the tour and instead enjoy the free botanical walking paths and my gift to her would be a meal at the restaurant. But then we changed our minds on the restaurant and decided to eat from the less costly coffee and ice cream shops, so then my birthday gift to her was paying for the tram tour. It was $20 per person and included lots of sights, information, and fruit!


Admittedly, this was the most difficult category to keep on a budget, and I definitely made a few splurges. Most food in Hawaii is expensive, so I didn’t want to be paying exorbitant prices for the same food I eat at home. I also wanted opportunities to taste local cuisine. However, I did pack a variety of snacks so that I didn’t have to buy food in airports, and I used these snacks to supplement a couple of meals in Hawaii as well.

The hostel offered make-your-own pancakes every morning, so breakfast was covered. Often while cooking in the communal kitchen, others would make food and offer leftovers to everyone. There were even free shelves in the fridge and pantry, so that provided a few ingredients.

The tours stopped at grocery stores such as Safeway and Foodland so we could load up on reasonably-priced food. These stores have local, grown-in-Hawaii produce sections, so I focused my shopping there. We also bought fresh fruit at Maui Tropical Plantation’s market and packaged goods at an Asian market down the street from our hostel. We even got food at Costco. The restaurant menu had some different choices from our local Costco, but still had $1.99 pizza and $1.50 hot dogs!

We did go out to eat several times, but not to fancy sit-down restaurants. We happened to be in Wailuku during their First Friday street fair, so we loaded up on all kinds of local cuisine from the various food stands and trucks. We ate at food trucks and stands a couple other times, like on the Road to Hana where we split a roadside meal served on a banana leaf. (We passed on the banana bread when we realized it was from a bakery a block away from our hostel. We walked there the next morning and got the banana bread for a fraction of the price!) We also ate at a few walk-up restaurants. We even ate at McDonald’s, but I only ordered off their unique local menu. Spam and eggs, anyone?


I got a few mementos from this trip, mostly free. I wrote in my journal every day. I pressed a flower in its pages. I brought my National Parks passport so I could add a Haleakala stamp. And of course I took lots of pictures!

Toward the end of our trip we went to Lahaina, which was a good place for shopping. There were fairly good prices at ABC Stores, where I got chocolate covered macadamia nuts and a bracelet. Out of respect for preserving the natural beauty on Maui, I did not smuggle out any coral, sand, or rocks.

Maui did end up costing more than my typical frugal trips, but we were able to have a good time without breaking the bank. I hope you’ll be able to enjoy Maui on a budget, too!

How to Vacation in Maui on the Cheap

How do you lower the price of an expensive destination? Let me know in the comments!