Ziplining is just one activity on Maui that multiple generations can enjoy together. // © 2014 Skyline Eco-Adventures
Feature image (above): Maui offers sightseeing activities that every member of the family can enjoy. // © 2014 HTA/Tor Johnson
It may seem unlikely for an eight-year-old and her grandmother to find common ground on an extended family vacation, but Maui proves otherwise. A prime spot for successful multigenerational trips, the island offers something of interest for young kids, teens, adults and grandparents alike.
Susan Tanzman, owner and president of Martin’s Travel and Tours in Los Angeles, reported a 15 percent increase in multigenerational travel to Maui in the past year. She anticipates an increase of 25 to 30 percent in the next year. Tanzman believes that one of the biggest draws for multigenerational travel to Maui in particular is the island’s variety of condominiums.
“Maui probably has every price range in condos, from luxury to budget, which you don’t find on other islands,” Tanzman said.
Condos provide all of the amenities of a luxury hotel while offering a private environment that is ideal for extended families or larger groups.
Tanzman recommends Honua Kai Resort & Spa, which merges the spaciousness of a private residence with the convenience of luxury hotel amenities. Located in northwest Maui, Honua Kai invites guests to customize their trips, offering a range of options, from studios to three-bedroom condos. All of the accommodations are suites that include kitchens and private bathrooms in each bedroom, making it convenient for a larger group of travelers.
Other suitable accommodation options for multigenerational travel to Maui include hotels with connecting rooms and beachfront homes for rent.
Whatever their choice, families traveling together can feel at home on Maui with all of the perks of being on vacation. When traveling with different age groups, it’s nice to have the option of cooking (or not). Maui has a diverse range of family-friendly choices — five-star restaurants, fast food joints and resort restaurants — often located within walking distance of accommodations. Groups who prefer to cook for themselves can book a condo or vacation rental with a kitchen.
Of course, Maui is packed with activities to suit a group that encompasses varying ages, whether they are seeking adventure or down time.
“Maui has it all, with sightseeing, relaxation and spa treatments for the older set; ziplining, paddleboarding and snorkeling for active parents and kids; and protected swimming areas and hotel programs for the younger children,” said Terryl Vencl, executive director of Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Multigenerational travel enables family members to pursue their own interests while also being part of a community. Drawing on her personal experience with traveling in a group of 20 family members, Vencl suggested balancing the itinerary with planned activities and flexibility for spontaneous opportunities. While individuals or small groups within a larger travel party can split up into various activities during the day, evenings are optimal times for everyone to reunite.
“We all actually wanted to come together as one big group every night,” said Vencl. “And Maui’s diversity allowed all of this to happen pretty organically.”
Because group travel can be costly, Vencl recommends that travel agents book early and avoid peak seasons.
“We advise agents and our visitors in general to seek out slower periods in the year,” said Vencl. “Family travel can be costly due to the number of travelers, but opportunities exist for significant savings.”
The shoulder months for travel to Maui are from April to June and September and October. No matter the time of year, however, multigenerational groups have convenient access to Maui’s attractions, thanks to what Vencl calls its “geographic ease.”