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Cancun, Mexico 811 miles. Maui, Hawaii 3,826 miles. Well, assuming there was a nonstop flight to Maui from Houston, which there is not, so tack on a few hundred or thousand miles for connections.

For us in Houston, Hawaii is easily 4x as far as some other fantastic beach destinations, and is also pricier on cash or miles than many of those other spots, so why bother? Why not just head to Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean, and save some time, money, and sanity? Save Hawaii for the retirees, the honeymooners, or other crazy people who have bought into the mai-tai-loving-hula-dancing hype?

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My daughter in Hawaii at 7 years old

 

The attraction of a short 2-3 hour flight does sometimes win out and draw us to spots we love in Mexico or similar, but Mexico isn’t Hawaii, and Hawaii isn’t Mexico. They are both great, but they are not the same, and they are not replacements for one another anymore than Paris is a substitute for the slopes of Utah. Hawaii is far and it can wait a while until your kids are the “right age” (which I peg at precisely 3.5 years old unless you live on the West Coast and/or are up for a challenge), but Hawaii is special and oh so very much worth it.

My first Hawaii trip with Little C at 3.5 years old
My first Hawaii trip with Little C at 3.5 years old

For those who haven’t yet taken a leap of faith and made the voyage to the middle of the Pacific, I can totally understand the question as to why is Hawaii worth it. Unfortunately, I’m afraid words fail me a bit in this arena.

I can tell you that it’s the people, the culture, the points-friendly resorts, the natural beauty, the diversity of the terrain, the plethora of beaches, the air, the wind, the waves, the food, the weather, the color of the clouds at sunset, and the way it makes you feel, but those things are hard to truly appreciate if you haven’t been. As an example, every time I go I am fascinated with the air. I simply can’t feel the air, so I forget it is there. I know that doesn’t make sense, but the temperature is so perfect that I feel like I am in an alternate universe. I’m in some place that isn’t real because I can’t feel it. I’m not hot, I’m not cold, I am just there.

The logistics of getting to Hawaii with a young family do admittedly overwhelm me at times, and I’m glad we ultimately left our one year old with grandparents this time, but every time I get to Hawaii all I can do is think about how to return again. It is always worth it. It is always special, and I want to try to use some of the video clips we got on this and previous Hawaiian trips to try and capture what a family vacation in Hawaii is truly like. I don’t know if video will work any better than words to show why Hawaii is worth it to us, but if you have two minutes to spare, I’d love to try.

If you liked the video, please feel free to “like” it on YouTube or even leave a comment there. If you have suggestions to improve future videos, I’d love for you to send me those, too!

If video isn’t your thing, here are some photos of some of my favorite moments from our recent trip to Maui that hopefully capture some of reasons why we love Hawaii. As you might be able to tell from the smiles, in Hawaii we are happy from the inside out, and are able to find a perfect balance of at peace, but also a spirit for adventure. Stay tuned for more details about the resorts, food, and activities we experienced on this visit to Maui.

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We haven’t even been away from Hawaii for a week and I’m already very much plotting when and how to get back. I’d love to hear why (or if) Hawaii is worth it for your family!

 

Know before you go.

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