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driving...how bad is it really?

Woodridge, New York
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driving...how bad is it really?

I have mentioned this before, but i am realllyyy stressing it!

I have a car reserved for one day to tour the island (Hanauma bay, Lanai Lookout, Halona blowhole and cove, Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, Waimanalo Beach), but I am getting worried about driving there. I am from upstate NY and could never drive in NYC. I have read trip reports that mention Charlies Tours and am wondering if we should just do the tour with him. It is a private tour and i was quoted at about $245 for the things i mentioned.

So, how bad is the driving really? What would you compare it to?

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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1. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

I don't drive here with a few exceptions, like in my neighborhood to the bank, grocery store etc. I don't like the interstates at all. That said, where you will be driving is very easy, only takes part of the interstate and I could drive it if I had to. I so understand the stress about driving. I think the tour is a bit overpriced but if you want to see these sites and want to alleviate that stress, by all means do it!!

The driving isn't bad it's the traffic that is horrible. You won't be heading towards the area where the worst of that happens. Honolulu 2nd only to LA in the amount of time people spend commuting.

Mineola, New York
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47 reviews
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2. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

Come on...the wheel is on the same side in your car as it is in New York! People make too much of driving on Oahu. There is no way to see the island that is better.

Lagrangeville, NY
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71 reviews
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3. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

How far upstate are you?

I would say if you can drive in Westchester, you are ok. But to me Westchester is not upstate.

Driving speed in Hawaii is much lower. Please don't stress.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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40,587 posts
44 reviews
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4. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

Okay - here is my perspective from a very rural person that mainly drives on dirt roads! Now, many years ago, I did live in S. CA, so have driven in places like LA, but I generally don't drive in cities much - just out of them!.

A few years ago, I did go to Oahu for the first time - we only rented a car for one day as most of our time was spent in Waikiki & Honolulu, where we walked or took the bus. But we did rent a car, which I picked up in Waikiki. We did have a GPS unit, but really only used in right in Honolulu, mostly to get the car rental back. The rest of the driving was VERY easy - and we drove to the northshore and stopped at several of the places you mentioned. As fishdiva said, it was more about traffic than any actual driving. And if traffic IS slow, you have plenty of time to find your location, so that isn't really a problem either. If I can handle it, I am sure you will be just fine. No worries really! :)

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5. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

Way too bad you are "stressing out" about driving. Really sort of silly. Anyway, find some traffic cams and YouTube videos to look at and see for your self how bad it is really. After you do this and make a decision, you can always cancel your car if need be. Chuck.

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6. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

The only part I disliked was trying to figure out the exits in Honolulu on the H1. Once I realized I could skip using H1 for our needs and found alternate routes, such as Nimitz Hwy, etc, I was much happier. As for the island outside of Honolulu...very easy. Just follow the traffic, as said above.

new jersey
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1,646 posts
88 reviews
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7. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

You want to know what I found to be the hardest part of driving on Oahu???

Knowing I had to keep my eyes on the road and resisting the urge to look everywhere! LOL

You will love the freedom of being on your own to stop and stay in your fave places and not have to be bound to the time constraints of a tour!

Go for it!!!

And btw... it is NOTHING like driving in NYC :)

Edited: 20 March 2014, 20:12
Oahu, Hawaii
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for Oahu
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8. Re: driving...how bad is it really?


Have you driven in any other cities in the US

Orlando, Florida
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87 reviews
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9. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

If the thought of driving in a new place gives you stress, the truth is you can't sightsee very effectively if YOU are driving. Maybe you want to splurge and book a tour. Let someone else do the driving, and YOU do the sightseeing! :-) Only you can decide if it's worth the extra $. Whatever you decide, enjoy!!!

Overland Park...
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10. Re: driving...how bad is it really?

It's like any place else. If you are on the freeways in Honolulu, it can be as congested as any big city. Once you get out of town to the scenic things you want to see then it is pretty easy driving. Unless of course like anywhere, there is an accident up ahead.