How to Navigate Through Traffic in Honolulu

Typical traffic in Honolulu on a weekday.

Busy hour traffic in Honolulu.

How is Traffic in Honolulu?

Wondering if there is traffic in Honolulu? Unfortunately, there is a lot. Visiting Hawaii can definitely be a vacation dream come true. But the Aloha State’s largest city, Honolulu, is a busy, vibrant metropolitan area. And it has many of the attributes of America’s largest cities, including rush hour traffic.

One national survey has rated Honolulu only behind New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area in terms of traffic congestion. There are a number of reasons for this. It includes lack of highway options, Honolulu’s high population density and lack of public transportation alternatives.

Luckily for cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and 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 by doing so, spend more time doing on what you came to Honolulu, Hawaii for.

Drive in the Opposite Direction of Heavy Traffic on H-1

Staying in Waikiki as most tourists staying in Honolulu do? If so, you’re in luck. You’ll generally be driving outside the city in the morning on Honolulu’s major freeway, the H-1.  As a result, 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. This is the afternoon rush hour on H-1. But as you get closer into the city, traffic does not favor one direction over another.

Be An Early Bird

Regardless where you are going, get up early and head out as soon as you can to avoid the morning rush hour. This will not only get you where you want to go faster. But also 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 in Honolulu tends to be less congested during the summers. This is 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. They’ll take you to major attraction such as the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Diamond Head Crater and more. Then, they’ll 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 state of mind to enjoy it.