Spending Time In Hawaii: How To Get Around

Hawaii ranks among the top vacation destinations, and for good reason. Contrary to popular belief, Hawaii is not just a single island but a cluster of diverse islands, each offering its own set of unique attractions. Navigating between and around these islands might seem daunting, which is precisely why we’ve compiled this guide. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this Hawaiian journey!


According to Andrew Adams of Flight Tracking, the most common method of hopping between the Hawaiian islands is by air. Numerous inter-island flights make it convenient to traverse from one island to another. These flights, typically short and regular, facilitate easy island hopping. Hawaiian Airlines, the primary carrier, offers services that connect all the main islands.

Smaller islands feature less frequent flights via smaller airlines and airports. These flights, usually on propeller planes, fly at a lower altitude, often offering passengers picturesque views of the archipelago below.

To ensure better prices, it’s recommended to book inter-island flights well in advance. If you plan to travel with surfboards or other unique items, familiarize yourself with the specific airline regulations in Hawaii to avoid any confusion.


According to Sean Philips of Ship Tracking, traveling between the islands by boat is another viable option. A regular inter-island ferry operates multiple times daily, connecting Lahaina on Maui with Lana’i. These ferries are suitable both for day excursions and routine transportation.

Additionally, there are cruises originating from some of the larger islands, though opting for a cruise would define a distinct vacation experience. For those seeking a more personal touch to their aquatic adventures, chartering a sailboat or renting a jet ski are great ways to explore Hawaii’s surrounding waters.


If your Hawaiian adventures are centered around a specific island, renting a car might be your best transportation option. While shipping your own car to Hawaii might not be practical, renting one locally can be a convenient alternative.

In urban areas like Honolulu or Waikiki, you might find that most destinations are within walking distance, making a car less essential. However, if you’re keen on exploring beyond the resorts and main towns, a rental car becomes invaluable. For travels to the rugged terrains or rural parts of the islands, consider renting an off-road vehicle like a jeep or a 4×4.

Most airports host on-site car rental offices, and you’ll also find them in popular resort areas. Still, it’s advisable to research and reserve online in advance, ensuring your vehicle is ready upon arrival.

When considering your options, it’s essential to compare various service providers and the vehicles they offer. By making direct comparisons between similar cars across different providers, you’ll be better positioned to secure the most favorable deal. Comparing car rentals in places like Oahu is straightforward and can yield significant savings.


Hawaii’s locals primarily rely on the bus network for daily transit. While deciphering the bus system might seem challenging for short-term visitors, it’s relatively more straightforward on Oahu. The island boasts an organized public transit service, characterized by regular, clearly-marked buses, making it easy for travelers to determine routes and schedules. The central bus network here is aptly named “TheBus” and is easily accessible throughout the island.

From Honolulu, buses fan out, providing convenient connectivity to places like Waikiki. The affordability and frequency of the service mean you don’t need to plan extensively in advance.

However, venturing beyond the primary tourist hubs, you’ll notice that bus services cater more to local commuters and may run less frequently. Additionally, Maui offers its own bus system, the “Maui Bus.” But, it’s worth noting that this service doesn’t extend to locations like Hana or the Haleakala National Park. Keep this in mind when mapping out your island travels.


Taxis are readily available across Hawaii’s main islands. While most operate on metered fares determined by distance, some companies might offer fixed rates. Though taxi charges can fluctuate as anywhere else, a typical fare often starts around $3 and increases from there.

Whether you’re arriving at the airport, staying at a hotel or resort, or are in popular tourist areas, taxis are easy to find. Additionally, you can call a taxi service for pickups at specific locations.

On the larger islands, ride-sharing apps provide a modern alternative, allowing users to schedule rides in advance or on-the-go. While taxis might be pricier compared to other transport options in this guide, they offer the convenience of direct door-to-door service.


For those seeking an adventurous mode of transportation, a motorcycle or moped might be the answer. While they aren’t as prevalent as other modes, rentals are available, especially in popular resort areas.

To rent a moped, you need a valid driver’s license, and riders must be at least 16 years old. However, for a motorcycle, the minimum age requirement is 21. It’s essential to note that Hawaiian state law stipulates only one person can ride a moped at a given time. Additionally, riding mopeds on sidewalks or freeways is prohibited.


According to Ivan Wainwright of Vlucht volgen, embrace an eco-friendly approach to exploring Hawaii by opting for cycling. While biking is a popular activity on the islands, it does come with its set of challenges. Many Hawaiian roads are narrow, which can make it tricky to navigate alongside vehicular traffic. The frequent tropical downpours can also add an unexpected twist to your ride.

If you’re contemplating long-distance cycling, consider joining a tour group for safety and guidance. Experienced cyclists might venture out solo, but always exercise caution.

Rental options are plentiful in most tourist hubs, ranging from high-performance road bikes to versatile hybrid models. Seeking out multi-day or weekly rental deals can prove cost-effective. Additionally, many local buses are equipped with bicycle racks for your convenience – just give the driver a heads-up.

Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation in Hawaii, being informed and planning ahead can enhance your experience, ensuring both efficiency and savings.