Transportation on a small island can get complicated. Is a rental car worth it? How is public transportation? Do people ride whales to work? (No really, I’ve heard some people really think that…)
A Guide to Transportation in Hawaii
TURO or Rental Car
Driving around the island definitely gives you the most freedom, so we recommend renting a car if it fits within your budget. Turo is a car rental app – think of Airbnb, but for cars! Turo is usually much cheaper than getting a rental car, and we find that the process is a lot quicker and smoother than picking up from a rental car company. Using it multiple times, we’ve had great experiences so far and now prefer it to a traditional car rental service!
There is a also of course many traditional car rental services on the island – a lot of must-sees are spread out, so driving is your best bet. Just remember, traffic is terrible on the main island of Oahu, so try to plan out your route in advanced to avoid wasting valuable vacation time.
The Bus is basically it when it comes to public transportation in Hawaii. We have no trains and no subway systems. (Although a monorail is in the process of being built!) For $2.50 you can get a one-way fare, and while budget friendly, this is also the slowest option, especially with Hawaii traffic.
Taxis are prevalent in Hawaii, but of course they are costly depending on your travel route. Lyft and Uber are also very popular on Oahu!
This last option is surprisingly an unpopular choice for an ‘island’. Oahu doesn’t see much hitchhikers besides The North Shore, as that side of the island has a very laid back vibe. Islands such as Maui and The Big Island are more of a country lifestyle, so some may do it there also, but again it’s not very common. Safety could also be an issue here; so remember to have good judgement if you decide to hitchhike.
If you’re planning on island hopping, your only option is unfortunately by airplane. We used to have an inter island ferry, but it was shut down due to many complaints. It would be great to bring it back one day, we really liked the convenience of it!
More on Hawaii: