The shuttle is a great and inexpensive way to get to/from Waikiki and the airport. The shuttle takes you directly to your hotel.
From the baggage area at the airport, pick up the phone and dial directly to the shuttle service which will pick you up at a designated area. You can also dial toll free, or arrange it at your hotel with your concierge.
Prices vary depending on location of drop-off or pick-up, but we paid $15 one way each to and from the Sheraton.
I've taken a taxi both to and from the Honolulu International Airport on several occasions and most recently in January 2012. Fares have increased by more than a few dollars than from our prior trips.
What I really don't care for is the traffic you encounter no matter what time of day. The taxi ride should take about 30-35 minutes, but more like 45-50 during peak commuting time.
On our most recent trip we paid about $45 plus tip.
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.
I have rented a car four times on seven visits to Oahu and I will say that it is a great way to explore the island on your own. I do like to explore as much as I can the other parts of the isalnd and I would recommend that if you are looking into renting a car then do your homework and if at all possible, reserve your car ahead of time, especially if you are traveling during peak season. You can find rental car companies in Waikiki if you decide later on to rent a car, but my advice is to rent the car at the airport location, where you will get a more competitive price.
You can find all the major rental car companies which make the prices quite competitive.
The first time we rented a car, the rental company, which I think was Avis, in Waikiki had rates about $30 more per day. We decided to call the airport location and we got better rates.
On my last trip, I made the car rental reservations with a car rental company on line. The rental company was Thrifty, what gave us the best available rate for about $35 including damage waiver protection. It was well worth the added expensive and effort to pick up the car from the rental location at the airport, but we were able to save money while still being able to explore the rest of Oahu at our own pace and leisure.
If you have a favorite rental car company that you prefer, you will definitely find them at the airport. If you didn't make reservations prior to arriving, you can still rent a car if you go to the kiosks at the airport and dial the company on their direct phone line reservation centers.
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.
Driving around O'ahu can be quite frustrating if you have to go to Honolulu during rush hours! The state of Hawaii has a Zipper lane which is open on H1between Waipahu to the Airport on weekdays from about 5:30am till 8:30 am ... unfortunately the speed limit is slower in this lane, and you will need to have at LEAST 3 people in your vehicle ... but this is a solution to our traffic problems here ... along with the shoulder lane being open to traffic during the morning rush hour. It will only take you as far as the Honolulu Int'l Airport, but even that far has been a great help coming from the country side of the island.
We rented a car from Hertz though a package deal on Expedia and it was supposed to be an economy car. I noticed a few days later on Expedia that they were advertising a free upgrade. So I printed out the page and presented this ad everytime I rented a car (Oahu, Kauai and Maui). I am not sure if it was actually valid but 2 out of 3 times (I am assuming the Corolla was NOT an upgrade) I got better cars! Worth a try. Pictured here is the Pontiac Vibe which I fell in love with in Oahu. It was zippy, very economical and plenty of room for body boards, backpacks, luggage, etc. All it was missing was a sunroof. Found out later that it was the same car as a Toyota Matrix. Hmm....maybe it is time to dump the old Subaru.
By the way.....I always seem to get stuck driving when my hubby and I travel.
Pro - cuts out the arguments.
Con - I miss some of the sights.
Anyone else have this problem??!!
If you can't rent your own vehicle, this is a great alternative! Very inexpensive, about $1.50 adult fare will get you ALMOST anywhere on the island of O'ahu. You can get bus schedules from any satellite city hall, or many hotel lobbies, as well as online at their website. The buses are airconditioned and a transfer gets you farther for your buck.
When we arrived in Honolulu we just felt like grabbing a Taxi instead of waiting for the shuttle. Our taxi was a minivan, a bit larger than we needed but very comfortable. the a/c was cranking which was great isnce it was very hot outside. Our trip was about fifteen minutes from airport to hotel. The price was a little steep at $35 in total but it was worth it in my opinion.
The airport shuttle is a cheap but not always quick option to and from the airport. Our hotel was able to arrange a shuttle pick up to the airport. Depending on the amount of pickups and your hotel's location ; there could be multiple stops along you way en route to the airport (which can be annoying to say the least). I think the price was $12 but I am unsure since my wife made the arrangements.
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 "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)!
Hands down, the best way to get around Oahu is with a Jeep!
When the sun is out, the top is down. When the rain comes, the top goes up!
Just enough trunk space for beach necessities & snorkel gear.
You will kick yourself if you do not have a convertible - there is so much to see, and it is best taken in with the top down!
I rented through Thrifty Car Rental - the experience was good, price was fair, and I would use them again!
Car Rentals are reasonably economical in Hawaii though gas (petrol) prices are higher than the national average. Budget-Rent-A-Car is one of the best to rent from since they give out a booklet on every rental which contains numerous coupons for '2 for 1' offer. This could add up to considerable savings.
There are also buses that are convenient to see Oahu. Some of these buses serve the local attractions quite well and the frequency is reasonable. The Oahu bus system is called TheBus and the only restriction is that the buses dont allow you to carry heavy luggage.
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.