Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations for people in cold countries. From kids to adults, everyone enjoys sun-basking by the beaches in Hawaii, diving to explore marine life and the coral reefs, and learning about the cultures and traditions in Hawaii.
If you’re visiting Hawaii with your kids, you’ll need to plan well for your vacation. This will ensure that you have your travel documents and luggage sorted out and enjoy your vacation fully.
Whether you’re flying with a lap baby, a toddler, or a school-going child, keeping these ten essential things in mind will help you enjoy a manageable Hawaii vacation. You’ll feel the Aloha in the air!
This post is part of our series Discover the USA
1. Prepare Proper Travel Documents for Your Kids
One of the most important things you should sort out is the travel documents, especially those of your kids. It will depend on how old your kids are, where you’re traveling from, which airlines you’ll be taking, and what conditions they have for kids traveling to Hawaii.
Check whether your children need a passport, birth certificate, or photo identification, depending on their age. With proper documents and records, you’ll be able to book flights properly and travel safely in an unexplored land.
NB – US Citizens do not require a passport to travel to Hawaii. Minors must travel with an adult that has a Government-issued photo identification, e.g. driver’s license.
2. Creating an Itinerary Helps a Lot
Planning your Hawaii tour in detail will help you lessen your worries, especially if you’re traveling with your kids, as spontaneity may not be possible with them on the trip. Create itineraries for every place you visit in Hawaii, such as a 5-day Maui itinerary to make the most of your trip to Maui.
Planning your activities, especially when visiting with kids, will help you keep up with time, adjust well to the time difference, and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. You can also give your kids learning opportunities and get them in touch with the various cultures in Hawaii.
Still unsure which Hawaii island might suit your family best? Check out this guide to Hawaii’s best islands for families to help you decide.
3. Adjust to the Time Difference
No matter where you’re traveling from to your destination in Hawaii, you’ll need to adjust to the time difference. Even if it’s just an hour difference, it can massively affect your child’s sleep schedule, affecting your plans.
Hawaii-Aleutian Standrard Time (HST) is GMT-10 (that makes it 6 hours behind EST and 3 hours behind Pacific time). HST does not change for daylight savings.
Adjusting to the time difference when visiting Hawaii with your kids will help you get over the jet lag soon, allowing you to enjoy your family vacation to the fullest. And if you wake up super early, take advantage of it!
4. Carry Sunscreens and Other Sun Protections
Hawaii is a tropical destination, attracting many tourists during its peak season due to its warm climate. Kids have tender skin, so you must carry enough sun protection to protect them from painful sunburns. Keep them in your emergency baggage so you can reach for them quickly.
Pack enough kids’ sunscreens and sun protection lotions that are safe for the reefs (it’s the law!). An umbrella and sun hat will protect your kids from extreme sun exposure. Don’t forget to pack sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright, almost blinding sun.
You can find our complete beach packing guide for families here.
5. Pack Clothes Properly for Your Kids
Although tropical, the weather in Hawaii can fluctuate due to its location. Don’t shy away if you need to overpack for your kids with breezy and warm clothes. You can also try maximizing your luggage space to fit your kids’ clothes properly.
Pack swimsuits for the fun beach times and the swimming sessions you’ve planned. But also, packing a few sweatshirts and jackets will be wise, as cold winds can hit the beaches anytime, and evenings can be cool enough to put a jacket on.
6. Choose Kid-Friendly Activities
Hawaii has plenty of kid-friendly activities to offer you, which can also be a part of your itineraries. You can go snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, parasailing, horseback rides, zip lining, etc. Museums and exploring local markets should be on your must-do list of activities.
You can even book a long ride along scenic roads in Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and Big Island. For example, the most famous road for a long drive is the Road to Hana, which is also the best for schoolchildren. You can also visit the Volcanoes National Park on Big Island or find the best family-friendly beaches on Oahu.
7. Book a Family-Friendly Hotel or Resort
When visiting Hawaii with your kids, booking family-friendly hotels and resorts will be your best choice. Here’s a list of beautiful resorts and hotels for you to consider, some of which are also budget-friendly:
- Kauai Beach Resort & Spa, Kauai
- Hilton Waikoloa Village on Kohala Coast, Big Island
- Outrigger Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, Waikiki Beach, Oahu
- Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Big Island
- Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu
- The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Waikiki, Oahu
- Hotel Moloka’i, Kamiloloa Beach
8. Make Your Kids Learn With Fun
It’s a good idea to help your kids learn about and respect other cultures while you’re on your Hawaii vacation. Incorporate local explorations into your Hawaii tour, where you’ll try regional cuisines, visit museums, try on any local clothing, play local sports, visit the local markets, etc.
With these, you’ll teach your kids to respect other cultures and heritages. Take them to places like Honolulu and Oahu to get in deeper touch with their culture. This will help them value the people there, setting their explorative mind into a pace.
9. Let Your Kids Decide
Although you’re capable of planning an excellent tour and keeping your kids safe at the same time, letting your kids decide what to wear and where to go will be a good idea. Involving them in packing clothes and planning the trips will make them look forward to traveling more and learning at the same time.
Letting your kids be involved in the planning will spark their curiosity, making them go into an explorative mood about Hawaii. This is a positive reinforcement for them.
10. Steer Clear of Holiday Packages
If you want an enjoyable vacation for you and your kids, you should avoid booking holiday packages. Holiday packages include accommodation and activities for two or more people at a limited price. However, because of their nature, you won’t be able to enjoy much with such a package.
Instead, custom-plan your activities that won’t just be fun for you and your kids but also allow some romantic time with your partner. Going on a family trip without a package will give you the freedom to design your vacation.
Visiting Hawaii With Kids
Parents traveling with kids to Hawaii for the first time often worry about the safety of their children and whether they’ll enjoy it or not. If you’re one of them, don’t worry.
With proper planning and keeping these things in mind, you’ll enjoy a nice vacation visiting Hawaii with your kids. Make beautiful memories together without having to miss any of the fun.
More Perfect Family Beach Destinations
Beach-lovers in search of the perfect family vacation destination may also want to check out next:
- The best family vacation island escapes around the world
- All the best beaches for a family vacation in Mexico
- Discover our pick of the 26 best beaches on the US East Coast
- Unmissable family-friendly beaches in Florida
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