Itinerary w/ Toddlers: Big Island / Maui

Old Jan 15th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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Itinerary w/ Toddlers: Big Island / Maui

My husband and I go to Hawaii every 5th wedding anniversary and this is the first trip that we have kids. We've decided to take them with us (1.5 and 3.5 years old) and my best friend is coming with us as a sort of "nanny". We'll be there at the end of April and will stay 1 night in Kona, 3 nights in Volcano Village and 5 nights in Kahana Sunset, Maui. My oldest daughter loves lava so much that my husband talked me into going to the Big Island which i'm secretly regretting now but we'll make the best of it. Here's what i'm thinking right now:

Day 1 - Kona arrive @ 2pm (husband and oldest daughter arrive at 8pm). pick up rental car, check into hotel, snacks/supplies, and possibly try to see at least one coffee tour.

Day 2 - jet lag?? - goal is to get to VNP house rental by dinner time. We'll have breakfast in Kona and then drive south on Hwy 11 and want to stop at Place of Refuge. If everyone is happy, then we'll stop at black sand beach on the way to VNP. Evening - get into rental house and relax

Day 3 - VNP (perhaps a nice dinner out for hubby and I)

Day 4 - Hilo area (options: botanical garden, rainforest zoo, Hilo Farmer's market, Akaka Falls)

Day 5 - OPEN - I need to book flights to Maui (should we try and do more sightseeing on Big Island or just head to Maui?) If we stay, the thought was

Day 6 - 9: West Maui - plan is to enjoy our oceanfront condo/beach at Kahana Sunset and plan our activities the night before (options: aquarium, Napili beach, Kaanapali beach, luau?, snorkel trip and a nice dinner out for husband and I)

Day 10 - we fly back that evening so we will likely just hang out at the condo and then grab a nice lunch somewhere before heading to the airport.

Any thoughts??
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Why on earth are you wasting precious beach and snorkeling time doing a coffe tour?

The black sand beach is not a great place for little kids. It's nice to observe as an adult, but it's too rough for swimming. Again, give the tykes some beach time playing in the sun and sand at a nice beach like Hapuna.

I would have suggested 3 nights on the west side (Kona or Kohala area) for sun, sand, and beaches and one night in Volcano.
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 05:01 PM
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It might also be worthwhile tempering your 3.5 year-old's expectation of lava.

Currently, there is no flowing lava that is visible. The helicopter tours do see glowing red. Much of what is fascinating about Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park and Kileaua is historical and may not be appreciated by a pre-kindergardner.
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Old Jan 15th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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i do wish i had booked 2 nights in kona and 2 nights in volcano village instead of 1/3. but that's what it is and we will see some of the east side of the island which we had not done before so that is a good thing.

regarding no lava - we are level setting our daughter about most likely not seeing any lava but i know she will enjoy the thurston lava tube and some of the places along the loop. our youngest will just like running around outside and that's fine. my friend has never been to hawaii and she will also enjoy the VNP. but that's just a small part of our trip.

coffee tour - i LOVE kona coffee and kenyan coffee. so that fact that i am in kona and can get a tour of local real kona coffee is sweet. my husband is not into coffee so that's why i want to do it on the first day before he gets there.

i see the big island being very active for us and then maui being the relaxing beach time.
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