Top tips for family trips to Hawaii

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A whole host of Australian families are saying aloha to happy Hawaii. And with good reason. Hawaii with kids is easy, fun and full of adventure.

Kids learning to surf in Hawaii
Lousie’s photo of her children surfing in Hawaii perfectly captures the moment. Picture: Click Love Grow

With a bunch of beaches, scores of scenic drives, a wealth of wildlife and heaps of hula, this welcoming island getaway suits tiny tots and teens alike. Thinking of making the trip? Check out our top pointers to make the most of your stay in paradise.

1. Take your pick of the islands that make up this sunny archipelago in the North Pacific, each with its own distinct flavour. Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island are top picks for families. Oahu is the home of capital Honolulu and famous attractions like Pearl Harbour, Diamond Head and the North Shore, and is the most populous of the islands. The Big Island is best known for its volcanoes and mountains, Maui for its beaches and Kauai for its lush wilderness and vegetation.

Overlooking Waikiki from Diamond Head peak
Overlooking Waikiki from Diamond Head peak Credit: Lucy Henry

2. You won’t need a Visa to holiday in Hawaii, but you will need to register for a Visa Waiver well before your departure, and have printed copies of your return airline tickets.

3. To car or not to car – one of the important decisions you’ll face will be how you’ll get around your island of choice. Hiring a car can be a really worthwhile investment as it opens up loads of day trips to destinations off the beaten path. Going for scenic drives is a lovely way to see Hawaii. If you intend to stay near big centres like Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, however, parking is difficult to source and costs a small fortune. City bus services are an easy alternative, namely the Waikiki Trolley tourist route which offers free tickets to Honolulu if you book seats online. Oahu has buses going nearly everywhere, including the North Shore.

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach Credit: Lucy Henry

4. The best time to visit is in shoulder season outside of school holidays. Bargain rates for accommodation and flights can be found from April to June and September to December, especially in May and October when prices are particularly low and weather is good.

5. There is so much choice when it comes to accommodation that it can be overwhelming. We recommend staying in a condo, which will allow you self-sufficiency, privacy and plenty of space.

Credit: Martin Rak

6. Pick up a copy of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Honolulu Weekly, Garden Island or the online Big Island Now for the latest local event calendars – there might be something special on during your stay!

7. Restaurants offer kid-friendly or ‘keiki’ menus nearly universally, with great options. Be sure to ask for Children’s Options and discounts. On the last Friday of the month in Honolulu, you can also fill up on delicious offerings from Eat the Street food trucks.

8. Pack extras like mosquito repellent for hikes and plenty of sun protection. Given the average temperature is 27’C, you can bring light clothes. To save room in your bag, buy towels and swimmers when you arrive. Carry around cash with you to tip service staff.

Learning to surf in Hawaii
Learning to surf in Hawaii. Credit: Bound Round

9. Highlights for kids include learning to surf, venturing out on a snorkel cruise, going horse-riding or zip-lining. Scope out the beaches, hike alongside craters in Volcanoes National Park or falls in Waimea Canyon, try your hand at hula and make your own lei in Waimea Valley or Kamokila Hawaiian village and if the weather is wet, try the Children’s Discovery Playground near Waikiki Beach.

Find out more about what our families think of Maui with this story.

Watch this video about Polynesian culture in Hawaii:

Getting there: Hawaiian Airlines flies to Honolulu and neighbouring islands from Sydney or Brisbane. Check out this amazing deal for 10 percent off return economy flights.

If you are travelling from elsewhere, book a connecting flight to Sydney or Brisbane with Virgin Australia.

Playing there: Check out our stories on immersing yourself in nature or going for a scenic drive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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