Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations and it is easy to see why. The area boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and pristine warm waters. Waikiki is built for walking, with numerous shops, restaurants, and café’s lining the main strip, all easily accessible from most hotels.
A huge portion of Honolulu’s economy is based on tourism, and the locals do an outstanding job of making everything incredibly easy for their visitors. There are small little offices throughout Waikiki that sell the various tours offered in the area. You can stop by any of these offices and book something different for every day of your trip. The tours range from luaus to snorkeling, moped rentals to surf lessons, Pearl Harbor trips to boat rides. There is something for everyone.
The best part about these activities is that they arrange all of the transportation for you. You just have to sign up and pay, and the company will take care of everything else. They have busses that pick you up at meeting places in front of various hotels. In many cases, the meeting point will be at a nearby hotel, since there are so many hotels in one area, but you will not have to walk more than a block to meet your bus.
Once on the bus, they will take your tickets and reference them with the list to ensure that they haven’t missed anyone. They will then give you all the information that you might need and provide you with any equipment that you might need. It’s the easiest system I’ve ever encountered!
I chose three activities that I felt really epitomized Hawaii: snorkeling in Haumauna Bay, Jermaine’s Luau, and Pearl Harbor. I booked a tour for every other day of my trip, so I had some relaxation time in between each activity. If you have enough time for a bit of a longer stay, I recommend using this method.
I spent 7 days in Hawaii, so the days that I didn’t have an activity planned I spent hanging out on the beach, drinking fruity mixed drinks, checking out the local shops, and hitting the local bars. I did the traditional thing and ordered a drink in a pineapple, but my favorite drink was the tropical take on a mimosa – guava juice and champagne. I even used one of the free days to try my hand at surfing! Hint: take a lesson.
The biggest drawback to vacationing in Hawaii is that it can get expensive. I got a great deal on my flight and hotel; but the tours, food, and drinks were pretty costly. If you are looking to do it on a budget, it can be done by taking a red eye flight, finding a hotel off of the main strip, and spending the majority of your time on the beach (for free!).
If you have some money to play with, a Hawaiian vacation on Waikiki Beach is a tourists paradise.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.