Flights, rental cars, buses, etc.

I live on Oahu and fly to Maui several times a year which is pretty easy considering it’s only a 30 minute flight.

Luckily, you don’t have to live that close to make the trip, as getting to Maui isn’t too complicated. However, like touring the rest of the state, there’s really only one mode of transportation: air travel.

Once there, the island itself is rather easy to navigate. Here’s everything you need to know to get to Valley Island.

Getting to Maui

View of passengers inside Kahului airport terminal in Maui, Hawaii

Kahului Airport is Maui’s main travel hub.

EQ Roy/Shutterstock

Kahului Airport

As the second busiest airport in the state of Hawaii, Maui’s main airport is Kahului Airport, offering overseas and inter-island flights from 10 different airlines.

You’ll likely arrive by connecting flight from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, the state’s flight hub that sees non-stop flights from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and a few other cities, however, some destinations also fly direct to Maui.

From the airport to your final destination, you can rent a car (more info below) or book an airport shuttle like SpeediShuttle, which travels to Lahaina, Wailea and Napili and costs less than $50 per person.

If you’re traveling on a budget, you can take bus line 35 (Haiku Islander) or 40 (Upcountry Islander) from the airport; However, if you are staying in the west or south parts of Maui, you will likely need to establish a connection. To understand your bus line, check here.

Kapalua Airport

Serving West Maui East Kapalua Airport, a small suburban airport with a single runway used by Mokulele Airlines with flights to Honolulu. This no-frills airport is located about seven miles north of Lahaina, making it an option if you plan to stay on Maui’s west side. You can reach Kapalua Airport by car or by airport shuttle.

Hana Airport

Located three miles northwest of Hana, Hana Airport is a small, simple airport offering flights to and from Honolulu on Mokulele Airlines. Hana Airport is accessible by car, but unfortunately there is no taxi service or public transportation. A pre-arranged shuttle, such as that provided by your hotel, can be scheduled. You’ll only fly into Hana Airport if you don’t want to stray far from the east side of Maui during your trip, or if you don’t get to Kahului in time for your flight.

A car on the Road to Hana next to a waterfall.

To best explore Maui’s beaches and hikes, you’ll need your own rental car.

Mia A’i Shimabuku for Insider

Getting Around Maui

Maui is the second-largest island in the Hawaiian island chain, and because it’s more rural and less developed, it’s impossible to rely on walking. If you really want to explore less traveled beaches and hikes, trust me when I say you’re going to want your own rental car.

That being said, it is possible to see a good portion of Maui by bus, which is the only public transportation option. You could also try carpooling, but venturing into rural areas, like Hana, means it can take a while to get a car if you even have one. Here are your best public transport options for exploring the island.

Rental car

With a rental car, you’ll have the freedom to go to almost any hike, restaurant, beach, and of course, Haleakala, at your own pace.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a car rental shortage in hawaii, so expect to pay higher rates for well-known companies like Alamo, Hertz, and Business, all of which are located close to the airport.

For the best rates under $100 a day, check out local companies like Go rent a car in Maui Where Car rentals in Kahului, both of which offer airport pickup and drop-off services. You can also try tutorial, which is like Airbnb for cars.

Driving in Hawaii is more relaxed than on the mainland, so no one really honks, but be sure to throw a shaka if someone lets you into their lane.

car service

Finding an Uber or Lyft ride in Maui is entirely possible, but it can take a while since there aren’t as many drivers as in urban centers like Honolulu. You also might not want to hail a car service if you are muddy or sandy. However, for dining in a large area, a car service can be an easy way to get there.

Public buses

The only public transportation on Maui is the bus, who has routes all around the island. It costs $2 one way, but you can get a 12-ride ticket booklet for $20, or monthly or daily passes, depending on your stay. The bus is a great way to get around on a budget, but it won’t get you as close to specific places as a car. You can track live bus locations here.

Check out Insider’s complete guide to visiting Maui.

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