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Oahu Travel Tips

Getting to Oahu
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii’s major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii’s visitors. All major domestic carriers and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere.

Airport Travel Tips
• Check-in baggage is limited to 2 pieces per person.
• Carry-on baggage is limited to one piece, along with one personal item such as a laptop computer bag, purse, briefcase, camera, etc.
• Be careful not to have overweight baggage; US weight restrictions when flying domestically are 22.5 kilograms, or 31 kilograms when flying internationally. The flight from the continental US to Hawaii is a domestic flight.
• Hang identification tags on your baggage and attach an identifying label to your laptop.
• When departing from Hawaii, all baggage must first pass through Agriculture Quarantine before proceeding to the airline counter for check-in. It is best not to bring fruit or other plants, unless you show proof that you are allowed to export them. Without proof, fruits, vegetables and plants will not clear Customs and will be confiscated.
• Once you check-in for your flight, you must go through a security scan. You must have your boarding pass and identification or passport ready.
• Follow the recommended airport arrival and boarding time given by your airline or travel agency. It’s always best to arrive at the airport early.

Staying on Oahu
Finding accommodation is easy on Oahu. You’ll find everything here from hotels, luxury resorts, boutiques, rentals and bed and breakfasts. Waikiki is where you’ll find the majority of Oahu’s hotels and resorts. Beyond Waikiki, you can find one luxury resort in east Honolulu (The Kahala Hotel & Resort), one on the North Shore (Turtle Bay Resort) and one on the Leeward Coast in the Ko Olina Resort area (J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa), as well as rental cottages and condos (apartments) throughout the island.

Any time of year is a good time to visit Oahu. The average temperature here is between 23˚-29˚ C. Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier while winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler. Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round. It is generally drier on the western (leeward) side and wetter on the eastern (windward) side.

Travelling on Oahu
You can get around by car rental, shuttle, taxi or Oahu’s public transport system. Many visitors also enjoy taking bus tours to conveniently explore the Island. Others rent mopeds and motorcycles. But to really experience all that Oahu offers, you should consider reserving a rental car in advance from the Honolulu International Airport.

Oahu’s city transport system is aptly named “TheBus”. Fares are reasonable, routes are extensive and there are special visitor passes for multiple day uses. For more information on fares, bus routes to popular attractions and other useful information visit

Another affordable option is the trolley (tram). The routes and destinations are not as extensive as TheBus but the trolley goes to most major tourist attractions and offers tickets for unlimited rides over a certain number of days. For more information visit or call (808) 593-2822.

Taxis are a great way to travel when in a group and the cost can be shared. You can find taxi stands at most major shopping malls, in the business district and at the airport. Note that rather than hailing a cab, finding taxi stands at major shopping malls and businesses as well as calling for pick-ups via hotel concierge or phone is the norm in Hawaii.

Currency Exchange
Hawaii’s currency is the US dollar. You can exchange currency at Honolulu International Airport (HNL), at the other major neighbouring island airports, and at resort destinations. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines are plentiful. Travellers cheques are accepted at many businesses.

What to Pack
It's warm in Hawaii, so pack your summer attire. You may want to bring a jacket or jumper for the evenings. Suits and ties are very rarely worn here. Bring some casual dress clothes or resort wear if you plan on experiencing Hawaii's nightlife. You can buy an aloha shirt and thongs (or slippers, as the locals call them) when you get here.

US standards on tipping apply:
Restaurants: 15-20%. Check to see if “gratuity” is included for large parties.
Bar: $0.50-$1 US per drink
Housekeeping: $1 US per bed, per night
Luggage porters: $1 US per bag
Doorman: $1 US for calling a taxi
Room Service: 10-15% of the total bill
Taxi: 15% of fare

The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian, although Hawaiian is not commonly spoken. Major resort areas often have customer service representatives who speak Japanese.

Internet and Electricity
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii’s major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii’s visitors. All major domestic carriers and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere.

Agricultural Inspection
The US Department of Agriculture enforces strict rules regarding the exportation of uninspected plants and animals and requires a declaration form for each person arriving in Hawaii. When departing, your luggage must pass a pre-flight screening for uninspected fruits and plants. You are welcome to take inspected fresh flowers and fruits home. Items purchased at the airport or mailed home from local vendors are inspected for you.

Useful Phone Numbers and Links:
The area code for the state of Hawaii is (808)
Australia Consulate: (808) 529 8100
Ambulance/Police/Fire Department: 911
Oahu Visitors Bureau: (808) 524-0722
Marriage License and Civil Unions: (808) 586-4545
Honolulu International Airport Visitor Information: (808) 836-6413
Agricultural Inspection: (808) 832-0566
Camping Permits: (808) 523-4525 (county), (808) 587-0300 (state)

Learn More: Special Needs Travellers