Even though visiting Hawaii can definitely be a vacation dream come true, the Aloha State’s largest city, Honolulu, is a busy, vibrant metropolitan area with many of the attributes of America’s largest cities, including rush hour traffic. One national survey has rated the City and County of Honolulu only behind New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area in terms of traffic congestion. There are a number of reasons for this, including lack of highway options, metropolitan Honolulu’s high population density and lack of public transportation alternatives.
Luckily for cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco as well as Honolulu, most tourists are not deterred by rush hour traffic, and neither should you if you, particularly if know how to best deal with it. Regardless if you are renting a car, taking a taxi or riding on public transportation, here are some tips that you can help you spend less time on the road and more time doing on what you came to Honolulu, Hawaii for.
Drive in the Opposite Direction of Heavy Traffic on H-1 – If you’re staying in Waikiki as most tourists staying in Honolulu do, you’re in luck because if you’re driving outside the city in the morning on Honolulu’s major freeway, the H-1, you’re going opposite the flow of the heaviest traffic. But when you’re returning to your Waikiki hotel, try to return before 3:00 pm or after 7:00 pm as the afternoon rush hour on H-1, as you get closer into the city, tends to not favor one direction over another.
Be An Early Bird – Regardless where you are going, if you can, get up early and head out as soon as you can to avoid the morning rush hour traffic. This will not only get you where you want to go faster, but when you arrive at your destination, it will also tend to be less crowded.
Take Along A Good GPS – If you plan to rent a car, a GPS could be a useful tool while driving in Honolulu. Some of the newer fully featured GPS will not only give you directions; but they can also tell you about traffic conditions and how to avoid them. As they are pretty compact, you can bring it along with you or you can rent one from most rental car companies.
Visit Honolulu During the Summer – Traffic tends to be less congested during the summers because schools and colleges are out during this time. So there is less traffic on the roads during this time, especially during rush hours.
Visit Attractions by Tour Buses – There are numerous tours companies that will conveniently pick you up at your hotel, take you to major attraction such as the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Diamond Head Crater and more, and then take back to your hotel. Even though you might still be stuck in traffic, at least you’re not doing the driving. So when you get to your destination, you’ll be in a better, more relaxed state of mind to enjoy it.