This is a guest post by Matt Picken who write's Tantrum Travels. Today he is sharing his top tips on travelling to Hawaii with toddlers.
Matt is a full time dad to two boys under 2.5 years old. Big tantrum first flew at 8 days old and Little tantrum flew internationally at 10 weeks. Having travelled extensively in the last couple of years with young children, Matt wants to share what he has learned, how to make things easier and most importantly, that it is possible. Follow Matt’s family travels at Tantrum Travels or get his updates on Facebook and Twitter
Aussie families tend to pick locations close to home like Bali and Fiji when they think about taking their kids on a ‘beach’ holiday, but more and more Hawaii is popping up as a location of choice. The idea of flying 10 hours with toddlers however can be a little off-putting. I am here though to say we did it, and it was worth it.
The Do’s and Don’ts when travelling to Hawaii with toddlers
DO arrange a VISA or a use the VISA WAVER PROGRAM (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/) well in advance to your flight. Also ensure you have your return ticket printed before you leave.
DON’T expect to get through customs very fast. Remember you are entering America, so expect to be finger printed, including your little toddlers paws.
DO pack two sets of swimmers for your toddler. They will constantly be wet, so make sure you have a spare set for the next round of water activities while the first pair is drying. Also remember to pack hats, sunscreen and water. (A complete swimming packing list is HERE).
DON’T expect to save hundreds of dollars at the shops. Things aren’t that much cheaper than Australia, and with a toddler in tow you always end up buying more things than you intended.
DO visit Pearl Harbor, but consider limiting your visit to the USS Arizona Memorial with active kids.
DON’T be surprised to see people selling guns on the street.
DO take a ride on the Waikiki Trolley bus, and if you are super organised, book your tickets online to save money and get free entry to the Honolulu Aquarium.
DON’T be surprised by the heavy Japanese influences and numerous Japanese tourists. Local Japanese are the second largest ethnic group in Hawaii. Your toddler may get some rock-star like attention.
DO go out for dinner, restaurants in Hawaii are extremely child-friendly, with kid’s menus and activities.
DON’T forget to slow down, enjoy a sunset and some walks on the beach.
DO try to book an apartment (or condo) if you can, having a kitchenette with a toddler is a lot easier
DON’T feel like this means you have to hire a car, there are trolley bus rides that can do this.
DO get out of the city and see some of the beautiful coastline.
DON’T forget to say Aloha, it’s hello and goodbye
DO plan some ½ day activities at some of the zoo’s, aquariums and waterparks such as Sea Life, where your toddler can touch a turtle or watch a Sea lion show
Hawaii is a great destination for young children. It may seem a lot further away than Bali or Fiji, but once you have got to the airport, been through security and boarded the plane, an extra couple of hours is not that much work and definitely worth it!
Have you been to Hawaii?
Or is it now on your bucket list?
If you would like to write a guest post for Toddlers on Tour sharing your experiences, photos and tips for travel with kids in your favourite destination please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my Contact Page.