Transportation On Oahu
It's very easy to get around

Transportation on Oahu and getting around is pretty easy. Actually it's the easiest island to get around. Unlike vacationing on outer islands you don't HAVE to rent a car.

Most activities include transportation in the price if you are staying in the Waikiki area. Those that don't are usually located far away on the island such as the north shore or the west side but will have it available as an extra surcharge.

Map of Oahu Video

If you want to explore the island on your own a car for 1-2 days is plenty. Buses are an option but I don't suggest them outside of commuting in and around Waikiki and Honolulu due to time constraints. It's not efficient in rural parts & doesn't stop exactly where you want.

Also, please keep in mind that THE HOTELS DO NOT HAVE COMPLIMENTARY AIRPORT SHUTTLES so here are the basic options:

Airport Shuttles
Car Rentals

The Bus
Lei Greetings-because no matter how you get here I think EVERYBODY should get a lei upon arrival

Car Rentals

I DO recommend getting a car for a couple of days

  • If you want to see some of the places that I recommend because even circle island tours won't stop at them. If they do stop they don't stop for long, only 10-15 minutes.

  • If you want to be able to go at your own pace and spend more time in some places then another option for transportation on Oahu is a car.

You don't need to rent a car for more than 1-2 days

  • Parking in Waikiki is expensive anyway at $35 a day on average. If staying in one of the more remote parts of the island outside of Waikiki such as Kailua or North Shore then you definitely need a car for the whole time that you are here.

I do recommend securing your reservation ahead of time

  • This is especially true if you traveling during peak times such as summer and/or you want a jeep, convertible or minivan. There are times when I can't get a single car for anybody anywhere so book ahead of time.

Most rental companies will pick you up from your hotel upon request

  • Oahu also hosts a lot of conventions throughout the year so cars can become scarce during those times. I also notice that they disappear when a cruise ship docks here for a night or 2. Seems like everybody on board wants a car for a day or two.

Oahu has the major car rental companies such as Alamo, Enterprise, National, Dollar and Hertz

  • The first two are best for tourists because of pricing and availability.There are also small scattered lots here and there throughout Waikiki offering to rent cars at shockingly low prices but I don't recommend these places. I've heard some horror stories such as roaches being in the cars and unprofessionalism from the operators of these outlets.

Learn much more from my article here. I also have some information and suggestions on discount car rentals.

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A cab will cost on average about $30-$35 and it takes 20-40 minutes depending on traffic and how far into Waikiki you are traveling. If you are traveling to the gold coast area just past Waikiki then I would guesstimate that the price range would be $40-45.

Going to the north shore would cost $100+. It's best to call the companies directly for accurate guesstimates. Cab prices start at $3.30 and the meter ticks pretty rapidly. Try not to travel during rush hour times when prices could easily double.

Morning rush hour tends to be 6:30-8:30 and evening rush hour tends to be 3:15-5:30 although honestly sometimes it seems like there's traffic all the time most times. There's only 3 lanes on the expressway and the population has grown significantly over the last 30 years but the roads have not.

I once saw an article on the cover of the newspaper that Honolulu had the worst traffic in the country, including Los Angeles. So BOTTOMLINE: PLAN ACCORDINGLY. If you are heading out to the airport allow plenty, PLENTY of time.

The 2 main cab companies are

The Cab 808-422-2222
Charleys' Taxi 877-531-1333

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Other Options

Another way to get around the island, particularly the Waikiki area are the Waikiki trolleys and the city bus (website) simply known as The Bus. Learn more about the bus here.

How do you get to Waikiki from the airport you ask? There are cabs and airport shuttles. Luggage is not allowed on the bus.

All in all, your options for transportation on Oahu are excellent and this is by far the easiest and cheapest island to get around.

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