Aloha and good luck! Parents of young kids know to ‘focus on getting there’ because traveling with young kids always keeps you on your toes.
*Fly Hawaiian (we can arrange the flights for you). My Hawaiian flight had attendants that were all Kama’aina (residents of Hawaii). They provided lunch for everyone on board (included in your ticket cost), and one glass of wine with lunch (much appreciated for this momma).
*Car Rental (we can arrange for you). Car rentals are needed on Maui. Driving around is easy and a rental car is by far the best way to explore the island. We can arrange private transfers if you really prefer it, but a rental car was perfect for us. You simply walk down the walkway from baggage claim and board the shuttle bus for your respective car company. Then you are transported to the car company’s off-site building to secure your vehicle (no more than a 5-minute drive from the airport).
*PRE-STOCK (we can arrange villa provisioning for you). This is the one thing I didn’t do and REALLY wish I had. If your kiddos are anything like mine, they didn’t sleep a wink on the airplane. They have just fallen asleep on the 45-minute drive to Lahaina and you don’t want to wake them up to go into the grocery store. Pre-stock. Yes, the grocery delivery service will charge you a small percentage or flat fee to shop and deliver groceries to your villa/condo. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I would have paid double that fee to not have screaming kids in Safeway later that day. Trust me, walking into your villa’s kitchen and finding beverages chilled in the fridge is amazing. Having everything stocked to pull out and grill that night is even better. Don’t spend your arrival day at the grocery store. Pre-stock and allow yourself (and your family) to relax.
*Have your Arrival Documents printed and in hand (we email these to you). Life is a beautiful mix of chaos with young kids. Save yourself from trying to remember details or getting stressed. Print off the Arrival Documents we email to you and have them in hand. They’ll have driving directions from the airport to your villa. They’ll have access codes and/or entry instructions. And, just in case you have a travel delay or cannot find your way, they’ll have emergency contact numbers for our local representatives.
*RELAX! You have finally arrived! Enjoy your paradise and get some sleep… because your kids will be waking EARLY tomorrow morning. 🙂
Good morning! Are your kids up at 4:45 a.m. like mine were? Remember my pre-stocking suggestion from arrival day? Yes, it works well this morning too… breakfast is stocked (and coffee!) so you can stumble around the kitchen before 5 a.m. and feed your kids… and drink your coffee. Did I mention coffee?
*Book an easy excursion today (we can arrange this for you). You will want to get out of the villa, but you’ll need time to relax and rest today. Think beach, think pool, think laying on your lanai… but you will want to get out and explore a little. I booked a glass bottom boat ride (very family friendly) at 10 a.m. in Lahaina. It was a quick and easy drive from Kaanapali (where we stayed). It got us out on the water and let the kids see an octopus and other coral reef animals.
*Have some Shave Ice. You’ve waited for it and your kids probably have no idea about the awesome goodness they’re about to receive. There are lots of shave ice options right in Lahaina. After the glass bottom boat, we got shave ice and sat beneath the Banyan tree to enjoy.
*Hit the grocery store. By this point, your kids have recovered enough from the travel day to behave in the store. Maybe? Or send one adult while the other is napping in the villa with the kids. You’ve also had time to take inventory of the items at your villa and what you’ll need.
*Rest. You’re on vacation. Find the pool. Find the beach. Find your happy place.
Good morning! My kids slept later, but this morning I booked a fishing charter for my husband (so he was up early). No worries, I said good luck and went back to sleep. 🙂
*If you want to go fishing, go today (we can arrange this for you). Booking your fishing charter early in your trip will: 1) allow you to reschedule if the weather happens to be bad, and 2), will allow you plenty of time to enjoy the fish you catch. My husband went bottom fishing (catches smaller fish you’d likely eat from meal to meal) and brought back Amberjack and Blue Fin Snapper for us to enjoy the remainder of the week. I’ve never had such amazing fish! Check with your concierge agent as some companies allow you to keep the catch and some don’t. We can, of course, arrange the deep sea fishing charters too (if you’d prefer to snag that trophy catch).
*Spend the afternoon at the beach. Hubby needed to relax after the early morning, so we snoozed and played on the beach. It was perfect.
*It’s a great night for a LUAU (we can arrange this for you). If you’ve not been to a luau, it is one of Hawaii’s most famous family dinners. Even if you have been, take your kids. It is the perfect adventure for kids of all ages (even my two and four-year olds). They ate, danced, learned how to make hula bracelets, and ate some more. We had a blast. My four-year old talked about the “Hawaiian party with all that food” for the remainder of the trip.
Today, you’ll be in your groove. It’s the perfect day to plan a longer adventure. My kids are so young, that Haleakala and Hana seemed a bit too adventurous. But if you want to experience either of those day trips, we can book them for you. We settled on Maui Ocean Center, and it made for an excellent day.
*Maui Ocean Center (we can arrange this for you). It’s amazing. The aquarium is beautiful and I’ve never seen such a large display of sharks or such a HUGE sting ray. Do wear sunscreen and dress appropriately as the aquarium has lots of outdoor displays that have direct sunlight.
*Enjoy lunch in Maalaea. We arrived to MOC around 10 a.m. and were finished and ready to eat around 1 p.m. Beach Bums BBQ was very close (walking distance) and was very good. My son loved their mac & cheese. 🙂
*Explore. In Maalaea, most of the snorkel/dive charters are docked (we can arrange these tours for you). From Maalaea, you have easy access back to Kahului (where OGG and Costco are) to explore downtown or to head out to Hana or Haleakala. You are also very close to Kihei if you want to check out the southwestern side of Maui. Bring your swimsuits and visit any of the beach parks along the road; you’ll find some great spots (just use caution and follow signage if there are dangerous water conditions).
*Dinner out or chef services (we can arrange these for you). No one wants to cook after a longer day out exploring. We ate at Paia Fish Market (the Lahaina location) and it was incredible.
For our last full day on Maui, we hit the beach. Two words – Baby Beach. It is perfect for your little ones.
*Go early. We arrived around 9 a.m. and were able to park steps away from the public beach entrance. Remember Lahania parking is tough, so plan accordingly. Baby Beach has a great sandy area, protected and shallow water and beautiful views; well worth the hours we spent relaxing there.
*Enjoy lunch/shopping in Lahaina. We ate at Bubba Gump’s, shopped around, and of course, had another shave ice. Saturday in Lahaina gets busy. Remember island time… relax and have fun.
*Sunset at Kaanapali Beach. If you stay in or near Kaanapali, Kaanapali Beach is your perfect slice of heaven for sunsets. We grabbed some family pictures on the beach at sunset – stunning! We can arrange a family photographer for your family pictures. What a special keepsake! You can see the Black Rock Diving Ceremony from here too.
Departure Day (to the Big Island for us, thankfully):
Departure day is always a bit busy. You need to pack, tidy the villa (consult your Arrival Documents or the Binder in your villa to check on requirements) and fit in everything you’ve been meaning to do on island.
*Pack the night before. Do all you can to make this morning easy on you. Most check out times are 10 or 11 a.m., so have it done and enjoy the day before your flight departs.
*Consider a different airport (we can arrange these flights for you). If you plan to travel to another Hawaiian island and are staying in Lahaina, Kaanapali or further north, ditch OGG and consider JHM. Instead of rushing to pack/clean and drive back to Kahului, we were able to explore parts of Napili and Kapalua we hadn’t seen yet, have lunch and then return our rental car and take a shuttle to JHM (the airport was literally 5 minutes from our condo – Montage at Kapalua Bay).
- Proximity of the airport.
- You’ll basically have a private tour of Maui as you depart.
- The flights are on smaller planes (fun!) and you don’t have to fly back to Honolulu before heading to the BI. Win!
Maui with young kids, in bullet points –
- Absolutely perfect. Though you’ll pay for that perfection (expensive).
- Plenty to do.
- Great beaches/calm water for the little ones. Areas to get more adventurous if you have older kids/adults in the group as well.
- Don’t ditch the excursions because you have younger kids. Call us, we’ll guide you in the right direction.
- Don’t take a screaming two-year old grocery shopping on your arrival day.
- Share the Aloha. Maui tourists and natives are incredible. Let your kiddos have shave ice and play hide-and-seek in the Lahaina Banyan Tree with the local kids. Maui is a beautiful mixture of tourism/progress and Hawaiian authenticity.