08 Jan Traveling with Kids: TO MAUI
Dusting off the ‘ol blog to give a few quick tips, ideas and recommendations from our recent trip to the island of Maui! Background: we visit Maui every other year with my in-laws. Usually, the entire family goes so we have grandparents, aunts, cousins — the whole gang. It’s madness when theres 5 kids under 6 years old! But it also means the places we go and restaurants we eat at are all (mostly) family friendly!
The art of getting to the Islands! I tried really hard to make sure we had everything we needed for the flight to Maui. In the past we tried saving a few pennies and taking different airlines but the fastest route getting there. First travel tip: Don’t do that. We had taken Southwest from Reno to San Jose/Oakland or LA and then switched airlines to something like Hawaiin Air from there direct to Maui. Theres a few reasons why this is NOT a good idea. Because the airlines are different they would not transfer our baggage to the next airline, meaning when we were traveling with small kids with short layovers we had to get off of the plane, go out to baggage claim, get our bags, go back through security and find the gate. If you’ve traveled with kids before, you know that you have a LOT of things. So going through a busy airport, in hurry with tired kids and having to go in and out of security is a disaster. They also were not willing to hold the plane for any sort of delay. Spend a little more and stay on the same airline.
I was suggested to get snack boxes for the boys and let me tell you, best idea ever! I found these boxes at Walmart for under $3 in the craft section. I added pretzels, yogurt covered raisins, fruit loops, jelly beans, mini marshmallows, and gold fish. Small items that took a while to eat. I was pretty proud of these 😆 We also brought their iPads loaded with movies and games, puzzles, coloring and lego kits!
Hawaii with kids: We of course love a hotel that offers kid friendly options. Our hotel had a kids craft area that hosted kids (with parents) to do crafts during the week, a movie night by the pool and of course a slide in the pool! Make sure not to forget water wings or a life vest as some of the hotels (like ours) did not allow kids to go down the slide with anyone else so the smaller kids had to go down alone and be caught at the bottom.
Rentals: We decided to rent Dawson a toddler bed because he transitioned out of his crib about 6 months ago. We paid about $8/a day for the bed which was delivered to our hotel. We also rented beach toys and a wagon for the trip! Maui has a ton of baby rental companies for kids of all ages. If traveling with a younger baby instead of taking your entire house I would highly suggest renting!
Grocery store stop: Each time we visit we make sure to stop at the store and get simple snacks, lunch items and drinks to keep in the hotel room. Makes life so much easier, especially for those early rising kids (hello 2 hour time difference) Most places are similar in price but we love Safeway, and a local grocery store called Foodland prices weren’t bad! My sister in law signed up for their reward points and ended up saving about $30 on her groceries when she went!
The Aquarium: We found if you bought tickets through our hotel activity desk each ticket was about $5-10 cheaper. Worth asking! Within the same parking lot we found a little adventure park for kids. It offers water boats, trampoline jumping, a rock climbing wall and mini golf!
Favorite spots: An IG follower suggested we check out Baby Beach and we will never not go here again! It is perfect for small kids. The waves are minimal thanks to wall of rocks out a few feet, the sand is super soft and has a grassy area. Plus free and close parking!
Napili beach: My husband and his family grew up going to this beach. Its perfect for turtle watching and the snorkeling is incredible (or so they tell me)
Ululani’s Hawaiin Shave Ice: I tried cutting the line and grabbing shaved ice from other local stops. It’s just not the same! This place makes shaved ice that tastes like powdered snow! My order: regular size (obviously) with coconut, blue raspberry and cherry. Don’t forget the macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom and get the snow cap!
Kimos: Come for the views, stay for the downtown shopping. The menu is pretty standard for this area, and make sure to make a reservation because its always crowded! Cheaper parking can be found up the street near the outlet mall for $5 for the entire day! One of the bartenders is also from Reno, so thats cool!
Aloha Mixed Plate: a great family friendly option. This place started out as food truck and has turned into the cutest little restaurant. Again I would suggest a reservation. Go a little early because this beach side restaurant has great sunset views!
Maui Brewing Co.: Although this brewery is located in a strip mall don’t be discouraged – the food is so good and the local beer is amazing (for those enjoying beer ha!) They also have house made ginger beer, coke and rootbeer thats amazing! Food suggestion: The tots!
Hula Grill: If you can swing a wait; go for lunch. Your get to sink your feet into the beach sand and enjoy the ocean with great food and drink options!
Dukes: another Maui staple but the views, the walk way and the area is the best! Another suggested spot for restervations and dont skip the Hula Pie
Slappy Cakes: another great IG suggestion. It was about a block away from our hotel and a slight wait but so worth it! The kids loved it, and those who didn’t make pancakes loved the food!
Whalers Village: Where some of our favorite restaurants are located (Hula Grill and the super popular Monkey Pod) but its also a great space for kids to get out some energy. They have a cloud climbing area and grassy center with comfy chairs!
Other random tips: bring your own sunscreen. The price in Hawaii for just about anything is high, but sunscreen is SUPER high. Load up at target or Walmart before you go!
Bring hydro or reusable cups for kids. Something to keep water cold. I brought both boys these cups and kept water in them throughout the day to make sure they had enough water (even though Parker did get super sick one day) but they were a lifesaver!
Rent a car. We had a great experience with this rental car company, they dropped the car off for us at the airport so as soon as we landed we walked to our car, loaded up and off we went! It was 10X easier than taking a shuttle to the hotel. Return was just as easy!