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First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

Melbourne
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First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

Hi,

After spending one week based in Waikiki with my sister this July, I plan to stay on for another 9 nights on my own, and possibly go to another island. Is that too long for a 1st time visit?

As a solo female traveller in her 30s, is there any place people would really recommend. I've not had the chance to research Hawaii much because booking a cheap fare in the next day is my priority.

I'm more into scenery, nature, laidback holiday and not really into shopping, crowds, partying.

I also wont be hiring a car, so is getting around going to be really difficult?

Thanks,

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
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19 reviews
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1. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

Getting around Oahu without a car is easy but the other islands really do require car rentals...just getting from the airport to the hotel is expensive because public transport will not allow larger luggage.

If you have the funds you "could" stay on Kaanapali Beach on Maui without a car and use local shuttles, tours and the slow bus system.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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45,244 posts
19 reviews
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2. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

You are seriously restricting yourself without a car. Yes, you can take public transportation and tours on Oahu - but you won't have the flexibility of a car, and you won't see or do as much.

On the other major Islands - a car is more critical. I wouldn't even consider the Big Island or Kauai without a car. On Maui, you can do "OK" on Ka'anapali with shuttle service to Lahaina. Ka'anapali is very walkable. Again, you will need tours to see the sights - no flexibility.

So you are thinking an additional 9 nights? That totally depends on you. We cannot tell you that is too short or too long. What we can advise is that accomodations for 9 nights will add up, as will the interisland flights. Do you have a nightly accomodations budget for your solo stay?

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
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28,470 posts
76 reviews
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3. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

The Big Island would be perfect for you and 9 nights is the right amount of time.... But not without a car. Just not doable.

I wouldn't visit any island here without a car, you will miss out on so much. But the BI tops the list of places not to be without one.

Melbourne
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4. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

Thanks for your replies so far. My decision not to hire a car is largely based on the fact that I'm worried about driving on a different side of the road (I've only ever driven on the left hand side here in Australia!) It seems i'll be limiting myself being "carless" so I may decide to shorten my extended solo stay.

As to my budget, I'm guessing I'd like to spend up to $100/night on accommodation once i'm going solo. Not sure how feasible that is!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

I was thinking that either Kauai or the Big island would be those more rural places you would enjoy - but both require a car. The good thing is that speeds are slow, so you would have an easier time adjusting to that other side of the road. I have found condos for under $100 on both islands - you just have to search and plan ahead. :)

South Coast NSW
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6. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

Jenny8971 - I have to tell you, I think you are making the right decision re not hiring a car.

It is not just driving on the wrong side of the road. Everything in the car is on the opposite side. We are used to it looking like this -

…blogspot.com/-fA5_OQ9Toj4/…2521.jpg

In Hawaii, it is going to look like this -

best-trade-car.com/blogpics/left-hand-drive-…

You'll be using your left foot to accelerate and the right foot to brake. Totally different to what we are used to. If you are driving a manual, you will be clutching with the right foot.

With that ON TOP OF being on the wrong side of the road? My parents made it from the airport to aloha stadium, then turned around and took the car back. We still managed to have a great time, and we have been back twice since and not hired a car, and still had a great time. They went to the Big Island and did not hire a car. They loved it.

I would not shorten your stay. I believe it is possible to visit without a car. It is especially possible on Oahu, but I think it can be done on some of the other islands as well, if you are willing to do tours.

Yes, not everyone likes tours. Yes, some people will enjoy their time if they can drive where they want to go when they want to go. But not everyone can drive, not everyone wants to drive, and truly we need to respect that and offer other options when people ask.

So let me brave the displeasure and say, we are going to the big island and we are not hiring a car. I still think we're going to have a decent time. ;)

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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45,244 posts
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7. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

RE: renting a car. I'd say half of the Aussies who post here have no problem renting a car. But the important thing is your safety and the safety of those around you. If you are frightened of driving in the US - then my all means don't. I would be the last person on Earth to encourage you.

And stay put on Oahu/Waikiki. Your nightly accomodations budget is very low, but doable on Waikiki.

There is a part of Maui that is pretty walkable - but the bottom line is that the accomodations would be way too expensive for you, as will the added cost of transportation. You would only see the sights by tour - which, judging from your nightly budget, would also be over your head.

South Coast NSW
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8. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

Did you end up booking a fare, Jenny? I think the Jetstar sale is over now, how did you go? :)

9. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

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10. Re: First time visit to Hawaii + some solo travelling

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