Thursday, January 17, 2013

Your Hawaiian Family Vacation; 5 Ways to Have Fun With the Kids and Beat the Crowds!

This week, we are thrilled to feature a guest post by Vincent Stokes, world traveler and freelance travel writer; his tips on experiencing Hawaii as a family without having to weather the crowds are truly invaluable(particularly to those of our readers lucky enough to be headed there sometime soon!).  Enjoy! 

Surf, sand, and sun---they’re the perfect ingredients for family fun. And you’ll find them all in great abundance on a family vacation in Hawaii. Chances are you’ll also find abundant numbers of other folks too. Folks who, just like you, are looking to enjoy the many perks that paradise has to offer. But this doesn’t have to cramp your style. There are a number of things you can do to have maximum fun while avoiding the masses. Here’s a look at 5 simple ways to beat the crowds and have a blast with your kids.

Vacation during the “off” season

Any time of year is a great time to see Hawaii. But if you want to beat the crowds, you should avoid visiting Hawaii during peak times such as major holidays when everyone else has vacation time off from work and school. Although it will take some extra planning on your part, and the kids may have to do make-up work to stay caught up in school, taking your vacation in the “off” season will be worth it in more ways than one---as air and hotel fares are often cheaper during less popular times. 

Rent a beach house or vacation condo

Hawaii Beach House
When it comes to taking that first trip to paradise, many families can’t resist the urge to stay in one of the many beautiful and expansive resort hotels that Hawaii has to offer. However, aside from being expensive, resort hotels tend to be a lot more crowded than other accommodations that might be overlooked. One of the best options for having a less crowded and more local, laid-back experience in Hawaii is to rent a beach house, vacation condo or townhome. Not only do these places come with a smaller price tag than the big resorts---especially during the “off” season---since they come equipped with full kitchens they allow families to avoid the restaurant crowds by eating in. Aside from that, your kids will enjoy outings to shop for groceries with the locals.

Rent a car

Regardless of what island you stay on, there will be tons of things to do and see. But seeing the sights with the masses on a crowded sightseeing tour---and someone else’s timeframe-- -will only diminish the experience for you and the kids. Renting a car gives your family the freedom to explore Hawaii on your own terms and timeline. A rental car will also allow you to access some of the more out of the way places that the tourists on the guided tours will never see. Kauai car rentals by Summit Pacific are a good place to start for car rental services. When you do decide to take in one of the more popular sights you can do it during non-peak hours to cut down on the crowds.

Look for alternative attractions

Although every island has certain must-see attractions that will always be more crowded, you can find alternative spots that can provide your family with the same experience---only with less congestion and more fun. A good example of an alternative spot would be Shark’s Cove, a great snorkeling spot on Oahu. While Shark’s Cove is a little more out of the way than Hanama Bay---a more popular and touristy snorkeling spot---you’ll see almost as many amazing varieties of aquatic life and a lot less people. Plus there’s no admission fee, and parking is free. However, be aware that Shark’s Cove is not as easy to access as Hanama Bay, and it’s waters are not as gentle and accommodating for young swimmers and snorkelers as Hanama Bay’s. When looking into alternative spots for family outings always make sure that they are appropriate for the ages and abilities of your kids.

Eat where the locals eat:

Chicken Katsu Curry - L&L Hawaiian Barbecue - Torrance, CA
On every island in the Hawaiian chain you’ll find plenty of popular restaurants to choose from. But if you want great food, reasonably priced and served up in a relaxed family setting, you need to eat where the locals eat. From catering trucks that frequent the beaches to the little “plate lunch” places not found on any tourist maps, you’ll find foods that you and the kids can enjoy without the crowds. And speaking of crowds, whatever you do, steer clear of the Luaus.

By following these simple tips you’ll be on your way to experiencing a Hawaiian family vacation that you and the kids will remember for many years to come.

About the Author: Vincent Stokes is a Portland native and world traveler.  He also is a freelance travel writer with many years of travel under his belt.  You can connect with Vincent on G+ or twitter (@TravelingGlobal). 

1 comment:

  1. What great information. We are planning a family vacation during the summer. First we are looking to spend some time at some of the Williamsburg resorts then we are looking to actually go to Hawaii. Thanks so much for sharing this helpful information.