Hawaii Solo


Jun 6th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Hawaii Solo

I am thinking of traveling by myself to Hawaii in early September (unless it turns out it is too late to book anything). I have about 10-11 days available, so I think it is enough to take in quite a bit of the islands.

To anyone who has been to Hawaii, is it crazy to go there alone? (I am a 27/female by the way).

I really want to see Pearl Harbor and Volcanic National Park, but I would also like to stay on Maui and get in some r/r, maybe try snorkeling, surfing or some swimming/laying on a beach, and just take in some of the Hawaiian atmosphere. Is it best to actually spend a couple days on different islands? Or is it possible to stay in one place and fly to the Big Island/Oahu for a day?
kavedweller is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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If you want to travel alone, who is anyone else to judge? Besides, there are plenty of single women traveling the streets of Waikiki.

Go for it. If you search back at previous posts, you'll find that most folks think dual islands are fine to do for the length of time you're talking about. The less island hopping you do, the more rest you'll have. Remember, it wastes almost an entire day checking out, turning in a rental car, flying, getting another rental car and checking into a place.
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Jun 6th, 2008, 02:02 PM
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There are plenty of places on both Oahu and the BI to do everything you said you wanted to do.
As Tess said if you do a little research you should find many others that have done the same.
hulajake is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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I have a female friend that travels alone often and has gone to Hawaii many times.

With 10-11 days you could hit three islands but remember that airfare is not cheap anymore so one or two might be more economical.

If you like the nightlife then Oahu and Maui are the islands to go to. The BI and Kauai are a little mroe laid back.

We will most likely be on Kauai in early Sept.

Enjoy paradise!
beth_fitz is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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I'd go to Kauai and Maui. On Kauai, I'd recommend the HanaleiSurfboardHouse, rather than a hotel.
Hanalei is a wonderful little town to explore and dine in when you get tired of the beach.

The Big Island is big, but there are some nice hotels. On Maui, I like the Maui Prince hotel because of the great beach.
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Jun 6th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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You will be treated very well traveling by yourself, I've done it a few times (to Hawaii) and never had a problem.

I wouldn't go to the BI for just one day. Instead I would recommend two islands for the 10-11 day trip you are planning.

Since you have two specific places you want to see why not go to Oahu and the BI? If you really would like to stay on Maui as well then I would recommend flying into HNL, going to Pearl Harbor early the next day and then spending the remainder of the vacation on Maui and the BI.

You'll have a great time no matter which island(s) you choose.

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Jun 6th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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All I can say is that my cousin is your exact age and she treated herself to a week in Hawaii as a college graduation gift to herself and loved every minute of it.

I believe that she visited 3 islands during her week.

Have fun!
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Jun 6th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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No, you're not crazy at all. I have made five solo trips to Hawaii, three of which were during the insane Christmas holidays when I felt like the only "soloist" among the herds of families. But I had a great time anyway. My other two solo trips (in October and May) were even better without the crowds. I've taken other non-solo trips in the autumn, and consider it an ideal time to visit the Islands.

If you have 10 days available, it would be plenty of time for two islands. But more than that would be pushing things too much. Hawaii isn't the place for filling in checklists of must-see places. The Hawaiians have an untranslatable word, hoonanea, which means something like "passing time in ease and pleasure." That's what Hawaii is about, and it's what should guide your travel plans.

In promoting Hawaii as both a honeymoon haven and a family resort, the writers of tourist brochures completely ignore solo travelers (and, for that matter, anyone who visits with one or more non-romantic, non-relative friends). But it's well suited for the solo traveler who wants either solitude (in a rented condo away from the major resort areas) or active nightlife (in those resort areas).

You can get around Waikiki (and most of Oahu) without a car. Waikiki is for walking, and there's an excellent bus system for getting most anywhere outside Waikiki (including Pearl Harbor-- don't waste your money on a tour!). Waikiki is one side of "Hawaiian atmosphere" you shouldn't miss.

It sounds like the Big Island is where you want to spend the other half of your trip, since you mentioned the volcano (Maui has the Haleakala volcano, a very worthwhile trip but it last erupted 200 years ago). You'll need a rental car on the Big Island, or on any of the "neighbor islands" other than Oahu. For "Hawaiian atmosphere" completely different from Waikiki, you might want to consider staying in Hilo, on the east side of the island. Kona, on the dry west side, is the island's resort area. It offers some beaches for sunning (the island is too young to have developed many sandy beaches-- you'll see large areas of barren lava flows), but it otherwise has rather little to recommend. Hilo hasn't had much tourist development because it's known for rainbows and "liquid sunshine" rather than beaches for tanning. But it's as close as you're likely to get to a real "tropical island" atmosphere, and it's closer to the volcano as well (there's a reason they call it the Big Island-- driving a full circle around it is a long, exhausting day). But if nightlife, entertainment, and tourist action is important to you, Kona would be a better option.

As an off-the-wall suggestion that offers real stark contrasts, you can choose Molokai as your second island. Waikiki is all built up with high-rise hotels and lots of traffic, but Molokai has no buildings higher than coconut palms and no traffic lights. It's possibly the closest thing to "real" old-time Hawaii or Polynesia that you can find. But it has no nightlife, entertainment, or fine dining, which might make it unappealing for you. I enjoyed it, but you might not.

Whatever you decide, you're sure to have a great time as a solo traveler in Hawaii.
JBHapgood is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for your answers, everyone.

I am trying to narrow down the things I want to see...I know I can't see everything in ten days, and I don't want to feel rushed.

One follow up question: I've read that the Big Island doesn't have ass good beaches as Maui or Oahu. If a beach is important to me, do I need to stay in a hotel that is "resort type" or are the beaches more open "public."
kavedweller is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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In your post you mentioned Pearl Harbor, Volcano Nat'l Park, and Maui. That's 3 islands and a lot of island-hopping for a 10-11 day stay. All the islands are beautiful, I've been to the three that you've mentioned: Owahu, Maui, and the Big Island. All have their own special charms, but since you will probably fly into Owahu from the mainelnd anyway, why not spend a few days there and the rest of your stay on the BIg Island? The B. I. has fantastic Volcanoes National Park and lots of other amazing natural wonders. It is a great place for doing some more adventurous things, like riding a horse into a pristine tropical valley, hiking into a caldera, exploring lava tubes, snorkeling, etc, etc. Plus you may get to see real lava flowing into the sea. Hawaii should not be risky for a young person alone, just take the same common-sense precautions that you would if you were at home. **Don't hike or swim alone, however, go with a tour group for safety. Hawaii's natural wonders don't have "guard rails" & other safeguards that you would find at mainland atractions. Swimming can be very dangerous in places, neer swim where there are no lifeguards and don't swim out too far. be careful when hiking over lava rock or coral. Cuts from coral & lava can get infected quickly, and if you are out alone and twist your ankle on the rough ground, you may not get help right away.
That said, the precautions are worth the reward. Hawaii (especially the Big Island)is one of the best vacation destinations in the world, don't be afraid to experiance it "solo." read some good guidebooks, book your tours and rental car in advance, and have a graet time.
bon100 is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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Please excuse my misspelling of Oahu in the previous post. I also forgot to answer your question about the beaches. the Big Island has lots of different kinds of beaches, from easy swimming sandy beaches, to ones that you have to walk over rough lava rock to get to the water, to lovely black sand beaches with rough surf. A good guidebook such as Big Island Revealed can tell you where the best beaches are. Also, most of the hotels have pools. Both the Kona side and the Hilo side have some nice swimming beaches, but watch out for the currents, they can be very strong in some places,and if you are not paying attention, can pull you out too far. I had that happen to me while snorkleing on the Kona side, it was pretty scary. After that I made sure to swim with flippers and a lifejacket whenever I snorkeled, this made it much easier to swim back to shore. Again, if you take common-sense precautions, you should have a great vacation.
bon100 is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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All beaches in Hawaii are open to the public it is the access to them that can take some effort.
The BI also has a green sand beach in the southpoint area along with the black sand beaches.
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Jun 12th, 2008, 02:58 PM
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I have been to Hawaii a few times solo. I prefer to stay in Honolulu/Waikiki on Oahu because it is the least isolated. I don't have to rent a car, and can get around with public transportation.

With 10-11 days, I'd probably stick to only 1-2 islands myself. Yes it is possible to fly to Big Island from Oahu for a single day tour.
suze is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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If you're planning a trip for September I'd advise booking your flights as soon as possible since airfares seem to be rising weekly. One website I'd suggest is There's a list of current deals on airfare, vacation packages and activities and the site can also help you narrow down your plans since it offers details on activities and events on the islands.
chictraveller is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Solo travel in Hawaii is definitely not a problem. I've been to Oahu and the Big Island by myself. Never felt unsafe, found lots of friendly people and had a great time.

BTW, I loved Volcano National Park.
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Jun 17th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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I've been to Hawaii solo and had no problems - go!

With 10 or 11 days I'd visit Oahu and Maui, I'd probably divide the time evenly between the two islands.

Also, consider an open jaw ticket Home - Honolulu, Maui - Home or vice versa. This way you'll only have to buy one intra island ticket.
goingtobeijing is offline  
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Jun 20th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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My first trip to Hawaii was solo. It was suppose to be with my pregnate sister, but it was three weeks after 9/11 and she was too nervous to go.


Just spent 6 nights alone in Kauai
in May.

Two islands sounds perfect for your 10 days.

I loved Oahu this last trip (9 days)
and love Maui and Kauai. I've been to the Big Island 4 times and Kauai is so much more beautiful.

Have fun! NO, it's not too late!
beachkomer is offline  
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Jun 21st, 2008, 01:08 AM
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IMHO, Oahu is a good choice for at least part of your trip. Lots of nightlife...heck, lots of DAY life, too, great for young single people like you. Be sure to check out and to see what's going on.
MelissaHI is offline  
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Jun 21st, 2008, 10:12 AM
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I think what you mentioned (3 islands - Oahu, Big Island and Maui) is too much for a 10 days trip myself.
suze is offline  
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Jun 22nd, 2008, 08:58 PM
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I would do Oahu+Maui, or Oahu+Kauai.

I found a great rate for the Outrigger Waikiki that included breakfast. It was on a great part of the beach. Or you could try and save more money and do priceline.

We did Priceline for Maui and got fantastic rates at the Sheraton and the Hyatt.

If u do priceline, research it like crazy and know that you can't change anything or cancel.

Have fun! This will be a fantastic experience for you! Trust me!

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