Oahu's many activities and attractions ensure that there's something for everyone inthe family. Fun at the Waikiki Aquarium. // © 2014 O'ahu Visitors Bureau
Large multi-generational family groups can be a lucrative segment. And Oahu, with so much to see and do, is the perfect location for big groups with divergent ages and interests. Discover how the diversity of Oahu experiences can help you tap into the potential of large family groups.
Multi-Generational Travel Viewed as a Worthwhile Investment
As boomers transition to grandparent-hood, they want to sustain close relationships with their grown children and foster close ties with their grandchildren. These modern grandparents view quality vacations with kids and grandkids as a purpose driven investment. Travel agents can reap the benefits of these large leisure groups and build extra business when the grandparents and families travel together.
Inspired Oahu Activities for Multi-Generational Family Groups
Today travelers—especially families with children—seek authentic, hands-on, interactive experiences that showcase a region’s people and their culture, history, and relationship to the local environment. Every area of Oahu is bursting with opportunities to experience the multicultural history and natural beauty of the islands.
Waikiki - Cosmopolitan Waikiki bustles with action while retaining its fascinating history. Surfing, stand up paddle, outrigger canoe rides, and high-speed catamaran sails take place right on Waikiki Beach. Kapiolani Park, home to Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium, frequently hosts concerts and festivals. Minutes away, hikers experience dazzling views atop Diamond Head and the local bounty at the nearby KCC Farmers Market. Shoppers find Hawaii-made arts and crafts and international luxury brands at shops along Kalakaua Avenue and at Waikiki Beach Walk. The past comes to life on the surfboard markers of The Waikiki Historic Trail and during sunset torch lightings and hula festivities at the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound.
Honolulu - Oahu’s government hub is a cultural and historical showplace. This bustling metropolis is home to the 19th century ‘Iolani Palace, built by Hawaii’s last reigning monarch; Bishop Museum, the world’s foremost institution dedicated to the Pacific region; and Honolulu Museum of Art, with its eclectic collections. Chinatown is the historic gateway for Asian immigrants, known for noodle shops, lei makers, and traditional markets, and, now, a hip arts district famous for First Friday Gallery Walks and trendy boutiques, bars, restaurants, and cafés. Mission Houses Museum, Hawaii Theater, and Hawaii State Art Museum are among Honolulu’s significant attractions.
Leeward Oahu - Nestled between the Waianae Mountains and the Kauai Channel, the Leeward Coast is home to Ko Olina Resort with its incredible beaches, seven lagoons, two stellar resort hotels, championship 18-hole golf course, and the renowned Paradise Cove Luau. This western shoreline is famous for Makaha Beach, a popular surfing spot, and Yokohama Bay, a curving beach ideal for watching surfers and dolphins. The dramatic lava shoreline of Kaena Point, Oahu’s westernmost tip, is accessible only by hiking. Water sports lovers enjoy intimate dolphin and whale watching charters with Wild Side Hawaii and splash the day away at Wet ‘n Wild Hawaii.
Windward Oahu - Many first experience the Windward Coast when driving up Pali Highway and stopping at the Nuuanu Pali Lookout with its breathtaking panorama of verdant cliffs, sparkling beaches, lush gardens, and scenic valleys. Hiking along the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and teeing off at Koolau Golf Course are among the outdoor pursuits. Waimanalo and Kailua beach parks are some of Hawaii’s most beautiful shorelines while incredible flora and fauna are found at Koko Crater Botanical Garden and Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden. Hawaii Kai has many water sports adventures while Kailua offers boutique shopping and great dining. The 4,000-acre historical and picturesque Kualoa Ranch has a wide variety of cultural and recreational experiences.
Central Oahu - Major attractions are among the treasures of beautiful Central Oahu. In Waipahu, Hawaii’s Plantation Village explores how more than 400,000 immigrants who worked the island’s plantations contributed to making Hawaii a present day, vibrant multi-ethnic community. The Pineapple Garden Maze and the Pineapple Express train tour are the star attractions at Dole Plantation. And the moving history of Hawaii’s role during World War II is the focus at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites which include the Visitors Center, the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
The North Shore - Every winter, the world’s best surfers challenge themselves on epic waves at Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Sunset Beach. Charming Haleiwa is a laid back town with restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and surf shops. Scenic and sacred Waimea Valley welcomes visitors to tour the grounds, swim and splash in the pool and waterfall, hike the forests, and enjoy a weekly Thursday farmers market. Golfers tee off at Turtle Bay Resort’s two championship courses and thrill seekers head skyward on glider rides at Dillingham Field. Locals lunch at the shrimp trucks lining the highway near Kahuku and cool off with shave ices in Haleiwa. The rich culture and history of the Pacific region comes to life in recreated island villages and at enthralling shows at Polynesian Cultural Center.
Multi-Generational Family Planning Tips
- Timing: Recommend travel during off peak seasons and/or around special events or festivals on Oahu that have interest for the family. Develop itineraries that showcase and incorporate these special events or festivals on Oahu.
- Individual Focus: Define the personalities of individual family members to ensure that everyone’s special interests are addressed in the itinerary. Provide suggestions that different family members may want to do by themselves.
- Group Dynamic: Identity the common interests and passion points in order to develop shared activities and attractions.
- Build Excitement: Leverage today’s multi media technology to showcase a potential itinerary. For example, create a PowerPoint presentation for computer users or a Keynote presentation for iPad users.
- Sense of place: When in Hawaii, do as the Hawaiians do. Make sure that if a multi-generational family travel is in honor of a specific family member or celebration, special lei are provided for the family member(s); vow renewal is done by a Hawaiian kahu (priest) or a hula dancers for the anniversary couple. These touches go a long way in building your reputation as a travel agent and Oahu expert.