Marcus and I decided (somewhat last minute) to take a babymoon to Hawaii at the end of last year. Neither of us had ever been, and we figured it would probably be awhile before we would be able to get away for a trip like that after baby #2 is born. A big thank you to both of our parents for splitting the time taking care of Adeline. Knowing she was in such great hands is what allowed us to really enjoy this trip together before our family grows again!
Helpful Planning Tips
Because we didn’t have months and months to plan, there were three things that I found very helpful in the process:
- I asked my Facebook community for recommendations. It was just a simple post on my personal Facebook page asking for people’s favorite islands to visit, hotels to stay at, things to do, etc. The response was incredible! So many people had been and were very willing to share their experiences and suggestions. Some people even went out of their way to send me additional recommendations via email. Asking for tips on Facebook was a HUGE help in the planning process, and it is something I will definitely do again before other big trips!
- We used Costco Travel to book pretty much the entire trip. I realize not everyone is a Costco member, so not something everyone can take advantage of, but booking through them was a breeze. We were able to book our flights, hotels in both Maui and Kauai, our flight in between islands and our rental cars at one time.
- They don’t have partnerships with every hotel, but honestly that just helped me narrow down our options. I cross referenced the hotels people recommended on Facebook with the hotels on Costco’s list and made my selection that way.
- I did do some independent research on their site and TripAdvisor before calling in. But once I was ready, I called their customer service and had our entire trip booked in less than an hour. It was so nice to have an itinerary with everything we needed all in one place.
- Book whatever you can in advance! We booked dinner at two restaurants (one on each island), our helicopter tour in Kauai, a sunrise excursion in Maui and couples spa treatments. This gave us a good idea of what our week would generally look like, but also gave us plenty of time to fill in the blanks once we got there. And most of these things I was able to book online, which makes it easy to keep track of with confirmation emails. I’ll share the details on what all we did on my next two Hawaii posts!
A few additional lessons we learned:
- If you are going to more than one island, I would decide which one is going to be more “activity” and which one will be more “relaxation”. We stayed at a more plush hotel in Maui, but were actually busier on that island and ended up spending more time away from the hotel. I have to say this was poor planning on my end. We would recommend splurging on your accommodations where you know you will get to spend the most time enjoying them!
- Be sure to check out the beach at your hotel – preferably right away! This might seem like a no-brainer, but in Maui we felt like we needed to go explore at least one of the many popular public beaches. So one day we dedicated an afternoon to going to Kaanapali beach about 45 minutes from where we were staying. We packed up a cooler (provided to us by the our hotel), brought towels from the hotel and set out for our beach day. We had a nice time, no doubt, but we realized the next morning that our hotel’s beach was JUST as nice, and they set up chairs and umbrellas for you AND it was 2 minutes from our room. It just made us feel a little silly for not checking it out right away.
- Marcus loves a breakfast buffet more than the average person. I, on the other hand, would almost never choose a buffet over ordering a la carte off of a menu. To compromise, and hopefully save a little money, we got the “bed and breakfast” package in Kauai, but not Maui. After experiencing it ourselves, we don’t think we would recommend that type of package for a Hawaii trip. One reason being that many of the mornings we had some sort of excursion pretty early, so trying to fit in a big breakfast beforehand would have been more of a chore. Another morning we went and had brunch at another hotel and if we had the buffet package that morning, we probably wouldn’t have gone. Also, there are great acai bowl/smoothie shops in the nearby towns that are fun to check out for breakfast.
- Basically, we just feel like purchasing a package like that could end up being a bit limiting, unless you are the type of travelers who want to stay put at your resort all week. We’d done these types of packages in other places and felt like it was a good value, but for this specific trip we’d suggest just taking each day as it comes.
Babymoon Travel Tips
- Traveling in the second trimester was definitely the way to go. I was around 24 weeks on the trip and generally felt really good. Although we had quite a few activities planned, I felt like we got a lot of rest. Maybe it was because of the time change, how early it got dark there in December or just that we weren’t in the most “night life” friendly area, but it seemed like everything pretty much shut down by 10pm. We went to bed early and woke up relatively early all week.
- We did a red eye flight coming back, and that actually worked pretty well for me in terms of being able to sleep on the plane.
- Regarding not being able to drink alcohol on the vacation – it really didn’t bother me! If we had been in Napa or Italy or somewhere known for it’s red wine, I might have felt like I was missing out. However, I’m not big on sugary mixed drinks or local craft beer (which is what I feel like was most popular), so honestly it didn’t phase me. Also, the drinks at these resorts are $$$, so not drinking throughout the week almost made me feel like we were saving some money!
- I did, however, feel like I missed out on the sushi scene being pregnant in Hawaii. I’ll just have to go back to check it out!
- Regarding food safety, Hawaii was a great choice. Not once was I concerned about the quality of the food I was eating and whether or not it was going to make me sick. Being someone who dealt with morning sickness during this pregnancy until 16 weeks, this was important to me. I felt great the whole week!
I’ll be sharing exactly what we did on each island including where we stayed, what we ate, what we saw and what we would do again if we are ever lucky enough to return!