Which Hawaiian island with a 1 year old?


Jun 7th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Which Hawaiian island with a 1 year old?

Hi everyone ~

DH and I have FF tickets to Hawaii next month, but we won't be using them this year since our little boy is due this summer! So, we have to cancel them, and would like to move them to next summer. Our baby will be about a year old, since he will be born this July or August.

We have been to Hawaii the last 4 summers, and have been to the BI 3 times, and Oahu/Maui/Kauai twice each. We love them all for different reasons. We usually go for 2 weeks since we come from the East Coast, and usually do 1 week/1 island. We will probably go for less time (maybe 9-10 days) and stick to 1 island with a baby, especially since we now have a puppy who we won't leave for 2 whole weeks.

Anyways, I don't want these FF miles to go to waste, especially with airline prices the way they are going! And I know I won't know my baby until he is born, but which island do you think would be best with a baby that age? Thanks so much!
beachgirl86 is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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I would think Poipu Beach or Kauai in general would be a good choice with an infant. Rent a condo, so that you have a kitchen.
trippinkpj is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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You got a puppy while pregnant? Are you mad?
I think one island with a condo is the best idea-the only hard part is packing and carrying all baby's stuff, so the fewer times you have to do that, the better! Having said that, I think the BI has the most variety on one island.
SusanSDG is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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Congratulations! We just went to the BI in Feb with my niece's 18 month old. He did fine as long as he was able to do some running around at stops when we were doing car trips. He loved the beach, ocean, and pool. He also enjoyed the hiking in a back carrier.

We flew out of Philadelphia about 6:00 in the evening and overnighted in San Francisco. I think this was a big help in that he still got a good night sleep for our flight to Kona which was at 8:45 the next morning. We allowed plenty of play time in the airport before boarding and kept him well fed and had plenty of things to keep him entertained in flight.

I think it went very well but keep in mind we were four adults to one toddler. This took some of the pressure off of the parents and even allowed them to do some things together that they would not have been able to do with the child.
bfrac is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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I think you guys need to go somewhere other than Hawaii for once.
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Jun 7th, 2008, 12:36 PM
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Can you wait a bit before you commit to this trip? Personally, I never enjoyed having my babies on the beach -- too much sun, too much sand in the diapers, not much fun for mom. Other people have different experiences. (Kind of depends on how much dad pitches in - and believe me you won't know this until later lol.)

So, wherever you end up, make sure there is a nice mix of activities in case some don't pan out for you.

wliwl is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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There is a lagoon at the Fairmont Orchid on the BI and the little kids are having a blast.
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Jun 7th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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I adore Kauai but wouldn't go with a baby because the mosquitoes are terrible in the summer. Maui would be ideal. Stay at the Four Seasons, they have a great pool with a little slide for the toddlers.
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Jun 7th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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I would think a baby's routine would be the same wherever you went, right? So I'd just chose whichever island sounded best to me, and stay in a hotel with a reputable childcare program, in case I wanted an evening on my own.
elsiemoo is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Thanks so much for all these great suggestions and responses! I really appreciate it -- keep 'em coming!
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Jun 8th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Two things:

1. We were on Kauai last summer (at the Marriott Waiohai) and didn't notice the mosquitos TTess refers to.

2. I've taken infants to Oahu, Molokai and Maui. I loved them all, but I would choose Maui, especially Kaanapali Beach (not saying Wailea isn't great, we haven't stayed there). If you get up early, you can stroll along the beach path with the baby in the stroller. You have have coffee or breakfast at Whalers Village. It's close to Lahaina for strolling, eating in the evenings, etc.

Wherever you go, stay in a condo rather than a hotel -- it just gives you so much more flexibility, even for tv-watching while the baby is sleeping/napping.
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Jun 9th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Hey Bechgirl86. So excited for you. When my son was 7 months old we vacationed with my mother at the beach (albeit, not Hawaii, but the beach nontheless) and he loved it. I have great memories of that. Yes, the sand gets in the diapers, but he had so much fun playing in the sand and in the water with me, that I'd say go for it with your one-year old! I loved the Kaanapali Alii condos on Maui and would definately recommend them as a place you could call "home" for those 9 or 10 days. If you were to stay there, make sure you reserve a "premier (updated) condo. The location is perfect, within walking distance to everything. Just thinking of how wonderful the early morning or evening strolls could be makes me smile! Best wishes to you.
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Jun 9th, 2008, 06:08 PM
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Kaanapali Alii is one of the places we stayed (my son was 3 and my daughter was 5 months). It was great -- the condos are HUGE. There's a nice (but not resort-worthy) pool with a shallow end as I recall, and a pavillion which is a great space for getting out of the sun but still being outside. Fabulous property. We actually stayed there more than once, but once was pre-kids.
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Jun 9th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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It's beautiful and has the most attractions.

I went on a NCL Hawaiian Cruise last summer and Oahu had to be the best. Probably b.c we stayed there for a week b4 our cruise. But still vice versa, for those I spoke 2 after their stay on the island of Oahu.

It has to be the best Island!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have Fun wherever U go though!!!
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Jun 10th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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Hi beachgirl86,

Having gone to Oahu, BI, Kauai and planning an upcoming revisit of Maui (Aug 08, but 1st with kids) with my 2 little ones from as young as 6 months, I would venture that Kauai would probably be best for the following reasons:

1. Most laid back/relaxing of the main Hawaiian islands (BI being a close 2nd) - which is so inviting when traveling with kids

2. The slightly cooler weather up on the beautiful north shore of Kauai may prove to be a blessing since a lot of babies can get awfully fussy/bothered real quick in hot/humid weather (believe me, I was reminded of such after just returning from a Caribbean trip last month); and there are a lot of shaded beaches along the north shore of Kauai

3. 3 protected coves on Kauai (Baby Beach, Poipu, Lydgate) where your baby can wade in a little bit without the threat of waves. In fact, I can't think of any other such sheltered coves on the other islands except maybe the man-made Ko'olina lagoons on Oahu.

4. And if you do decide to explore parts of an island, you know kauai is the smallest/easiest to roam around from point to point, with so many breath-taking sites within an hour's drive. In contrast, I loved the variety of the BI, but we spent a lot of time in the rental car with my son when he was 1, during a period when he hated car seats and would cry/scream. Thank heavens my patient parents were with us to help calm him on that trip.

With that said, I'd happily return to any of other islands in a heartbeat with my kids. Some of them have child-friendly advantages that Kauai doesn't like (a) Maui's long beachfront pathways at Kaanapali and Wailea resort areas that you can stroll your kid on, or (b) Oahu's zoo, aquarium and Sea Life Park or the Maui Ocean Center.

Most importantly, I'd ignore all the naysayers about taking your kid with you on such a trip. Yeah it can be hard/stressful/agonizing/frantic/immensely tiring traveling with a baby and worrying about the effect he'll have on other passengers/guests/patrons, but I'm sure you'll be a very mindful/conscientious parent. Besides, if I were to reminisce on the wonderful island/places we have visited in the past 4 years, the photos of such places wouldn't be nearly as cherished if my children weren't in them: http://community.webshots.com/user/pchoecpa

Such memories make all the hardships worth it!
bluefan is offline  
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Jun 10th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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Congratulations on the pending birth of your son.

However, you can go where ever you want because the little guy won't have a clue where he is.

Bon voyage!
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Jun 11th, 2008, 03:22 AM
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Just keep the baby out of the sun.

Remember that early sunburn is much more likely to lead to skin cancer than sunburn later in life.
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Jun 11th, 2008, 05:02 PM
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We go to Poipu Beach each year and never have seen a Mosquito. Even started bringing the grandchild four years ago, at age one, no problems. Of course stay in the shade and lather that little one up. When swimming in the water, make sure they have the waterproof diapers on and a floppy hat.

Beaches in Kauai: Baby Beach Poipu and Lydgate, or the lagoon at the Hyatt.
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Jun 11th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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You no-mosquito people are lucky. Of course, we stay at Princeville and not Poipu and maybe that's why. Our little one still remembers her welts from a decade ago.
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Aug 28th, 2008, 02:32 PM
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I just got back from the Big Island with my three small children--7, 5, and 3. My cousins had their 4 year old and their 2 year old with them. I wouldn't recommend the Big Island as the Kona side, where all the beaches are, is covered with lava rock, which is treacherous for little feet and a little slip can cause a big injury. The sand on the beaches is very hot in the summer and it was hard to navigate. I had to carry my very independent 3 year old a good bit.

I wouldn't recommend taking a toddler all the way to Hawaii for a variety of reasons.

First, the journey there and back is so long for little children. It is hard for adults to navigate much less little kids who are used to a certain routine in their lives. My kids did fine with the schedule change going but coming back has been awful. They just can't adjust to going six hours ahead and their little bodies aren't up to it. My older son cried himself to sleep last night, and that is not like him at all.

Second, the younger kids were extremely fussy for a good bit of the trip. The two year old had a very hard time. It was kind of pitiful and very stressful for the parents. My three year old, who is resilient and not at all fussy normally, threw tantrums every morning for about thirty minutes to an hour each day. He very much missed home.

Third, if you are doing it for the experience, having an infant/toddler with you will interfere with the travel experience you are normally used to, and it certainly won't resonate with the baby.

Fourth, the sun is extremely strong on Hawaii and you'll have to watch the sunscreen like a shark. (No puns intended...we were kicked out of the water on Mauna Kea beach because a tiger shark was in the water). A one-year old can have very sensitive skin and you'll have to reapply constantly. I wait to go to the beach until late afternoon to avoid that and it is much better, but I still think it is too much for a baby.

The poster who took an 18 month old made an excellent point: four adults to one child is a huge difference from two to one. Keep in mind that an 18 month old is far, far, more mobile than a one-year old. The poster who said wait to commit is so, so, so right. And that is being said by a mother who travels a good bit with her children. I'm not afraid of much but the truth is the truth, and travelling with a one-year old is hard work.

If you do go to Hawaii, I'd plan on staying at a resort, and I'm not usually a resort kind of traveler. You'll appreciate all of the amenities, the pool, and the support. The down side would be if you could not get a room with a kitchen. The Hilton on Kona is very nice--and very pricey. I loved Kauai but, again, I think it is too far for a one-year-old. Can you go to the Caribbean Islands? They are so much easier to reach from the East Coast and are beautiful as well. We have been to St. John, Tortola, and the French West Indies. On St. John we stayed at a Westin Resort when my youngest was 18 months old(for a wedding) and were able to get a room/villa with some kitchen amenities for $160 a night. We had lots of fun there and they had good babysitting options. It's not the adventure vacation you think of when you don't have kids but we were able to do a good bit of exploring.

On Tortola, my favorite of the islands, we stayed in a house with a pool with our 18 month old. It was beautiful but I came back exhausted! You have to watch small kids constantly in unfamiliar environments and being properly prepared with diapers, etc., is essential.

There is a great resort on Tortola called Long Bay Beach. We visited it as it was near our house but did not actually stay there, so can't vouch for it. I've heard positive things about it.

Good luck with the baby (who might have been born by the time I post this; if so, congratulations!!!)and good luck with your trip planning.

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