How to Pick the Perfect Lodging for Your Family
It’s estimated that you’ll spend approximately half of your time in Hawaii at your hotel, vacation home, or resort, meaning whatever type of accommodation you choose will have a big impact on your experience during your stay.
While it’s impossible to make a recommendation that will fit everyone’s preferences and budget, we’ve assembled a list of pros and cons for each major type of family-friendly accommodation on the Big Island with the hopes that your trip will be as memorable and rewarding as you imagine. Whether you choose a high-end resort, affordable vacation rental home, or cozy b&b, we know you’ll have an experience no one in your family will soon forget.
Despite the price that a major hotel or resort can (and will) charge in high-volume places like Hawaii, there are clear benefits for travelers who want an all-in-one, no hassle stay in an unfamiliar place. Your mileage will vary depending on your choice, but there’s no doubt that you’ll have many more resources and opportunities to relax should you choose to stay in one of Hawaii’s many hotels or luxury resorts during your visit.
– Increased privacy
– Access to concierge service and guest shuttles
– Inclusive resorts handle food and beverages
– Guest-exclusive deals and offers for other Big Island attractions
– Daily maid service
– Pricey compared to other options
– Staying during high-volume tourist season means crowded pools, restaurants, and common areas
– Inclusive nature of resorts may decrease your motivation to explore
A home away from home, renting a vacation home through a private party, travel agency, or even Airbnb provides a level of comfort and privacy you won’t get at a hotel or sprawling resort. Depending on the number of people in your party and your willingness to cook and clean up after yourselves, a vacation rental might serve as the perfect central gathering place for you and your co-adventurers after a long day exploring the Big Island.
– Private, expansive residences
– Cheaper compared to resorts and suites of similar size
– Houses many guests/families
– Includes kitchen, entertainment areas, and common living spaces
– Perfect for self-starters who want to cook and clean up after themselves
– Sometimes harder to find and book than hotels and resorts
– Amenities are few and far between
– Often charge a cleaning fee upon your departure
Bed and Breakfasts
A classic alternative that slides comfortably between the relaxation found in a resort and the self-motivation required of a vacation rental, a bed and breakfast on Hawaii’s Big Island might be the perfect solution to your accommodation needs. As with most B&Bs, you’ll likely have access to a local with expert insight into what to do, what to see, and where to go – an invaluable asset when exploring an exciting new locale.
– Comfortable, clean, and affordable
– Include home-cooked breakfasts every morning
– Access to a local expert with insights into activities and adventures off the beaten path
– Less privacy than a hotel or resort
– Common areas are shared with other guests and hosts
– Fewer amenities available
Certainly the cheapest and no-frills option, the Big Island has dozens of lovely camping areas for your crew to enjoy during your stay. You’ll need to plan ahead and carefully research each site, as they have different requirements and restrictions between place to place. Few having running water, but most are easily accessible from the road and provide cooking areas for sunset barbecues. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
– Very cost-effective way to stay on the Big Island
– Easy access to beaches and scenic areas
– Staying in nature gives you a unique view of the island
– Crowded and popular during peak tourist seasons
– Lack basic amenities like running water and electricity
– Privacy and security can be a concern