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1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

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Spokane, WA
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1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

We usually travel to Maui so car rental there is a definite. We are thinking of spending 3 or 4 days on Oahu staying on Waikiki beach. We do want to go to Pearl Harbor but the rest of the time we will probably stay on Waikiki. Is a car a necessity on Oahu or can we just cab it? I see cabs from airport approx $30, but what about a cab to Pearl Harbor? What is the distance?

new jersey
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1. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

I am going to Oahu mid april first time,and from my research and talking with a lot of people that went there,it depends...lol,if you're adventurous rent a car and set your own pace,if you want someone else to worry about the driving then try grand circle island tour,now tour...as seen on fun-hawaii.com.I'm probably going vto rent a car

for 2 days...have a great time


Nanaimo, Canada
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2. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

You don't need the car. The public transit system on Oahu is wonderful!

Having said that, it is nice to have the car for one day to explore the east and the North Shore for a day. The bus to Pearl Harbour is an hour, so keep that in mind. A taxi to Waikiki upon arrival is the best option. They actually offer a flat rate.

Check the cost of parking at your hotel before you commit to the car! The Banyan, down towards the zoo, has parking for $15.00 a day. You don't need to be staying there in order to use their parking.

Saint Cloud...
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3. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

Rent a car the entire time & get out & see the island.

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4. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

It would be a shame to come to O'ahu and not see more of the island than just Waikiki and PH. There is so much more!

When you add up the cost of cabs, it quickly becomes a push versus renting a car. You'll have a great deal more flexibility with a car.

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5. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

I suggest that you spend at least 4 days on Oahu. Take the bus for $2.50 each to Pearl Harbor, then rent a car for a day to drive around the island.

Cab will most likely be more that $30 to Waikiki from airport. Probably closer to $35 or $40 plus tip depending on traffic.

Rent and return your car the same day right in Waikiki area.

Destination Expert
for Oahu
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6. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?


Count your nights, not your days.

With such a short trip, I would rent a car for the full time - IF you really want to see Oahu. Most of the Island is rural, and it is gorgeous! If you have decided already that you only want to stay in Honolulu - then you could use the bus and taxis.

The last time I took a cab from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor was 4 years ago ... and it cost me $50 each way. You can take the bus for $2.50 (exact change) each way.

So do the math re: renting a car ... taking parking at your hotel into consideration. Also factor in that you have a very short visit ... and maximizing what time you have is critical.

Do you have a good map of Oahu? A good travel guidebook? Both would be a wise investment before making final decisions.

<<We do want to go to Pearl Harbor but the rest of the time we will probably stay on Waikiki.>>> Why do you want to hang out on Waikiki for so much of your visit? Also - understand that reservations for the Arizona Memorial are available on line ... and you need to plan ahead for them. Otherwise, you will stand in line ... and may or may not get a ticket.

Santa Monica, CA
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7. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

If you love to explore Maui, why do you imagine Oahu will be different? It is an amazing island, but for all the same reasons that Maui is - to explore! There are jungles, waterfalls, hiking (much easier to get to than Maui, too), snorkeling, swimming, beaches galore! If you get out and about, you will be amazed at how rural and beautiful Oahu is.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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8. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

That is the #1 mistake most people make. Come to Oahu, go to Pearl Harbor then never get out of Waikiki. There is a gorgeous island here for you to explore, rent a car and see it!!

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9. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

I love Waikiki. I've been 4 times (a week to 10 days each) and spend my time only in Honolulu/Waikiki. I have never rented a car and get around just fine.

I agree if you want to explore the rest of the island, then car rental is a good idea. But since it's a short trip and you clearly said you plan to spend it in Waikiki, there is no need.

You can get to Pearl Harbor on The Bus (public transportation system), or with various shuttles offered. I'm assuming a taxi would approximately (plus a little) like the price in from the airport... because you're going back that same direction and then a little further to get to Pearl Harbor.


Willmar, Minnesota
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10. Re: 1st trip to Oahu do I need a car?

We are in Oahu currently and while there was a some rain and clouds on Waikiki we used are rental car are headed to Kaena Point and had blazing sun all day. Rent a car and explore!