Smartest Transportation from Hawaiian Airports

Once you arrive in Hawaii for your action-packed vacation in paradise it will seem that you almost immediately are going to incur a rather large expense.  Getting from Honolulu Airport to your destination (hotel, campground, hostel) can be a bit pricey.  If you’re luck then you have a friend living on the Islands that can pick you and get you to where you need to be.  However, if that’s not the case then take a look at some alternatives.

Rental Car

Just like most major airports, Honolulu International has many car rental options.  You may have to shuttle to sign for, rent and pick up your vehicle but it all ends up being pretty simple.  Keep in mind that most (95%) of car rentals in Hawaii cannot be done with a debit card regardless of whether it has a major credit card symbol on it.


If you’re going to and from the airports and your destination by taxi then you’re going to pay a pretty penny.  On average it costs $35 to $40 for a 7.9 mile taxi ride from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki and anywhere from $30 to $75 from Kona International Airport on the Big Island to most of the major hotels and resorts.

In some cases you may be able to find a cheaper shuttle service from a person or company on the Islands but just keep in mind that they are not allowed to wait in the taxi lines at airports and details will need to be worked out prior to your arrival.


If on Oahu, then the Island’s Bus system (aptly named, “TheBus”) may be your best bet.  Bus Route #19 will be the bus route you’re looking for and it picks up at Honolulu International Airport Departures Level.  The route includes: Hickam Air Force Base, the airport, Nimitz Ave, King Street/Punch Bowl, Ala Moana, Ala Moana Shopping Center (getting closer to Waikiki) and then on to stop on Saratoga/Kalakua and Monstarrat/Kalakua.

The cost is $2.25 for adults while senior and children 6 to 17 years old are $1.25.  While this may seem as though it is more inconvenient than the other options, it is actually a very popular method of travel on Oahu.

Hotel Shuttles

If you’re staying just one-night in one of the many Waikiki or Oahu hotels then you can assume that the hotel with have airport service.  Check with the particular hotel, though, to check if there is a schedule as many do not offer “land and call” service.

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