Episode 108: Traveling to Maui Soon? What Every Hawaii Traveler Needs to Know from Travel Expert Mindy Poder

by | Sep 28, 2023

If you’re planning to travel to Maui soon, you’re likely wondering about the situation post-disaster. Is it responsible to visit? Can tourism be a force for good? Mindy Poder, the Executive Editor at Travelage West, joins us to discuss the intricate balance between mourning and recovery, and how travelers can make a meaningful impact.

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Have any questions? Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

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This post gives general info and isn’t legal or authoritative advice. It helps travelers with tips but can’t replace personal abilities, fitness, experience, or local knowledge. Marine activities have risks; assess conditions and follow local laws.

Wondering whether your upcoming trip to Maui is a good idea? With recent events turning the spotlight on Maui, there’s a lot of mixed information out there.

This episode isn’t just about the current situation; it’s a journey into responsible tourism, how travel impacts economies and personal experiences from the heart of the Hawaiian islands.

Discover how you can travel responsibly, support local communities, and get the best out of your Hawaii vacation.

In today’s episode, we sat down with Mindy Poder, who’s witnessed destinations worldwide bounce back after disasters during her decade-long tenure at TravelAge West.

She shares her personal experiences, the intricacies of travel in the aftermath of a disaster, and the deep cultural connection that binds Hawaii.

Understanding The Impact Of Tourism

Mindy highlighted the significant impact of tourism. It’s not just about vacations; tourism plays a vital role in livelihoods and connections. The rejuvenation post-disaster isn’t just about infrastructure but also about perception, with the inevitable call for tourists to return.

The Delicate Balance of Maui’s Recovery

Travel advisories, canceled plans, and mixed messages have created confusion. But what does the on-ground reality look like? Mindy brings in perspectives from travel advisors, detailing how Maui can successfully recover.

Being A Responsible Tourist

Travel isn’t just about seeing new places; it’s about making positive impacts. From the Malama activities in Hawaii to broader concepts like regenerative tourism, the episode delves into how tourists can contribute meaningfully to the places they visit.

Key Takeaways

  • The nuanced situation in Maui post-disaster.
  • Importance of responsible tourism and its implications.
  • Personal travel tales from Mindy.
  • The broader impacts of global travel trends on Hawaii.
  • Making informed choices based on mixed travel advisories.

Wrap Up

Every place has its rhythm, and Hawaii, with its rich culture and vibrant landscapes, is no different. As travelers, our choices can leave lasting imprints. Traveling responsibly, especially in the aftermath of a disaster, isn’t just about being cautious – it’s about being conscious. Let’s embark on journeys that heal, empower, and enrich.

Dive deep into the intricate tales of travel, responsibility, and the resilient spirit of Maui. Listen to the full episode now!

Remember, the spirit of Aloha isn’t just about warm greetings; it’s about understanding, respect, and love. So, the next time you think of traveling to Maui or anywhere else, carry this spirit with you. Aloha!

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108-TravelAge West_Mindy Poder

[00:00:00] Bryan Murphy: Coming up on Hawaii's Best.

[00:00:02] Mindy Poder: I think it's a good example like what the right thing to do is because there really hasn't been that many folks and my colleague even said she got in the taxi and the taxi driver said like you're the my first person that I've had since the fires and she said everyone has been been like, thank you so much for coming.

[00:00:21] Announcement: Aloha, welcome to Hawaii's best here. You'll learn what to know before traveling. As we discover Hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make Hawaii one of the most incredible places in the world. And now your host, Brian Murphy.

[00:00:38] Bryan Murphy: Aloha, and thanks for tuning in to today's episode today.

[00:00:43] We're joined by Mindy Poter, an award winning travel journalist. Who's the executive editor of Travel Age West, Family Gateways, and Explore Magazines. You definitely won't want to skip any part of today's episode because Mindy dives deep into the heart of travel [00:01:00] to Maui right now during this time. From understanding the delicate balance between mourning and economic recovery to fostering responsible tourism and unpacking of what that really means, there's a wealth of information in today's episode that's valuable for anyone considering a trip to Maui or to any of the other neighboring islands.

[00:01:21] Many accolades include top honors from Society of American Travel Writers and North American Travel Journalists Association Including the grand prize for travel journalist of the year She was even recognized as one of the top 30 under 30 in media by Folio All of which speaks volumes of her deep expertise and travels.

[00:01:41] I'm really excited that she was able to come on today's episode and talk about travel to Maui. We even talked more about travel to Hawaii during the fall and winter season. As always, if you're here for the first time, welcome to the Ohana and... Throughout all of September, we've been [00:02:00] spotlighting local businesses and ways to support Maui, aiming to offer a deeper understanding of the current landscape and how each one of us can contribute positively to helping with the recovery efforts.

[00:02:13] So if you're someone who's been to Hawaii or dreaming of that perfect vacation, this episode will give you a fresh perspective on how to make your trip both memorable and meaningful. Be sure to check out Minnie's incredible work over at travelagewest. com for timely updates and more insightful stories about Traveling and be sure to check out the article She wrote that we referenced in this episode on if you should postpone move or cancel your Maui trip and you can find that article and Follow along with today's episode with all the things we discussed on our show notes page at Hawaii's best travel.

[00:02:48] com episode 1 0 8 All right. So let's talk story with Mindy from Travel Age West.[00:03:00]

[00:03:05] Mindy, thank you so much for coming on today. And I just let everybody know a little bit about who you are, some of your accolades and your bio and all that good stuff. But I love to hear just from you a little bit more about yourself. What are some of the things that you're excited about maybe now, but just a overview of who you are for people listening.

[00:03:25] Thank

[00:03:25] Mindy Poder: you so much for having me, Brian. So I'm the executive editor at Travelage West, which you said I've been here for over a decade. So I've seen a lot of disasters. I've seen a lot of destinations struggle after a disaster. And then I've seen the inevitable. Requests for tourists to come back and it's always interesting to see how that's perceived by clients or consumers.

[00:03:52] And, you know, can be slow sometimes, but it just makes me see how much tourism makes an impact and so [00:04:00] many livelihoods beyond being fun to travel and beyond, you know, just being a vacation travel provides livelihoods provides connection. So. That makes me really excited to work in the travel industry and why I've been at Travel Age West for so long.

[00:04:17] And just to make it relevant to this podcast, I was in Maui in December with my toddler and my husband, and we had such an amazing trip and we were in Lahaina. So this recent disaster definitely breaks my heart. And when I've been to places that have experienced disasters, it does seem to happen. And so it always just impacts me a bit more.

[00:04:38] And I always want to help get the word out that, hey, tourism is okay. After a disaster in a place when you are following the right guidelines and you're doing it in a responsible and meaningful manner, it could actually be the best kind of trip. So those are a few things that just make me interested in, in this topic.

[00:04:59] Bryan Murphy: [00:05:00] Yeah, I think that really is kind of framing our conversation specifically about Maui. People are curious about just the delicateness of the situation and the complexity of the situation and traveling to Maui now and then next six months, a couple of years, you know, as the recovery efforts will last.

[00:05:20] I'm curious because you talk specifically about disasters in other areas. Maybe you can kind of give me a for instance and then what the response in that scenario in regards to tourism starting back up. How was that?

[00:05:36] Mindy Poder: Yeah. So I went to Nepal just a few months before they had their horrible most recent like disaster with earthquake and it definitely was.

[00:05:47] It's really frightening, you know, the way the news portrayed it, but like any disaster, it was in a specific area. But what people see in the news just seems like it's the whole area and they just don't understand it. And like, I [00:06:00] went to Africa. During the Ebola crisis, it was in West Africa, but I was in a totally different part of Africa.

[00:06:06] I was in South Africa and Namibia and Kenya and East Africa. So South Africa and East Africa and Africa is huge. So people just don't necessarily always have. A sense of geography and it ends up creating another disaster on top of a natural disaster, an economic disaster, which, you know, is sad. You can lose your house in a fire.

[00:06:29] You can also lose your house because you can't pay your mortgage. And so consumers should really think about, yes, you should take a vacation to celebrate and have fun. But if you can make an impact with your trip by showing up. That, that can make a big difference if you're a respectful tourist. Yeah,

[00:06:47] Bryan Murphy: maybe we'll hang out there for a minute.

[00:06:50] Respectful tourism, responsible tourism, uh, volunteerism, regenerative tourism, all these catchphrases which are important, but I think just for the sake of the [00:07:00] conversation, being able to define what responsible tourism is from your perspective. And then I also would love to know, because I think Hawaii has a little bit of ways to go in.

[00:07:14] The Bureau that, you know, they've done some promotion campaigns, some of the airlines, but I think there's still a long ways to go as far as education. And I'm curious about how have you seen responsible tourism play out in a win win scenario in a different location. So let's start with what responsible tourism is for you and where have you seen it play out well in another location?

[00:07:37] Mindy Poder: Yeah. So. Sustainable Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Regenerative Tourism, all of these buzzwords. And in Hawaii, they have their own word, Malama. And I know they've tried, they've been trying, they have specific activities that they say, these are the Malama activities. And I know that, you know, the tourism board Um, tries to incentivize these [00:08:00] activities with free, you know, a night free or something like that.

[00:08:04] And I know some of it is like going into a taro field and helping plant taro, things that are going to sustain the local environment instead of exploit. So usually, you know, when you think of responsible tourism, you can think of like the leave no trace kind of motto, you know, either you're not creating a, a ding into, into the natural That's one way, but you want to make a positive impact.

[00:08:29] So you don't want to exploit the natural resources. You don't want to exploit the people. It's about the money going to locals, which I know you had so many local businesses on. So it's not hard to do these things, but people typically think of, you know, like the cruise lines going to the cruise port that's owned by the cruise line and only spending money in those.

[00:08:50] You know, specific shops that maybe isn't the most responsible way to go. No judgment. If you love cruises, I like certain kinds of cruises too that are more [00:09:00] responsible. But yeah, thinking of the types of trips that you're going into the community, you're meeting locals, you're respecting them. You know, I know that.

[00:09:10] Maui has been asking for folks who are coming soon or now to consider doing a day of service. That can sometimes be controversial if it's not the right kind of service. Oh, that's interesting. Yeah. The going to the school and taking a picture with all the kids. But they not like do anything of service.

[00:09:30] So it's not always a tourist fault. Sometimes they're led into these places. So it's just being mindful, like, are you actually helping and what are the people on the ground really saying they need, especially after a disaster versus just, you know, on a regular vacation. I know that's happening a lot right now in folks who are going to Maui right now.

[00:09:50] I actually have a colleague who's in Maui and that trip got restructured, you know,

[00:09:59] [00:10:00] So they are going to be, I don't know exactly what they're doing, but they are going to be doing something that's, you know, vetted by a local organization that will, that will help. So that's. It's definitely one way to be a responsible tourist.

[00:10:13] Bryan Murphy: So as you're putting together and we'll link the article you wrote as well in regards to Maui and travel, how do you ensure as far as like the information, for instance, this article that you really about Maui post disaster is both sensitive to local community and informative for travelers.

[00:10:35] Mindy Poder: In my article, I interviewed travel advisors because that's our audience and why I think that's really valuable for kind of travelers at large is that travel advisors represent not one booking to Maui, they represent tons of bookings to Maui. The travel advisors I interviewed in... my story in interview three, each of them had multiple bookings to Maui on, you know, already booked for the rest, [00:11:00] you know, through now through the end of the year.

[00:11:02] So the insight that they gave me is speaking kind of about tourism to Maui at large, rather than just one individual person. You know, feelings about what to do and, and why they're doing it. So by talking to travel advisors and reading stories where travel advisors are being interviewed, you get a wider sense of the trends that consumers are doing in the moment and how they're feeling about something.

[00:11:29] Bryan Murphy: Gotcha. That first week, week and a half. Officials, people were saying, you know, postpone, cancel, don't come to Maui right now. And then that's now it's a huge push on, well, actually come to Maui. We want you to visit Maui. And there's been a lot of mixed messages about what to do. Like if, if I was booking a trip to Maui right now, or someone out there is contemplating visiting in November, December, later on this year, [00:12:00] what advice would you give that person as far as their current

[00:12:04] Mindy Poder: booking?

[00:12:05] Yeah. So that was my big question to these travel agents. And when I wrote the story, it was about two weeks ago. So like end of August, the government and the, you know, mayor and everybody was just starting to align about, Hey, come not to West Maui, but the rest of the island is open, you know, we're big.

[00:12:25] And this is something that happens a lot post a disaster. And the travel advisors I interviewed all were aligned in a wanting to do the right thing. B, knowing the right thing despite loud voices is typically bringing tourism back to the destination in a safe and responsible way. So avoiding, you know, West Maui, definitely don't go there and take selfies.

[00:12:48] That's the big kind of no no, but in general, coming back and helping support the local economy is the number one thing you can do. So these travel advisors I talked to [00:13:00] are advising their clients to keep their trips in order to support Maui and maybe consider doing a day of service or, you know, looking at their itinerary and, you know, obviously rebooking if they were in West Maui to a different part.

[00:13:15] So those are the things are advising. But to the point there has been a lot of mixed messages. There are still a lot of loud voices saying, don't come. And that makes the average consumer. a little uncomfortable. And so the ones that have travel agents who are helping guide them and educating them, you know, there's a lot of hope there that they are going to continue their trips.

[00:13:39] But the effect of the mixed messages is that some clients who had trips further out, like there was one advisor I talked to about a client, a group booked in December and they like made a quick decision to cancel, like, Within that first week after the fire, like they just didn't, they, like some people just don't want to have [00:14:00] any risk.

[00:14:00] They don't want to have any unease about their travels, but then there were other clients who had trips, you know, the second half of September and they're going to keep their trip. So everyone has a different risk tolerance and advisors advise and they tell you what they think is the right thing to do.

[00:14:18] But at the day, it's the client's decision. And unfortunately, mixed messages. You know, they do sting a little deeply, but I think the positive thing is that most people want to do the right thing. And maybe they're like, Hey, I'm not a responsible tourist. I just want to party for a week and like, I'm here to is I'm celebrating.

[00:14:41] So maybe I shouldn't go to Maui because that's not the right vibe at the moment. So there, you know, that group in December, they rebooked to Jamaica. They were just, I think that's just what their intent was for their trip, but like clearly. It's either their risk tolerance or they just, like, it just didn't align.

[00:14:58] So I do think most people are trying to [00:15:00] make the right choice. And I do think, you know, there's going to be a return, you know, of tourism to Maui by the right people. So that's the good

[00:15:08] Bryan Murphy: news. Yeah, I think you're right by the right people. And if anything, it's been showing in these. These episodes that we've done with local businesses and local voices is that Maui is in a deep place of mourning.

[00:15:24] It's in a, we're seeing this crisis on top of a crisis with the local economy right now. And some people maybe aren't okay going into that environment and canceling their trip or postponing their trip for that reason. And I think, like you mentioned, it's, it's a personal choice. And if you do choose to go, supporting some of those local businesses are important.

[00:15:48] And in your trip, your kind of a recent trip, the last nine months ago or so, what were some of the, your favorite spots I'm curious on Maui?

[00:15:58] Mindy Poder: So I went with my, my [00:16:00] daughter who was not even two yet. So it was definitely a little bit more catered to her. Sure. Yeah. Well, we went to, we did a whale watching cruise out of Lahaina.

[00:16:10] Um, you know, she was obsessed with the banyan tree and she was chasing after roosters. Like that's, that's like one of my favorite memories, her chasing after the roosters, you know, respecting the animals, but you know, doing a little toddle and being very excited about that. But we did see whales, so that was amazing.

[00:16:30] And that was with the local operator. We went to the surfing goat dairy, which was also a highlight for my daughter. She loved all the goats and mom and dad loved all the, the goat cheese. And we went to the aquarium. I can't remember the official name of it, but it's such a great one. Yeah. Yes. Maui Ocean Center.

[00:16:51] Because. Like, unfortunately, I can't go scuba diving with her. She's too young, but this was the way to see all the local animals [00:17:00] and it was a lot more fun than like your average aquarium. So those are a few of the best highlights.

[00:17:06] Bryan Murphy: That's cool. Just curious on just going back to the advisors a little bit, if we had to sum it up, was there a common messaging that you received as far as travel to Maui?

[00:17:18] Mindy Poder: Yeah, like I said, they all want to do the right thing and to them, the right thing is to bring tourists back when the time is right. And in terms of timing, they, most of them see, like one advisor said, I'm going to keep the trips that are like mid September on in Maui. So she felt like maybe this.

[00:17:40] beginning part of September end of August was she said too uncomfortable. So that's, you know, there's a lot of healing happening. So that makes a lot of sense. And then another advisor said October on, so I'm hopeful that, you know, into the fall, we'll see. And, you know, as you know, [00:18:00] festive season in Hawaii is really, really important to the local economy.

[00:18:04] Yeah. There's some data from Virtuoso, which they're a network of travel agents and one of their top cities with forward bookings for the festive season, which is, you know, like kind of around the Christmas time was Wailea. So I'm really curious to see if that sustains. Like I said, I was in Hawaii last December.

[00:18:27] It was right before that festive season, but like, you could just tell they're getting ready. They're like gearing up for the holiday travelers and it's a really important time for their economy. Yeah.

[00:18:38] Bryan Murphy: Just curious more about that. This fall season in general, just. As far as travel is concerned, but also in specifically about Hawaii.

[00:18:47] So I, in some of my conversations with local businesses, that's kind of been the, we have this fall season coming. We have the holidays coming. Hopefully there can be [00:19:00] a big rebound as far as. Economics are concerned, but I kind of want to just punt it over to you about fall season in general. What could you share about that?

[00:19:10] Mindy Poder: Travel has been incredibly hot post pandemic, like, you know, the records have been insane in terms of record breaking 2022 was a banner year before that it was 2019 the pre pandemic year was like a golden year. for travel in general and now 2023 people are like, okay, maybe if folks have kind of gotten out of their system, there was the whole trend of revenge travel where people were, they're just like spending like crazy, you know, they're like, I don't care.

[00:19:39] I'm going on the trip. I haven't been traveling the last few years. I'm going to spend, spend, spend like, like I wouldn't normally have. You would think like at some point and we hear all these things about inflation and the economy But people are still spending on travel and this network of travel advisors virtuoso that represents like over a billion dollars [00:20:00] in travel bookings every year they put out a forecast of what bookings they already have on the books for fall and winter.

[00:20:09] And they're like, yes, it's year over year, huge gains from 2022 to 2023 and gains in bookings and in price. So things are even more expensive and they're still being booked like hotcakes. So, you know, in the travel industry, we're kind of like, when is this year going to drop? When is, you know, when are people going to not?

[00:20:33] I don't want to spend so much on travel, but there's still a huge supply and demand issue. So if the fall season is hot, the winter season is hot. And I hope that, you know, Hawaii can get a piece of that because as you know, They struggled during COVID and they were just kind of coming back and folks were, you know, the local businesses were kind of making up for lost time.

[00:20:56] Bryan Murphy: Yeah, it's wild seeing some of those images, videos [00:21:00] and, and Mike, am I looking back to like 2020? Like, no, this is like now this is, this is fields of. rental cars. Now this is empty airports, empty planes right now, which is pretty wild.

[00:21:12] Mindy Poder: Yeah. And I, well, University of Hawaii economic research organization put out some figures.

[00:21:18] I'm not sure if you saw that yet, but they're pretty startling. So since the fires, the number of visitors to Maui has dropped by about three quarters. And they said that daily spending per visitor to Maui, they average it to about 270 a day. So the loss of revenue has added up to more than 13 million per day total.

[00:21:41] It's like, it's not a small thing when people say, you know, stay away from the whole island. Like that's a lot of money. It's like 70 percent of every dollar to Maui comes from tourism, either directly or indirectly. So these are really serious figures as well. [00:22:00] So I do think the island is really trying to balance, you know, the healing that needs to happen with preventing an economic crisis that, you know, can also impact.

[00:22:12] Um, locals in a really, really negative way.

[00:22:15] Bryan Murphy: If we had to just surmise the conversation, travel to Maui right now, someone who has a trip booked, what would you want that person to know? What would you tell that person

[00:22:27] Mindy Poder: right now? So I actually, one of my colleagues, Emma Weissman, she's in Maui right now.

[00:22:32] She's at Signature Travels owners meeting. So they're a big network of travel agents and they are having all the travel agency owners at this meeting, which is like a meeting that, you know, annually it's in a different location every year and it brings a lot of top travel agents, you know, nationally or in the world to a destination.

[00:22:53] And it also, they spend a lot of money in that destination. So they were grappling like Do we cancel? We want to do the right [00:23:00] thing. And so it was, you know, it's right now, the beginning of September and they talk to their DMC in Hawaii, so local business, they talk to government officials in Hawaii, they talk to locals to make their decision.

[00:23:15] And they were very transparent about how they were grappling with this decision and wanting to do the right thing. And eventually they decided, Hey, we're going to stay, we're going to go to Maui. We're going to change it up a bit. Like instead of, I think they probably had a leisure activity. Instead of doing that, they're doing a day of service.

[00:23:34] They've asked all of their attendees to bring like a list of items that are needed. So they all, you know, brought a bunch of stuff in their, in their suitcases. And they're also raising money for charities instead of whatever, you know, a charity they might've had before. So they've made it very Maui centric and they're estimated to bring in about 2 million in travel spending.[00:24:00]

[00:24:00] So. I think it's a good example, like, what the right thing to do is, what Signature Travel has done these first few weeks, and they're really kind of a pioneer right now, like, what is it to travel to Maui right now, because there really hasn't been that many folks, and my colleague even said, she got in the taxi, and the taxi driver said, like, you're the, my first person that I've had, Since the fires like, and she said, everyone has been like, thank you so much for coming.

[00:24:28] Um, so I'm, I'm really excited to talk to her when she gets back, but I know this will be kind of a transformative trip for her, but also I hopefully for the destination to see like, Hey, folks are coming back. Like we care and we want to spend our money here and we will change the way we were going to travel to make it respectful and impactful.

[00:24:50] Bryan Murphy: I love that. Yeah. Shifting gears just a little bit, thinking about all the experiences and places you've traveled to. Can you share maybe particularly, uh, [00:25:00] memorable story that you've covered?

[00:25:02] Mindy Poder: There's been so many, like, I mean, I will say like our, my last kind of trip that stands out was I went to Antarctica, which is amazing.

[00:25:10] And that was kind of my bucket list trip. I was like, I want to do that before I have kids. So I did manage to do that, but it was right before the COVID pandemic and I thought maybe like the Drake Passage is known for being not easy. It's known for like, as if you look up a video of the Drake Passage, which is.

[00:25:32] You know, the passage you have to, this like body of water you sail through to get into the continent. It's very, very rough. And most people are just, it's called the Drake shake. And when it's, when it's calm, it's called the Drake Lake. But I had a Drake shake on my way back to Ushuaia, Argentina. And that's also when I was finding out that Argentina, Peru, all these Airports were shutting down [00:26:00] within days and so like within a day of my flight, like my connection was going to be shut down.

[00:26:07] So I had to. And while I was like, I thought I was on a trampoline, like so ill, like laying on my bed and missing dinner. I had to kind of figure out like, am I going to be stuck on Shwaya like for an indeterminate amount of time? Like as my husband had to become a fisherman, you know, and I was able to get back and we didn't know what was going on with COVID at the time, but I was trying to email embassies and all of that.

[00:26:32] So that was. Like the most recent kind of crazy trip, but in terms of really, but otherwise, Antarctica is amazing. I highly recommend it. Yeah. But yeah. That's definitely memorable. The other great trips. These are memorable. They aren't like the, the like postcard, you know, it's like me being like virally ill or like growing up in like Lijiang, China, cause I insisted on trying the yak milk, which [00:27:00] I was at a restaurant and they were like, They didn't serve yak milk, but I had read it was a delicacy of this area and so I wanted to try it.

[00:27:09] So like, okay, sure. Like, we'll get you some. And I don't know where they went to

[00:27:13] Bryan Murphy: get it. Bring out the yak. Yeah.

[00:27:16] Mindy Poder: The local yak or like maybe some, you know, the cooks like yak milk. I don't know. But anyways, I had some. And then I like, I just had to be in my room the rest of the day, like taking care of business.

[00:27:27] It was not good. Yeah. I also almost got stuck in Kenya because there was some confusion about which vaccinations I needed to go from Kenya to Namibia. So that was also another, another story for another day, but travel, you know, it just makes you a bit smarter. Like you kind of realize, you know, you got to dot all your I's and cross all your T's when you're making your plans.

[00:27:54] Bryan Murphy: I'm curious now that you're a mom, and by the way, congratulations, thank [00:28:00] you, and all your travels. What are a few items that are like your must travel items? I'm thinking about those listening right now. You know, you go to a place where you go to Hawaii and you pack all this stuff and you're like, I didn't wear half of this stuff, but I'm curious, what are the, like those must travel items for you?

[00:28:19] Mindy Poder: For me? Well, I'm a very much on team carry on only. Yeah. Especially nowadays with the travel demand being so high and with kind of. You know, air travel in the U. S. not being where it needs to be for the, the amount of travelers we have, I just like, if you can do it, do it, even with a toddler, like we try to do it when I travel with my husband, because even though we look crazy, like we're the people in the airport, we have the stroller, we have the backpack with the car seat.

[00:28:50] We have like three suitcases. You know, people are really kind when they see you struggling. So you definitely, you know, get some [00:29:00] strangers involved sometimes. And we have to go through like narrow aisles with all our stuff, but it's just such a lifesaver. And you don't want to be like flying back to get your suitcase.

[00:29:08] Like I know that was a recent story. Some girl found that. She had an air tag on her suitcase and saw it was like in another airport, so she flew back to get it because the airline had no idea where it was and was fighting with her. So you don't want to be that person. So if you can be carry on only even for a long, longer trip, or even if you have a kid, I highly, highly recommend that.

[00:29:30] So that's, I know that's not a specific item, but I guess that's to say, like, I don't really have, I love, I love earplugs. We're sleeping and I mask, I think sleep's really important, but in general, like I, you know, these days, especially with an iPhone, that's really helpful to like, I used to lug around a big camera and all of that.

[00:29:49] And for me, it's just about simplifying and bringing the essentials because like, I just want to feel like I can kind of take off. Yeah. I need

[00:29:57] Bryan Murphy: to. Yeah, our [00:30:00] kids are older now, so we don't, we're not in the stroller phase, but when we were, man, we took advantage of that, the stroller gate check. So you, you know, you bring your, your stroller, you throw in the, uh, car seat and any other stuff you can into that gate check bag.

[00:30:16] And yeah, so that was kind of a, uh, a win for us. Yeah. You can

[00:30:20] Mindy Poder: put a lot in that car seat. A lot of diapers in there. Definitely a pro move.

[00:30:25] Bryan Murphy: Yeah. Well, Minnie, I think this was super helpful for a lot of people because there's, there's questions and I think it does come down to that personal choice, but there are also those important educational pieces of if you are traveling to Maui and not just Maui, I think taking this mindset, wherever you travel to this responsible.

[00:30:45] Tours of this, however you, whatever you wanna call it, but taking that mindset to wherever you, wherever you travel. So thank you so much for your, for your insight.

[00:30:56] Mindy Poder: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. And yeah, everyone can make an [00:31:00] impact by traveling. It's not just fun. It can also be for good. Oh, well said.

[00:31:04] Thank you.

[00:31:05] Bryan Murphy: Thank you. Mahalo for sticking with us through the entire episode. Mindy truly shed some light on a few crucial things. Some things that I took away and some great reminders is one, the significant role of local businesses in Maui's recovery and how as travelers, we can contribute to that.

[00:31:26] Number two, the responsibility each of us holds when traveling. to Hawaii, and it's not just about sightseeing, but it's about understanding and respecting the places and people we visit. Number three, the resilience of the travel industry, particularly how it bounces back and adapts time and again, even in the face of unforeseen challenges and difficulties.

[00:31:49] If you're interested in diving a bit deeper or checking out some of the resources and places Mindy and I discussed, make sure to head over to our show notes page at hawaiisbesttravel. com slash episode [00:32:00] 108. And if this episode has resonated with you and you found value in it, I'd truly appreciate if you would follow Hawaii's Best on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

[00:32:08] And it just helps keep you in the loop with all our new content coming out. And that's where you can find all of our previous shows and some of the episodes that we've had on. The last six weeks or so in response to the Maui fires So keep exploring ask questions and until next time be well Aloha,

[00:32:30] Announcement: mahalo for listening to this episode of hawaii's best to stay up to date on future episodes Please subscribe and visit us at hawaii's best travel dot com