Your next family trip has been selected, you’re coming to Hawaiʻi! But which island? What will you do? This article, written by travel blogger Lisa Reilly, provides you with some great suggestions as you begin your planning.

For the latest update on travel to Hawaii Covid-19 guidelines, go to: Hawaii Dept. of Health/Travel

Hawaiʻi is an ideal destination for families looking for a vacation. The Aloha State reopened in October allowing domestic travelers as long as they take part in the government’s pre-travel testing program. Even though Hawaiʻi could be the farthest place you can travel to this year, that’s not the sole reason families should go. It is filled with adventure, culture, history, and nature and everyone in the family will enjoy it!

Pick an island based on your family’s preferences

Pounders Beach on eastside, also called the windward side, of the island of Oahu

Pounders Beach, on the island of O‘ahu, is a popular local beach perfect for body boarding.

The easiest way to plan a family trip to Hawaiʻi, especially if it’s your first time, is to pick an island. Hawaiʻi is an archipelago comprised of eight major islands, as well as many smaller islets set amidst the North Pacific Ocean. Each of these pristine islands have their own unique blend of culture, amazing cuisine, and interesting history.


If you want to learn more about the culture and history of Hawaiʻi, put O‘ahu on your bucket list. It is called The Gathering Place for many reasons. It’s where two-thirds of the whole population live, where most visitors go, and of course, where different cultures meet and blend. The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the must-visit attractions in Oahu, especially for families with kids who want to learn more about the local culture. There are lots of different fun activities to try, such as Polynesian dance lessons and the Samoan fireknife practice that kids will never forget.

Woman tourist enjoying view of Hawaii Island, the big island, is the largest of the many islands of the state of Hawaii

A visitor takes in the view of Haleakala National Park on the Island of Hawaiʻi.


You can also hop to the island of Hawaiʻi, a paradise for lovers of trails and wildlife. It is the largest among the islands and is known as a hotspot for volcanoes. They can be found in the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and are still active. The aptly named Big Island has plenty of hiking trails that cater to all levels, all of which are teeming with amazing scenery and, if you’re lucky, some wildlife! You can go watch for birds along the trails, or spot dolphins and even whales in the ocean.


And speaking of the water, Maui is the perfect island to visit if you want to try different water sports. The beaches are gorgeous there, and you will find adventurous activities like surfing, kite boarding, and snorkeling.


The Garden Isle is more laid back, a place for a family to really kick back and enjoy the natural beauty and fun-loving spirit known across this small, but powerful island.

And more…..

You can find more information on other islands within Hawaiʻi at the Hawaiʻi Visitor and Convention Bureau website at

Decide on a season

turtle or honu swims in the waters surrounding all of the Hawaiian islands

The ocean’s fantastic array of sea life is just a snorkel or dive away.

Choosing the right time to go is also a decision you have to make. A USA Today article on planning a visit to Hawai’i indicates that finding the right time depends on your budget, Hawaiʻi’s weather, high-season and low-season, and events and festivals. Winter in Hawaiʻi, which lasts from November to April, is very beautiful. It can get a bit rainy on some days so it’s best to pack rain jackets and umbrellas for everyone. Going in the winter season is best if you want to catch whales in the wild!

Book and reserve

Waikiki beach has many hotels available.

Waikiki, with Diamondhead towering over the west end, is one of the most famous beaches in the world.

If you’re gearing up for a family Hawaiian vacation over the holidays, it’s best to start making reservations ahead of time. That way, you can also create a realistic budget that you can stick to once you land. A Marcus guide to budgeting on a family vacation points out that you need to calculate the costs of transportation, lodging, food, and activities. Additionally the site recommends that you should set aside some money for unexpected expenses and extras. For example, visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center will cost you back anywhere from $55 – $260 per head depending on the package you choose. Other luaus can be a bit more or less, but remember, only the Polynesian Cultural Center provides a full day of activities from noon until 9:00 pm.

Getting around

If you can, you should also reserve a car rental ahead of time. Though it is not necessary to enjoy Hawaiʻi, Trip Savvy notes that it’s the most convenient way of going around especially if you want to go outside of Waikiki. Travelling to the beaches on the North Shore, for example, is best when you have your own vehicle to transport your family.

Hawaiʻi is an absolute paradise. Just ask anyone who is lucky enough to visit it! It’s the perfect place to take your family and bring a little joy into your holidays.


We hope that you spend a day (or more) with us here at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we offer many Polynesian focused presentations, activities, our award winning late afternoon luau and the beautiful evening show, “HA: Breath of Life”.

Here is a great companion blog for families coming to Hawaii:

13 kids’ activities for the whole family in Hawaii


Find other great articles that will help you plan for your vacation by clicking HERE


Read about the Polynesian Cultural Center’s recently announced 2021 reopening plans

Exclusive tickets as the Polynesian Cultural Center reopens January 18, 2021

Reopening plans announced for the Polynesian Cultural Center in April, 2021




Lisa Reilly bio pic cropped Author bio: Lisa Reilly is our featured blogger this week. Traveling is her passion because it lets her explore her other hobbies, such as photography and writing. When she’s not hopping from plane to plane or hitchhiking to get to her next exciting destination, Lisa likes to keep busy at home with different hobbies. Painting, pottery-making, baking — she’s tried them all!