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Hawaii Transportation - Getting Around on Each Island

What transportation options are there in Hawaii?
We can save you time by telling you the most economical way to experience and get the most out of your Hawaii vacation is to get an economy rental car for $20-$30/day. But if you are determined to know and research other options, we've created this page for you. Or you may want to try something else just for a little adventure!

Type Cost Pro's Con's
Car Rental:
Plentiful with many options on all islands.
$20-$30/day for an economy car

Gives you freedom to save money in other areas - like driving yourself instead of paying for tours, driving to cheaper grocery & restaurant options, and having the opportunity for more exploration. Driving is generally safe and friendly in Hawaii.

You will have to read a map. Except around Honolulu and Waikiki (Oahu), it's pretty hard to get lost in Hawaii. You may have to deal with parking & parking costs (only in the very major areas of Hawaii).

"The Bus":
Public bus transportation for Oahu

$2 for 1-way (transfers free) Many people swear by the bus system on Oahu. It's been given national awards, covers the whole island pretty well, and is clean and fairly efficient. The people and drivers are friendly and will be glad to help you figure out where to get on and off (although be wary of information and always ask a second person).
From a tourist perspective, extremely difficult to use their online schedules and in general difficult to figure out which bus to get on and where to get off (make sure to bring a map). If you have time and an adventurous nature, you won't mind this though. Beware: They do not allow big bags or lots of luggage since some lines do get very crowded during peak hours.

Public bus transportation for the Big Island

  Does go between Hilo and Kona. Will take luggage for an extra fee. Limited coverage: Is designed for locals and thus does not cover areas tourists may want to go.

"Kauai Bus":
Public bus transportation for Kauai
$1.50 fare Goes from Kekaha to Hanalei, stops all along the main highway. Limited coverage, stops not clearly marked, designed for local transportation.

Sparsely present on all islands, although more plentiful in Waikiki & Honolulu (island of Oahu)
Metered Fares. You don't have to read a map or know directions (well, assuming your taxi driver knows how to find an address - which is not always the case). You don't have to worry about parking.
Costly. 1 ride for 20 minutes can easily be more than a car rental for the day. Many times hard to find taxis (even when you call) unless you are at a major city or airport.

Airport Shuttles Free to Fairly Priced to Outrageously Expensive

If you don't want a rental car, can be the best priced option to get from the airport to your budget Hawaii lodging. Allows larger amounts of luggage. Some Hawaii accommodations may offer free or reduced prices for this.

These services differ island by island and more research is needed to find a company that will charge a reasonable price to get you where you are going. (Your accommodation will likely be able to give you advice.)

Hitchhiking Free

Hawaii is very hitchhiking friendly and the danger element is much lower than in other parts of the USA. It is the hardest on the island of Oahu and probably easiest on Kauai.

There's still always a danger element to this form of transportation. More difficult if you have lots of luggage. You need time, a sense of adventure, and lots of patience.

Ferry NONE - (only
On Oahu there is small local commuter ferry service. There is also a new inter-island ferry service that started in 2007 (and limited ones now to Molokai & Lanai from Maui). See our island hopping page.  

*In case you are wondering, there is also no subway or train system in Hawaii.

Please keep this information free and growing by booking your Hawaii budget accommodation online at GLAD Travel!

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