When I tell people that I take my kids to Hawaii about once a year, I always explain that my Mom lives on Kauai and we try to cut costs whenever possible. The truth is, a trip to Hawaii (even with kids) doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg. So, I’ve compiled my top Oahu travel hacks and tips for Oahu on a budget.
I was just looking over my blog and realized I haven’t done a Kauai family travel guide! I’ve visited Kauai approximately 30 times since I was 10 years old. My grandma used to live part-time on Kauai when I was growing up. My mom has been living on Kauai for the past 10 years. She’s a Kauai wedding officiant and knows a lot of the best Kauai beaches for families and things to do on Kauai with kids. So, I conferred with her to make sure all my info was up to date and she added in some unique things to do on Kauai.
If you’re looking for things to do in Oahu with kids, the Polynesian Cultural Center should be high on your list. For the past 55 years, it’s been of the most prominent family activities on Oahu. In fact, it’s Hawaii’s number one paid attraction. More than 1 million visitors experience the Polynesian Cultural Center each year. A day at the Polynesian Cultural Center is a MUST while exploring Oahu with kids.
Are you heading to Oahu and looking for a family-friendly luau to attend? Have you been to others on the island and just want something a bit more authentic or different? Toa Luau at Waimea Valley is Oahu’s newest luau experience. It’s a family-run luau that started in October 2017. If you’re visiting Hawaii for the first time, Toa Lua is a must do in Oahu.
Previously published May 14, 2016 but updated with new information
Are you heading to Kauai with a baby? If so, congratulations! You’re going to have such a fun trip! My Mom lives on Kauai, so when my oldest was 9 months old, he made his first visit over there. Now that I have two little boys, we’ve made several more trips to Kauai. I’ve compiled my top ways to explore Kauai with an infant and still have an amazing Hawaiian vacation.
In an attempt to get out of the sun for part of the day, we decided to explore the Maui Ocean Center near Ma`alaea Harbor. I came here with my toddler Owen last October, but we both had the flu and were miserable. I thought we really needed to give it another shot.
On our latest trip to Maui, we stayed at the Honua Kai Resort in Ka`anapali, Maui. We went with family so we rented 3 units between all 14 of us. This was my first time staying at a resort, rather than a hotel or condominium. After spending a week there, here are my pros and cons for staying at the Honua Kai Resort:
In celebration of my Mother-in-Law’s 70th birthday, we all got together for a trip to Maui. Since we were all going to be together, we thought we should do a special activity with everyone. We decided that since she loves to swim and make memories with the grandkids, doing a snorkel trip might be the right fit.
While vacationing on Maui, my Mom popped over from her home on Kauai to visit with us for a few days. She offered to watch our toddler, Owen, so we could have a date night. When someone offers to watch your toddler, the answer is always YES. After scrolling through several “Best Restaurants on Maui” listings online, cruising Front Street in Lahaina, and debating driving to Kihei, we decided to see if we could get in at Roy’s in Ka`anapali. Roy’s is a chain of Hawaiian fusion restaurants that are located on several islands. I’d only been to the one on Kauai before and the food was really tasty. Since we get so few date nights, we figured we’d go with something almost guaranteed to be a good experience.
Updated March 18, 2018 with additional information.
In preparation for our upcoming family trip to Maui, I thought I’d reflect on my last trip to Maui back in October. My Mom lives on Kauai, so we usually try to visit Hawaii once a year. Last year, however, I thought it might be nice to also check out Maui (after a short visit on Kauai) since they have a lot of things for toddlers to do. This was my first time flying solo with a toddler (the previous year he was 9 months old) and I learned a lot from this trip. I extensively researched things to do in Maui with toddlers and came up with a solid Maui itinerary.