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Hawaii with preschoolers

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Oahu Travel Hacks + Budget Tips for Families

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.

Toa Luau: Oahu’s Newest Luau Experience

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.

Alamo rent a carHave you ever built a snowman made of sand? Or watched a New Year’s Eve fireworks show from the beach?

Spending the holidays in Hawaii is a one-of- a-kind experience! I’ve spent many holiday seasons in Hawaii. I love the island-style twist for Christmas in the tropics.

Here are my top picks for the most popular islands in Hawaii. Updated Nov 21, 2018!

What is Warehouse 3540?

Located in Lawai on the island of Kauai, Warehouse 3540 features trendy shops, food trucks, and shave ice. As the name implies, it’s located in a warehouse and has a bit of a Portland hipster vibe.

Had my Mom (who lives on Kauai) not told me about it, I wouldn’t have even known to stop. If you’re looking for things to do in Kauai, Warehouse 3540 is the place to be!

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.