Getting Around Oahu When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing

July 19, 2016

Getting around Oahu will be a breeze with our easy-to-use tips.

Everyone wants to vacation in Oahu. With something for just about everyone, it’s the perfect getaway destination. Before you start doling out your daily itinerary of activities and excursions, you need to figure out how you plan to get around the island.

There are plenty of transportation options available throughout Oahu. But don’t settle on the first choice you find! Use this guide to learn the advantages and disadvantages of traveling around the island.

blue coastline aerial view of city scape on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

DO: Rent a Car
You can conveniently rent a car from the Honolulu International Airport or from the many companies around the island. A rental car is great for those who prefer to have control and flexibility throughout their vacation.

Plus, having a rental car is one of the best ways to get to the beaches and shrimp trucks on the North Shore and travel along the scenic Oahu coast.

Keep in mind, when you choose to rent a car, you also need to budget for gas and parking fees. These costs can add up quickly, especially when navigating a new island and sitting in traffic.

DO: Use Shuttles from Your Resort
Many popular Oahu resorts and hotels offer shuttles to various stops around Waikiki Beach. While these shuttles are convenient, they are not always complimentary.

Although the shuttles have many stops along the beach and city, they may run on a limited schedule. Before relying on these shuttles, know the schedule and fee to ride. The hotel concierge and front desk employees can provide you with this information.

DO: Take “TheBus” – Honolulu Bus System
In some cities, the bus is the last form of transportation you’d consider riding. Not in Oahu! In fact, it’s one of the best ways to get around Honolulu and other parts of the island. “TheBus” is affordable and boasts 93 routes and 4,200 stops around the island.

No matter what you plan to do in Oahu, TheBus is an exceptional way to get around. Remember, know what route you need and have cash for the bus fare. Bus passes are available for purchase.

MAYBE: Hop on the Waikiki Trolley
Waikiki Trolleys are everywhere in downtown Honolulu. The trolleys offer plenty of stops along Waikiki Beach and other areas of Honolulu. In order to hop on and off the trolley as you wish, you need to buy a pass. With stops only available in Waikiki, your travel destinations are limited.

The trolleys are spectacular for quick trips up and down the road, but shouldn’t be relied on for day long excursions or significant travel.

DON’T: Hail a Taxi
Taxis are available all over the island, but are not the cheapest or most effective transportation option by far. Taxis (and your payment) are at the mercy of the dense Honolulu traffic.

It’s wise to avoid taxis, if possible. However, depending on your travel destination and time, a taxi might be your only option.

DO: Leverage Arranged Transportation
Oahu is filled with exciting tours and excursions. Often, these excursions will pick you up from your hotel. This complimentary option is great for ease throughout your day. You won’t have to worry about traffic, extra costs, or parking.

Keep in mind that you won’t have the freedom or flexibility associated with other travel options. Before you hop on an arranged shuttle to your destination, make sure you have everything you need for your tour or excursion.

These arranged shuttles also may require you to walk a short distance to a nearby hotel due to driveway or traffic restrictions.

DO: Use an Uber or Lyft
New to the island are popular online transportation companies, Uber and Lyft. Both brands allow locals to drive guests around Honolulu in their own vehicles. These options are affordable, convenient, and easy to manage with your smartphone.

Since the drivers are friendly natives and locals, they’ll give you tips on where to go, stay, and eat.

Be advised that Uber and Lyft have more drivers in the busier sections of town such as Waikiki Beach and greater Honolulu. Other areas of Honolulu may not be as populated with drivers. However, the price and ease are worth the wait.

DO: Walk
Waikiki has plenty of outstanding restaurants, attractions, adventures, and outdoor fun all within walking distance. It’s free and convenient. Just remember to bring a light jacket in case of a quick rain shower.

Getting Around Oahu is Easy

With so many transportation choices, you won’t have a problem getting around Oahu. Doing your research will help you determine which transportation option is truly the best for your budget and your trip.

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