The Best Ways to Get Around Hawaii

Hawaii is composed of 8 main islands and smaller islets that have different views and adventures in store. O’ahu, Hawai’i, Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaua’i, Ni’ihau, and Koho’olawe are the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. You can visit all of them except for Lana’i which is a private island. 

There are so many things to see that you shouldn’t stay on the same beach and island. Fortunately, there are many ways to explore Hawaii and get the most out of your trip.

Traveling In and Around Islands

You can explore the island for breathtaking views, delicious food, and sandy beaches. Here are some ways to get around the island and choose which one will suit you and your company.

  1. Renting A Car

When exploring the island, having a car can save you a lot of time and hassle. It is more convenient and it gives you total control of the trip.  You can rent a car as soon as you arrive at the airport towards your destination.

Besides, there are options on what kind of car you can rent like an SUV, full-size, or even compact. While the rates are charged daily, some packages can save you a few dollars. Also, it is recommendable to book in advance so you can reserve the car you want and save even more.

  1. Ship Your Car to Hawaii

For those residing in US Mainland, shipping vehicle to Hawaii is another option. The cheapest way to ship your car is through open transport. The shipping company will pick up your car from your residence and you can pick it up at a port in Hawaii. 

Shipping from US Mainland to Hawaii can take up to 2-3 weeks, so plan accordingly. Prices for shipping your car to Hawaii can start at $1500 but this depends on how heavy and high your vehicle is. Shipping your car can be a cheaper option eventually for long-term travelers of the island or if you are relocating and you want to buy a new car in Hawaii. 

  1. Bus System

Major islands such as Maui, O’ahu, Kaua’i, and Hawai’i have bus systems that go around the island at a schedule. O’ahu has the most developed bus system and offers great coverage within the island.  On the other hand, Moloka’i and Lana’i don’t have a public bus system in place yet. 

Before booking a bus system, you may want to check the websites for the schedules and if they will pass in places where you to plan to visit. Relying solely on this transportation mode will mean you have to budget your time in the places you will visit. Since there are designated pick-up and drop-off areas, you also need to consider the time it takes to get there.

  1. Taxi

There are taxi services in the major islands of Hawaii. However, they’re not as easy to hail as in major cities. You can contact reliable taxi companies online or via call. You can also have an establishment call a cab for you instead.  

Even with the availability, taxis can be costly if you will use them on a daily basis. Taxi prices can also increase if you get stuck in rush-hour traffic, especially if you’re in Honolulu. 

  1. Uber/Lyft

If you are familiar with using this on the mainland, this online transport service is also available in Hawai’i. Both brands are allowed to pick-up and drop-off passengers at the airport. With just a smartphone, you can get around safely and comfortably. 

Since the drivers are residents of the Islands, they can give you tips on your next destination or must-try local restaurants. Take note that Uber and Lyft are only available in Hawai’i, Maui, O’ahu, and Kaua’i. Not all areas are covered by this app, so you should check if it is available especially in remote areas. This can also be a viable business if you plan on shipping car to Hawaii

Traveling from Island to Island

Since Hawai’i is an archipelago, you need to arrange a transfer if you’re going to other islands. It has been made convenient and easy especially if you’re a tourist. Take note of the options you have and make sure it fits your itinerary. 

  1. Flying

The most common way to transfer to other islands of Hawai’i is through flying. For O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i, you can only transfer by booking a flight. Most flights connect through Honolulu airport. Therefore, you need to plan accordingly. 

Some of the major airlines are Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Mokulele Airlines. All the islands have a commercial airport, making the connection much easier. As much as possible, it is a good idea to find direct flights to maximize your time and prevent delays. 

  1. Ferry

Not all islands in Hawai’i have a ferry service in between them. There are only 2 passenger ferries which are Molokai Ferry and the Maui-Lanai Expeditions Ferry. The Molokai Ferry departs from Lahaina in Maui to nearby Moloka’i twice every day and takes about 90 minutes. The Maui-Lanai Expeditions Ferry, on the other hand, goes from Lahaina toLana’i 5 times a day and lasts 45 minutes. 


There are a plethora of options when going around Hawaii. Whether you are relocating or just traveling, make sure to factor in all costs so you can make the most practical decision. Generally, there are limited options for public transportation and it can be costly if you use them daily.  Just make sure to consider wisely so you can comfortably explore the other islands of Hawaii.

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