Preparation is key. Here are some helpful tips to try.
1. Airport Transportation. For those of you needing to find a transportation to the airport and back. I used Supershuttle in California and Speedishuttle in Hawaii. I guess I could’ve used Uber too but, I liked how both shuttles gave me an exact price right off the bat when I booked them online.
- Supershuttle (including gratuity) – total cost OC to LA – $105.80 USD
I’ve had mixed feelings about the company base on my previous experience with them. Both have been good and bad. However, this time around I noticed they have started to track the driver’s time. They now have an online check-in when you arrive and you can connect it to your mobile phone. That way, when you arrive they can send you a text regarding your driver’s route. I waited about 3-5 minutes tops this time for the shuttle to pick me up at the airport. Before it would take up to an hour to wait. Now, they provide you steps on how to meet your driver.
- Speedishuttle (including gratuity) – total cost – $60.82 USD
In my experience, the service upon arriving at the airport was perfect! They greeted me with a sign and my name on it, therefore, it was easy to spot them. Also, they waited for me to get my bags even though it took longer than usual. However, picking me up to take me to the airport was totally the opposite. There was a miscommunication with the driver and somehow, they forgot to pick me up. I had to call them to figure out what happened. Even though they brought another driver to pick me up, I was still annoyed by having to wait. The driver apologized and I made it in time for my flight.
2. Hotel vs. Renting. This all comes down to budget, time and preference. I was a solo traveler with limited time and no car. Therefore, getting a hotel made more sense for my trip because I bought a packaged airfare + hotel via Expedia that included all of the amenities that fit what I wanted to do. Although, if you opted for renting a house I’d go with Airbnb.
3. To rent a car or not. You do need a car in Hawaii if you stay over a week unless you decide to stay in your hotel and/or rental homes the whole time then, it’s not necessary. There is an option of getting a taxi too but, it’ll cost you about the same amount (maybe more) than if you rented a car. During my visit, I chose not to rent a car because my stay in Hawaii was only a mere 4 days. It was not worth it.
4. Pack light. During my visit to Hawaii, I noticed I leaned towards loose-fitting outfits and flip-flops. It makes sense since I was in and out of my bathing suit a lot. I needed something easy to put on and take off and also, Hawaii is very casual. Everyone is usually in a t-shirt, shorts, dresses, and flip-flops. Bring what you know you will wear.
5. Which side of the island to choose. Kona or Hilo? For me, I obviously chose Kona because it was close to everything and the wedding I attended was on this side of the island. Plus, I preferred the warm weather, therefore, it was an easy choice for me. Although, Hilo is also just as beautiful. You will at least be away from the tourist crowd and be in a completely remote area that surely is just as appealing as Kona side.
6. Meeting new friends. Everyone is very laid-back in Hawaii and easy-going from tourists to locals alike. It’s quite common for people to ask where you’re from as a conversation starter especially when you’re traveling solo. For me, it’s still quite difficult to walk up and start chatting with random people. Although, making friends in Hawaii is generally easy as people are quite open and relax. Of course, as a solo traveler, I would still be cautious and be smart about your whereabouts.
7. Packaged activities or go solo. Why not do both if time and budget allow it?
8. Have a blast! Relax, sit at the pool, eat, explore the town, see a live volcano and have fun.