The Surprising Benefits of Vacationing with Two Kids

Michelle Kennedy

I recently traveled to Hawaii with a best friend and her two children, Makaio (9), and Keahi (7). I happen to really love these kids, so I was excited, but a little nervous about the early rise times. I also had no idea what it would be like to vacation for a week with kids.


As a 38-year-old woman with no kids, vacation to me usually means sleeping late, reading at least three books on the beach in a week (in between sleeping some more), and essentially doing whatever I want, whenever I want. As you can imagine, that is not what I experienced on this trip. What did happen surprised me.


  1. I’ll get right to the big one: The kids woke up on average at around 6:30 every morning. Now, this didn’t mean I had to, but when the whole group is up, it feels kind of weird to continue sleeping. So, as a result of being up before it got too hot, my friend and I were able to go for a run several times. After breakfast and a shower, we had all of this time to do other stuff, which I really appreciated. By some miracle, I also lost a few pounds on the trip, which might be a world record. I got used to the schedule and started to fall asleep earlier, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
  2. Kids will force you off that lawn chair and into the water. This one day, I was totally into my book, and the kids would not let up about me coming to swim. When I finally surrendered, I jumped in and saw a zillion different kinds of fish and several huge turtles. I can’t believe I almost missed that.
  3. Kids don’t usually finish their food. So, if you are still hungry, they’ll totally let you eat the rest of their fettuccini Alfredo if you want to.
  4. Kids have conversations that are so random and funny, they could make up an entire separate essay. Without getting into too much detail, my favorite conversation had to do with constipation. One child complained about it while the other got mad and yelled that, “Constipation will not kill you! Sheesh!”
  5. In the same vein, kids love the fart game more than most things. The smallest fart released would send these kids flying off their chairs in laughter, which is a real joy to watch. After playing this game several times, Keahi decided to ask me in full volume, in a restaurant, with easily ten strangers standing next to me, “Auntie Michelle, why do you like farting so much?” Man, that made me laugh. She got me good.
  6. They grow on you. One day, I took about an hour to myself to finally read that book on the beach, away from everyone else. By the time the hour was up, I missed them and wondered what those kids were doing.


Makaio and Keahi are cute, cuddly, say funny things, and are always up for anything. They made the whole experience sweeter, and that’s the blessing that made this vacation unique and special.


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