Oahu Transportation Tips by mindcrime
Oahu Transportation: 75 reviews and 79 photos
for tourists only!
Don’t miss the touristic trolleys, they are open to the side and they go slow so you can take photos. A Japanese company runs them (what a surprise!) and
the cost is $30 for a day pass($27 online price) and $52 for 4day pass($43 online price).
They do four different routes that might interest you (some focus on shopping, some others in sight seeing and they are colored in different colors to recognize them):
The Red Line (Historic Honolulu) runs through the culture/history background of Honolulu.
The Yellow Line will take you to shopping centers, Aloha Tower etc while the Pink line goes to Ala Moana, the epicenter of shopping in Oahu.
The Blue Line (Scenic Honolulu) runs towards the Sea Life Park, very useful for Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay.
Waikiki area isn’t far from the airport and you won’t need a car there, just walk around, there are tourists that only go from their hotels to the beach. But for me is stupid to get stacked here, Oahu island is big and you need many days (maybe weeks) to see every corner.
Here are your options:
1)don’t do anything, book everyday a day tour from a local travel agent! It will cost you a lot but you won’t be stressed about anything and probably a guide will explain what you see.
2)rent a car and feel free to go where the road takes you. The problem with the car is the parking, especially in Waikiki is a huge problem so check the hotel parking, the area around it, how much they charge per night etc I noticed all the major car rental companies at the airport. There are some rental companies at Waikiki too but they charge more. It’s better to reserve your car from home for better rates and just drive it upon your arrival.
3)The good news are that Oahu is the only island in Hawai’i that has a good and reliable bus public system that will take you everywhere if you can plan ahead. What I mean is that you need a map of the bus routes (the hotels and the Info points give them for free) because sometimes you will have to change buses. TheBus is the company that runs the system and we were satisfied enough. The ticket is expensive ($2.50) but you can buy a 4day pass ($25) that will save a lot of dollars if you plan to use it more than 2-3 times per day. You can find the 4day pass in every ABC store (there is one in every corner in Waikiki). Just scratch off any four consecutive days at the back side of the card beginning with the first day of use, don’t forget to scratch the month also. Display the pass to the drivel every time you take the bus. It was really handy because we didn’t have to ask for tickets all the time which is more stressful because you need the exact amount of money for that (drivers don’t carry change).
The bus stops(pic 2) have signs with the routes that stop there but not the direction so it’s better to ask the driver to be sure, they are always smiley and friendly anyway. The buses are wheelchair accessible they can also carry two bicycles for free.
The only problem with the bus is the cold! We felt like we were in Siberia every time we were there, so take something to put over your aloha shirt!
shuttle bus to Waikiki
Most of the hotels at Oahu are located in Waikiki which isn’t really far from the airport. Here are the options you have:
1)rent a car at the airport and go directly to your hotel (have in mind the parking problem in Waikiki though, parking is rare and expensive, ask your hotel first)
2)A cheap and slow option is a local bus ($2.5). There are local buses that will take you to Waikiki but if you have luggage with you they won’t allow you boarding (it’s something you can’t do with a big bag in any local bus).
3)The taxis are more comfortable but they will cost you more. Sometimes they are the only option depending the time of your departure. If you want to be at the airport at 04.00am it’s better to call a radio taxi. Check this numbers: 422-2222 or 943-0000
4)The limos are even more comfortable than anything else but you will need a fortune, ok not a fortune but I wouldn’t pay for the ride more than my room cost per night :)
5)The most common and popular way to go to Waikiki is the shuttle bus. The cost is $9 one way ($15 return ticket) + a small tip for the driver (usually $1). You give the name of the hotel upon entering the bus and they drop you in front of the door.
For your return trip don’t forget to call the day before to guarantee your seat, just tell them your departure time of your flight. You can bring 2 pieces of big luggage with you but they will charge you 4$ for any additional, you can have with you any carry on bags of course. The bus does multiple stops to drop everyone at the their hotels so on your way back have on mind that they will do the same to pick up several people. From Waikiki it took us about 60 minutes to reach the airport. Even if you don’t have a return ticket you can just call any of the shuttle bus companies, you will find a dozen of telephone numbers in any free leaflet everywhere (hotel, bus stops etc)
hawaiian plane decoration
We used American Airlines from San Francisco but as a domestic flight their policy is no meal although the flight was about 6 hours long! Anyway most of the big companies fly here from mainland USA, usually from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
If you plan to visit other islands too check Hawaiian, Aloha and Go! Airlines that have similar routes, many flights per day and different prices, you will find incredible offers if you can book way in advance.
The Honolulu International airport is located 5km west of downtown Honolulu and 13km from Waikiki. It serves many flights per day because even if you fly to other islands you will fly to Honolulu first. Although the numerous flights, the airport looks kind of small and chaotic at the same time, we had to ask more than once were we will take our luggage, even the Info Point was before that point so we missed the chance of asking other things too! When we finally found our luggage claims we realized the open doors to the road and that anyone could have been there before us and just grab some of the luggage!
On our departure to LA the security check was very strict with issues like animal or seed transfers to mainland. We also lost two nice apples because of them, we just wanted to eat them :) As expected there are numerous shops, stands and restaurants. It’s partly open aired and there are some gardens between the terminals. A free shuttle runs between the terminals. There are no left luggage lockers.
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