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Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

Vancouver, Canada
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Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

I need a badly needed break to decompress. I am not sure how long I should go. I am just throwing the idea up in the air, This may be my only chance to go as I recently have been put on layoff notice. I have recently separated as well.

I'd like to go to Hawaii just to lie on the beach, visit some touristy spots (not sure which as I haven't researched). I'd like to be very close or on the beach (preferably), but I don't wish to spend an arm and leg either or stay at the Y or hostel either.

I am thinking of going for at least a week, maybe end of September or October. I really love the turquoise blue water...I am mesmerized by it. However, pictures of Hawaii have images of water from navy blue, light blue, to turquoise blue.

I don't know if Hawaii has all inclusives or not and if they're worth the added cost. I understand Hawaii is quite expensive for groceries and dining though.

I don't think I will be renting a car, although it's a distance option if it means saving a considerable time. I imagine sunset is getting much earlier in Hawaii at this time of year. I don't think I'd feel comfortable driving a car in an unknown place, especially at dark and because I heard parking is very expensive in Hawaii.

I look forward to any suggestions you all may have on accommodation,places to go, dine, etc.

Thanks in advance.

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California
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1. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

Well ... let's start with no, Hawaii doesn't have All-Inclusives. It doesn't need them. Hawaii isn't like Mexico or the Caribbean. Visitors rent cars and explore as they would in any other state -- eat or play where it suits them.

September and October are low season for tourists - so it is a great time to go.

If you are serious about this, pick up a copy of "Hawaii for Dummies," a highly recommended travel guide that covers all the Islands. And get a good map of Hawaii as well. Pull up www.gohawaii.com. It's terribly commercial, but helpful for first-timers. You need a good overview of your options before making any decisions.

And you need to choose an Island before getting serious about accomodations. Establish a nightly accomodations budget.

Understand that you will also need to rent a car on any of the Islands with the exception of the City of Honolulu on the Island of Oahu. Oahu is generally rural, so a car is a good idea to explore the Island.

<<Hawaii is quite expensive for groceries and dining though.>> We don't know where you are from, but yes, you may find that your meals are more expensive in Hawaii. There is a wide range of restaurant costs - so you really can control your dining budget my choosing more economical places. Bar tabs can really bust your budget.

Green Valley...
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2. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

If you can find a way to make it work within your budget, traveling to Hawaii solo can be a great idea. Hawaii is a place where you really don't have to pay for most activities (the beach, shore snorkeling, and hikes are free!) and combining that with a good air fare, modest lodging, and eating reasonably using a mix of groceries for your frig and possibly microwave and some of the less expensive restaurants can make a trip more affordable than you might think. Let us know what you're envisioning--a busier or a quieter area, a mix of both, etc. as well as a nightly budget for lodging and we'll try to give you some suggestions. There are places on Maui where you can stay without a car if a "stay and play" vacation with some minor "looking around" sounds good but if you end up paying for sightseeing tours anyway, the car makes sense.

Edited: 28 August 2013, 18:18
LA
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3. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

Hawaii is a perfect getaway. You can find what you are looking for.

There is no problem in renting or driving a car. It would substantially increase your enjoyment and flexibility. Hawaii is substantially farther south than any other place in the US so that the amount of day/night does not vary anywhere near as much as on the mainland.

The key issues to decide are:

1. Can you get flights that are affordable and not too terribly complicated. As you don't give us a city of origination, can't give you any help on that.

2. Each island has something to offer. Read some of the FAQ's to determine what works best.

3. Count your nights of paid accomodation when planning. The general guideline is a minimum of 5 nights per island, although The Big Island really needs 7. I wouldn't recommend The Big Island for a first-time visitor with your wishlist.

4. Develop a nightly accomodation budget. Sept/Oct are starting to book up, even though they are the off seasons. There are no all-inclusives in Hawaii except for one quite remote one that I would not recommend to you. Some of the upscale hotels do have club level programs that provide a decent buffet of snacks and drinks that work just as well as an AI, but they are substantially more expensive than the usual rack rate.

Healy, Alaska
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4. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

Have you thought about what you need? I have been in a similar situation in life, and realized I wanted peace/quiet - no crowds, etc. But I know other people need to keep busy and prefer to be part of a crowd - as then they feel less alone. I would think about what you prefer as you research the islands.

Also, as a budget traveler, you can find inexpensive places to stay on the islands, but this does take time and searching - so figure out what island would work best and then post on that island for help with lodging.

I agree with Pareo - car rentals are often not expensive and depending on your lodging, you may not have parking costs - Hawaii is pretty easy to drive around, so don't let that intimidate you. Good luck with your planning - I hope Hawaii is a healing balm for your weary soul - I know it has been that for me at times. :)

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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5. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

You can get a good, quick overview of the islands by reading the Summary of Each Island under Top Questions on this page. It may help you narrow down your choice.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

Thanks everyone for your responses. I am from Bellingham Washington.

I'd like to keep things very simple and relatively basic. I simply need to chill and relax, lie on the beach on all days, and take in maybe a few tours in the early evening when the sun isn't the strongest I will not be renting a car. The last thing I want to do is to stress out about driving in a foreign place alone.

I've decided I want to go to Waikiki mainly because I can get the best deals from Allegiant or Alaska Airlines to Honolulu. I am open to going on a 7 day cruise of the islands if I can get a great bargain with the single supplement. Sharing a cabin with a stranger is not an option though.

The only hotel conditions that I have is that the hotel ,must be on the beach (minimal walking distance to the beach ie. 5 minutes), it must be away and free from any construction and noise. The establishment cannot be wood frame as I am a light sleeper. Complimentary wifi is preferred so I can can stay in touch with my family and close friends. I don't need anything fancy but the room must be clean and have the basics including a microwave and fridge.

As far as dining goes. I can prepare my own meals, but I'd rather dine out but not at fast food chains.

My budget (subject to change) is for a hotel only at around $100 night.

I read that October can be rather wet as far as rain goes. Perhaps Hawaii is not a good idea?

Edited: 03 September 2013, 02:09
Healy, Alaska
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7. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

I think fall would be a great time to go - I haven't been, but I have heard it is good weather and lower crowds. Good luck! :)

california
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8. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

I just returned last week from a 10 day trip to Kauai solo. I've traveled many times to Oahu solo and I think that island is the right choice for you being that it is your first time there.

Honestly for $100 a night you won't get what you're looking for. There are budget hotels there, but you will be "roughing" it. One of the budget hotels you could look in to is the Royal Grove. It's in a great location and it could fit your budget. If you can raise your budget some, I would recommend the Park Shore. They just remodeled and it's in a great location at the end of Waikiki. It's only a 10 min walk along the boardwalk to central Waikiki.

Also you won't need a car. You can take a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and get around by bus around Waikiki.

As for cruising,unless you're very out going, cruising is kinda strange going solo.

Edited: 03 September 2013, 05:49
Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

Thanks! Ok, so I will have to spend more. The Royal Grove has some good reviews, but it seemingly is a bit further and I don't like the beach area. The Park Shore certainly seems much nicer. It's 50% more than I wanted to spend though. I picked some random dates at the end of September,early October from the hotel's website. I haven't checked other sites like Bookingdotcom or Hotelsdotcom.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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10. Re: Travelling to Hawaii (for the first time) solo: A good idea?

September and October are our hottest and driest months when we aren't dodging a tropical storm!! The rainy season doesn't start until about mid November and we generally don't get any winter storms until December.