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

January 28, 2022

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. But, before you start doling out your daily 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! Instead, 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

Rent a Car

You can conveniently rent a car from the Honolulu International Airport or the many companies around the island. A rental car is great for those who prefer 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.

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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.

Use Shuttles from Your Resort

Many popular Oahu resorts and hotels offer shuttles to various stops around Waikiki Beach. Unfortunately, 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.

View of the pool and several chairs to layout on with umbrellas at The Modern Honolulu in Oahu, Hawaii, USA

photo credit: Hawaii Isla 808 via Facebook

Take “TheBus” – Honolulu Bus System

In some cities, the bus is the last form of transportation you’d consider riding. Not in Oahu! 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.

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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. So 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.

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.

Related Post: 10 Things to Do in Honolulu Every Visitor Should Know About

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.

A sandy trail through some palm trees with a mountain in the background at sunset with clouds in the sky in Oahu, Hawaii

photo credit: Jessica Wong via Unsplash

Get Your Steps in

Walking the Waikiki area is surprisingly easy. There are plenty of outstanding restaurants, attractions, adventures, and outdoor fun, all within walking distance. Moreover, it’s free and convenient. Just remember to bring a light jacket in case of a quick rain shower.

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. However, 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.

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events on Oahu

Wide shot of a large orange double decker Waikiki Trolley driving passed tall palm trees and people on the beach in Oahu, Hawaii, USA

photo credit: Waikiki Trolley via Facebook

Skip the Taxi Ride

Taxis are available all over the island but are not the cheapest or most effective transportation option by far. In addition, taxis (and your payment) are at the mercy of the dense Honolulu traffic.

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

Getting Around Oahu Can Be 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 trip.

Have Any Additional Tips for Getting Around Oahu?

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