Expensive family vacation to Oahu, Hawaii with kids is worth it

Right away, my research showed that it would be expensive. I ruled out my first island choice, Maui, and opted for Oahu because it was more affordable.

The author’s daughter in the lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Emily Hochberg/Insider

I’ve spent time on Maui before and love it for the variety of activities and natural beauty.

I thought Maui would be more secluded than Oahu Town, but more family friendly with a young child than Kauai or the Big Island, known for great hiking that we knew we wouldn’t do with a restless young child.

I found cheap flight deals to Maui from Los Angeles, but was shocked by the results of my hotel search. I wanted to stay in a nice hotel with kid-friendly pools and food service, as opposed to a condo or Airbnb where we had to cook our own meals.

I was a parent who wanted to be on vacation, after all.

But a standard room in a four-star hotel cost nearly $1,000 a night when I googled it a few months ago. Even smaller hotels with fewer amenities cost $700 per night.

On Oahu, in Honolulu, on the other hand, I found standard hotel rooms for around $250-$300 a night on Google.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resortwhich had all the amenities I wanted, starts at $279 for a standard room, depending on the time of year, a hotel rep told Insider.

I could book a one bedroom suite there for the same price as a standard room in Maui.

Not wanting to spend all of our time in Honolulu, we decided to start at the Hilton for three nights, followed by a two-night splurge at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, before finishing at the Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu on Waikiki Beach for two nights, which I booked with credit card points.

Seven nights in four star hotels would not have been possible for us on Maui, and all three were in places we had never been.

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