Camping in Hawaii Dos and Don’ts

We recently spent four days camping on the Hawaiian island of Maui and there were definitely a few things we would do differently next time. Here are a few of the dos and don’ts you’ll want to read before you pack your campervan and head around Maui.

Sunset on Maui


DO pack toilet paper

Not all public toilets in Maui will have toilet paper and sometimes they’re simply so busy they run out. It’s always a good rule of thumb to carry a roll of toilet paper with you when travelling, especially when camping.

DO make the most of an early start

The roads of Maui can become busy and overcrowded during the day, especially the famous and highly popular Road to Hana. This means that there’s often very limited parking available and you may have to skip or return to some waterfalls, hikes and attractions. Beat the rush and leave your camping spot as early as possible. We made sure to leave by 7am which meant we had most of the roads to ourselves and it gave us plenty of time to find a spot for the night, set up, and watch the sunset.

DO ask the locals for tips

Some of the most beautiful spots we visited in Maui would’ve gone by unnoticed by us had we not been told to stop and explore them by the locals. Most locals will volunteer up information if they know you’re on holiday, but they’ll appreciate you asking for tips on what to do and where to go.

DO plan your route

It always helps to have some idea of where you’re going when you’re camping. It’ll help you find a camping spot ahead of time during the busy seasons so you don’t find yourself parked on the side of the road with no public toilet nearby.

The view from our campervan


DON’T assume you’ll be able to find necessities further along the road

We ran into a spot of trouble when we assumed there would be somewhere to grab food beyond Hana on Maui. Luckily we had enough water and fuel to manage. We did however end up eating the fruit and banana bread we had with us from the journey down and gorged on a big breakfast the next morning. Stop when you get the chance because you don’t know when the next stop will be.

DON’T leave it too late to find your spot

There were many times when we saw people drive into a campground and have to leave because it was already full. Most of the campgrounds are free and run on a first come, first serve basis. Alternatively you can always park on the side of the road, especially in Maui, but don’t assume it’s always legal to do so. There are definitely beach parks that are patrolled at night and you don’t want to be caught camping somewhere you’re not supposed to be.

DON’T forget to check your car has all the necessities 

We found ourselves in a spot of trouble when we happened to drive over a small bolt that caused a flat tyre and we had no jack or wrench to change the tyre with. The company we hired the car from were supposed to leave those in the car along with the spare, but we also should’ve taken the time to check we had one before we left.

DON’T forget to stop as often as possible

Maui is an incredible destination full of beautiful beaches, hikes, waterfalls and impressive mountains. It won’t take you very long to drive around the whole island so take the time to stop and appreciate your beautiful surroundings.

Have any travel tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below! 


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