How to Plan a Family Trip to Hawaii

How to Plan a Family Trip to Hawaii


Planning a family trip to Hawaii doesn’t have to break the bank. With family travel being more affordable than ever before, lots of people are looking to get out of their comfort zone to experience someplace new. Today I’m going to dive into the subject of planning a family trip to Hawaii.

Many American families have opted to plan a family vacation in Hawaii because they can soak up the sunshine and beach lifestyle without getting a passport.  My tips will help you plan when to travel to Hawaii, how much it may cost, and what to think about during the planning stages of a family vacation in Hawaii.

How to Plan a Family Trip to Hawaii

Which is the best Hawaiian island to visit for families?

One of the most popular questions for families looking to plan a kid-friendly vacation in Hawaii is, “which Hawaiian island is best for families to visit?” The answer is hands down Oahu for families who want to experience a classic Hawaiian vacation. Next in line, is the Hawaiian island of Maui, a place for families that want to experience some of the most beautiful beaches, and rural getaways in one place.

What are the 7 Hawaiian Islands?

In case you didn’t know, Hawaii has 8 larger islands that tourists venture to for a sunshine vacation. While Oahu and Maui may be the most popular destinations for families, there are a total of 8 Hawaiian Islands that attract tourists all year round.  

  • Hawaii aka The Big Island
  • Maui
  • Oahu
  • Kauai
  • Molokai
  • Lanai
  • Niihau
  • Kahoolawe

How to Get to Hawaii

The most popular airline that heads right to the mainland of Hawaii is Hawaiian Airlines but you’ll find that this airline partners with JetBlue, United, and American airlines to get tourists over to the Hawaiian mainland. Booking your flight to Hawaii will be the most overwhelming process of planning a family trip to Hawaii.

I highly recommend you figure out how to get the mainland most affordably first, by keeping your eyes on flight deals to Hawaii. After you book your main flight, you can worry about how to get from island to island and so forth a little more affordably.

Know Where You’re Going

While you may be thinking that your family trip to Hawaii will be all sunshine, rainbows, and flip flops, some areas of the islands may require a little warmer clothing. It’s important to plan an itinerary for your family vacation in Hawaii first. The higher elevations in Hawaii will have cooler temperatures, while the lower elevations will be warmer.

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Creating an itinerary will help you plan what to pack for your whole family. I suggest packing as lightly as possible, using cardigans and sweatshirts as an added layer of warmth for any time spent at higher elevations on the Hawaiian islands.

What to Pack for Family Trip to Hawaii

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What is the cheapest way to plan a trip to Hawaii?

If you’re looking to find the cheapest way to plan a trip to Hawaii then you’re going to need to plan your family trip to Hawaii during September, October, and November. You’ll want to be careful booking your family trip to Hawaii in September though since the island celebrates their Aloha Festival on Oahu island.

You can probably imagine that it’s difficult to find a low-traveler season for Hawaii because during the winter months up in our neck of the woods, the island is a popular place to escape the brutal winter cold. During the warmer seasons, travelers enjoy heading to Hawaii to get a beach-lovers vacation without the need for passports.

It can get slightly complicated when you start looking into the cheapest way to plan a trip to Hawaii for your family.  It seems Hawaii doesn’t have a full “off-season” so to speak but I can tell you that there are more airfare deals during September, October, and November than any other time during the year.

Don’t forget to order your emergency bracelets before you leave for your family trip to Hawaii.

Opt For a 3 Star Hotel

While you can spend $400 a night to stay at some luxurious hotel with your family, it’s even more affordable to enjoy a family vacation in Hawaii at the $150 per night 3-star hotel options on the islands. While you may take a cut in luxury, the 3-star hotel options are plentiful and much more affordable for families who want to vacation in Hawaii without going broke.

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The key to planning your trip to Hawaii with kids is to book your hotel accommodations well in advance. This will give you the best hotel pricing and ensure that you’ve got your place to sleep in Hawaii all set while you work on the other planning steps for this fun-filled family vacation.

Stay Near the Beach

Always opt to stay closer to the beach or other locations that you plan to enjoy during your family trip to Hawaii. Renting a car is about $20 per day plus the cost of gas, parking and other fees involved with having a car in Hawaii. It’s best to use public transportation when necessary and walk for most of your time here.

The costs associated with having a car during your family vacation in Hawaii will sink your vacation budget rather quickly. There are plenty of fabulous hotel options within walking distance to the beach and the Honolulu bus system is pretty reliable with plenty of stops to get you where you want to go.

No or Low-Cost Fun

Unless you’re bringing a vehicle to the beach, Hawaii beaches are free to enjoy. Not only can you spend the day beachside for free, but you can take hikes all over the islands for free too. When it comes to planning a family trip to Hawaii without breaking the bank, I highly suggest you create an itinerary that takes full advantage of hiking and beach days.

There are so many sights to see and hiking trails to enjoy along with beautiful, sunny beaches that can easily allow your family to relax and have fun without spending a ton of cash. As an example, the rather popular volcanic State Park Diamond Head will cost just $1 per pedestrian. They say it takes about two hours to hike Diamond Head so you’ll want to plan appropriately for any younger children you have on vacation with you in Hawaii.

In conclusion, Hawaii may not be the most budget-friendly destination for larger families but it is full of fun and if you’re an American it’s an excellent way to soak up the sunshine during the winter season without getting a passport to hit the Caribbean.  Using my tips to plan a family trip to Hawaii will help you through the tedious process of getting your family to the islands for a tropical vacation this year. 

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15 thoughts on “How to Plan a Family Trip to Hawaii

  1. Hawaii is on our top list of summer destination hopefully we will be able to make it this year. Glad I came across on this post so many ideas that is very helpful.

  2. I like your tip of choosing a 3-star hotel over the luxury ones. I would do that too! I mean, why would I pay so much for a place we will mostly just sleep in? Going to Hawaii means spending time outdoors – on the beach or on the hiking trails, not holed up in your hotel room. 🙂

  3. Hawaii is definitely one of the top destination for a family trip. Such an amazing ideas we can get and adapt in going to this amazing place on the planet.

  4. Great tips for those of us who have only dreamt about visiting there. I would love to go there someday but only time will tell if I get there.

  5. A family getaway to Hawaii sounds pretty dreamy. Of course less travel nightmares the better. Your tips and suggestions are absolutely spot on!

  6. Oh wow! I am planning to bring my family in Hawaii really soon! It’s such a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  7. Haven’t been to Hawaii and would love to go on vacation here. I have family and friends who live there and we definitely have a place to stay when we plan to go there. Thanks for this!

  8. Thanks for this great guide. I would love to do a family trip to Hawaii. It would definitely be the ultimate family vacation.

  9. I bet my family and I will hit up Hawaii at some point within the next 5 years. My son is 1 years old and I just feel like the islands of Hawaii are pretty kid friendly! Plus, it’s only 6 hours from where I live!

  10. I’ve only been to Hawaii once and for a short time but I loved it! I really need to bring my family along next time. This is great advice!

  11. We hope to do this one day! My husband and I left the kids and went to Hawaii years ago, and they haven’t let us forgot it. They want to go too!

  12. Thank you for sharing these tips. I really enjoyed reading this post. I would love to plan a trip for my family.

  13. The last time I visited the islands was my honeymoon. My daughter has been asking to go. Maybe someday.

  14. These are great ideas and I have not been to Hawaii since my honeymoon in 1998. I would love to go and i know my kids would love it too.

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