Two years ago, after emerging from what was (to put it lightly) a rough time for our family, my kids and I decided we needed something fun in our future. Slips of paper bearing travel destinations went into a jar, and out came the one scrawled with the word Hawaii.
While I must confess I was secretly rooting for Walt Disney World or Hershey, Pennsylvania, I was excited by the prospect of a tropical vacation — until I saw the price of plane tickets. Apparently, there is no cheap way to get from the Midwest to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, particularly when traveling with five children.
Undeterred, I scrimped and saved and made it happen. This past August, the six of us spent almost two weeks on the islands, starting with four days in Honolulu and the rest of our time on the Big Island.
Since the plane tickets were jaw-droppingly expensive, I was all about making our time in Hawaii as cheap as possible without making it feel like I was being miserly. Fortunately, there is plenty to do that doesn’t cost a lot of money. Here are my top five choices: