In two days, we are leaving for Maui, Hawaii. We have been looking forward to this trip for months. Now it is happening! We will spend six weeks on the island, as a part of our parental leave. I look forward to share our experiences with you. Travel sideways blog posts will dominate my blog for the next weeks. I hope you get inspired to travel to water sport destinations with your family. Part 0 concerns our preparations for the trip.
For me and many others, Maui is the ultimate vacation destination. Living with the light, waking up with the sun at 6 am and going to bed at 9 pm. Being surrounded by the islands beautiful scenery the whole day giving peace to mind and soul. For some reason, all colors seem brighter here. Green fields, color intense flowers, blue ocean, green wavy mountains, deep forests, soft white waterfalls and golden beaches. A mecca for watersport, windsurf, surf and SUP. If you are not a watersport junkie, you can go for walks in bamboo forests, drive an old Mustang convertible to Hana or watch the sunrise from the volcano Haleakala.
Many of the world best windsurfers visit Maui frequently. It is always fun to hang out on Ho´okipa or Jaws to watch windsurfers and surfers ride big waves or meet them at Mana, the local organic grocery store. The special X factor is the aloha lifestyle. I love this way of thinking and life. We have visited Maui several times. Every time we leave, I cry and long for our return.
For our little family of four, this trip marks the last period of the parental leave. In Norway, the father must take ten weeks of paternity leave. Many families take this chance to take a long vacation. Staying six weeks on Maui, is a once in life time opportunity for us.
How to get there?
Traveling to Maui means flying for 25-30 hours. We fly Oslo-Frankfurt-San Francisco-Kahului, Maui. Before kids, we searched for the cheapest tickets. Normally, this involved short or very long transits, running like crazy through airports, more than two stops and long painful waits on uncomfortable airport benches.
This time, with the twins, we have found a route with two stops and 3-4 hours transits. No running, less risks if delays and time for diaper changes and rest for the twins. Remember that getting through passport and security entering the US takes time. Normally, there are long queues and a lot of walking. Do not forget to register your ESTA application before you leave.
For tips on traveling long haul flights with infants read my next blog post Maui – part 1.
When staying at a destination for more than one week, we always try to rent a private apartment or cottage. For our Maui trip, we used Island Style Vacation to find suitable accommodation. They have contact with many private landlords and will send you different suggestions on different locations and price range. We are staying in the small hippie village Paia. It is beach front and we have a surf spot just outside our cottage, but for windsurf we must take the car. We have rented this cottage before (on the picture to the right, I am checking out the surf from the veranda). For tips on where to stay on Maui read my blog post Maui – part 3.
On Maui, you find great gear rentals. They all have the newest gear. It is important to rent in advance, to make sure you get the board(s) you want. We have rented windsurf, SUP and surf gear at Kanaha Kai, where we got a 20 % discount since we paid in advance.
We rented a car from Dollars. Renting cars can be tricky. We have experienced high extra costs when picking up the car, i.e. extra insurance. So make sure that you know what is included. Dollars provided us with child seats. It costs extra, but we did not want to bring two seats from Norway. Having twins means a lot of stuff to bring.
What to bring?
Last week we made packing lists and we have been been cutting down and cutting down. I find that we often bring to much! In short, we decided to rent all surf gear and I must also leave my yoga mat at home. Before kids, we sometimes brought our own gear to save money. For the twin Bugaboo stroller we bought a Stokke prampack. It goes as oversized luggage and we can stuff losts of things in it. In addition we bought a collapsable stroller that we can bring all the way to the gate.
When it comes to clothes, I can only say, bring as little as possible. It is warm and the Maui life does require any glamorous clothes. Basically some t-shirts, shorts and skirts, a bikini, a rashguard, a hood, sunglasses, flip flops and sneakers are enough. For our white skins, there will be lots of sunscreen everywhere, so I bring old t-shirts that I throw away before we go home. We can fit the whole family´s clothes in one big Dakine roller bag.
For the kids, we will bring milk formula, diapers and some food for the first days. It will be hard for them to adjust to the new time zone (-12 hours), so we want to make sure that they get the food they like. I have some UV t-shirts, but plan to buy UV suits and sun hats on Maui :). But I must bring their cute flip flops, a present from two families who had their parental leave on Maui in March 2015.
We are all set and ready to go. I just have to send our house plants to a family member, stop newspaper and mail, tell neighbors we are leaving and turn on the house alarm! We are off!
Read more about sideways travels and be inspired. Link to Travel sideways!