Skip to content

Tips for Traveling with Teens in Hawaii

Looking forward to a trip to Hawaii with the family this year? We just got returned from island hopping between the Big Island of Hawaii and Oahu! Traveling with teenagers definitely poses some challenges and although most restrictions and height requirements are wiped away, at the same time leaving you to deal with grouchier older kids that don’t want anything to do with you. Here are several tips for traveling with teens in Hawaii!

Have them Help with the Planning Process

Do you have moody teenagers that don’t want to do anything with you as a family? How about having them help with the planning process, by making them feel that their decisions are important and so that they are more willing to come along?

Give them one specific task or activity to plan. It can be something easy like making a list of restaurants that have the best views or the best Instagram walls to visit.

Another idea is to give them a specific area like the North Shore or Kailua to research and find the most popular things that people like to do or eat in those locations!

Give Them Some Freedom

You might not be totally used to this idea, but they’re nearly adults. Try and give them space and extra freedom than you do back at home. Most of the time at home they spend behind closed doors anyway. If you’re visiting a safe area, allow them to venture off a bit with a cell phone on hand.

Bring their Friends

While this sounds like a bad idea, hold on for a minute. Most teenagers won’t treat their parents like garbage in front of their friends. This will also help you with peace of mind, when they head out somewhere with an extra buddy looking out for them.

Both you and your kids will have an even more exciting and good time in Hawaii. 

Head over to Waikiki Beach

How about heading over to Waikiki Beach, one of Hawaii’s most iconic beaches? There are also several other beaches on the island that are just as beautiful and full of activities. How about learning to surf with your teenagers, or snorkeling amongst sea coral and schools of fish?

Waikiki also provides some fun activities like paddle boarding or canoeing which could be fun for the entire family to try out!

tips for visiting hawaii with teens

Go Hiking

Are your teens still in love with exploring? There are hundreds of trails in Hawaii that have majestic views and different challenges that you will come across. 

Hiking up Diamond Head offers a beautiful backdrop for those all-important selfies!

Haleakala National Park

How about hiking along volcanoes in Haleakala National Park? Even if you don’t go hiking, your teens will appreciate seeing active volcanoes in this humbling experience.

Visit Pearl Harbor

Your teenagers have studied Pearl Harbor in their history books. It’s time to pay a visit so they can see it in real life and appreciate the sacrifice of these men and women that died at Pearl Harbor. I’d recommend going to Pearl Harbor as early as possible since it gets super hot out at the site!


Seeking a thrill? I know your older kids are. Consider going ziplining at several great locations on the islands. Ziplining in Hawaii is a popular adventure activity that allows visitors to experience the beautiful Hawaiian landscape while gliding through the air on a steel cable. Many zipline companies in Hawaii offer guided tours that take participants through lush rainforests, over waterfalls, and along scenic ridges.

We love Jungle Zipline on Maui!

Swim with the Dolphins on the Big Island

You don’t have to be a visitor to the Hilton Waikoloa to have a chance to swim with their dolphins. We stayed on the Waikoloa property which is huge! The Hilton Waikoloa has everything a teen needs for entertainment, dolphins, sports equipment, and teen activities on-site.

Mauna Kea Observatory

If your teens have an interest in the stars, consider taking them to Mauna Kea Observatory located on the Big Island.

Atlantis Submarine Oahu

Your teens will love this submarine tour where they will come across sunken ships and airliners along with countless sea creatures. 

Wet n’ Wild Hawaii

 Located in Kapolei, is the Wet n’ Wild Hawaii water park. This is a great place to drop your teens off at that you can assure them they have a good time while staying out of trouble.

Disney Aulani

Disney Aulani is a great place for teens and they have lots of activities for them! The lagoon is great for snorkeling or paddleboarding. The resort offers fun character meals, hula and ukelele lessons, and an amazing luau.

These are a number of tips and places that your teenagers are sure to enjoy and thank you for down the road. If you’ve visited Hawaii with teens before, what other tips or places to visit would be up a teenager’s alley?

You Might Like:

Kailua Travel Tips

Tips for visiting Polihale, a beautiful hidden beach!

Big Island of Hawaii Black Sand Beaches


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *