travel

My Top Recommendations For Things To Do In Maui, Hawaii

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You guys, i've FINALLY gotten around to writing out a list of my top recommendations for food, activities, beaches, snorkeling, surfing, and all of the other amazing things there are to do and see in Maui, Hawaii. 

After being asked (almost daily) via Instagram DM about this, i've decided to put all of my recommendations in one place and make it easier on both of us :) So, here we go!

My Top Recommendations in Maui, Hawaii:

Food:

Mama's Fish House (Paia): Hands down, the BEST place to eat in Maui. Be prepared to spend some $$ as it is pricy, and you will need a reservation, but if you're in Maui, Mama's is a MUST. 

The Mill House: Another higher end restaurant with awesome farm to table options (GF, allergy friendly)

Merriman's (Kapalua): Go here for happy hour out on the "point lounge" (3-5pm daily). One of the MOST beautiful places to get a drink on the Island, listen to live music, and eat pupus. You can also make dinner reservations inside, but I prefer the more casual atmosphere out on the "point". The poke is delish!

Pi Pizza (Lahaina): More on the casual side, great pizza, right on Front Street (GF, veg options)

Choice Health Bar (Lahaina): Healthy, real-food, vegan options + the BEST acai bowls on the island. A definite must!! (GF, allergy friendly, veg)

Choice Health Bar, Lahaina

Choice Health Bar, Lahaina

Maui Kombucha (Paia): Locally made kombucha, vegan food (GF, allergy friendly, veg)

Alchemy Maui (Lahaina): Locally made kombucha, healthy options (GF, allergy friendly, veg)

The Farmers Market (Honokowai): More of a health-food store than a restaurant, but perfect for specialty items. Also has a smoothie/acai bar, salad bar, and hot food bar (like a mini, local whole foods!) The outdoor market is MWF from 8am-12pm. 

Paia Fish Market (Lahaina, Paia): One of the best fast-casual options on Maui in my opinion! Lots of great fish options for a reasonable price. Try the fajitas or cajun spiced ahi sashimi!

Milagros (Paia): Good mexican food at decent prices (GF, veg options)

Honu Seafood and Pizza (Lahaina): Great seafood, pizza, drinks, and views (GF options)

Mala Ocean Tavern (Lahaina): Great location (right on front street) with lots of fish and Mediterranean dishes + drinks. 

Sansei (Kapalua): Best sushi on the island (+ the best price!) early bird special (25% off until 6PM, every day) Definitely make a reservation. They also have late night karaoke. 

Kahului Food Trucks: A few different local food options that are reasonably priced if you are in Kahului and need a bite to eat!

Da Kitchen (Kahului): Delish, decently priced local food

Star Noodle (Lahaina): Not gonna lie, didn't think I was going to be a fan of this place but it. was. amazing. Be sure to make reservations. 

Ululani's Shave Ice (Lahaina): The best shave ice on the island! A must try. 

Grandma's coffee shop (Upcountry, Kula): Cute coffee shop for breakfast, then take a walk down Thompson Road and try to spot Oprah's house ;)

Cafe Cafe (Lahaina): Amazing coffee on the west side, on Front street

Costco: Obviously not a restaurant, but if you're staying for longer than a few days or have a large family, Costco is the best place to buy in bulk and cook for yourself throughout the week. You will save TONS of money this way, and their fresh fish options are unbelievable. They also have a decent amount of local produce. (And the booze is super cheap!! #Maitais)

Watch my Youtube video on my top 10 things to do in Maui, Hawaii, below!

Beaches:

The beaches in Maui are AMAZING and each has different things they are known for. I obviously can't list all of them here, but these are my favorites.

Honolua Bay: The walk through the jungle to get to Honolua bay is one of the best parts about this beach. Depending on the time of year, it's a surf spot + a snorkel spot. Keep in mind this is not a sandy beach though, so it's not a great place to go if you just want to chill on the beach. 

Walk to Honolua Bay

Walk to Honolua Bay

Airport Beach/Kahekili Beach (Ka'anapali): Great snorkeling, nice walking path, big stretch of sandy beach. I ALWAYS see turtles here :)

Airport Beach/ Kahekili Beach

Airport Beach/ Kahekili Beach

ka'anapali Beach/Black rock: Big stretch of sandy beach in front of many of the resorts. Can get touristy, but definitely worth checking out. Grab a drink from one of the resort bars and come chill on the beach, or swim over to black rock for some snorkeling.

Ka'anapali Beach

Ka'anapali Beach

Big Beach (Makena): Big stretch of sandy beach where the waves can get HUGE! Fun to play in, but definitely be careful at this beach. Sit and watch for a few minutes and you'll see people getting pounded in the shorebreak (#respecttheocean 🤣)

Little Beach (Makena): Nude beach, if that's your thing ;) From big beach, climb over the rock wall (to the right) and prepare for lots of nakedness! 

Baby Beach (Lahaina): Super calm water, sandy beach, great for families with small kids

Ho'okipa: One of the most well known surf beaches on Maui. Can get super windy, fun to watch the wind surfers or see the turtles that like to hang out on the beach here. 

Ho'okipa Lookout

Ho'okipa Lookout

Kapalua Bay: Great for snorkeling! Can get busy/touristy

Cliff House: Great for snorkeling, swimming, lounging, cliff jumping. You'll have to park by Ironwoods beach and walk down the boardwalk, up over the rocky area to get here, but totally worth it. 

Cliff House

Cliff House

Lahaina harbor: Great for surfing

Wainapanapa/ Black sand Beach (Hana): Breathtakingly beautiful colors/ contrast from the black sand, blue ocean, and lush greenery 

Black sand beach

Black sand beach

Puamana/Launiopoko (Lahaina): Great for beginner surfing!

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Activities:

Whale Watch (Nov/Dec - Mar/Apr - Lahaina): There are a lot of different companies to choose from for whale watching, but I have always gone with Pacific Whale Foundation and loved it. If you come between Nov/Dec and Mar/Apr, whale watching is a must! (But if you're on a budget you can pretty much always see them from whatever beach you're at)

Sunset Cruise: If you come outside of whale season, definitely schedule a sunset cruise! Not a dinner cruise - they are overrated and pricy, but the sunset cruises are around $50 and usually include 2 drinks per person. 

Molokini Snorkel: Molokini is a crater-shaped "island" off the coast of Maui that is a popular snorkel spot. This is usually a 4-ish hour trip and a lot of fun if you enjoy boats, but I will say that the snorkeling you will see here is comparable to anything you could see from most beaches. (In most cases, beach snorkeling is even better). 

Road to Hana: If you have a rental car and are staying longer than a few days, the road to Hana is definitely a must. It takes a few hours, but there are tons of pitstops on the way. Once you get to Hana, be sure to check out the bamboo forest, rainbow trees, Venus pools, and black sand beach. 

Bamboo Forest (Hana): Mile Marker #6.7

Rainbow Trees (Hana): Mile Marker 7

Massages: Serenity Spa, Lahaina

Facials: Skin & Tonic, Lahaina

Venus Pools (Hana): Fun cliff jumping spot!

Wai'hee ridge trail hike: One of my favorite hikes

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Iao valley: Last I checked this was still closed due to flooding, but this is a beautiful place to come walk around, take photos, and hike.

Iao Valley

Iao Valley

Sunrise/Sunset at Haleakala: A must while you're in Maui. If you plan to come for sunrise, reservations are REQUIRED!!!! Give yourself at least a few hours (especially if you're coming from the west side) before the sun rises to get all the way to the top. It is also FREEZING so be sure to bring warm clothes. Sunset is equally as beautiful, and much less crowded (no reservations needed).

Haleakala at sunrise

Haleakala at sunrise

Paia Town: A super fun, hippy/surfer town with great shops and restaurants. 

Surf lessons: There are a bunch of places to do this in Lahaina, and if you've never tried surfing before, this is a must while you're in Hawaii. 

Upcountry Farmer's Market: Saturdays from 7-11am. The best local farmers market on the island. Tons of fresh, local produce and locally made goods. 

Watch sunset at Honolua Bay: Drive to the north side of the bay, past where everyone is parking and the food trucks/bathrooms are. Go up the hill a bit and turn left down the dirt road and watch sunset from the cliff. Absolutely breathtaking. 

Front Street: Fun to walk around, lots of restaurants, shops, and people watching

Surfing Goat Dairy: Try different types of goat cheeses, enjoy the views, and (my favorite) feed the goats!

Ocean Vodka Distillery: Get a free tour of their eco-friendly distillery and get to try a shot of Ocean vodka + rum. (AMAZING views)

WHERE TO STAY:

My pick: I might be a little biased, but I LOVE the west side (Ka'anapali, Lahaina, Kapalua, Napili) - anywhere you can find over here will likely be close to the beach, the weather is beautiful pretty much year round, and there is tons to do. However, I think most people agree with me, making these areas some of the most pricy on the island. 

Kihei/Wailea: The south side of Maui, also beautiful, Kihei has some more reasonable options but Wailea tends to be pretty expensive.

***UPDATED! My parents recently bought a condo in Kihei (right by the beach!) that you can book using THIS LINK. Tell them Amie sent you and you'll get the special VIP treatment :)

Kahului/Wailuku: This is where you'll fly into, and you'll likely find some cheaper Airbnb's over here, but you probably don't want to be staying over here if you don't have to. 

Paia/Haiku: Less touristy, more reasonably priced, close to surfing beaches. Haiku is extremely lush and jungly, Paia is a fun surfer town with shopping, restaurants. 

Upcountry (Makawao/Kula): Less touristy, more reasonably priced, but at least 30 mins from most beaches. Also you can expect it to be quite a bit cooler, temperature-wise. BUT there is still a lot to do and see Upcountry, it is BEAUTIFUL, and you're away from the tourist craziness. Makawao also has a fun town to walk around, check out the restaurants and shopping. 

If you're on a budget, Airbnb's are going to be your best best. Look for ones that have a kitchen so that you can do some of your cooking at the condo. 

Flights:

Scott's Cheap Flights has been having TONS of killer deals lately, make sure to subscribe and get his updates, whether you want to travel to Hawaii or literally anywhere else. (Not sponsored, I am just obsessed with his deals).

Best time to come: 

April-May, September-November are the best times to come to avoid crowds and high-season rates. But you really can't go wrong, Maui is incredible any time of year :)

Have you been to Maui? What were your favorite activities/restaurants? What did I miss?

XO,

Amie

 

 

 

 

 

How to travel the world without a 9-5 // Minimalist travel

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How to travel the world without a 9-5 | Minimalist living

As some of you who follow my Instagram stories may have heard, Erik and I recently bought our tickets to Thailand! So I thought this would be the perfect occasion to talk about how i'm able to travel the world (without a 9-5 job) thanks to a combination of minimalist living Today i’m going to be talking about how i’m able to travel frequently without a 9-5 job, using a combination of minimalist living and online business - and my top tips for making this a possibility for you, too.

First, let me just start by saying that traveling is one of the TOP priorities in my life, meaning I would literally be willing to do just about anything if it meant I could travel frequently. And I think this is precisely why i’ve been able to make it happen. So before you listen to any of the other tips i’m going to give you in this video, first ask yourself your “why”. WHY do you want to quit your 9-5 job, why do you want to embrace minimalist living? I promise if you have a strong enough why, you can make anything you want happen.

I promise if you have a strong enough "why", you can make ANYTHING happen. 

And remember, the digital nomad lifestyle (like the one I promote and practice myself) isn't just for Instagram celebrities or people who got "lucky." But it does take a few simple shifts and it isn’t always as glamorous as it might seem.

Tip #1 for being able to travel the world without a 9-5: Go tiny

For myself and my husband, this means living in a 120-square-foot tiny house in Maui - which cut our  previous cost of living by nearly a third. A smaller space also means smaller electric, rent, and water bills- and way less room to accumulate junk we don't need. It also means no TV or cable bill, hardly any furniture, or kitchen appliances. Sometimes living in a tiny house means working from my "office" (aka my car) when I need a quiet space, but this is a small price to pay to avoid sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours a week, in my opinion.

Tip #2: Live a minimalist lifestyle.

Living in a tiny space means that I physically only have space for a few different outfits. I make sure that every piece of clothing I own has a function, and is something I wear often otherwise I donate it.  I also rarely spend money on new clothes, unless something becomes ripped or worn out. I never buy frivolous items that I don't need, and I save on daily expenses by cooking most of my own meals and preparing my own coffee replacement, dandy blend.

Want to learn more about minimalist living? Join the free #makingaminimalist challenge

This doesn't mean that I'm depriving myself, though. On special occasions, I'll treat myself to massages and specialty organic food items because these are two things that are ALSO priorities to me, they just don't need to be a daily occurrance.

Tip #3 Seek out free entertainment

Embracing minimalist living means I don't spend a lot of money going out to eat, going to the movies, shopping, or doing other costly activities. Instead, my husband and I seek out free fun in the form of surfing, swimming, hiking, and playing at the beach, saving our money for more exciting things like great airfare.

Pro tip - go sign up for Scotts cheap flights if you haven’t yet - thats how I get alerted on cheap flights pretty much daily (and how we scored $200 a piece airfare from LA to Bangkok)

Tip #4 Pay for everything in cash (except travel).

So it’s Safe to say that most of us (myself included) have felt "trapped" financially at some point. I used to feel tied to my house payment, car payments, and debt, so I totally get it. However, once I began buying only things that I could actually afford and pay for with cash, it became significantly easier to not only save money but pay off the existing debt that I still owed. Paying for my used car in cash also means I now have no monthly car payment and a significantly cheaper insurance bill each month. BUT Travel is the only thing I'll charge on a card because...travel points. Enough said.

Lastly, tip #5 is to create a Create a location-independent business.

Up until this point of the blog post, i’ve only really talked about the minimalist living part of the equation of how I afford to travel without a 9-5 job. But the truth ism those trips have to be funded somehow, so I recommend that if you truly want freedom in every sense of the word, to start an online business.  And luckily there are now countless ways to make an income online by harnessing your unique passions, skills, and talents. Package these up into a product, program, or course, or service you can sell online - and boom! you can make money from wherever you are!

Of course there are A LOT more steps involved in making that successful and an online business like this definitely wont make you rich overnight, but it is the best way, in my opinion, to serve the world, make money, have the freedom to travel, and have fun at the same time.

So now that you know exactly how I travel the world without a 9-5, you might be interested in making some of these same changes in YOUR life, which is why I want to invite you to the free 5 day making a minimalist challenge that you can sign up for below. Once you join, you’ll get 5 days worth of email and video lessons from me, plus a 60 minute masterclass on the exact steps to take to embrace minimalism and create the freedom to travel the world in YOUR own life.

Are YOU able to travel the world without a 9-5? What are your best minimalist travel hacks/tips? Tell me below!

XO,

Amie

Video more your thing? Watch "How to travel the world without a 9-5 (and get paid!)" Below!