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Traveling to Kauai with a Family

It’s family dinner, you’ve got the kids all around the table passing plate and dishing up food. Looking around, you smile because you know what’s coming. “Kids, we’re going to Hawaii for our family vacation this summer!” you announce. What follows is nothing short of an explosion: food flies, arms flail, and the next thing you know, your little ones are running around the house screaming in sheer jubilation “HAWAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!” You’ve hit it out of the ballpark. As the explosion calms down and the kids start planning all the adventures they are going to have in paradise, you begin your own planning session….but where to start? Flights? Hotel? What to pack? So many questions to think about at the same time. Well, as you may guess, as a seal, I’ve seen my fair share of tourist families here on Kauai and there are a few things you should know if you want to make your trip easy to plan, cost-effective, and – above all – fun. So, let’s get started.

Family sitting in back of van smiling

It’s hard to book anything without knowing which dates you’ll be traveling. When booking your flight, remember that 1) you will likely need to transfer in Honolulu and 2) weekend flights are almost always more expensive than those that fly mid-week. Most guests will connect through either Los Angeles or Phoenix with those from Canadia coming directly from Seattle on Alaskan or Hawaiian Air.  Hawaiian Air is a great choice. My friends at the Villas at Poipu Kai are offering their discount code: VILLAS that can be used on this site: Enjoy!


United Air is also a smart choice. They offer a non-stop flight from San Francisco to Kauai at a very competitive price. United also offers the only morning flight, which allows travelers to make connections to other parts of the country without an overnight flight.

Next, you’ll want to book your accommodations. Villas at Poipu Kai is an ideal place for any family to stay, especially those with little children considering the space and amenities. Although I love seeing you at the beach, I understand that there are some days you want to stay in. Fortunately, you have countless options! Take the kiddos to the pool, have dinner at the BBQ, or spend a few hours lounging on your lanai (open patio).


While packing, remember that airlines charge for baggage which means it may be cheaper to buy some gear (snorkeling equipment, sunscreen, towels) when you get to Kauai. Don’t forget your Costco Card! There is a location right in Lihue, close to the airport and just a 12 minute drive from the Villas. Go there to buy your gear, towels, and breakfast food/snacks. While going out to eat on the island is a real experience that should not be missed, it can add up when you have many mouths to feed. Save money by eating in for small meals like breakfast or lunch and pack snacks for the beach.

If you have toddlers or babies, you’ll need a few extra things. Rental car companies can include car-seats and infant seats. My friends at the Villas mentioned that they offer play-n-packs and booster seats to their guests at no charge .  More extensive items like full-sized high chairs, cribs, and strollers can be rented from local companies for use during your stay. Visit to find out more.

Although the north shore beaches get a lot of publicity, my home – Poipu Beach – was named the number one family beach in the world in 2008 by Conde Nast. Wahoo! The unique sand bar break between the shore and the reef island is an unequaled ocean attraction for family fun anywhere in the world. Poipu Beach also has the advantage of being right next to Brenneke’s Beach for older family members to go body surfing while the younger kids play at a family spot nearby. You see! We have something in Poipu for everyone. In my opinion, the best beach for children outside of Poipu is Lydgate Beach: there is a protected breakwater built around the city park so that you can rest assured your little ones won’t be tossed in the waves.

Feeling more calm and confident that this trip is going to be the best ever?! Well, if you have any additional questions, I’m here – you’re very own Poipu Beach Seal – at your service!


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