Updated: Aug 4
Quick note: We traveled in November 2019 and stayed in Poipu, so most of these things on our itinerary can be found on the south side of the island.
Traveling with family is an essential. It boosts creativity and cognitive learning, promotes empathy and improves emotional connection. Whether it's road trip adventures close to home or a bucket list trip to Hawaii, we always try to keep things affordable and simple because that's what our kids love and remember! Kauai is easily our favorite place on Earth. If you have never been there and would like to go, we hope you will realize it is more attainable than you might think.
2019 was a big year for us. We had a fourth baby and became debt free. After we did our debt free scream on the Dave Ramsey Show for paying off $183,000 of student loan debt in 3 years, we celebrated with a trip to Kauai. But we also did it all for super cheap. Even with no debt in our future, we still felt it was important to stick to our strategy of traveling as frugally as possible. Our hack? We kept costs way down by using Marriott Points and Delta Sky Miles. Because we paid virtually nothing for lodging or flights, we had room in the budget for uniquely Hawaiian things to do and food to eat.
If you want to learn how to make a trip like this more affordable, read this post on How to Save Money on a Bucket List Trip to Hawaii.
Day 1-Arrival and Exploration
WHERE TO STAY
We travel hacked this stay using Marriott Points. This was our absolute favorite resort we have ever stayed at! Between the multi-level pools and endless waterslides, the on-site gym and pool bar, the spacious villas with full kitchens, or the crazy amazing views and location to everything, it was heavenly.
Money Saving Tip: You can stay at this resort for 60,000 points per night but if you don't have Marriott points just use this link and use discount code L6C for 35% off!
OF COURSE HANG OUT AT THE RESORT. BUT WHEN YOU NEED ADVENTURE, DO THESE THINGS:
WHAT TO DO
Sunrise/Moonset over Poipu: If you get a chance, walk down to Poipu to watch the beautiful sunrise, which you can always count on being awesome with all those Kauai rain clouds.
Kilohana Kauai Plantation Railway ($19 for adults, $14 for kids): This wasn't exactly "cheap" but as far as family excursions in Hawaii go, it's as cheap as it gets. This was a fun and refreshing way to take the kids on a fun trip but also delve into the native Hawaiian way.
Tip: Sometimes Groupon will run deals for this place depending on when you go so be sure to check it out upon arrival. You will love riding on the historic train through the fragrant pineapple plantation and your kids will enjoy feeding the pigs and seeing the wild chickens.
Grab some matching pineapple outfits for the family for some extra fun!
WHERE TO EAT
Puka's Hot Dogs $9 per dog (we shared these dogs cause they're big)
We recommend: Pineapple Field and Coconut Beach
Bubba's Burgers Poipu $5 Burgers
We recommend: Teriyaki Burger (Robert Downey, Jr. loves this place).