By Bridget Gutierrez. This guide to traveling solo in Hawaii contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
Are you considering a solo trip to Hawaii?
If so, then you’re in the right place!
As a Hawaii local who knows the ins and outs of the islands, I’ve created the ultimate guide to help you make the most of your trip.
From choosing which island to visit to finding local activities and booking the best solo travel tours in Hawaii, keep reading to learn everything you need to know to have an authentic experience.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or both, this guide will provide you with the best advice and recommendations from a local.
⏳Short on time? Here are some quick tips for visiting Hawaii solo:
🚘 Car Rental: Discover Cars (save up to 70%!)
💸 Save Money: If visiting Oahu, get the Go City: Oahu All-Inclusive Pass to get access to 40+ local attractions and tours for one low price.
🏨 Accommodation: This accommodation map shows a mix of hotels and vacation rentals with prices. It’s currently set to the North Shore of Oahu, but you can easily change it to your preferred island and heighborhood.
🎉 Experiences: You can see a list of guided Hawaii tours here. A few top picks include:
–Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise (Honolulu, Oahu)
–Eye-Level Whale Watching Eco-Raft Tour (Lahaina, Maui)
–Volcanoes National Park Safari (Hilo, Big Island)
☔ Safety: While Hawaii is safe for solo travel, it’s still smart to pack travel safety essentials. One top pick is the She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm, which is TSA-approved and can help scare away potential attackers. Other recommendations include Clever Travel Companion Pickpocket-Proof Garments and Speakeasy Travel Supply Hidden Pocket Scarves
🏥 Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
📞 Staying Connected: Airalo eSIM
Travel Solo To Hawaii With Confidence [Free Course]
But first, before we get into how to plan a solo trip to Hawaii, I invite you to grab a seat in Jessie’s free Savvy Solo Traveler E-Course.
The 6-day course is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.
- Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
- How to choose your perfect solo trip
- How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
- Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
- Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
- How to take amazing solo selfies
Once you’ve grabbed your seat, read on to learn how to travel solo in Hawaii.
Is Hawaii Safe To Travel Alone?
Yes, traveling to Hawaii alone is safe, especially as the destination has a lower crime rate than many other US states.
In fact, according to SafeWise, Hawaii’s violent crime is lower than the national average, and it’s one of only 15 states to continuously see a decrease in violent crime rates.
In short, as a tourist, you’ll likely feel very safe exploring Hawaii alone — though, of course, crime does still occur.
This is why it’s wise to stay aware of your surroundings, avoid flashing valuables, and do your research so you know of any local scams or concerns to be aware of.
Where Is Hawaii?
Hawaii is a beautiful and unique state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean .
Made up of a chain of islands that include Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, Hawaii boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.
The islands are known for their stunning natural beauty — with gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, and towering volcanoes.
If you’re wondering where it is on the map, Hawaii is about 2,500 miles southwest of Los Angeles, California.
Getting To Hawaii
Getting to Hawaii may seem daunting, but it can be a breeze with some planning and preparation.
The best way to reach Hawaii is by plane, with several airlines offering direct flights from major cities in the United States and worldwide. Some popular airlines that fly to Hawaii include Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
If you’re flying from the mainland United States, you can fly directly to Honolulu International Airport on Oahu.
Hawaii has two international airports:
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu (HNL)
- Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole in Hawaii (KOA)
From there, you can catch a connecting flight to one of the other islands.
Getting Around Hawaii As A Solo Traveler
When you arrive in Hawaii, transportation options include rental cars, taxis, shuttles, and public transportation.
Renting a car in Hawaii
One of the best ways to see the sights during solo travel in Hawaii is renting a car, which will give you the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace.
It’s recommended to check out Discover Cars to quickly compare your rental car options.
Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!
Public transportation in Hawaii
However, if you feel uncomfortable driving or would prefer not to rent a car, other options exist — such as public transportation, ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, and even biking or walking, depending on where you’re staying.
If you’re staying in Honolulu, the bus is an excellent option as it covers most areas of the city and is the most affordable option.
Taxis are also available — but can be expensive, especially for longer distances.
Biking around Hawaii
Biking is a fun way to explore some of the more scenic areas of Hawaii, such as the North Shore of Oahu or the famous Ke Ala Hele Makālae bike path along the east coast of Kauai.
If you have a motorcycle license, a more adventurous option is renting a moped to explore independently. This allows you to see Hawaii on your own time while really immersing yourself in the scenery.
Hawaii Solo Travel Map
To help give you a lay of the land, here is a map. It has most of the main points and solo activities mentioned in this guide to Hawaii solo female travel pre-plotted:
Popular Solo Travel Destinations In Hawaii
On that note, let’s go over some of the best places to go when you travel Hawaii solo.
The following destinations are safe, fun, and have a lot to offer those doing a solo trip to Hawaii.
The first Hawaii solo female travel destination on the list is Honolulu, a city on the island of Oahu, which is full of fun things to do.
Honolulu is the best place to travel in Hawaii alone for first-time solo female travelers looking for a mix of urban amenities and natural beauty.
The city is known for its historic landmarks, vibrant food and shopping scenes, and beautiful beaches for a memorable solo beach trip.
One must-visit place in Honolulu is Waikiki Beach, where you can relax on the sand, catch some waves, or enjoy the city’s nightly scene.
If you want to explore Honolulu’s natural beauty, hike up Diamond Head — a 300,000-year-old dormant volcano — to get panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean.
If hiking is not your thing, drive up to Puu Ualakaa State Park, an underrated lookout point offering amazing views of the city and one-of-a-kind views of Diamond Head.
For a taste of Hawaiian culture and history during your solo travel in Hawaii experience, head to the Iolani Palace or the Bishop Museum.
You can take a guided tour of the Iolani Palace — a royal residence — to learn about the history of the Hawaiian monarchy. The monarchs played an important role in Hawaiian history, and their legacy is still celebrated and remembered today.
Alternatively, the Bishop Museum showcases an extensive collection of Hawaiian history, local culture, and natural history. Popular exhibits include Hawaiian voyaging, the Hawaiian language, and the cultural traditions of the Hawaiian people.
Honolulu truly offers the best of city and beach lifestyle.
Honolulu Hotels: Click here for a full list of hotels in Honolulu.
Honolulu Tours: Click here for a full list of fun tours in Honolulu.
North Shore, Oahu
If you are a solo female traveler looking for a laid-back and authentic Hawaiian experience, the North Shore of Oahu is the best place. This is where you’ll find many local things to do in Oahu, which is one of the more popular Hawaiian islands.
North Shore is great for relaxing and unwinding on its stunning beaches and lush landscapes.
The area is known for its world-class surfing during the winter season, though there is plenty to do beyond the waves.
Love hiking? Some beautiful moderate trails are Waimea Valley Trail — which takes you to the magnificent 30-foot Waimea Falls — and Ehukai Pillbox Hike, which offers beautiful views over the North Shore after taking you past several WWII “pillbox” bunkers.
If you love to explore underwater, you must go snorkeling in Pupukea Beach Park at Shark’s Cove — known for its shallow, calm, and clear water as well as its abundant marine life and sea creatures. While there aren’t actually sharks here, lucky visitors may get to see angelfish, butterflyfish, moray eels, and octopuses. It’s the perfect spot for beginner snorkelers.
After a day at the beach, head across the street to the local food trucks for lunch plates and poke bowls.
You can also find an abundance of food trucks in Haleiwa Town — which is also known for its surfing — and in Kauhuku.
A must-try is garlic shrimp from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck in Haleiwa. Just make sure to bring cash and be prepared for a long line — though it’s totally worth the wait!
The relaxed pace of life in North Shore makes it easy for travelers to connect with locals and other visitors, whether at a farmers’ market or the beach watching the sunset.
Oahu North Shore Hotels: Click here for a full list of hotels in Oahu North Shore.
Oahu North Shore Tours: Click here for a full list of fun tours in Oahu North Shore.
If you want adventure and relaxation, Maui is perfect for a solo vacation to Hawaii. Compared to Oahu, Maui is more rural and offers a more tranquil atmosphere with its scenic drives along the coast.
Maui offers the best hotels in Hawaii for solo travelers, from hostels to vacation rentals to budget-friendly hotels.
Solo travelers will find that Maui’s friendly locals and laid-back atmosphere make it easy to form connections and find adventure. Plus, the island is known for its natural attractions — including a volcano, secluded beaches, waterfalls, and even whale watching.
The best things to do in Maui are the scenic Road to Hana and visiting the Haleakala National Park.
Road to Hana is a 64-mile coastal road known as the Hana Highway that officially starts in Kahului and ends in Hana. Along the way, you can stop at waterfalls, black-sand beaches, local fruit stands, and farm-to-table restaurants.
While there are countless stops and sights to explore along the way, there are three must-see spots that should not be missed:
- Twin Falls is a beautiful waterfall with swimming pools. You can reach the falls via a relatively easy 1.8-mile hike just off the main road.
- Hana Farms Roadside Stand is a great mid-point stop to eat at before continuing the 34 miles left on the Road to Hana. This outdoor farm-to-table cafe serves healthy dishes made with local ingredients and fresh produce. I recommend trying out their beef brisket or kale pork farm plates. You can also buy freshly baked goods like banana bread and brownies, ice cream, produce, nut butter, and more.
- Waianapanapa State Park is a black sand beach where you can do much more than just swim. Visitors can explore a small cave on the right of the beach. On the other side of the beach, to your left, you’ll find a hiking trail that winds through the lava rock. The park does require a reservation to enter the park.
Within Haleakala National Park, you can book a bike tour to watch an awe inspiring sunrise at the Haleakala summit — 10,000 feet above sea level! Watching the sunrise while you are above the clouds is a one-of-a-kind experience, and afterwards you can do some downhill biking to experience the area’s natural beauty in a fun and active way.
The park is also full of hiking trails. One recommended trail is Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail, a moderate 3.8-mile hike that takes you to a gorgeous 400-foot tall waterfall.
You can view a full list of top Haleakala National Park hiking trails here.
If you’re wanting a peaceful solo travel in Hawaii experience removed from the big city vibes, then you can’t go wrong with Maui.
Known as the “Garden Island” because of its lush tropical landscapes, Kauai is the perfect tourist destination for solo travelers who love the great outdoors and don’t mind getting rained on.
The rural island is known for its beautiful hiking trails, with only 10% of the land accessible by car.
Hikers should head to Waimea Canyon State Park — known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This is because it resembles the famous Grand Canyon with its reddish hues — Waimea (“reddish water”) refers to the canyon’s red soil erosion — and massive size at 10 miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep.
The extreme rainfall on Mount Waialeale formed the canyon, which is one of the wettest places on Earth.
Prefer biking? Don’t miss the Ke Ala Hele Makālae bike path, an easy trail along the island’s Royal Coconut Coast, a nickname given to Kauai’s East Side due to its abundance of coconut groves.
And if you want to zipline, head to Koloa on the South Shore to go ziplining on Kauai’s longest zipline course. You can fly like a superhero along a 1000-foot zipline through lush forest and over the Waita Reservoir.
Beyond the above-mentioned adventures, a trip to Kauai is not complete until you see the Na Pali Coastline. These beautiful emerald-hued cliffs stretch for 17 miles, and can only be seen via hiking, helicopter, or boat.
The best time to do a Na Pali Coast boat tour is during a summer morning, as this is when the water conditions are the calmest.
Boat tours leave from Hanalei (only in summer months) on the North Shore as well as Port Allen on the South Shore. If possible, opt for Hanalei as you’ll reach the Na Pali Coast from here. Expect the boat tour to be about 4-5.5 hours long. You can choose to go on a catamaran or a motorized raft.
Another option is a Kauai helicopter tour, which offers stunning views over Waimea Canyon, Mount Waialeale, Na Pali Coast, and a few other spots. You can choose from “doors on” or the more popular “door-off” option — which provides unobstructed views and is great for taking stunning photos of Kauai.
Experienced hikers will love the challenge of trekking the 11-mile (one way) Na Pali Coast (Kalalau) Trail, which begins at Ha’ena State Park at Ka’a Beach and takes about 3 days to complete. Note that it requires a permit to hike and camp that must be booked in advance as the limited reservations sell out fast.
Even if you only hike a few miles of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful panoramic views.
Now, I’m sure you’re curious: which of these options for seeing the Na Pali Coast is best? In my opinion, the boat, as it is a longer tour and is way more affordable than a helicopter tour and way easier than a hike.
Hawai’i, aka Big Island
If you are a backcountry lover and want to explore not one, but two volcanos — one of which is active — Hawaii is the island for you.
Big Island is the largest island out of all eight major Hawaiian islands, with the two main areas to visit being Kona and Hilo.
Hawaii is home to Manua Kea, the largest volcano on Earth, and Kilauea, the most active volcano, located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
If you’re wondering whether visiting the Big Island with an active volcano is safe, the short answer is yes! While this may sound dangerous, the reality is that the area around the volcano is well-monitored, and visitors are typically kept at a safe distance.
The best things to do in Hawaii alone are to:
- go on a whale watching tour
- hike the scenic and historic King’s Trail (and other Big Island hikes)
- go snorkeling with manta rays
- take a helicopter tour of the Kilauea Volcano
- visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at night to see lava flows, such as from the Keanakako’i Overlook
- Just make sure to check if lava is flowing during your visit
Another interesting way to see lava flowing is aboard an evening lava boat tour, which gets you up close to the action.
Alternatively, you can go on a scenic drive along Chain of Craters Road, which provides the best view of the huge hardened lava flows year-round. On this road, you can stop at different points like Thurston Lava Tube, Halemaumau Crater, Devil’s Throat Crater, and Holei Sea Arch.
Big Island is also known for its coffee, particularly in Kailua-Kona. You can visit farms along the Kona Coffee Belt — like Greenwell Farms and Mountain Thunder Coffee — to tour the plantations, learn more about the production process, and taste local coffees.
There is also this in-depth Kona tour, which takes you to a coffee plantation, a bee farm, Kealakekua Bay, and Kaloko-Honokohau Park.
And if you’re just looking to kick back and relax, Big Island has plenty of luxurious resorts and spas where you can unwind — like Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, a beachfront resort on the Kohala Coast that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
With three swimming pools and a beautiful beach, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and soak up the sun. And for a truly indulgent experience, treat yourself to a massage or facial at the resort’s sumptuous spa.
The hotel also has several dining options to suit any taste, from casual family-style dining to farm-to-table Japanese-inspired dishes.
At Mauna Lani, you will surely receive exceptional service that will make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Big Island Hotels: Click here for a full list of hotels in Big Island.
Big Island Tours: Click here for a full list of fun tours in Big Island.
Advice For Solo Dining In Hawaii
Does the thought of eating alone during your solo trip to Hawaii make you feel self-conscious? Here are a few tips:
Bring an activity. Bringing a book or other enjoyable activity can give you something to focus on while dining.
Sit at the bar. It often feels less awkward to sit at a bar alone than a table. Bonus: you’ll have the bartender to chat with if you’d like someone to talk to.
Dine outside of main meal times. This will allow you to dine solo with less people around.
Opt for a food tour. There are many food tours in Hawaii, which have the added benefit of allowing you to meet other travelers and get insider knowledge from your tour guide.
Focus on your food and enjoy. At the end of the day, realize that nobody besides you is focused on the fact that you’re eating alone in Hawaii. So instead of caring what others may or may not think about you sitting on your own, focus on the delicious food in front of you.
Tips For Planning A Solo Trip To Hawaii
Now let’s chat about some important things to keep in mind during solo female travel in Hawaii.
1) Choose the right island. Each Hawaiian island offers a unique experience, so choosing the island that best fits your interests and travel style is essential.
For instance, Oahu and Maui are popular choices for solo travelers, with plenty of activities and reliable transportation options.
If you are visiting Hawaii alone and want a more rural environment to go hiking and camping, Kauai and Hawaii (also called the Big Island) are great options.
Once you pick an island, research its popular areas so that you can choose a centrally-located accommodation near to the things you want to do on your solo trip to Hawaii.
2) Be respectful. Hawaii has unique cultures and customs, so being respectful and aware of local traditions is essential. Also, respecting locals, nature, and sacred sights is crucial.
Here are few additional local tips for showing respect:
- When a car gives you the right way to pass, it’s a nice gesture to shaka 🤙🏽
- Saying aloha (hello) and mahalo (thank you) goes a long way
- Never touch or get too close to wildlife — it’s illegal!
3) Research local transportation. To make traveling to Hawaii solo easier, figure out your transportation method. Not all Hawaii islands have public transportation, and renting a car is always the best option if you’re comfortable driving.
Again, you can use Discover Cars to quickly compare your rental options.
Another excellent choice for solo travelers wanting to see the sights without renting a car is to book a tour.
4) Know how to stay safe on a solo trip to Hawaii. Hawaii is generally a safe destination for solo travelers; however, it’s essential to take precautions like:
- Pack important travel safety essentials
- Stick to well-lit areas at night, avoid isolated beaches or trails, and stay aware of your surroundings
- If you plan on hiking or participating in outdoor activities alone, let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to return
- Pay attention to any warning signs at the beach or at the beginning of the hiking trails
- Consider joining tours to meet other travelers and enhance your Hawaii experience
By taking these simple steps, you can enjoy all that Hawaii offers while staying safe during your solo travels.
What Does Hawaii Solo Travel Cost?
The cost of solo female travel to Hawaii can vary widely depending on your travel budget, trip style, and the length of your stay. That being said, the average weekly cost is about $2500 to $5000.
Here is a cost breakdown for a solo trip to Hawaii:
- Hostel dorm bed: $45 per night
- 3-star hotel room: $150 per night
- Car rentals: $50 to $150 per day
- Moped rentals: $50 per day for a 7-day rental
- Bus ride: $2.50
- Hawaiian shave ice: $5-$10
- Fast food plate: $10-15
- Restaurant entree: $22-50
Excursions: Hawaii offers a wide range of activities for free. If you want to do a tour, prices can vary widely; but, expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $200+ per activity.
A solo trip to Hawaii is expensive, but it’s worth visiting. To reduce costs, consider visiting outside of peak season — which is typically late December through March — and booking your flights and hotels a few months in advance.
Do You Need Travel Insurance For Hawaii?
When visiting Hawaii — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.
One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solo Travel To Hawaii
Now let’s go over a few common questions about planning a solo trip to Hawaii.
Q) Is Hawaii safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, Absolutely! Hawaii is generally safe for solo female travelers, and you can enjoy exploring this beautiful destination alone.
You’ll likely have a worry-free trip if you take standard precautions — such as staying aware of your surroundings, keeping your belongings close, and avoiding isolated areas after dark.
Plus, the locals in Hawaii are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, so you’ll feel right at home in no time.
Q) What is the best Hawaiian island for solo travel?
Oahu is often considered the best place in Hawaii for solo travel. It offers endless outdoor activities, museums, and iconic landmarks like Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor — which provide an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Hawaii.
For those seeking relaxation, Oahu has some of the best beaches in Hawaii, including Waikiki Beach and Lanikai Beach. Also, getting around the island is much easier than the other islands.
Q) What is the best time to visit Hawaii?
The best time to visit Hawaii is during the shoulder seasons of May to early June or September to mid-December. During these times, you can get score great deals while avoiding the crowds.
Hawaii’s climate is relatively consistent year-round, so you can expect warm temperatures and occasional rainfall no matter when you visit.
Q) What is the most affordable Hawaiian island to visit?
Oahu is often considered the most affordable island to visit. One of the reasons for this is that the island has a diverse range of accommodations — including hostels, hotels, and vacation rentals, making it easier to find affordable lodging options.
Additionally, Oahu has an excellent public transportation system that can take you anywhere on the island without spending too much.
Q) Can you drink tap water in Hawaii?
Yes, tap water in Hawaii is generally safe to drink. The water in Hawaii comes from the onshore aquifers or accumulated underground rainwater.
Due to its natural porous volcanic rock filtration, no fluoride is added to water; however, the taste of tap water can vary depending on the location and the source of the water.
Final Thoughts On Going To Hawaii Alone
Hawaii is a fantastic destination for solo travelers. As we’ve explored, Hawaii is generally safe for solo female travelers, with plenty of activities to suit various interests and budgets.
Whether you’re looking to relax on a beach, hike to a scenic waterfall, or explore the local food scene, Hawaii has something to offer.
From the stunning natural beauty of Maui to the bustling city life of Oahu, each Hawaiian island has its own unique charm.
While getting to Hawaii may require some planning, many airlines offer direct flights from major cities worldwide. Plus, once you arrive, getting around as a solo traveler is relatively easy — with plenty of transportation options available.
And with Hawaii’s consistently warm weather, there’s always a right time to visit, whether seeking a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure.
In short, consider the Hawaiian islands for your next solo trip!
What are your top tips for planning a solo trip to Hawaii?
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About The Author
Bridget is a mindful travel blogger based in Oahu, Hawaii. On her blog, bridgetgutierrez.com, you’ll find in-depth travel guides and helpful tips to help you travel to Oahu. Follow her travels on Instagram.
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