Beach in Maui
It's My Birthday!
If you are a woman or know a woman considering traveling or vacationing alone, then you're not alone. Come with me as I choose to travel to an exotic destination, a romantic destination and for the solo traveler man or woman, a lonely destination lol. Depends on how you look at the beautiful flourishing place called Maui, one of the islands of Hawaii.
It was my Birthday and I wanted to travel somewhere different and exotic. I did not have too much of a budget and I couldn't travel too far because after 5 days I had to return home and go back to work.
Hawaii or Costa Rica?
It eventually came down to Hawaii or Costa Rica. Why? Well I was definitely looking for adventure and they both offered adventure.
They both have volcanoes, they both have beautiful scenery, beaches and lots of outdoor activities. I loved how Costa Rica had Ecotours and hikes through rainforests and I would be able to see various wildlife in their natural habitats.
Costa Rica had mountains, volcanoes and beautiful beaches—sort of like a triple threat.
In the end, I picked Maui, because it had more outdoor activities that I have been wanting to experience for a long time, like zip lining, luau's looked exciting and entertaining, boat tours of some of the nearby islands, snorkeling, helicopter rides of the island and volcano, learning the history and culture of Hawaii and the various types of beaches like red sand beaches and black sand beaches.
Hawaii got me, but don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean I'm not going to Costa Rica someday!
Instead of staying at a hotel I rented a condo at the Kihei Akahi Condominiums. It was a block away from the beach and to me it was cheaper than trying to get a hotel room along the Muai coast. I arrived at night and although there was no one at the desk, there was an envelope waiting for me with keys.
Well of course the first thing I had to do was have a spa day. There is nothing awkward about going to a spa alone as a woman.
You can ask for a male or a female to do your massages, so it can be comfortable all around. Going to the spa was relaxing and much-needed. There are various Maui package deals, where you can buy an island bus tour with a helicopter ride, or buy a snorkeling package with a luau for cheaper when you buy both. You can find various Maui activity packages on Ohanu Fun. I purchased a Luau dinner with a snorkeling package. So guess what was next? The Luau of course.
Hula Dancer at Lahaina Luau
Hula Dancers at Lahaina Luau
Fire Eater at the Lahaina Luau
I Loved Getting Lei'd For My Birthday
Boat Tour and Snorkeling to Nearby Islands
The next day I had an early start. I was going snorkeling for the first time ever and I was scared as hell! The tour of the nearby Islands was beautiful, but after a while I began to get seasick.
Of course I was the only passenger that came solo. There were couples and families that came along for the ride. Although I was alone, they were all friendly and our main goal was to snorkel or at least that was their main goals because I was terrified of getting in that water.
I have to confess, I can't swim! Okay - okay, just because I'm in the Military doesn't mean I know how to swim. Give me a break, I grew up in NYC and I barely went swimming lol. So I could not swim and I was also afraid of the creatures that lurked beneath that deep blue sea. Those two unfortunate combinations of not being able to swim and being afraid of the sea life was not helping one bit lol.
I was especially afraid of sharks and was worried on whether any sharks were nearby or coming to get me specifically.
Meet the Captain of the Ship - Ahoy!
So I Finally got into the water after Captain Aaron convinced me that there were no sharks and I was not going to drown while I wore my floatation device.
I let go of the boat and this is what I saw:
P.S. I never left the vicinity of the boat or the surface of the water. That was for my safety, just in case a shark did come by I would be able to get into the boat quickly. What? At least I snorkeled!
Selfie Under Water!
Anyway, after we snorkeled we got a tour of the nearby islands. It was gorgeous. You can get an idea of just how beautiful and breath-taking the scenery was in the video below.
Speed Boat Tour of Nearby Islands
Water Caves Along the Boat Tour
A Grand Tour of the Island of Maui
On the third day I was able to hop on a van tour of the Island of Maui. The tour takes you on a scenic route all around the island and by scenic route, I mean from smooth paved roads to bumpy roads that makes it seem as if the van was practically hanging off of the cliff—at least it seemed that way.
We traveled through the local highway called the Hana Highway, passing all of the beach hot spots. There were beaches that were particularly for wind surfing and surfing, fishing, and boating. There was a beach for every water activity and for all of the water activities in one. If you so happened to want to travel on your own, there were a number of beaches and water activities to pick from.
We traveled up the winding roads that eventually turned into one lane, which means you have to drive carefully to not have a head-on collision with another car. If driving, you have to pay attention to cars ahead of you traveling in the opposite direction.
That is how small the one lane roads are. You would have to pull over to let the other car pass or vice or versa.
The one lane roads led up to the mountains and we passed small cozy houses owned by locals and from the looks of their gardens they had a variety of fruits and vegetables, I'm sure it was because there was no grocery stores nearby.
There were pop-up shops like an organic ice cream shop, a pastry shop, and fruit stands along the route, but you would have to travel a distance to get there!
My favorite part of the van tour was the various waterfalls. There are numerous waterfalls on Maui and especially in the mountains.
Map of Maui
Traveling on the Hana Highway
Haleakala National Park
On the van tour we finally gotten to our destination, which was Haleakala National Park. The National Park is the go-to destination for tourists, if you want to see scores of pools and numerous waterfalls. It even has a very tall Bamboo Forest.
Wai'anapanapa State Park
We then traveled to another popular tourist spot called, "Wai'anapanapa State Park". This park was located on the coastal side of the Hana highway, which had (wait for it) the Black Sand Beach. It also had a rock arch and sea caves that were safe to enter.
Not only was the black sand beach the main attraction, but there were also under water caves and a sea cave, which was not scary, so you will get to see the soothing video I made with the sea cave!
Now with the underwater cave that was a different story. Remember I do not know how to swim, so having to swim under water for I don't know how long is a no-no for me. It was fun to watch because the water at the Under water cave was freezing and you also had to jump a couple of feet into the water so that was an automatic disqualification on my account, but watching people jump in was hilarious.
Under Water Cave
On the fourth day I wanted more excitement and adventure, so I went zip lining at the "Flyin Hawaiian." They had eight zip lines that stretched across hundreds of miles of mountainous land. The adventure lasted between 4 and 5 hours. I was excited and more nervous than scared. I am not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling.
I was not the only one that was nervous. I shared the experience with about 10 other people. Of course they were either couples or families with teenagers, so I was the only one there alone, but I didn't care. I just wanted to see how it felt flying through the air. Besides, everyone had to get on the zip lines one by one, so technically everyone went by themselves.
I was leaving the next day after a day full of zip lining and visiting various restaurants, venues, and the Red Sand beach.
Maui is known for it's beautiful and romantic scenery. It is the honeymoon island (how depressing is that!), but for once I did not feel lonely.
The majority of the tourists were couples young and old, honeymooners, and families with children. Maui caters to them, but there is always a place for us solo travelers and women vacationing alone. Every activity I planned was a group activity and every group had two women or more so I was not the only woman on the tour boat, the van tour, and especially at the luau. I always felt welcome and that prevented me from feeling lonely or awkward on this journey.
I highly recommend women who are considering vacationing alone in Maui to try it out with a open mind and a friendly attitude. I bet you will have an exciting time like I did. I feel liberated in a way. I was on an adventure to get to know an exotic place with a rich history and I did it all by myself!
Questions & Answers
Question: How did you get to all the attractions and excursions described in this article? Did you have to rent a car while you were in Hawaii? And what was overall cost of all this trip to Hawaii?
Answer: I rented a car and it was around $2500 for everything.
Nella DiCarlo from Guelph, Ontario on January 13, 2020:
Great article. I recently wrote an article on how to enjoy traveling solo. There are many advantages, and a good attitude is key to enjoying it more.
Louise Elcross from Preston on October 13, 2019:
Wow! That must have been an amazing experience. I travel alone but I do not do exciting stuff like this. I go to Lanzarote because I am in love with the island, its beauty and its climate. These days I like a nice quiet, relaxing holidays. Thanks for sharing and for lovely pictures.
Sonja on April 27, 2019:
Thank you so much for sharing. I am thinking about going to Hawaii for a birthday trip as well and like you I can’t swim. Your experience really encouraged me.
Kyi on August 08, 2018:
Did you use a tour company? Thank you for sharing! Sounds like just what I need.
Christina on January 03, 2018:
How much would you need to budget for a trip like this?
Eli on May 09, 2017:
Congratulations for the blog! Very inspiring!
I'm a solo woman traveling to Hawaii on July and I would to ask you if you rented a car or always went with booked tours. I think it may funnier to go on tours but also more expensive.
Do you have any recomendation.
Arai from India on April 25, 2016:
You are most Welcome.
Delaina M Waldron (author) from New York, NY on April 24, 2016:
You are welcome and yes there will be more places, maybe someday to India :)
Arai from India on April 24, 2016:
Thanks Delaina, for details and quick reply.
Wish you to travel and explore more such a wonderful place and share details :-).
Delaina M Waldron (author) from New York, NY on April 24, 2016:
With the places I mentioned and stayed at in my article, it was actually safe and welcoming for women that are vacationing alone.
The island of Maui was well kept, the streets were clean, the natives were friendly, helpful and laid back. There were numerous places to dine, shop and just relax.
The majority of the tourists on the island were either families, couples young and old or honeymooners.
The activities that I experienced were group activities and all of the groups had two or more women in them, making it easy for women vacationing alone to feel welcomed and at ease.
I would highly recommend women who want to vacation alone in Maui to go and experience it with an open mind and a friendly attitude. They won't regret it... And thank you @arttravel :)
Arai from India on April 24, 2016:
Beautiful place and nice pictures! Also whats your experience and final recommendation for women to vacation alone there :) ?