FAMILY VACATION TO HAWAII
SHARED BY LAILA

17 NIGHTS/7 STOPS 

Once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Hawaiian islands: a breathtaking diversity of mountain landscapes, volcanoes & beaches.



Discover Laila’s travel profile and all her favorite trip itineraries.
After California and Maine, Laila and her family wanted to explore another state during their time as expatriates in the United States. They chose Hawaii because they didn’t want excessively long driving distances during their trip. Thus, the average driving time from one place to another was 2 hours max. Island-hopping was easy and quick thanks to good domestic flights. Also, they considered it would be easier traveling to Hawaii from the US than from Europe. A non-stop flight with United or Hawaiian from NY will take you to Honolulu before you know it! Hawaii’s extraordinary biodiversity, ranging from volcanoes to magnificent waterfalls and colorful  beaches, made this trip unique. The family tried to avoid the tourist-popular part of each island concentrating instead on the more authentic places. They found charming lodging options that allowed them to basically stay away from the crowded all-inclusive resorts. Do enjoy this stunning itinerary created and tested by Laila and her family.


NEW YORK – HONOLULU
KONA-NEW TORK
10 hours
$1100
DOMESTIC FLIGHT & RENTAL CAR
3 domestic flights (o’ahu-kauai-maui-big island)
5 hours on the road & 3 hours in the air
7 stops
AVERAGE BUDGET PER PERSON
TOTAL  = $ 3420 /pp for 17 nights
$ 840 pp for 17 nights 
$ 455 pp Hiking tour for 2 nights + 3 days all included (food, car and guide)
$1100 /pp intl flight – $485 /pp domestic flights
$540 /pp car rental
VARIETY OF BEACHES & NATURAL WONDERS
Hana road, waterfalls, and trails
Hiking Waimea Canyon in Kauai
 Sleeping in tent on Polihale Beach
 
I WANT ALL THE DETAILS OF THE TRIP!
Lodging and activities
WANT THIS TRIP CUSTOMIZED FOR YOU?
 
 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
O'ahu Island: Honolulu
Hawaiian spirit
Hotel on Waikiki beach
Pearl Harbor
1GrnCircleAIRPORT O’AHU ISLAND TO HONOLULU 

 
 
15 km / 20 min
Honolulu - Waikiki Beach
  • We stayed in a very nice boutique hotel, Surfjack hotel & Swim club avoiding the big American resort type hotel. The restaurant is very nicely decorated and the food is delicious. Easily accessible by taxi from the airport. 
  •  
    Diamond Head State Monument is 15 minutes away. Nice 1-hour walk and view. 
    Pearl Harbor is 1-hour away. Free entrance. You need to book in advance. 2 hours visit.
    Walk along  Waikiki beach and swim in the big waves.

HONOLULU (O’AHU) TO
PRINCEVILLE ( KAUAI)

 + 

40 min flight+ 25 km / 25 min
Princeville
  • We rented a very cosy and charming condo in Princeville. Perfect size for our family of 5. Beware that you have to use the car all the time when staying in Princeville. Halanei is a 15 min drive. 
  • Wander in Halanei: small design shops and typical Hawaiian restaurants. We loved the beach in Halanei. Unfortunately the road was closed and we could not reach lovely Ke’e – Tunnels Beach. 
    Early boat tour with a zodiac with Napali Riders, Boat tour started from Waimea, a 2-hours drive from the hotel. We entered caves, we looked out for whales and dolfins. Beware for the strong swell if you are sensitive to it. One of the passenger was sick….. Therefore we opted to drive from one side to the other of the island to take this boat tour. A nice way to discover the beautiful variety of landscapes,
    Don’t miss a sunset dinner/drink at the St Regis Hotel in Princeville. Breathtaking view from the terrace of the hotel.

PRINCEVILLE (KAUAI) TO
POHIHALE BEACH PARK (KAUAI)


100 km / 2h
Pohihale State Park
  • We booked a 3 day hiking tour with Kauai Hiking Adventures, owned by Andrew.  This was an amazing journey. We hiked for 3 days in Waimea & Koke’e State Park. The first night, we slept on the beach in Pohihale State Park. Kauai Hiking Tour takes care of everything.  Andrew and  Makana, a Kaui native,  cooked breakfast, dinner and our picnics for each day. They also provided us with all the camping equipment: tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, head lamps, etc… We had great fun. Each day we hiked for 5-6 hours. We discovered a variety of breathtaking settings, all very different from each other. We highly recommend this tour:2 nights and 3 days was perfect for our family. Andrew drives you in his 4×4 Toyota which can fit 8 people, he does cook very high quality food for the trips  and bring lots of fun things like coconuts and fresh eggs from his chickens and fruits from local farmers.  They specialize in getting you to some of the best hikes around the island especially off of the beaten track. He shares all is knowledge of history, culture, flora, fauna and animals of Kauai.
  • We did a 6 miles loop in Waimea State Park and had a picnic with the most beautiful view ever! 
    We stopped for a swim in a river with a great waterfall!
    After the hike we drove to Pohihale Beach State Park, had a delicious veggie curry prepared by Makana, went for a swim and relaxed around the pitfire.
     

POHIHALE (KAUAI) TO KOKE’E
STATE PARK (KAUAI)


45 km /1h
KOKE

KOKE’E SP (KAUI) TO
MAKAWAO (MAUI)
 
+

70 km/1h30+40 min flight+20 km/20 min
Maliko Retreat
  • We stayed  5 nights in Maliko Retreat. An amazing place in Maui. We just loved it and felt really at home in Sydney’s cottage. We were welcomed personally by Sydney who had organized a delicious veggie curry meal for us upon late arrival. The cottage is nestled in a jungle, with birds, tropical fruit, a river and so on. The rooftop with its lounge chair is a perfect place to relax and read a book. Located very centrally on Maui, you can easily discover the island from Maliko retreat. No need to change location.
  • Haleakala Volcano and National Park. Instead of  getting up at 4 in the morning to reach the summit of the volcano, we decided to take the trip for sunset! This was a great decision. it is also less crowded.
    Discover Hana road: enjoy waterfalls mile 19, 22 and 24.  
    Explore the black beach  at Waianapanapa State Park. It is really worth a visit.
    Don’t miss the Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu) When heading to the red beach on Maui, in Hana, you need to pass by a school at the end of a dead end street and don’t stop at the first little red beach you see there is a much bigger one a few hundred meters further! And it is not dangerous to get there…..unfortunately the beach is not secret anymore 😉 Don’t miss the waterfalls  mile 19, 22 and 24. Mile 19 was the best one.
    Snorkeling on Olawalu beach, mile 14th on the road to Lahaina beach. Try to get there before or after low tide.
    We had lunch in Lahaina at Paia Fish market. Great place with delicious grilled fish.

MAKAWAO (MAUI) TO
VOLCANO PARK (BIG ISLAND)
 
+

35 min flight + 45 km / 40 min
Big Island - Volcano
  • We stayed in a cottage near Volcano Park that we rented through Airbnb. Amazing place nestled 10 minutes away from Volcano State Park. The cottage is amazing! Charming, local feel and well equipped. We loved the place and felt at home immediately.
  • The Volcano state park was closed!! Check it out again before you plan your trip. There is not a lot  of activities in Volcano if the park is closed. We had only planned one day there and it was sufficient.
    We drove to The Black Sand Beach, about 45 min. away, with beautiful scenery, nice water and sea turtles on the beach. Further south, visit also the green sand beach.
     

VOLCANO PARK (BIG ISLAND)
TO WAIKOLOA VILLAGE
 

150 km / 2h
Waikoloa beach
  • We stayed in the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & SpaHotel amenities and activities: paddle boarding, kayaking, pool, restaurant, and gym. Perfect for our kids. They were happy to jump in the big hotel pools. We were happy to relax around the swimming pool and to drink some coktails on the beach. 
  • Relaxing time

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Prepare or buy food in advance when going to Volcano Park & Hana road because there is nothing on hand nor in the area
  • Bring very warm clothing for evening sunset in Haleakala. It was windy and freezing cold!
  • One day in Honolulu was sufficient for us. It’s very touristy, the main attraction is Pearl Harbor. 
  • Unfortunately the road was closed in Hanalei, Kaui island and the National Volcano Park was closed on Big Island. We should have adapted slightly our itinerary to stay longer in Maui if we had known. We recommend you to check carefully the situation when you start planning your trip. 
  • Kauai island offers great hiking trails. Beware that the trails can be very steep and strenuous. Tell your hiking guide if you have fear of heights!  Thrills are garanteed!
  • Big Island was quite disappointing for us as the Volcano state Park was still closed and we were threatened by hurricane Lane. We didn’t see what we should have seen and our 3 beach days ended up being 3 rain days! 
  • We loved the little surfer town Paia in Maui. Here is our list of favorite restaurants: Paia Fish Market & Café des amis. Another great restaurant is Nuka in the little town of Haiku (15 m drive from Paia). They serve delicious sushis and margaritas!