Rental Cars and Local Transportation
Some travelers dream of checking into their hotel or resort and never leaving for the duration of their stay. Many others like the convenience of a car for sightseeing or shopping. With so many tourists coming to the islands, it's no surprise that there are quite a few rental cars and agencies to choose from. Many vehicle styles are available, from inexpensive compact cars to luxury convertibles, four-wheel drives, and SUVs. You can also rent a motorcycle or moped, if you prefer.
Most major rental agencies are found in Hawaii, plus a lot of local ones too. Many have offices conveniently located at the airport for pickups and drop-offs. It's a good idea to make your reservations in advance, so you'll be assured that the vehicle you need is available upon arrival. Some airlines and travel services also have partnerships with rental car agencies and can assist with arrangements when you book your flight. Here's the contact info for the major car rental agencies:
Alamo 1-800-462-5266 www.alamo.com
Avis 1-800-230-4898 www.avis.com
Budget 1-800-527-0700 www.budget.com
Dollar Rent-A-Car 1-800-800-3665 www.dollar.com
Enterprise 1-800-RENTACAR www.enterprise.com
Hertz 1-800-654-3131 www.hertz.com
National 1-800-227-7368 www.nationalcar.com
Thrifty 1-800-847-4389 www.thrifty.com
If you don't want to drive, you have many other options to choose from. You can hail a cab — taxis are available on all islands. Your resort or hotel may also offer shuttle services.
Although Hawaii may seem like a bit of paradise, it's not always perfect. The normal precautions you might take in any big city are just as applicable to urban areas, such as Honolulu. It's best not to leave valuables like cameras in your unoccupied car, even with the doors locked. Most visitors have no problems with crime in Hawaii, but a little bit of caution can save you from a lot of potential stress.
Public transportation on Oahu is excellent. The bus system there, known as TheBus, will get you just about anywhere. On the Big Island, there is the Hele-On Bus. It has a limited schedule and might not take you exactly where you'd like to go, but you may want to consider it as an option. Bus service on Kauai and Maui is minimal, basically connecting the larger towns. If you're on Maui, Kauai, Molokai, or Lanai, it's probably best to have a rental car unless you're on a tour or plan to stay in one place.