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Getting around in Hawaii

Explore the island you're on or hop across the Aloha State.


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Beach in Hawaii

Whether island hopping or staying put, you’ve got lots of travel options in Hawaii. Short interisland flights let you easily jump from island to island, while car rentals are among the easiest ways to sightsee once you’re on land.

Travel from island to island

Flying between islands is relatively quick and easy — most flights take around 30 to 45 minutes. One ferry system also runs to the more remote island of Lanai.

Internal flights

Daily flights connect all six of the major Hawaiian islands, with flights running nearly every hour from early morning until evening. Interisland airlines include Hawaiian Airlines, Ohana by Hawaiian, Mokulele Airlines and Makani Kai Air.

These are the major airports on each island:

Island Airports
Hawaii (The Big Island)
  • Kona International Airport
  • Hilo International Airport
  • Waimea-Kohala Airport
  • Kahului Airport
  • Hana Airport
  • Kalaupapa Airport
  • Lanai Airport
  • Molokai Airport
  • Honolulu International Airport
  • Lihue Airport

Boats and ferries

There’s only one ferry system that travels between the Hawaiian islands.

  • The Maui-Lanai Expeditions Ferry travels between Maui and Lanai and runs five times daily. It takes about 45 minutes each way.

Some cruise ships also travel between the Hawaiian islands, including Pride of America, Grand Princess and Radiance of the Seas.

Public transportation in Hawaii

Buses, taxis, shuttles and rideshare services are available in Hawaii, although your options are limited to planes and ferries on less-populated Molokai and Lanai.


Public bus systems run on The Big Island, Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Oahu has the most extensive public transportation system, with more than 100 routes throughout the island.

Island Bus company Cost App
Oahu (main public bus) TheBus
  • One-way ticket: $2.75
  • 1-day pass: $5.50
  • Monthly pass: $70
Oahu (tourist bus) Waikiki Trolley
  • 1-day pass: $45
  • 4-day pass: $65
  • 7-day pass: $75
Maui Maui Bus Transit System
  • One-way ticket: $2
  • 1-day pass: $4
  • Monthly pass: $45
Maui Bus
Kauai Kauai Bus
  • One-way ticket: $2
  • Monthly pass: $40
The Big Island Hele-On Bus
  • One-way ticket: $2
  • Monthly pass: $60

Taxis, rideshares and tours

  • Tour group. Group tours by bus and cruise ship are available throughout the Hawaiian islands. Helicopter tours are also available for areas that are difficult or impossible to reach by other means of transportation.
  • Livery services. Limo and private car services are available on the larger Hawaiian islands. Call in advance to reserve a driver.
  • Taxi. Taxis can be found at taxi stands, major shopping malls, the airport and business centers. Hailing a taxi from the side of the road is not the norm in Hawaii — call in advance to book.
  • Rideshare. Both Uber and Lyft operate in Hawaii, though it may be difficult to find a ride on the smaller islands.

Car rentals in Hawaii

For the ultimate experience of the islands’ lava deserts, jungles, beaches and mountains, rent a car. After all, some of Hawaii’s most stunning sights aren’t within walking distance of a bus stop.

Car rentals in Hawaii start around $30 per day, but depend on the vehicle size and service you use. You can usually get a deal if you rent for at least a week or two. And take a look at our car rental deals to save even more.

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, National and Advantage all service Honolulu International Airport.

Driving in Hawaii

Like in the rest of the country, drive on the right side of the road in Hawaii and follow the same traffic laws. The roads are generally well-maintained and signs are easy to read. Locals tend to be laid-back drivers, and using your horn could be considered rude — unless you need to do so for safety reasons. Foreign travelers can drive in Hawaii as long as they have a valid international driver’s license or a foreign driver’s license written in English.

Find a cheap car rental


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Airport transfers

Transfers to and from all major airports in Hawaii are available in both shared and private vehicles. You can book in advance with Viator and Jayride.

TheBus has three routes numbered 19, 20 and 31 that service the Honolulu International Airport. Buses are located on the second-level roadway by the center median strip and run every 30 minutes. An on-demand, door-to-door SpeediShuttle is also available from Honolulu, Kahului, Kona and Lihue airports and can be booked online ahead of time.

Book an airport transfer

Shared transfers: Kahului Airport airport to hotel
Shared transfers: Kahului Airport airport to hotel

Viator, a TripAdvisor Company

Shared transfers: Honolulu Airport to hotel or cruise terminal
Shared transfers: Honolulu Airport to hotel or cruise terminal

Viator, a TripAdvisor Company

Private transfers: any Hawaii airport to hotel
Private transfers: any Hawaii airport to hotel

Viator, a TripAdvisor Company

Bottom line

Getting around Hawaii is fairly easy and straightforward, although it pays to arrange travel plans in advance so you can make the most of your time on the islands. Don’t forget to check for car rental deals to help you save while touring Hawaii’s more remote destinations.

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