When I first started to think about this post, I had decided to craft a list of reasons “why” you should visit Hawaii. However, I realized pretty quickly that I was essentially stating the obvious; of course you want to visit Hawaii. Of course you know the reasons why. Besides the lush greenery, the remarkable hospitality of its inhabitants and the over 750 miles of pristine shoreline, Hawaii has been and always will be a bucket list travel destination. So, wanting to turn your dream of Hawaii into reality, let’s focus on the “how” – specifically, how to plan for a family vacation to the Aloha state, and how to do it seamlessly with Air Canada Vacations.
1. When to Travel. Great news, especially for family travellers: year round, the temperature in Hawaii remains relatively stable, so you can choose to travel when it makes the most sense for you. While the islands have a drier season (summer) and a wetter season (winter), the sun shines almost every day of the year so your vacation shouldn’t be impacted by precipitation. My family visited Maui and Oahu in the month of November, and save for one morning where it rained for just over an hour, the rest of the time we spent (10 days) was sunny and clear with low humidity.
2. How Long to Stay. Depending on where you depart from in Canada, the time change may be anywhere from three to seven hours. Therefore, buffer in a day or two for jetlag and plan to stay for at least a week, if possible – especially when travelling with young children who may be more sensitive to changes in sleep patterns.
There are six major islands to visit in Hawaii: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii. Each has its own distinct personality, adventures, activities and sights, and therefore, each will beckon a visit. Thankfully, Hawaii has convenient (and affordable) inter-island flights so you can experience them all. Of course, this is yet another reason why you’ll want to ensure you’ve blocked off adequate vacation time for your Hawaiian adventure.
3. How to Get Around. There’s no doubt about it; you’ll want to rent a car. From taking in the lush and mountainous scenery to hitting up local hotspots at mealtimes, having wheels at your disposal makes it that much easier to cross items off your “must do” list. Especially if you’re visiting a popular destination like Maui or Oahu, you’ll also find having access to a car can help keep you on budget. Visit grocery stores to stock up on snacks and staples, and pick up sundries from Target vs. expensive hotel gift shops.
One thing to keep in mind: because of all the narrow, winding roads in Hawaii, compact cars are actually much higher in demand than sedans or larger vehicles! Reserve your car as soon as you know you’ll need one to ensure the best selection and availability.
4. Where to Visit First. You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned Maui and Oahu a few times; in addition to being the most popular islands for Canadians tourists, you’ll also find the best savings and promotions for these two destinations, making them a more affordable choice when planning your first visit.
The island of Maui is beloved for its world-famous beaches, magnificent sunsets, the freshest ocean-catch cuisine (one word: poke) and luxury outdoor shopping.
Visitors who brave the Road to Hana’s razor-sharp turns and narrow bridges are rewarded with Instagram-perfect views of lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls and exotic beaches.
In contrast, Oahu is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population whose culture is rooted in the complex traditions of the Native Hawaiian people. A visit to Oahu is not complete without experiencing a luau – a Hawaiian feast featuring lively music and vibrant cultural performances from Hawaii and greater Polynesia.
5. How to Let Hawaii Happen. It generally takes only two things to make the dream of Hawaii a reality: a desire to visit the islands (check), and access to a trusted travel partner that can take care of all the details – and offer you fabulous savings, too (double check)!
Booking a vacation package with Air Canada Vacations means your flights and hotel bookings are bundled (which offers you extra savings). Plus you can fly directly to Honolulu from Toronto or Vancouver or fly directly to Maui from Calgary, making Hawaii more easily accessible than ever. Need a car rental during your stay or thinking about island hopping during your trip? Air Canada Vacations can include these options to your booking, making planning your trip even easier (and it’s all on one booking!)
Be sure to check the Air Canada Vacations website to keep on top of the latest offers to Hawaii. In the meantime, Aloha, friends!
This post is sponsored by Air Canada Vacations. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.