Car / Taxi / Bus, Oahu
When I usually come to Hawaii I rent a car. Even though my husband has all his family here I dont like depending on anyone for rides. I like getting ready and taking off to wherever I want whenever I want.
I find it very easy to drive in Hawaii and I dont usually get lost. If I do there is always someone there to help me find my way.
Being from LA we drive fast and they really dont in Hawaii. I always have to slow myself down and be at the island pace.
There is traffic here especially during rush hour so just expect it and enjoy the ride.
Also remember to make reservations for a car ahead of time to be on the safe side. I didnt think I would need a car the whole time I was on the island. I rented a car for a few days and made a reservation. When I got to Oahu I realized I would like the car soon and tried to call to get the car sooner. It wasnt available and they had NOTHING available. This is also during summer time.
I found a place around the corner from my hotel and rented a jeep there. It was a shady looking place and the name wasnt a well known reputable company. It was called VIP on Kuhio. They have a few locations around, I dont know if they are all the same. I needed a car desperately so I took the jeel they were offering. I totally regret it. First of all the rag top was a peice of crap. I thought it was going to fly away when we drove on the highway. We literally had to hold on to it as we drove. There was no radio, the car looked like it should have been retired a long time ago. When I went to put gas in it, it didnt even have a gas cap, they had stuffed paper in there. Then to top it off they told me that if there was sand in the car there would be an extra $25 cleaning fee. I didnt notice that in back of the back seat there was already sand. And not my sand by the way. I lasted a few hours with that car and returned it. It had started to rain and the top would not stay on. We got soaked on the Palui lookout area.
So the moral of the story is go ahead rent a car but go with a reputable company and reserve ahead of time.
The bus system in Hawaii is the best bus system in the United States! It is the most efficient and reliable bus system.
Since Hawaii's economy relies mostly on tourism, the government here make sure that the transportation system is excellent. An average of 25,000 tourists use the bus system on a daily basis. The bus is the best way to travel in Hawaii and it is a safe way of venturing the island.
Scenic Bus Ride: Tour the island via TheBus. The four hour trip starts when you take #8, #19, #20, #42 or #58 to Ala Moana Center and transfer to #55 Kane'ohe/Circle Isle #52 Wahiawa/Circle Isle.
The fares (exact change needed)
Children 6 under are free
ages 6 to 17 are $1.00
THE CONGESTED TRAFFIC WILL BE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION IN THE EARLY MORNING.. SO YOU ARE OK..MOST OF THE TRAFFIC WILL BE COMING INTO HONOLULU ( TO GO WORK )..BUT YOU WILL BE HEADED AWAY FROM HONOLULU ..SO IT SHOULD ONLY TAKE YOU THAT 44 OR MORE MINUTES TO THE EWA SIDE...
Who needs a car on this island when the bus system is so great and reliable? After trying it once I didn’t even think about using a car instead, although I had this possibility.
Their transfer system is well organized and for just $2 you can go to the other side of the island and back again.
It works very simple, you get on the bus and pay $2 (slide in the machine right next to the bus driver), if you’re planning to go back within next 3 hours or change to another bus line simply ask the driver for a transfer ticket. Once you board the second bus simply give this ticket to the bus driver.
The transfer ticket has time on it, the very top numbers indicate the time by which you must use it. And although it says everywhere that the transfer time is 2 hours, you’ll find out that you have much more time.
If you'd like to head up to North Shore for a day of surfing and what not, be aware that you will probably need to rent a car for the day. If you decide to take the transit system, the ride can take 3-4 hours what with all the stopping to pick up and drop off passengers. If you don't want to rent a car, see if your hotel has some type of non-stop shuttle that goes straight ot North Shore.
The Bus is cheap and will take you almost anywhere on the island. I like using when I go hiking. You can travel around the island for $1.00 USD. You can also buy a 4 day unlimited pass for $10.00.
Recommend you visit their website in order to find out the timetables for different routes.
Another neat thing is that the buses have bike racks on the front. So if you do go biking and you get tired, just hope the bus back.
The best way to get a true feeling of all Oahu has to offer is to rent a car. Then head away from Honolulu. You can rent a compact car for as little as $116 a week. This is a great rate compared to other cities. HNL is serviced by all the major rental companies. Traffic can be a bear in the city so do be careful. With 3 major highways on Oahu getting around is pretty easy just be sure to get an up to date map
The beauty of an island never lies just in what is a walk from your hotel.
Also the great part about a small island, like O'ahu, is you can pretty much drive around most of the island in about a day.
My girlfriend and I got up early one morning and drove around half the island and got an absolute eyeful of what the island had to offer: we had a fab lunch at a local fav shrimp shack, saw Laniloa, a pennisula of Hawaiian folklore, watched surfers warm up for a local competiton along the North Shore and watched endangered Green Sea turtles make their way onto the shore to sunbathe at Turtle Bay.
Of course this is only a small sample of what we saw during our car tour.
All in all I think a car is the way to go, but you don't have to take my word for it.
You can just sit there on the beach with your fruit machine drink if you like.
Waikiki is like any major cities with rush hour traffic. They have a good bus system and you can get around in honolulu and waikiki without having to rent a car. Plus, you'll probably have to pay parking if you are staying in a hotel. However, we suggest renting a car for a day or so to go outside of waikiki.
If you're staying in Waikiki and don't have a rental car, a cheap way to take a tour of the island is to catch the "Circle Island" buses from Ala Moana center. Adult fare is $2.00 and includes 1 transfer. From Waikiki, take the #8, 19, 20, 42, or 58 bus and transfer to the #52 or #55 Circle Island bus at Ala Moana center. The ride takes about 4.5 hours, but will give you a beautiful view of the Windward and North Shore, less touristy parts of the island. A 4 day visitor pass is also available for $20.
I am adventurous. But I will say that driving in Oahu was more trouble than driving in China, Thailand, New York, Paris, Rome. Not that it is scary in the sense that people drive fast and out of control, or that it is the opposite side of the road if you are from North America. It is because people are not conscious when they drive.
The street signs change randomly, and they will close off the highways randomly if a leaf falls the wrong way, and it will take you all night to find your way back to your destination. If you are staying in Waikiki or Honolulu there is no parking WHATSOEVER.
If you are in town to go surfing on the North shore in the winter or to travel around the island as a family, meet people or take a tour bus.
When you ask directions, people will give Hawaiian directions. If you want to know what this means ask me and I will try to explain it.
Honestly, I came to the Island to visit friends and family. I got lost. Multiple times. And downtown parking is expensive and almost impossible.
Take a tour or hire a guide or find people to drive you around. In the long run it will save you time and money.
The "Aloha Maps of Hawai'i" is a great free publication that I picked up from a kiosk in the airport terminal. It has road maps that are much more detailed than what you would get from a car rental agency, a nice map of Waikiki, maps of the state's major airports, a listing of beaches with life guards, and driving directions and detailed maps of the resort areas of the islands showing hotel and beach locations. I'd recommend picking one up (especially because its free)!
When we headed eaterwards on H-1 and around the eastern shores, we rode for a while on the north shore, but being three days out of the hospital ran out of steam along the way. A good thing to remember is the highway marked H-3. It cuts smack dab through the center of the mountain and offers a breath taking ride. We took it south to Honolulu and back to the hotel for rest.
The net day, wanting to continue the loop around the north side of the island, we conveniently just took H-3 north, and continued where we left off.
If you want to go around Oahu and you are really short of time, then you have to rent a car. We rent a compact and it turned to be a Ford Focus. Remember that Hawaii is United States, so compacts are not like in Europe.
On a whole day you can drive all around Oahu and visit the major beaches of the North Shore.
Traveling can be exhausting as we all know. I realised that sometimes treating yourself to a bit of luxury can really help the trip to go smoothly. Such was the case with our recent Oahu trip. We knew we were not going to rent a car for this trip, driving in the city of Honolulu and Waikiki can be a nightmare. And we really did not want to wait for a bus or shuttle to take us to our hotel (along with 30 other passengers and their hotel stops) We had little time on this trip and we wanted to make use of it all.
I found a terrific company called, Hawaii Car Service. Not only did they meet us prompty at the airport (our flight was late so they monitored it and arrived to take us over to our hotel.)
They also offered a flower lei service $6.00 a piece versus most other private car companies who were charging $26.00 and up for flower leis!!
Our drivers (to and from) the airport, were most courteous and well versed in how to avoid traffic and get us to our destination.
The cost is moderately expensive but we considered it well worth it as we were able to get to our hotel and back to the airport with ease.