Having recently returned from an amazing Hawaiian vacation (our first) I can truly say, I will never take our kids to Hawaii.
I truly loved it. Although we’ve been many places and I always thought I was a mountain girl at heart, Hawaii was relaxing and amazing to me in a way that few other places have ever been.
That being said, people are shocked when I tell them that despite the fact we really enjoyed Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Ko Olina, Oahu, we would not bring our kids to Hawaii. It has nothing to do with my kids and it has nothing to do with Aulani or Oahu in general.
If you’ve been following our blogs for long (http://401kKid.com and http://OnTheRoadWithLewisAndClark.com), you realize that we love our kids. We really, really do. But we also realize that there are something that kids don’t need to do while living at home with their parents. Going to Hawaii is one of them.
For several days we watched exhausted parents taking kids back and forth from their rooms to the beach. They’d get all settled into beach chairs for 10 minutes before mom or dad needed to get up to get a snack, or more sun screen, or another towel. While I fully realize this is the nature of family vacations, I also wonder why you’d travel so far to experience the same activities you could experience in Tampa or Fort Lauderdale or San Diego. Not only is Hawaii a long ways to travel, it is not cheap.
Certainly there are sites to see and experiences that can be had in Hawaii that cannot be experienced elsewhere, but my travels have taught me that many times there are cool things to experience close to home as well. As we flew the eight plus hours from our home to the islands, I wondered why parents would put themselves and their unhappy kids through such an ordeal. Why would you take kids to Hawaii? Flying isn’t fun for most kids, especially the very young. Did the parents really think this vacation would be so incredible for their young child that it was worth the long and expensive trip? Because I have to say, as someone who has traveled with young kids, it really isn’t. Not for most people.
Of course if you have family in Hawaii or money to burn or just want to say you experienced it as a family, then by all means, go ahead and take your kids to Hawaii. Certainly I am not the Hawaiian travel police. But if you’re a different type of parent, the one who feels guilty if their kids don’t experience everything in life right along side them, let me tell you that it’s perfectly okay to enjoy Hawaii sans kids. Heck, it’s perfectly okay to enjoy ANY vacation without kids.
We have a goal in our family that people think is a bit strange. Actually, it’s not a family goal, it’s our goal as parents, because the kids are totally not on board with this. Our goal is to make sure that our kids DON’T experience everything before they are adults.
We want them to be able to save some things for when they have their own spouses and their own families. Bret and I were lucky enough to experience the fun and excitement of our very first cruise together when our kids were 5. They stayed with grandma and grandpa. Since neither of us had been on a cruise before, we had no idea what to expect and that was most of the fun. The same was true of Hawaii.
Yes, we’ve had great times traveling with our family. And yes, we certainly will continue to do that. Honestly, if I thought we could pick up and take them on the road full time, I probably would. But the fact remains that parents should be allowed to have their own experiences. In doing so, they save similar experiences for their own children to have with their families.
So kids, hear me now: I love you way too much to take you to Hawaii!