ALOHA!

 

Hawaii probably doesn’t come to mind as a destination for a solo trip. 

 

Solo travel going to Hawaii alone. female. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

Solo travel going to Hawaii alone. female. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

Solo travel going to Hawaii alone. female. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

Solo travel going to Hawaii alone. male. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

Solo travel going to Hawaii alone. solo trip things to do in hawaii. is hawaii safe. solo female travel or male. hostels in hawaii for backpackers. which hawaiian island - oahu, maui, big island, kauai. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

 

It would seem like a place that people only really go to with other people. Well, it’s kind of true. If you’re looking for it, then you’ll likely notice that most everyone in the top tourist spots in Hawaii is with someone else.

 

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a family destination. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a family destination. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a family destination. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a couples destination. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a couples destination. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a family destination - dad and son trip. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone or with friends. hawaii travel blog

Going to Hawaii alone when it's a family kid-friendly destination. hawaii travel blog

 

This will be true in almost every top tourist destination you go around the world.

So it can make it seem like no one is traveling to Hawaii alone.

 

 

So then…

Do people travel to Hawaii alone as a solo traveler?!

Is it weird to travel to Hawaii alone?!

Tips for solo travel to hawaii alone. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

 

There are hostels in Hawaii, and I have maybe stayed at like 10 of them.

And I can say that yes, there are tons of people who arrive in Hawaii alone!

During peak tourist season (winter months), some hostels can be completely booked up. And I’d say among people who stay at hostels, there are more people who are solo travelers, compared to those traveling with others. It seems that way anyway! 

So it’s only weird to travel to Hawaii alone if you make it weird! No, solo travel to Hawaii is not the “usual” thing to do, as most people DO travel to Hawaii with at least one other person. But that doesn’t mean that people don’t travel to Hawaii alone. Again, with any top destination in the world, people will be traveling with someone else more often than traveling solo.

 

 

Is Hawaii safe to travel alone?

Is Hawaii safe to travel alone on your own. hawaii travel blog

 

Two of the top activities in Hawaii are hiking and snorkeling.

And well, in an ideal world, it would be best if you didn’t hike alone, and it would be best if you didn’t snorkel alone. There are things that can unexpectedly go wrong even if you are reasonably careful.

In this sense, if you want to be as cautious as possible (while still not missing out on these activities!) you can choose to do the more popular hikes and go to the more popular snorkeling spots. This means a greater chance of there being others around and maybe seeing you if something does happen to you. And then there are also tours that you can book. (For example see the best Maui tours for an epic Hawaii experience.)

That said, be aware that there are many stories of people snorkeling alone in Hawaii who have died. Some people were even with other people but those they were with noticed them in trouble too late.

I’m a pretty low-risk person. There are a few activities in Hawaii I did with others I met at a hostel, but most of the activities that I’ve done in Hawaii I did alone, including hiking and snorkeling. So there is plenty to do in Hawaii that is generally safe.

Whether you’re traveling alone or with others, Hawaii also has many “natural” dangers like falling off a cliff, flash flooding, rogue waves, or shark attacks.

People, including many tourists, have seriously injured themselves and… to be dramatic… have also DIED from these things in Hawaii.

So it is important to be aware of the dangers of any place you visit in Hawaii. Be sure that you know the risk of any adventure you’re about to embark upon in Hawaii, whether that’s alone or with others. Check the weather before you go. See Maui County’s tips for avoiding natural dangers.

There is even a story about an experienced solo adventure traveler from Florida who was staying at a hostel in Hawaii whose activities resulted in death. He was said to have been found at the bottom of waterfalls located off the popular Hana Highway.

You can watch the video about that story below, and it also includes the story of another solo traveler from California that resulted in tragedy. 

 

 

In both cases, they are reported to have happened in East Maui, which is an area that can be seen as a more “rugged” part of Hawaii.

I went camping alone in East Maui, which isn’t as dramatic as it might sound. But on at least one of the days, I did leave a note on my pillow with what my plans for the day were in case I went missing when I was out and about. 😅 (I have done this when staying at a hostel too.)

As an even more recent case on another Hawaiian island: In May 2021, a traveler from Nebraska in his 20s was in Kauai for a 2 week camping trip, and he went missing… (Video below, and see more: facebook and gofundme.) As of mid-June, it is unknown what happened to him, but it seems like rain could have been a part of this tragedy. That is another natural danger in Hawaii. Rain in Hawaii can lead to dangerous hiking conditions and flash flooding along rivers and waterfalls.

 

 

And so, Hawaii CAN be a naturally dangerous place to visit. But if you take precautions, Hawaii CAN also be a relatively safe place to visit.

There are ways that you can minimize your risk level, and if you do that, then Hawaii is relatively safe whether you are a female or male. Although no matter where you travel in the world, things can happen no matter how careful you are.

Of course… NOT snorkeling alone, NOT hiking alone, NOT camping alone, and NOT traveling alone will always be safer…

 

Is it safe to solo travel in Hawaii alone as a female. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

Is it safe to solo travel in Hawaii alone as a male. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

 

Also, I like to wear bright clothes when I’m hiking. I hope that this will make me easier to spot if I do fall off a cliff or something, and I hope that it also makes me more memorable for people who may have seen me earlier in the day before I went missing… or something like that. 😬😅

It is also said that car break-ins do happen in Hawaii, so people will say not to leave any valuables visible in your rental car, or even in your car at all really. There has even been more than one story of a visitor’s rental car being stolen.

 

 

Traveling TO Hawaii alone doesn’t mean that you have to BE alone in Hawaii!

If you don’t want to be!

Solo travel to Hawaii alone - group tours at hostels in hawaii for backpackers. hawaii travel blog

Solo travel to Hawaii alone - group tours at hostels in hawaii for backpackers. hawaii travel blog

 

Sometimes traveling on your own can feel easier. You can do what you want when you want.

But if you don’t like the idea of being alone the entire time you’re in Hawaii, then staying at a hostel can be great. 

Hostels have shared dorm rooms which means you’ll have roommates of sorts. Most people are generally sociable so this can give you someone to talk to. “Where are you from” and “how long are you in Hawaii for” and “what did you do today” are questions anyone can answer and can work as an icebreaker question!

Most hostels will also have comfortable common areas where you can chill at, so you can socialize with others if you don’t want to be alone!

 

Solo travel to Hawaii alone - meet people at hostels in hawaii for backpackers. hawaii travel blog
During the day people are out and about! Evenings are generally the social gathering time at hostels.

 

While most people staying in hostels will stay in the shared dorm rooms, hostels also do have private rooms available if you’d rather have your own space while also having the community feeling that comes with staying in a hostel.

 

 

And…

There are even hostels in Hawaii that offer free group tours!

Solo travel to Hawaii alone - group tours at hostels in hawaii for backpackers. hawaii travel blog

 

On Oahu, there’s a hostel in Waikiki that offers free tours.

On Maui, there’s a hostel in Paia and a hostel in Wailuku that offer free tours. Both of these hostels have tours that do the Road to Hana, and the Wailuku hostel even goes to Haleakala National Park. These are 2 of the top activities on Maui, and you can’t get to these places by bus.

The “catch” for the free tours is that tips are appreciated ($10-20 is nice), but otherwise there is no catch!

If you are a social person traveling alone to Hawaii, these group tours can be a good way to meet people too. (While also going to some of the top spots in Hawaii!)

 

 

Best Hawaiian island for solo travel

For the reason that there are group tours at hostels on Oahu and Maui, I think these 2 islands can be the best if you’re traveling alone in Hawaii without a car.

Oahu there’s much you can see without a car (because there’s the Oahu bus), but to see THE top spots on Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai, you either need a car or to book a tour. 

But you don’t even need a car or to book a paid tour if you stay at one of the hostels on Oahu or Maui that offer free tours! 

So the free tours are really great most especially if you won’t be renting a car.

But if you will be renting a car, and you don’t mind doing activities alone, then you can really just pick any island based on which activities you like the most, I think! See more about why you might want to rent car on Maui.

The islands of Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai have hostels. These are the main Hawaiian islands. (Honolulu and Waikiki are on Oahu. Kona is on the Big Island.) You can also look into staying at an airbnb in Hawaii. 

But if you’re going to Hawaii without a car, then Oahu or Maui would be best, I think. 

On Oahu, the hostels are mostly in Waikiki. To do things around Oahu, you can get around by bus. Within Waikiki and Honolulu, there’s also bike sharing. There’s a hostel on the North Shore too, but the reviews are not very good. Otherwise, the North Shore would be a good place to look into as it has more of a chill laid back vibe compared to Waikiki. Maybe try an airbnb. The North Shore is an international surf spot. (Surfing season is winter.)

On Maui, if you’re without a car, I’d say maybe stay at one of the hostels with free tours for a couple of days at least to do the Road to Hana and/or Haleakala. (They are on certain days so you’d have to plan for it.)

Aside from that, Lahaina in West Maui is worth looking into. It’s a walking town and there are a couple of small beaches nearby.

There are 2 hostels in Lahaina. (Last I checked, none of the Lahaina hostels offer free tours.)

From Lahaina, you can take a bus to Kaanapali and Kapalua (30 minutes/1 hour ride). There is a bus you can get from the Maui airport.

If you have camping gear, you can camp on the Road to Hana (car required), and you can also take a ferry to the neighbor island of Lanai from Lahaina for beach camping on Lanai (no car necessary).

See more about hostels on Maui!

On the Big Island, when I went, there were 3 hostels on the Kona coast. There is bike sharing in Kona. There was also a hostel in Volcano village right near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There are also hostels in Hilo

The nightly cost of hostels in Hawaii generally range from around $40 on Oahu and Kauai to $50-60 on Maui and the Big Island.

 

 

So…

If you’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii but don’t have anyone to go with, then don’t let having to go alone stop you from going on a trip to Hawaii!!

Solo travel to Hawaii - flying to hawaii alone. hawaii travel blog

Solo travel to Hawaii - going to hawaii alone. hawaii travel blog

Solo travel to Hawaii - snorkeling in hawaii alone. hawaii travel blog

 

And by the way, I’ve met people who are in different age groups traveling alone in Hawaii! While most do tend to be in their 20s, there are travelers past their 20s that are solo travelers staying at hostels. I’ve met people who are in their 30s and 40s, probably 50s, and even someone who was likely in their 60s! (At a hostel in Japan I even met a man in his 70s staying at a hostel traveling alone! I think he was from Canada.)

 

 

Now…

Have a look at activities on different Hawaiian islands to see which island interests you the most!

 

OAHU

 

MAUI

 

BIG ISLAND

 

LANAI

 

HAPPY TRAVELING TO HAWAII ALONE!

 

Solo travel going to Hawaii alone. solo trip things to do in hawaii. is hawaii safe. solo female travel or male. hostels in hawaii for backpackers. which hawaiian island - oahu, maui, big island, kauai. Backpacking Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...

For a Hawaii experience you are sure to remember, get out on the open water to sail the ocean!

Look for the reviews!
  • OAHU: Take a look at a morning sailing trip like this one that includes snorkeling and sailing with the iconic Waikiki skyline as your backdrop. (It comes with a good chance that you'll be swimming with turtles!)
  • MAUI: Take a look at a catamaran cruise like this one from West Maui to the coast of Lanai that can include snorkeling, seeing the West Maui Mountains and Lanai cliffs from the boat, and maybe even seeing some turtles and dolphins!
  • BIG ISLAND: Take a look at a catamaran cruise like this one off the Kona coast for the chance to swim with manta rays at night. (One of THE most popular types of tours in Kona!) Or for a daytime boat ride, take a look at a sailing trip like this one off the Kona coast to go snorkeling at one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island.
  • KAUAI: Take a look at a catamaran sunset sailing trip like this one along the famous Na Pali coast.

ALOHA!