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January 2015

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Traveling with kids can be a rewarding and exciting experience for kids and parents alike but it can become a nightmare if you end up in the wrong place that might not be appropriate for your little ones.  Below are a few travel tips for traveling with kids and a few suggestions for great options for places to eat and visit.

Tips for Staying at a Hotel in Kailua with Kids

? Take toys and things for your child to do.

? Have healthy snacks readily available.

? Remember to bring a cup or water bottle for each of your children.

? Have quiet time activities for early mornings when other hotel guests might not be awake.

? 10 Best Places to Stay When in Kailua, O’ahu under $100

Tips for Dining Out in Kailua with Kids on Vacation

? When traveling with children make sure to choose family friendly places to dine.

? Have quiet activities to do with your children while they are sitting at a table.

? Talk to your child before you arrive about appropriate behaviors while dining out.

? Realize that you are on vacation and that your kids are likely to be tired or cranky so choose restaurants that are known for quick service.

Best Restaurants in Kailua to Visit with Kids

Moke’s Bread and Breakfast (27 Hoolai St)

This is the perfect spot to visit for a quiet breakfast for your little one.  It is not nearly as packed or crowded as some of the other popular breakfast restaurants on the island.  The staff is kid friendly and the environment is comfortable so that you are not going to be completely mortified if your kids are a little loud or do not listen completely.

Baci Bistro (30 Aulike St)

The Baci Bistro is a great option for moms and dads who want upscale dining without the ambiance.  The environment is family friendly but the food that is offered is upscale and high end.  This is one place where parents can really enjoy their meals without feeling like they are being disruptive to other guests.

Tips for Vacation Activities with Little Ones

? Use a stroller or baby carrier to help keep toddlers close to you.

? Discuss safety rules and what to do if they wander off away from the family before visiting any location.

? Encourage children to try new experiences.

? Find ways to prepare ahead of time to make activities more interactive, like creating scavenger hunts for things that you child can see at the places you are visiting.

Fun Things to Do in Kailua

Visit the Kailua Farmers’ Market (609 Kailua Rd)

While visiting the Kailua farmers market might not seem like the most vacation worthy event, the Kailua Farmers’ Market is a must stop adventure for families.  The market features a number of food vendors that are preparing fresh treats that you might not be able to get back home.  Plus they have a ton of  fresh produce so that you can keep it on hand for healthy snacking.  Your kids will love being able to try new fruits and vegetables that they do not have at home.

Walk the Kawainui Marsh Trail (704 Kaha St)

The Kawainui Marsh Trail is a short 1.5 mile gravel trail that makes it’s way through the marsh.  You can go bird watching, explore some of the native plants, and get an up close look at a native habitat for many different species of animals.  It is a comfortable and easy walk that children can do and you can push a stroller down the path, making it perfect for you if you have younger children or babies.

Tips for Taking Children to the Beach

? Make sure that you pack sunscreen.

? Teach your children water safety and remind swimmers that oceans have currents and waves that can cause them to have trouble swimming.

? Make non-swimmers wear appropriate flotation devices.

? Have rules for where children must remain and how far they can venture away from you.

A Walk on the Beach

Lanikai Beach (Mokulua Drive)

Lanikai Beach is known for its picturesque views and lush vegetataion.  It is a beautiful beach that is a favorite among locals because it is not as crowded as some of the more popular beaches.  Many visitors say that it reminds them of a more secluded or secret beach and there is a good chance that you will be there in a more intimate setting than you be on other beaches.

Kailua Beach Park (526 Kawailoa Road)

This beach is another that is not known to draw a crowd.  Many locals claim this as their favorite beach as the sand on this beach is different from others in Hawaii so much so that some people claim that this hidden gem is one of the best beaches in the world.  The views are noted and visitors will find themselves to be happier here.

Tips for Choosing Appropriate Teen and Tween Activities

? Find activities that are appropriate for their age.

? Choose activities that are more challenging than what you would do with your children.

? Consider things that are going to teach your child a useful skill, like teamwork.

Best Places to Go with Tweens and Teens

Kayak on the Ocean

Kayaking on the ocean is an unforgettable experience that will amaze and excite your child like no other.  Tweens and teens need positive things to do that are going to teach them valuable skills.  They will need to listen while they are kayaking and will need to understand the basic safety rules before you allow them to go.

Maunawili Falls

The trails that lead to the Maunawili Falls is one that is going to take a certain level of physical fitness and activity.  You will want to make sure that the people who are going on this adventure are able to handle the rigorous hiking to get to the falls. This is not one that would be the most appropriate for younger children unless they are used to hiking/climbing.

 

Taking the perfect family vacation to Kailua is possible when you know the right places to visit, places to eat, and sites to see.  This list contains some of the places that keep the locals coming back time and time again.

 

Any family wanting to take a ski trip will know it’s not a poor man’s sport. In fact, it is the outrageous prices for a hotel or chalet in many popular resorts, together with flights, ski hire and ski passes, which cause most families to shy away from this winter activity.

According to research from Trip Advisor, the average price of a European ski holiday for a family of four can range anywhere between £1,600 and £5,000 (depending on where you visit). These figures take into account everything you may expect to have to pay for at a resort, including the price of a hotel, ski hire, ski passes, ski lessons, food and drink.

 

family ski vacations

family ski vacations

For those, like me, who think that £1,600 is a crazy amount of money to spend on one week’s getaway, then take note of these tips for staying frugal on the slopes. Remember – every penny you save can go towards your next ski trip!

Plan the right time to go

Due to the enduring popularity of skiing, timing is everything if you want to avoid the crowds and get the very best deals. Stay well clear of the February school half-term, Easter, Christmas and New Year and aim to take your trip during the low-season weeks, which are in early December, mid-January and March. Also, be sure to book early!

Ditch the expensive hotel or chalet

The price of accommodation is always the largest expense of a ski holiday by far, but there are a number of ways to cut down on this expense. One option is to stay in a self-catered apartment (the bigger, the cheaper), or another is to check out alternative rental options, like VRBO or Air BnB, through which you also get a little extra sense of the local flavour.

If you wanted to get even more creative and adventurous, think about taking a caravan or motorhome to the slopes. According to research from Salop Leisure, families who own a caravan can save up to £1,100 on European ski trips, with the average price of a pitch coming in at five times cheaper than a hotel!

 

family friendly ski resorts

family friendly ski resorts

An American friend of mine sometimes takes a caravan to Aspen Snowmass. He says, “it has a propane-powered furnace that keeps us toasty even on the coldest nights, and it’s also especially advantageous on a powder day because you can park steps from the gondola, and roll out of bed right before the lift starts running!”

Pre-book your lift passes

Buying your ski pass as soon as you arrive has got to be the biggest rookie error of them all. If you want to begin saving money before you’ve even arrived then get searching online and be sure to make the most of special deals; for example, some resorts have cheaper rates for students.

 

skiing with children

family ski vacations

 

If you’re planning on travelling to a large resort covering many areas, you can often save by buying a local pass and a day’s extension to ski the whole area. Also, if you’re taking young children then certain tour operators offer them free lift passes.

But if you’re children are beginners then you may not want to take them to the biggest resorts. Pick a smaller ski area for beginners, where lessons and lift passes are likely to be cheaper.

 

skiing with kids

skiing with kids

Pre-purchase your equipment

Again, it pays to be organised before you arrive. Most local ski hire outlets will allow you to book online, as will most international franchises, so make the most of their offers. Intersport Rent, for example, has discounts of up to 40 per cent in many of its outlets across France, Austria and Switzerland.

Drive to the slopes

Taking a car to the Alps takes around 10-12 hours, and you’ll have to be prepared for possible snow on the roads, but you will make a huge saving by not taking a flight (most airlines also charge extra for ski carriage). If you are staying in a self-catered apartment then having a car also means you can save money by stocking up at large supermarkets outside the resort.

Avoid the resort food

Hitting the slopes all day makes people hungry, and ski resorts know that people will pay whatever it costs when they’re hungry. Don’t let them play you for a chump! Start the day by filling up on a hot and cheap bowl of porridge and fruit. Then bring along your own packed lunch: sandwiches, cereal bars and chocolate (anything that will fit snugly inside your ski pack or jacket pocket). Most lodges will provide free hot water so be sure to also bring your own tea bags!

…and the overpriced après bars

No trip would be complete without the relaxing après ski experience, however it’s the exorbitant drinks prices that put many families off this activity. This is a real shame, as there are usually numerous après ski bars and pubs outside of the main resort hub more than happy to take your custom. These hidden gems will not only be much cheaper, but they will also have a more local atmosphere and are a great way to get to know the area.