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Top 5 tips for a successful Hawaiian family vacation

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

When your family seeks a rich cultural travel experience but doesn't want to travel internationally, a journey to Hawaii is the perfect destination! Amidst its cultural charm, the Hawaiian islands offer an abundance of outdoor activities, not to mention some of the most renowned beaches in the United States.

Hawaii has always been one of my favorite destinations to visit. The culture, food, landscape, weather and history have always been of interest to me. Each island has its own distinct characteristics and I just love the laid-back, tropical vibe and the friendly people who call this state their home.

There are some important details to keep in mind when planning a visit to the Hawaiian islands. Don't start your travel plans before reading my top 5 tips for a successful Hawaiian family vacation:

#1 Rent a car to explore

There’s nothing like taking a day trip around the islands while immersing yourself in the culture, finding hidden gems and discovering the geological beauty of this state. It’s so easy to get around the islands and with only a few major roads, it’s actually pretty difficult to get lost.

During peak seasons, rental cars can be in high demand. Therefore, it's important that you book your Hawaii trip as far in advance as possible so you can also secure your rental car reservation.

#2 Keep up with Hawaii’s entry guidelines

Hawaii had one of the strictest entry requirements in the U.S. once travel began to open up after the COVID-19 shutdown. If you are planning a future visit, it’s important to stay on top of Hawaii’s travel requirements, including the protocols for traveling from island to island. While the policies are currently more relaxed, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the regulations should anything change.

#3 Make reservations and book activities early

During peak seasons, it’s important to make reservations for dining and activities as soon as possible. This includes everything from luaus, snorkeling trips, ziplining, golf tee times, whale watching excursions and much more.

You do not want to arrive at your Hawaiian destination only to find out you are unable to participate in the activities that drew you there.

#4 Avoid visits during the summer months and school holidays

While the weather in Hawaii is beautiful all year long, the crowds tend to flock to Hawaii during school breaks and holidays. If you want to avoid crowds and get the most value out of your trip, select times of the year when the majority of schools are in session.

#5 Select the islands that are best for your family

Each island has its own set of unique characteristics and recreational activities. It’s always best to work with a travel advisor who can help narrow down your family’s travel style and areas of interest. A travel advisor specializing in Hawaii can help guide you toward the most appropriate islands and accommodations that your family will enjoy the most.

If you are thinking about a visit to the popular island of O'ahu or Waikiki Beach, make sure you also read about O'ahu's Top 8 Family Activities and 12 reasons why families choose Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa for their Hawaiian vacation.

Lissa Ryan is a Senior Travel Advisor with Kingdom Destinations specializing in luxurious family vacations. Lissa helps busy parents who want to create travel memories with their families through luxury travel experiences, but are too busy or overwhelmed with all the effort and research that is required to plan that perfect vacation.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss a Hawaii vacation or any other luxury family vacation, please contact

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