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7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Minneapolis...
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7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Hello,

My mother and I are taking a trip to Oahu this February. I did a hotel/car/flight special through Expedia and I believe for the week it was a couple hundred more for a car rental. It also costs $27 per day to park at the hotel.

The reason I thought it would be good to have it for the whole week is because I know I'll be going to North Shore and exploring the island. I also thought I would need to drive to that well known beach to snorkel at on the south side as well as the Polynesian Center. Also I will need it the entire last day I'm here since I'll be checking out that day and have a lot of time to kill, as well as from the airport to the hotel on the first day.

Lastly, my mom has some physical set backs due to a surgery she had last year and I just want everything to be easy on her as far as transportation goes.

Is it truly that much of a savings to only have the car for a few days and walk/bus/cab the rest or is it worth having for the whole week? A lot of people have recommended only renting it on specific days and not overnight, but it just seems like a hassle to rent a car for only a day, randomly. How bad is parking really?

Thanks for reading - sorry this is a long question!

Jodi

California
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1. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Well ... you need to do the math and take your mom's condition into consideration. You'll need transporation from and to the airport for starters. Renting by the day, in the end, may be as costly or more costly than by the week. The PCC - you can buy a package with their transportation from Waikiki and back ... but the last time I took it - it was a shakey old bus ... so maybe that isn't the best for mom. You may want to call and ask them.

If you want a flexible schedule - spur of the moment - you want a car. To explore the Island ... a car. I prefer a car to Ala Moana Center as well.

There may be times when taking a bus is preferred.

Just understand that if you rent a car, it may sit in the garage for part of the time.

Sometimes I rent a car, sometimes I don't. It depends on the length of the trip and what I plan to do. I don't like renting by the day, though.

Lubbock, TX
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2. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

You will get various opinions on this. We always rent for the entire time, because we're like you - we want to spend much or most of our time outside Waikiki. Others will tell you how easy they were able to use public transportation. Fine for them, but they are likely to be the types who spend all their time sitting at the local beach or pool and shopping.

Let me offer a little perspective -

Coming from MSP to HNL in Feb., with checked baggage fees, is probably $1600 - $2200 for both of you, depending upon the dates of travel and whether you fly direct or with stops.

A typical hotel, with nearly 14% tax added on, is likely to be another $1400-1800.

Expect to spend at least $1000 to ??? (who knows how expensive your tastes are) on food, attractions, entertainment, and shopping.

So we're up to $4000 or more for your trip, without ground transportation costs.

For only 10% more ($400 = a week of car rental + hotel parking), your trip can be transformed from one involving lots of waiting, smelly buses, limits on where you can go, arranging your enjoyment to fit other peoples' timetables, and lots of aggravation, and possible overall disappointment with Hawaii because you never saw some of the sights you really wanted --- into --- go where you want, when you want, with no waiting.

Only 10% more. Small cost, in my estimation.

Edited: 20 August 2013, 18:16
new jersey
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3. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Hi Jodi,

Welcome to the forums!

If it were me, I would take the car for the entire trip... even if it sits in the garage for a day or 2.

Where are you staying? Some hotels have resort fees that might actually include parking...

I know that others here have suggested places to park before... some might be in proximity to your hotel and might save you a little bit so let us know where you are staying :)

Maybe you can adjust the package to include a car "part of the stay"??

Edited: 20 August 2013, 18:29
Minneapolis...
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4. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Thanks everybody.

I'm staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Hilton Village Resort. I wasn't able to see if there was any nearby alternative parking by this hotel, but I did see tips for other hotels down closer to the other Hilton, Marriott, and Sheraton. I've been told that the Hawaiian Villege is just a little bit away from the busy section of Waikiki. I do know that the cost of parking is not included in the resort fee.

I do love the idea of spur of moment on an island vacation. I think I made a good decision.

new jersey
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5. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

I am not sure how it works but there is parking available by the marina... Perhaps someone who has used it might let you know exactly how it works. We always stay at the HHV but we actually park in the resort. I know, it can get very pricey but when we take into consideration all the junk 3 kids plus friends can lug along, somehow my hubby and I justify the cost of parking right there :)

I love the HHV and it is a short walk to the busier section of Waikiki... maybe a 10 minute stroll. But you mentioned that your mom had some setbacks on account of surgery. Will she be OK walking?

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

What type of room did you have at HHV? What tower?

She can walk okay; her pain is mostly in her neck/arms and I think she would tire easily. I think half mile and under walking would be fine, which is what it sounds like to the busy part of Waikiki.

SO EXCITED! It's our first time there.

California
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7. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

<<I've been told that the Hawaiian Villege is just a little bit away from the busy section of Waikiki.>> Heavens, no! The HHV creates its own busy-ness. Densely developed plot of land. You are not avoiding and people or noise by staying at the HHV.

Yes, there is parking in the Marina area, but I don't recall the details.

Also factor in HEAT when gauging Mom's endurance. And always have water on you, or in the car.

(Handsome pup!)

new jersey
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8. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

I wouldn't worry about factoring in heat, Feb shouldn't be that bad. July or August is a different story :)

I have stayed in most of the hotel towers and also the Lagoon Tower... one of their timeshare towers. My fave is the Rainbow! My least favorite, Diamondhead tower.

There are many that, like Betty Lou, find the HHV to be a crazy crowded over developed plot of land geared towards kids and conventions. I respectfully disagree and admit that the biggest draw to my staying there is being slightly outside of the hustle and bustle of waikiki yet close enough to walk over to the endless variety of restaurants and shops.

Different strokes for different folks :)

I'm very excited for you and wish both you and your mom a wonderful trip!

I'm no expert by any means but if I can help at all with any HHV questions, please feel free to PM me :)

Aloha,

Anny

Edited: 21 August 2013, 03:18
Saint Cloud...
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9. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Rent a car the entire time.

By the time you add airport transportation, buses, cabs, and car rental for a couple of days, you won't save a nickle.

And you will have spent many precious hours taking public transportation.

Read the Top Questions on the right side of the page. Driving tours, websites, maps, etc.

There is a Top Question for Parking fees for Waikiki hotels. It includes info for less expensive parking.

Don't spend several thousands of $$ on a Hawaii trip & try to save a few $$ by not renting a car.

Rent a car & get out & see the island.

Use the search above: trip report

Read about 20 trip reports.

The trip reports from those who rented a car the entire time shows that they were able to see much more of the island.

On a side note: Read the Top Question, Hawaii for Travelers with Disabilities. You might find some useful info.

Minneapolis...
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10. Re: 7 Days in Oahu - Renting a car versus public transportation

Thanks. I will check out what you mentioned. :)