When you think about Hawaii, you’ll probably picture sandy beaches, swaying palm trees….and lots of honeymooners. Which when you’re single, or planning to travel alone, can be at best off-putting. And at worst intimidating. But worry not fellow solo travellers! I’m here to share with you why Hawaii (and its impressive capital Honolulu) can actually be a great choice to go by yourself.
Dreaming about Hawaii
I first visited Hawaii a few years ago. It was a bit of a last minute decision as I was finalising that particular trip. I was planning to fly into San Francisco from London. Already facing an 11 hour flight, I figured, why not go a few more? I’d always wondered what it was actually like , could it possibly be as magical as I pictured in my mind? Sure I’d seen it in the movies a lot, but I was also struck by the thought that it probably wasn’t going to be the best place to go on my own.
Squashing down this notion of having to battle past googly-eyed lovers at every turn, I went ahead and booked. After a few days in San Francisco and an uneventful flight with Hawaiian airlines, I touched down in Honolulu.
Aloha Honolulu, Oahu! Oh…
So along with all my preconceptions about the state generally, the very first one was destroyed immediately. If you’re expecting the full Hawaiian welcome with leis and grass skirts – you’ll need to pay for it in advance! When i thought about it rationally, I realised that this particular aspect of planes landing in films was in reality, not realistic for an international airport. It’s entirely possible that it is more commonplace on the other islands of Hawaii. But I can’t attest to that as fact.
No, instead, Honolulu airport was fairly standard for an airport and not overly inspiring. Not that it mattered. I immediately felt relaxed and started to get a feeling that I’d definitely made a good choice! There was a fair walk from the plane to pick up bags. But luggage now in tow, I finally stepped out into the glorious sunshine.
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
I’m usually a little relaxed when it comes to getting from the airport to my accommodation. I’ve taken shuttles, buses, cabs, trains – I’ve walked on the odd occasion (a choice I have sometimes regretted!). You’ll find many of the usual choices at Honolulu. If you prefer to book things in advance, you can find good shuttle deals with Go Airport Shuttle or else a cab will cost around $30 if you’re staying in Waikiki Beach. But this will obviously depend on how far into Waikiki you need to go.
In terms of where to stay, you’ll find all the usual options you can find most places in the USA. Luxury and budget hotels, rentals, house swaps, camper vans… For this trip, I chose the wonderful, The Modern Honolulu hotel. Number 7 ranked hotel in Honolulu on Tripadvisor (at the time of writing). It’s not the cheapest hotel, so if you’re on a budget, you can browse more choices in the area here.
The main reasons for choosing The Modern Honolulu were:
- The great reviews – chic, clean and understated and a great base for the solo traveller
- The placement – close to the centre but away from the overly touristy part
- The views – get an ocean view room and you can gaze over postcard views morning to night from your balcony!
And so the adventure begins
Once checked in I was ready to get going with my Hawaiian adventure. Check the links below for more detail on things to do and see in Honolulu from the perspective of a solo female traveller!