If you’ve been following this blog at all, my apologies for the lack of posts in May. Hardlywritten is strictly a book blog and I haven’t read much this month for a darn good reason – I got married in Maui just last week. The vacation was spectacular and the wedding was pure magic. Typically I take a few books whenever I go on vacation and manage to read at least 2 during my down-times and for this trip I did in fact bring a couple of books to my bride’s chagrin, but I hardly managed to crack into them since a lot of my time was spent hiking, relaxing, snorkeling, relaxing, hanging out with our guests, relaxing, barbequing, relaxing, boogie-boarding, relaxing, getting married, and of course, relaxing.
Well, to maintain the spirit of this blog I thought I’d give a couple of quick reviews of the two books that served to help plan all of that relaxing and enjoyment. We primarily used Fodor’s Maui 2011 because we bought this book on the mainland to help plan our trip last year. After using the book on the island I found myself wishing this book was set up by location rather than by activity. Frequently during our trip I found myself having to flip to the index to find out the many sections that referenced the particular location of the island that we found ourselves on. This got to be a little annoying because the book was organized in a format for planning activities while off island, but not really helpful for use while on the island when wanting to quickly flip to a geographic section. Other than that, the book was helpful in giving good directions and the pictures were very inviting to help us choose which activities we wanted to do. The full pull-out map that came with the book was a big plus because using the smartphone for GPS could be a little troubling at times in some of the rural Maui locations.
The second book we used was Maui Revealed. We had used the Big Island Revealed for our trip to the Big Island last year and found this publisher’s tips helpful, but very difficult to use for planning due to poor organization of maps running from page to page with inaccurate direction orientation and confusing scale. So, that past experience helped us choose to go with the Fodor’s guide for this trip. However, as I noted above, Fodor’s wasn’t perfect. To our delight the house we were staying at in Kihei had a copy of Maui Revealed on the coffee table that served as a nice supplement to our Fodor’s book. Other than the drawback of poor map organization, the “revealed” franchise of Hawaii books are excellent in giving lots of secret tips for eating on the cheap, finding secret view spots and discovering lots of “off-the-beaten-path” activities. I wish that we had this book along with us for our drive along the Road to Hana, but we didn’t stay at the Kihei house until after we did the Road to Hana. I say this because comparing the two books side-by-side I noticed that the Maui Revealed had a very extensive summary of stops along the Road to Hana that was lacking in the Fodor’s book. A few friends in our party used the Maui Revealed book for their Hana excursion and from their pictures and stories it appears that the Maui Revealed book helped them find a lot of spectacular views that we simply missed along our drive. That is OK by me though, because we had a convertible to heighten our enjoyment to of the Road to Hana!
I don’t think any one book is perfect for planning a trip, but having had the opportunity to reveal two books during this trip I think I may consider using multiple books for future vacation trips. What better may to maximize one’s enjoyment than to maximize the number of tips and hints for trip planning!