7 Must Do Things When Traveling Solo in Honolulu, Hawaii

January 3, 2019Fancy Nanc-ista

Do you ever want to travel to some place that nobody else wants to go? Have you ever had the urge to travel solo? Do you ever just need to reset and take time for yourself? This last December, I decided it was time for a mini break from everything and anything and packed my bags to Honolulu, Hawaii for an epic solo trip.

Back Story..
This isn’t the first time I did a solo trip though. I had traveled to Australia last year to meet with friends and before heading there I stopped in Honolulu for a few days solo. And even if I met up with friends in Australia, I had my own hotels so I spent a few days on my own there as well. That is when I fell in love with the idea of it and totally wanted to do it again for a longer period.

It’s crazy how times can change, if you met me 6 years ago I would have never thought I’d be this ambitious or confident to do anything alone – including little things like going to the movies alone, or going to networking events alone. Many of you may think about it and think it’s too scary or you don’t like being alone – but honestly it’s kind of awesome {think about it} you get to do whatever YOU want to do; you don’t have to WAIT on anyone; you can meet A TON more people; etc. One thing I learned about traveling is never let FEAR stop you from doing YOU – the worst that could happen is you do it and you don’t like it; but hey at least you tried right? That’s all that matters!

My Trip to Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii is a great travel destination to relax, reset and catch some beach time. These last few months have been quite stressful and I was overdue for a trip myself. So without a doubt, I decided to plan a week trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Everyone kept asking me why I chose this city specifically when there are other amazing, less touristy areas on the island – well the answer is Honolulu is an easy spot to travel solo. With many tourists visiting and more nightlife activities; it makes it easy to meet new people. Though I do want to visit Maui soon – I felt that city is more for families and if you’re in a relationship.

Anyway, if you ever decide to take a solo trip to Hawaii, I have curated 7 must-do ideas to do while on your own exploring Honolulu, Hawaii. See below:

1) Go on a hike.
Hawaii is a very outdoorsy and active type state – and Honolulu has some of the best hikes you should definitely explore. Unfortunately when I went, it was rainy season, so I only got to check out Diamond Head. But when I spoke to the locals these are the ones they recommended:

Diamond Head: This is a very popular touristy hike and can get pretty crowded. I did this hike when I was there last. It was quick and easy yet you still get a nice view. Though if you are looking for a less crowded and more peaceful hike, this isn’t a hike you should do.

Wiliwilinui Ridge: I heard this hike is very scenic, with amazing views of the city!

Koko Head Stairs: This trail was a railway that was built during World War II and was used to move personnel supplies up and down. There are 1,048 railroad steps – and is a real kick-butt workout! However, I heard these steps could be dangerous as the stairs aren’t shaped evenly, are worn down and can get very slippery if you decide to go on or after a rainy day.

Pillbox Hike: This was recommended to me many times – if you’re staying in Waikiki, it’s about 30ish minutes west of Oahu. This hike is known for its glorious views as it overlooks the surrounding suburbs and beautiful beaches of Oahu.

Manoa Falls Trail: If you want a hike with a waterfall, this is a must I heard.

2) Explore cheap eats and drinks during happy hour.
If you’re on a budget, no worries, most if not all restaurants and bars in Honolulu offer guests with happy hour specials daily. Read all about it in my latest guide of Honolulu’s best restaurants and bars.

3) Head to a private beach.
The public beaches can get very crowded with tourist swarming around. If you want to relax and have the beach to almost yourself – here are some beaches that you’ll find more locals hanging out at:

Diamond Head Beach: There are multiple areas of this beach – I went here the last time and it was very peaceful as there wasn’t many people around. I noticed a lot of surfers chill at this beach – so if you are one of them, definitely check it out!

Halona Cove: You have to hike a bit to reach this beach – but it will be all worth once you arrived. This beach has been featured in known films such as 50 first dates and Pirates of the Caribbean.

-Mokule’ia Beach: This beach is located on the North Shore of Oahu and has some amazing panoramic views. You can do more than just layout here, but is the perfect spot for fishers, snorkelers and surfers.

4) Sign up for a tour.
If you are traveling solo, one of the best ways to explore more of the island roots and meet other traveling tourists is to go on a tour. I didn’t get a chance to do a tour this trip but some I really wanted to do were zip lining, hiking tour, luau show, helicopter tour, and dolphin/whale watching.

5) Have dinner.
If you have a fear of dining alone, you must do it while traveling. Two ways to enjoy dining solo is to sit at the bar (if you want to be more social – I found that sitting at the bar is best especially if you’re alone. I had some of the best conversations with the bartenders and/or have met other solo travelers as well.) or sit where there’s a view.

6) Head to the Honolulu zoo or visit the Pearl Harbor Museum.
If you want to do more than just beach and hiking; you can head to the zoo or explore the Pearl Harbor attraction for a day.

7) Pamper yourself.
Because why not, you’re on vacation and you deserve it?? There are some great Groupon deals I found while searching for some! I actually treated myself to a 90 minute massage and it was AMAZING! I recommend going to the Honolulu Massage and Bodyworks – I had a girl masseuse (forgot her name) but she was so good, and she also gave me some great recommendations for the next time I came back.

If you are ready to take on this challenge – here are a few of my top tips if you’re traveling alone for the first time:
1) Find a place where you feel the most comfortable and safe.
For most of us, traveling alone can seem intimidating and I get that because that’s how I felt initially too. Since I have traveled to Honolulu for a few days last year, I felt comfortable; not to mention it’s super safe. Waikiki area is a very busy and touristy area, most of all times (even late at night) there are people outside. If you want to start off easy, I recommend you choosing a city where you’re familiar with and/or is a touristy location. I would also do some research before heading there to get an idea of where you’re headed.

2) Always let someone know where you are.
This should be quite standard – if you plan on traveling solo or even with a group of friends, always let someone close to you know where you are, or better yet, send them your location on Find My Friends app (that’s what I use). No matter where you decide to go, you never know what could happen.

3) Talk to locals.
One of the things I loved doing while traveling in general is meeting and talking to the locals – they are the key to finding out the must-see spots and eats around town! Don’t be afraid to dig deeper; ask them about the history and culture of the city – you’ll be surprised at what you can learn just by talking to them.

4) And lastly trust yourself & be confident, spontaneous and adventurous!
You have nobody to count on but yourself when you travel solo – but you got this! This is your time to do what YOU want to do and overcome your fear.

Places to Stay
I have stayed in a variety of hotels in Waikiki – some of my favorites are:
And if you missed it, read all about the best restaurants, bars and happy hours to visit here.
From the laid-back culture, sunny weather, and welcoming environment, Honolulu, Hawaii is a must vacation spot to check out when traveling solo. Don’t let fear get in your way – traveling solo has only made me more stronger, independent and confident. It has helped me to reset and figure out more of what I am capable of – it’s truly a gift, a breathe of fresh air and something you should at least try once! πŸ™‚
Looking forward to my next solo adventure! What are your favorite cities to travel alone?
xo,
Fancy Nancy

Comments

  • Unknown

    January 28, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Its a very informative post Nancy! I have just started solo and I know how scary just a thought about it can get if you have never travelled solo. But inner fear subsides once you start travelling.
    Hawaii has been my dream destination but its ridiculously expensive for me. But I will definitely go there once.

  • Unknown

    January 28, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    I've not been to Honolulu, Hawaii before. Your beautiful photos and write-up makes me want to jump on a plane and fly there!

  • Nafisa Habib

    January 28, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Good to know Honolulu was even safe to travel solo. I'm loving this beach destination, is there many budget accommodations as well?

  • Kenny T.K. Chow

    January 28, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Some good suggestions and I love Hawaii so much.
    I think just by sitting on the beach is a great thing to do when I am there.
    Another activity that I would love to try is a helicopter scenic ride πŸ™‚ @ knycx.journeying

  • Cherrie

    January 28, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    These are great activities that you put together. I haven’t done much solo traveling but I think Hawaii will be a safe place to do so.

    xx
    Cherrie

  • Nancy Sevilla

    January 30, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Thank you, I tried to include as much info! And yay for you, that's exciting, and you're right, it's scary at first glance, but then it goes away!

    Where do you live? Hawaii can be expensive to get there, but can be cheap once you get there! What I found useful for booking good deals on flights is an app called Hopper. Hope you get to travel there at least once! <3

  • Nancy Sevilla

    January 30, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Aw bummer! Hawaii is definitely a must – weather is beautiful (For the most part) and the people there are so friendly!

  • Nancy Sevilla

    January 30, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    Yes, I love it! Yes you should definitely check out my post on budget related restaurants/bars, I have also wrote about hotels that are definitely affordable, I'll link them below:

    http://www.fancynancista.com/2018/12/best-places-to-eat-honolulu.html

    Hotels:
    http://www.fancynancista.com/2018/12/hotel-review-aqua-oasis.html
    http://www.fancynancista.com/2018/01/waikikigatewayhotelreview.html

    Hope this helps!

  • Nancy Sevilla

    January 30, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Yes! The beach is a must!! I would love to do the helicopter ride in Kauai – I may be heading out there soon! :))

  • Nancy Sevilla

    January 30, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you!! Yes, Hawaii is totally safe to travel solo – so many people do it!!! :))

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