Our Family Adventure Traveling To Hawaii

Traveling to Hawaii has been on my Bucket List for about, well, EVER.  And I did get to Hawaii, a little over 3 years ago, for a media trip that lasted about 72 hours; and while it was lovely, it wasn’t even remotely the same thing as taking a vacation with my family to some tropical isles for major downtime and big fun adventures.


So this Summer when my son qualified for the Western U.S. championships of swimming, to be held in Maui, Hawaii, I grabbed on tight and didn’t let go.  We decided to be awesome and support our son (and brother) by traveling to Hawaii with him for the swim meet.

We’re definitely the most supportive kind of people in the Czarnecki family.

We also decided that if we were going to pay for a family of 4 to fly to Hawaii, we might as well stay and make an actual vacation-vacation out of it.  The swim meet took up a solid week of our time, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. so we extended by an extra week to have some work free, hang-out-do-nothing-all-day or do-all-the-adventre-things-we-can-think-of vacation time.  So we did.  And it was marvelous.


Hawaiian sunset

It was an actual dream vacation, the kind I’ve fantasized about for, well, ever, which was pretty great after the last couple of years we’ve had as a family.  We really needed the family connection and do-nothing time of hanging out on the beach with nowhere to be.  That’s really my favorite fantasy vacation: the kind where nothing is expected, there are no deadlines, or to-do’s or places to be, or people to dress up for.



Just hanging out with my family, no dress code, no expectations.

I’ll be honest, we kind of did have a dress code: it was swimsuits only, cover-ups optional.



Our agenda was as follows:

  • wake up
  • eat food
  • pack up for the beach
  • swim
  • snorkel
  • surf
  • lay in hammock
  • read a magazine in the sand
  • eat food
  • swim
  • snorkel
  • surf
  • go back to apartment
  • eat food
  • shower
  • go to sleep



beach combing

We beach combed and found more coral than I’ve ever seen in one place in my whole life, sea glass and shells, sea urchin skeletons, and driftwood.



We watched the sun rise over the ocean one side of the island, and then watched it set on another beach on the other side.


public beach access pipeline Hawaii Hawaiian shave ice

Once in awhile we’d check out a food truck or shaved-ice shack highly recommended by locals.


Hawaiian luau

We spent an entire day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and ended it with a luau where we, straight up, ate smoked fire-pit pig.  It was delicious, and I’d do it allllll again tomorrow if I could.   It was an honest-to-goodness dream come true for me.


family vacation hawaiian beaches

If you were to dream up a magnificent, dream-like vacation to take with your family, where would it be?  My husband would choose to go to Alaska, on some sort of all-activities-all-the-time adventure.  I have friends who would go to South Korea, and others who’d love to museum hop across Europe.  What about you?

p.s. Of all the places we’ve traveled together as a family, when I asked my kids where they’d go today if they could, they both said hands-down, Hawaii.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

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