After a few months postpartum, I was starting to get antsy to travel again. With no upcoming tips planned (a rarity for me), an amazing airline deal to Maui appeared! On a whim my mom and I booked my baby’s first airline trip! Even more amazing, babies under two fly free (on your lap) on all airlines. I knew traveling with a baby would be a big adjustment and challenging, but it was certainly worth it. She loved seeing new sights and swimming for the first time. New experiences for the baby and a travel adventure for me!
Traveling with a 5 month old meant a lot of luggage: bottles, breast pump, toys, books, bibs, stroller, car seat, etc, etc. I somehow managed to pack everything for myself and baby Nora in to two carry on sized luggages and a diaper bag. At the airport, it’s important to have a game plan. Lucky for me, my mom was there to help lighten the load so that I didn’t have to carry everything by myself. When we arrived at the airport, I checked one piece of luggage at the check-in counter and then checked in the stroller and car seat at the gate. In hindsight, I should have checked both of those items in at the check-in counter as well and carried Nora in a carrier or wrap through the airport. It was quite a pain to disassemble the carseat and stroller to put through the x-ray machine, assemble it again to walk through the terminal, and then once again disassemble it again at the gate. Even with early boarding it took me some time to stuff the car seat and stroller in to their respective bags at the airplane door. By the time we were done, regular boarding had already commenced. Live and learn.
We took the 7am flight to Maui and Nora was a dream. She mostly napped or sat quietly for the entire plane ride. The great thing about traveling to Hawaii is that there are tons of kids aboard the plane. Many people are understanding of a crying baby, or have kids that are being even louder than yours! We did have to make a few trips to the back of the plane where we found a parent with crying baby pow-wow going on. Once we landed in Maui, we picked up our rental car and installed the car seat. Finally, we were off on our Hawaiian adventure!
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
For the first part of our trip, we stayed in an ocean view room at the Hyatt Maui Resort at Ka’anapali Beach. This resort has everything you need and we mostly hung out on the premises for the two days we were there. The grounds are beautiful and had so many gorgeous tropical flowers. Kids will love the resident birds. To my surprise, they even have a family of penguins!
The best thing about this resort is beautiful pools and an in-pool grotto bar! This is the perfect place for parents to enjoy themselves and for kids to have a blast on the waterslide. The beach is steps away too! We were lucky enough to rent a poolside cabana for the day and it provided nice shade in the sun and shelter from the sprinkles when we got a little Hawaiian drizzle! It also served as a great napping area for Nora.
On our second evening, we attended the Drums of the Pacific Luau. We heard from various people that this is one of the best Luaus around so we were excited to attend. The show was entertaining and the food was delicious. I was a little nervous about bringing a baby to the show, but it was a total family event. Even better, Nora loved the dancing and stared at the stage the whole night!
Baby Gear Rental
Maui on the Fly
Maui on the Fly was a godsend! For the later part of our trip, we stayed in a condo. There was no crib available so we rented one, along with a bunch of other gear that just made our trip easier. Maui on the Fly came to the rental property before we even arrived to deliver the gear so it was ready to go. We rented a Pack ‘N Play, Rock ‘n Play, Bumbo, tummy time play mat/gym, baby bathtub, and a baby bottle drying rack. They also rent out sand toys and umbrellas!
Things to See
Since we travelled with a baby, we had to forego long hikes and driving the Road to Hana. We will just save those for when she is older. With all the feeding and napping, the trip was definitely slower paced than normal. We did our fair share of pool and beach time, but we still got to see many of the beautiful sites that Maui has to offer.
Banyan Tree Park
Banyan Tree Park is a cool little oasis at the edge of downtown Lahaina. The center Banyan tree has roots all over the park, making this a magical little jungle. It’s a nice place to relax in the shade or eat a box lunch.
Ho’okipa Beach State Park
If you want to see sea turtles, Ho’okipa Beach is the place to go! The day we went it was overcast and raining so I was worried that the sea turtles wouldn’t come to shore. Thankfully, I was wrong. Down the stairs from the parking lot and to the right, we found more sea turtles than I’ve ever seen at once. From far away they look like boulders, but once you get closer, pure amazement! There had to be at least 50 or so turtles the day we visited. There is a roped off area for the turtles, so be mindful and remember that they are wild creatures.
Wailea Beach Path
One of the great things about Maui is their beach paths. They are well maintained and are stroller friendly! The Wailea Beach Path winds along the coast and in front of a bunch of resort hotels. It has beautiful coastline views, and if you get tired, you can always stop at a hotel bar for a little refresher!
Ka’anapali Beach Walk
Ka’anapali Beach Walk is located right outside of the Hyatt Maui Resort and Ka’anapali Beach that we stayed at. We enjoyed a little morning exercise and Nora enjoyed stroller nap time. The trail runs by Whaler’s Village, which is nice place to grab lunch or do some shopping.
Nap time is hard when traveling. Luckily the stroller usually puts Nora right to sleep. Aside from the beach trails, exploring downtown is another great option. Both Paia and Lahaina were easy to get around on foot and offer some great shopping and food options.
Maui has a plethora of food options, from hole in the wall to sunset seaside dining. During our week there, we didn’t even scratch the surface.
The Banyan Tree
For ocean view dining with sunsets and possibly even rainbows head to The Banyan Tree, located at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Their farm-to-table Hawaiian cuisine features ingredients from local farms. The meat and fish are sourced from the Hawaiian Islands. Highlights from our meal were the grilled octopus and braised lamb shank. Everything was beautifully plated and service was excellent. I was a little nervous to have a long meal with Nora here, but she was a dream and slept through our entire meal! Plan ahead and reserve a window table during sunset.
Ululani’s Shave Ice
No trip to Maui is complete without a stop to Ululani’s Shave Ice. There are several locations in Maui. There is even one at Hyatt Maui Resort and Ka’anapali Beach! The ice is soft so and fluffy! There are so many flavor options, but Passion Fruit always remains my favorite. Don’t forget to order it with ice cream on the bottom and a snow cap on top.
South Maui Fish Company
This little food truck, does the trick! South Maui Fish Company makes some awesome poke and their fish curry hits the spot! Grab some food to go and hit da beach.
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
We only tried the pies here, but Leoda’s food menu also looked delicious. While the pies can be a bit pricey, we sure enjoyed every single bite. The Mac Nut Chocolate was drool-worthy, as was their seasonal lilikoi flavor.
Tin Roof Maui
Tin Roof Maui is a great pre or post airport lunch spot. Seating is extremely limited, so plan to eat outside on the bench, or take your meal to-go. When we went they had a delicious fried tako special!
Honokowai Okazuya Deli
Honokowai Okazuya Deli has a bevy of food options from Korean style chicken, to burgers and fish. The Mahi Mahi Sauteé is the real winner though.
The Fish Market Maui
For plain and simple tasty fish, The Fish Market Maui is a great joint. You can order cooked food, or take home some fresh fish to grill at home. We ordered seared Ahi, and have to say it’s one of the best we’ve ever had!
TJ’s Warehouse Outlet
With a name like TJ’s Warehouse Outlet, you wouldn’t expect this to be on out eats list. However, this unsuspecting place is bento box heaven. They also sell Hawaiian plate lunches, poke and don’t forget to order a mochi malasada.
Until Next Time!
As this was both Nora’s and my first trip to Maui, we still have a lot to explore! Now that we have ripped off the first vacation band-aid, so to speak, I can’t wait for more traveling adventures with this little lady. Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby?