The Essentials: Honolulu

Experience island life at its best, where time slows down, shoes are optional and cocktails are aplenty. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have Hawaii on their bucket list. With the price of direct flights getting lower and more regular from both Australia and more cities in the USA, Hawaii has never been more accessible and affordable. If you haven’t been yet, you will definitely want to experience these perfect palm trees for yourself.

Location

Hawaii, USA

Time Zone

Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone UTC-10.

Getting There

You can fly directly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) from major cities in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) with Jetstar. You can also fly directly to Honolulu from most major cities in the USA. The main area of Honolulu, including Waikiki Beach is about 35 minutes from the airport by car. You can organize a shuttle or car service pick up in advance, or grab a taxi when you land at the airport.

Language

English.

Climate

Hawaii has a tropical hot semi-arid climate. Temperatures vary very little throughout the year, however the summer time is the dry season, with rain more prevalent in winter despite the consistently high temperatures.

Getting Around

If you’re planning to stay around the Honolulu/Waikiki Beach area, you can pretty much get around everywhere on foot or on local buses and tram cars. If you need to go a little further taxis are reasonably priced and an easy way to get around. If you’re planning to explore a little more of the island and want to visit the North Shore or the Dole Pineapple Plantation the best option is to rent a car either for the day or for a few days to allow yourself the most freedom and ease.

Currency

Currency is USD $. You can find ATMs everywhere and most if not all restaurants, cafes and shops accept credit and debit cards.

Internet Access

Most (if not all) hotels will include internet access in their mandatory resort charge, however they may restrict access to a certain amount of MBs per day. Many of the restaurants around the main street of Waikiki will have internet access for customers having a meal, but you might need to ask your server for their password.

The Main Streets

Kalakaua Avenue is the main street of Waikiki. It runs from Ewa to Diamond Head, all the way along Waikiki Beach. Along this street is where you will find shopping and dining options, as well as the entrance to most of the major beach front hotels.

Best Time To Go

May to September during the summer. However, Hawaii really has some great weather all year round and there isn’t really a bad time to visit the islands.

Can’t Miss

+ Take a tour or rent a car and explore the North Shore where you can find local turtles having a swim
+ Ride a horse or an ATV around Kualoa Ranch (which is where the original Jurassic Park was filmed as well as scenes from heaps of other movies)
+ Shop up a storm at Ala Moana Shopping Centre
+ Go snorkelling amongst the colourful sealife at Hanauma Bay
+ Make sure you experience at least one traditional Hawaiian luau for some amazing food and a cultural celebration
+ Take lots of time out to relax on the world famous Waikiki Beach

Good To Know

Most hotels in Hawaii charge a non-negotiable resort fee, which is charged on arrival when you check into the hotel. Depending on the hotel these fees are normally between $17USD and $25USD per night. These resort fees are often justified by being the “charge” for internet access, using the hotel towels, complimentary water, etc. Hotels are required to list these fees in their prices with all booking websites, so make sure you keep an eye out when you’re looking for hotels, or shoot them an email to double check before you leave. If you’re staying for a week or so this extra charge can easily add up to more than $200USD.

Check out all our adventure in Honolulu and around the island of Oahu hereFor more travel tips and to keep up to date with our adventures make sure you subscribe to our newsletter today

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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