No matter if it is your first or tenth trip to Hawaii, these Oahu travel tips can help ensure a better experience and maximize enjoyment!
Oahu is a vast island, and renting a car is the ideal way to discover it.
1. Rent a Car
If you want to see Oahu outside of Waikiki and beyond, like sacred spots in Oahu, renting a car is an invaluable way to do so. Choose between an open air convertible or rugged four wheel drive vehicle from most rental agencies; there are endless possibilities.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to renting, Oahu’s bus system, TheBusOpens external link can offer another alternative. Though during peak hours this public transportation option can become overcrowded and won’t accommodate luggage, but still provides convenient travel across Oahu.
Reserve your rental car as early as possible to ensure you have one when you arrive and avoid long lines at the airport. Most rental companies also provide insurance which can cover any possible deductibles in case of an accident.
2. Plan Your Stay
Be mindful that certain tours and sights require advanced reservations; otherwise they could sell out quickly during peak seasons.
Visit one of Oahu‘s botanical gardens such as Waimea Valley or Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden to appreciate some of its extraordinary flora, or swim alongside sea turtles (honu). Swimming alongside these amazing marine reptiles (honu) is truly unforgettable; just make sure that you do so safely as Hawaii protects these turtles by law.
Winter can be an excellent time to visit Oahu as airfares are significantly less and it is less crowded. Just expect some rain as Oahu often experiences tradewinds during these months.
3. Know the Weather
No matter the purpose of your trip, be it surfing, snorkeling or simply sunbathing, knowing the weather on Oahu is always essential. Unlike many parts of the US, Oahu only experiences two seasons; summer and winter.
Summer ocean conditions make the waters ideal for families, snorkeling and swimming – perfect for diving into Kaiona Beach tidal pools, watching North Shore waves from Waimea Bay’s Peace Hike or discovering Kaiona’s Tidal Pool!
This hike offers an ideal chance to observe Hawaiian Monk Seals – just keep in mind that Hawaii has strict laws surrounding their protection, so stay at a safe distance and don’t touch!
4. Get to the Airport Early
Arriving early at Honolulu airport will enable you to check-in and go through security without waiting in an excessively long line.
Airports can be considered small towns within themselves. There are numerous food choices – including several chain restaurants – as well as bars to grab drinks for your flight.
Airports are an excellent place to gain inspiration for your Hawaiian vacation, particularly if island hopping is on your mind. Short flights to nearby islands can easily be booked through this hub and you might just find some fantastic airfare deals by being flexible with your search!
5. Plan Your Itinerary
If you want to experience more than the tourist traps of Waikiki on Oahu, book some unique tours! By doing this, you’ll experience its full beauty while feeling like a local on your Hawaii vacation!
Start your day right by joining a morning hike to watch the sun rise over Mokulua Islands – this unique experience cannot be found elsewhere and is an absolute must-do when visiting Oahu!
Once you’ve recovered from jet lag, stop at Ali’i Coffee Co. for some energizing refreshments! Their taro ube latte is truly irresistible!