A Solo Trip to Hawaii
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Aloha! I recently returned from one of the most amazing, eye opening trips of my life. A solo adventure to Hawaii.
Man, my week was insane! I got lost, met new friends, and stayed at an Air BnB. Alone.
It was the trip of a lifetime and I just wanted to write some of the stuff I learned in case you ever want to travel to Hawaii or make your own solo trip.
Nothing Goes Exactly As Planned
So be prepared. During my layover in Seattle I lost track of my photo ID and didn’t realize it until I was in line at security. Thankfully, I had a passport card, but I would’ve been toast otherwise.
Have a copy of your photo ID, as well as your ticket. Know exactly where you’re going to be staying and how you’re going to be traveling (Bus? Uber? Lyft? Rental Car? Bike?)
I wish I would’ve given myself at least a month to prep for my journey to the islands. There were so many things I forgot to bring, making me spend quite a bit when I got there. (Which adds up! Especially in Hawaii since most everything has to be imported!)
Here’s a basic checklist of important items that you may want before you go.
- Groceries (Food is expensive there, so if you want to stick to a budget, I’d recommend taking some of your basic groceries. But check with your airline first to make sure what you’re packing is allowed.)
- Rash Guards (I got badly sun burned my first day. A long sleeved shirt or rash guard would have saved me a lot of pain.)
- Umbrella (Rain is very common in Hawaii. I forgot an umbrella and my second day it poured! And a normal umbrella is hard to find)
- Selfie Stick
- Underwater Camera (The cheap ones at Walmart are great if you’re on a budget but if you have a GoPro that’s awesome too. Or your smart phone)
- Contacts and accessories (I was so disappointed went I went snorkeling to forget my contacts. These are a must!!!)
- Extra Change (If you aren’t renting a car and you’re on a budget I recommend taking the bus. The buses there can get you anywhere and you can buy a day pass for $5.50. But you’re going to need exact change. ABC stores have ATM’s but very few stores will just give you change if you use a card, so plan accordingly.)
- Camel Pack (Again, especially if you’re on a budget, this little item saved my hide. If you’re using the bus system, you’re going to be walking. A lot. The sun will scorch you if you’re not careful and it’s easy to get dehydrated. So make sure you have lots of water on your person!)
- Google Maps App (I had no idea how great this app was until I got to Hawaii! If you’re planning on using the bus, this app is vital. It’ll tell you the exact bus and route you need to take to get to your destinations and how long it will take.)
- Reef Safe Sunscreen
- Aloe Vera
- A Hat
Solo Travelling Isn’t For Everyone
I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve read about people who have such amazing experiences travelling solo. They meet incredible people and go on these fun adventures.
And I agree! I learned a lot from my experience about myself and other people. However, it might be awhile before I travel solo again because…
Solo Travel Gets Lonely
My second day was my hardest day. I was badly sunburned, exhausted, and lonely. I had no one to laugh with about my misadventures and I got really lost.
Yes, there are a lot of perks to solo travelling. I recommend trying it at least once or twice to see if you do like it, because it’s not for everyone.
You Are In Charge
If you get lost, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. Bored? That’s your own fault. Tired? You should’ve planned better. Lost? No one here to blame, but you.
A lot of people may enjoy that freedom and independence, but for me it got a little tiring. I enjoy following others and seeing where they want to go. I’m a fairly laid back person so there aren’t a lot of things that I’m dying to see for myself.
That doesn’t mean I won’t go adventuring again 😉 it just means I’m going to plan my next trip better so I’m not sitting in my room sick and sun burned.
What I Would’ve Done Differently in Hawaii
I would’ve planned my trip better and rented a car. I enjoyed the experience of riding the bus and meeting strangers from all over the world, but after awhile, it got tiring.
The buses do travel all over the island, but they can take twice as long as driving. I also didn’t feel safe using public transport at night so had to turn in early. Keep that in mind for your own adventuring.
I also would’ve planned for more hikes and tours. The tour I went on was my favorite part.
So I wish I would’ve done more of those and filled all of my days with enriching experiences.
All in all, I wouldn’t trade my experiences in Hawaii for all the world. I met a woman from Germany that I hiked Diamond Head with.
I explored the Polynesian Cultural Center with a woman from Montenegro.
And I met a group of gals from California enjoying a girl’s trip 🙂
I may not go on another solo trip for a little while, but in the meantime I’m going to savour my experiences and enjoy being home ☺️
- Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). It’s pricey but definitely worth staying for the whole experience.
- Pearl Harbor. It’s mostly outdoors and can take the whole day if you do all the tours, but definitely worth checking out.
- War Museum in Battery Randolph. It’s free and surprisingly big. It will take you a couple of hours indoors to read and look through everything. It’s nice if you need a break from the sun.
- The North Shore. It has the biggest and best waves in the winter. I also noticed a lot of fishermen here.
- Waikiki beach is full of tourists. If you want a more remote beach experience check out Kailua or Lanikai Beach. They are about thirty minutes away from each other and gorgeous! However, Lanikai has Zero. Shade. Great for a tan but plan for that.
- Its just beautiful. Muggy, warm, and beautiful. Found these babies everywhere 😊
Also, you can ask around and google cool things to see like the stairway to heaven. There’s lots to see and do in O’ahu, I haven’t even scratched the surface!
I hope this post helps you on your own adventures! If you’ve been to Hawaii, what are your recommendations of things to see and do?