North Shore, Kauai

Hawaiian Island Hop to Kauai

Now that our little baby is here with us, and since I’m no longer pregnant, I was really looking forward to planning and taking our first family trip! Since we live in paradise, traveling to a neighboring island seemed to make a lot of sense.

After posting a quick poll on Facebook about which island to visit first, Kauai was the clear winner amongst our friends. So, Pete and I booked a vacation through Hawaiian Airlines to the Garden Isle. I’ve never booked a vacation deal before (with flights, hotel and a car rental all included), so this was a first for us.

Not only was I really excited to take a mini vacation, I was excited to see how vacationing would be different with a baby. Pete and I like to think that, as parents, you simply incorporate a baby into your existing life, and that traveling with a baby would only be slightly different than traveling sans children. This idea sounds good in theory, but we wanted to test it out while in unfamiliar territory. I envisioned us enjoying a few, low-key activities while on Kauai:

  1. Hiking — Many of the hikes that I was most drawn to are unfortunately marked as “strenuous”. How much more strenuous would these be with a baby in a baby carrier?
  2. Beaches — Although I wouldn’t classify myself as a “beachy” kind of gal, I do appreciate the beautiful scenery, tropical waters, and fun activities that a beach offers. I thought it’d be fun to check out some of the more remote beaches or ones that are located at the end of a good hike or long walk.

As luck would have it, we experienced a TON of rain while in Kauai. In fact, we had flash flood warnings the entire time we were there. This sort of weather forced us to relax at the hotel indoors for the first day, which was actually a good introduction to our relaxing weekend. The next day, despite the rain, we decided to tackle one of the easier hikes in our immediate vicinity: the Okolehao Trail.

Okolehao Trail, Kauai

We didn’t realize that this hike would be as steep, as muddy, or as precarious with a child strapped to our front. After hiking up the hill for about an hour (and me slipping and falling while trying to jump across the first creek at the onset of the hike), we realized that we should probably turn back down the hill and return home. The trail was becoming increasingly slippery, and we weren’t sure how long or how safe our trek back down the hill would be.

Okolehao Trail, Kauai

Okolehao Trail, Kauai

North Shore, Kauai

North Shore, Kauai

North Shore, Kauai

The weather proved to be a bit more challenging than we had originally anticipated. The rain impacted our outdoor activities, since we didn’t want the baby getting sick or being in the inclement weather. We visited the beach near our hotel, the hotel’s various amenities (pools, workout room, DVDs for rent, etc.), and took a little drive around the island. We decided we definitely want to visit the island again, preferably during the sunny season. (After we arrived, we learned that February is the rainiest month on the island. Why I didn’t research this or take it into account when we booked our trip, I don’t know…)

North Shore, Kauai

Kauai is a great island, with a much slower pace than Oahu. This would be a fantastic island for couples to visit, or for families with children who are least six months old. If your kiddos are any younger than this (like ours, who was 4.5 months old during our trip) you may find yourselves a bit limited in terms of what outdoor and/or physical activities you can enjoy.

North Shore, Kauai

Images credit: Jet Set With Mary

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