I’m often asked about how I book my travel plans. It usually starts with some kind of interest our family has in a place combined with the kids’ and hubby’s vacation schedules. Sometimes, I get a place in my head because of some animal adventure I’ve heard about, or a farm tour I’m curious about or a neat pool that’s made some “YOU CAN’T MISS THIS POOL’ list. The hubby and I have been watching a lot of Hawaii 5-0 lately, and we started to think of all our favorite places from Oahu and all the fun we have had there over the years, so I knew our next trip would most likely be a Hawaiian destination before we even booked it.
And before we had kids the hubby and I could stay anywhere and be okay with it because our days’ adventures in a new place would usually mean we’re not staying in our room for very long. With kids we are often stuck in one spot after 7pm when our kids sleep and might need to find breakfast as early as 5am. So now I spend a little more on hotels and get a little more creative with the types of activities and restaurants we pick. The plus-side with kids is that a cool pool and a beach might count as a whole day’s adventure and happy hour might be dinner. If our hotel is in a vibrant spot, one of us puts the kids to bed while the other sight-sees and picks up dessert. If we are in a beach area we try to get a balcony so we can sit and eat dessert and drink wine and pretend we’re on a fancy date.
We also don’t stay in one place for more than a couple days. This way, our guys get a new place to play in and the hubby and I don’t get too stir-crazy about all the things we DON’T get to see with kids in tow. This also works really well for when we’ve taken a chance on our accommodation and it doesn’t work out, like a few years back when we stayed in a horrible VRBO rental in Hawaii where we weren’t told about a ginormous construction project at our building that totally disrupted naps, then crowing roosters visited our apartment at 4 in the morning and cats peed on the swimsuits we left on our lanai. I love how funny that adventure was now, but at the time I was oh so thankful when we packed up and went to the next hotel.
For Oahu, I’m really excited that the next time we visit, we’ll be re-visiting the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I think their pool is a pretty good one for kids and we’ve stayed there a couple of times now and know what to expect. My guys also like exploring the grounds and looking for teeny fish in the lagoon.
We also love the North Shore and we’re stoked about heading back to the Turtle Bay Resort. The last time we went there we were caught in a horrible storm and most of the beaches in the area were not swimmable, so I’m totally hoping that this time is a lot better. I might even bring an umbrella or some rain jackets to ward off rain. (Does this happen to anyone else? Every time we ‘overpack’ for a trip we don’t end up needing ANY of the just-in-case stuff that we brought, but if we forget the extra stuff we totally regret it!)
We’re also taking a chance on another place we’ve never been to and if it’s good I’ll make sure I tell you here.
And of course, we’re going to try and see my guys’ favorite band, Manoa DNA. We first heard them on the Pineapple Express train, but then saw them live at the Outrigger Reef Hotel and the guys fell in love. We’ve seen them perform a couple times now and my guys would be upset if we missed them when we visit.
As for pre-reading, I’m making sure to read up on some neat things to see from some other great blogs. I recently started reading The Grommom and I love that she’s a 3 boy-mom and lives in the North Shore. I also like Hawaii Mom Blog and this Oahu list from Travelmamas too! Mary from The World is a Book always finds neat places when she travels so I might try and check out this temple she visited. And I like to read Hawaii Magazine for new restaurants we might not have seen last time.
Anyways, if you have some can’t-miss places in Oahu, I’d love to hear about them. We have a list of favorites I’ll definitely share when we get back too!