I have quite a few friends who have either lived in Hawaii their entire lives or have at least lived there for multiple years. And they all say that Hawaii is such a beautiful and vibrant place to be, although they admit that the cost of living there is pretty high. And while the high cost of living very well may be true, that shouldn’t stop you from taking a (short-term) vacation to this beautiful island paradise!

When you first thing of Hawaii, you almost certainly are thinking of the beautiful beaches, which is definitely what most people are thinking of! The fact is that when you go to Hawaii, you need to go and see their beaches. Not only are they absolutely beautiful with white sand and blue water, but the water is actually warm enough to swim in comfortably. Even in the winter, you can go swimming at the beach and have a great time! One thing to keep in mind though is that you should definitely wear sunscreen – a lot of times you end up staying out on the beach all day and don’t realize how much sun you’ve gotten until you return to your hotel room totally red due to the sunburn. And more importantly than wearing sunscreen personally, make sure that your kids wear sunscreen too, since their skin is much more sensitive to sun exposure. As long use lots of sunscreen, your time at Hawaii’s beautiful beaches will be something you will never forget.

Now, let’s talk about Hawaiian food. In short, it is absolutely awesome. If you go to Hawaii, you need to make sure that you buy plate lunches to really get a feel for “local” food. Plate lunches are basically disposable paper plates that are filled with an assortment of meats, rice, and often times some vegetables of some sort. A very common plate lunch is just chicken katsu with rice, along with some macaroni salad, and it is just “ono” (which means delicious in Hawaiian). Another great local dish is called a “Loco Moco” and it’s basically rice with a hamburger patty on top, and with eggs on top of that, all smothered in gravy. Regardless of what you do in Hawaii, make sure you venture out of your comfort zone to try these new foods that are often hard to come by anywhere else.

In case, you didn’t know – Hawaii is made up of multiple islands. So choosing the best island for your family and what they want to do is vital. Going to Oahu is the standard for most people, as it is the most “touristy” – they have Waikiki which is the main beach area, with plenty of shops downtown. However, you may also be interested in going to the “Big Island” or “Hawaii Island” for a less touristy feel – they have beautiful black sand beaches and you can also see active volcano sites (from a safe distance of course). Or you can try Maui island for something in between Oahu and the Big Island. What ever you choose, your family will absolutely love every minute of this breathtaking journey to the Pacific Ocean!