Monday, August 22, 2011

Oahu Travel Tips


Aaahh...paradise. My family just spent 7 glorious days in Hawaii and this week's post topics are all the things I did or saw or ate and said, "I'm gonna blog about this when I get home."

Today's topic: Oahu Travel Tips

1. Rent a car. You will find many reviews online that say you don't need a car if you stay in Waikiki but if you listen to them, you will come home and say, "I don't really like Oahu. It's too touristy." and that will just piss me off. (For many reasons, and the main one being that you think the word "tourist" does not apply to you.) Duh people--if you stay in Waikiki without a car, all you see is Waikiki, which is very crowded and loud and, yes, touristy. There is so much more to this island; you really need to get out and see it. (Stay tuned later this week for Oahu sightseeing destinations.)

2. Or take the bus. Here in California we drive everywhere so my kids were amazed to see schoolchildren and businessmen boarding the bus every day. Public transportation in Hawaii is great and you can ride The Bus pretty much anywhere you want to go for a couple of bucks and a transfer, without the hassle of fighting downtown traffic. A 4-day pass costs $25.

3. Brush up on your Hawaiian. I used to live on Oahu but my husband is from Michigan. He's what locals here would call "haole" and is entirely unfamiliar with the Hawaiian language. I did the driving on this trip and navigating downtown Honolulu with its one-way streets and lots of traffic can be pretty confusing, so Vince was my map guy.

Here's a typical scenario:
Me: OK, so we have to get to Kapiolani Ave.
Him: OK. (A few minutes go by...) Here it is--turn right here.
Me: What? Where? This is Kalakaua.
Him: Oh. Sorry.
(A few minutes later...)
Him: OK, turn here. Kahili.
Me: I thought we were going to Kapiolani.
Him. Oh. Sorry.

Luckily, we were on an island and could only get so lost...

4. Do not play the Alphabet Game with street signs. There are only 13 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet and B is not one of them, so this game ended pretty quick.

5. Eat some Spam. You will be surprised at how easy it is...even McDonald's serves it. You can get Spam musubi (rice with a piece of Spam on top, wrapped with seaweed, or nori) at any food court in any mall but our favorite is the Zip-pac at Zippy's, a local fast-food chain. It's 2 scoops of rice sprinkled with furikake (seasoned nori flakes), macaroni salad, and four pieces of meat: teriyaki beef, fried chicken, fried fish, and Spam. So salty! So tasty!

Do you think she likes it here?


  1. Cute family! I would love to go to Hawaii someday. Great to know that they have good public transportation there!

  2. Such great tips! I've only been to Oahu for business and never thought I'd go back (the flight it SO long!) but then I saw pictures of a friend swimming with sea turtles... I'll go back for that.

  3. Oh, what a nice vacation! I am jealous of the last picture and wish very much that that was me.

  4. That water looks amazing! Not so sure about the Spam, though... HA!

  5. Oh, how lovely! Would it surprise you if I say I wanted to see Hawaii? So, all your advices will be taken in consideration by this careful pre-planner that happens to be me, and funny as I am, I will wish out load that I want to even live there and maybe some day I will write a comment on your blog right from Hawaii. So, keep on pouring the tips!

  6. What a great time! Thanks for the tips...I hope to visit one day!

  7. Hawaii, the Pacific Paradise. Have never been there but would love to go ... well maybe someday. :)
    Looking forward to your future posts on where to go and what to see in this Heaven on Earth.

  8. Mmm...spam musubi. Did you get to Ono Hawaiian Foods for the kalua pig?