Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Family Afar: There's No Place Like Home Away From Home


Illustration by Brett Affrunti

There’s something magical about having a special escape your family returns to again and again. For some families, it’s the cabin at the lake. Or Grandma’s house. Maybe it’s a favorite city, enchanting with its possibility of new discoveries. 

Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for the wanderlust and adventure of experiencing a vacation spot for the first time. Yet whenever I ask my kids where they’d like to go on vacation, they always wish they were back on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. We’ve been there more than a dozen times, and it’s become our home away from home.

We always stay at the same place, Waimea Plantation Cottages, and it never disappoints. The property has remained remarkably unchanged since it was built in the early 1900s, and that familiarity is really comforting for our kids. Safely ensconced in the same cottage (#59), our girls feel like their room is really their room. They know where the forks are kept in the little kitchen, how to find the bathroom in the dark of night, that little trick to keep the shower handle from spraying crazily, and how to perfectly position the armchair on the lanai to take in that magnificent Hawaiian sunset. 

“It’s practically programmed into our DNA to seek an escape from the norm while still craving the familiar.”

You’ve heard parenting experts repeat it over and over: Kids crave routine. It’s cliché but true. Global travel is exhilarating, dramatic, educational, adventurous, and often unpredictable. It’s practically programmed into our DNA to seek an escape from the norm while still craving the familiar. People travel halfway around the globe to order a cheeseburger. Parents lug overstuffed suitcases filled with their kids’ favorite things from home because those things comfort them in strange places. 

Our family is no different. Kauai is the IV drip that simultaneously feeds our desire for escape and our need for sanctuary.

At that magic place where we’ve built lifelong memories, there’s great comfort in seeing the same coconut palm (the one with the little hole where the birds built the nest that time), the familiar grassy glen (remember when we caught 16 frogs in one night?), and the warm, sandy beach where we’ve taken years of photos chronicling our girls’ growth from babies to teenagers.

Our kids have learned to measure the distance of our final destination in how many movies it takes to get there. Amsterdam? Five movies. Tokyo is seven. But only one or two is needed to get our family to our Hawaiian happy place. And Lilo & Stitch never gets old. 

Jon Bailey is co-founder of i.d.e.a., a San Diego–based marketing agency. He also writes for Hilton Hotels’ Mom Voyage, a blog dedicated to family travel.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Now Open: Montage Los Cabos

The luxe Montage brand debuts south of the border

A Family Afar: Palm Springs Then and Now

Our travelling dad learns how to redefine fun for the whole family in a city he loved before kids

3 Places to Find Untouched Slopes in Utah

Where to find Utah's understated winter wonderlands, plus a few novel ways to experience an old favorite
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of San Diego Party 2018
  2. Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
    Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
  3. The Best of San Diego 2018
    We crown 103 winners in food, shopping, fitness, kids’ activities, and more
  4. Javier Plascencia Eyes Barrio Logan
    The award-winning chef is all over Mexico, but looks to make a San Diego comeback
  5. A Sneak Peek at ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’
    The Old Globe’s newest world-premiere musical promises a familiar soundtrack and all the good feels of an ’80s rom-com
  6. What San Diego Women Want
    53 working women share their compelling stories on navigating pay equity, the baby penalty, #MeToo, and more
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags