If you’re a travel bug, you probably love traveling alone every once in a while. It’s a completely different experience, even if you have been to the same place with friends or family before. However, while traveling solo is always an exciting prospect, it’s not exactly the safest way to go – so should you travel to Hawaii on your own?
You should travel to Hawaii alone as long as you take the necessary safety measures. The country’s locals are very warm, friendly, and welcoming to tourists, and you can expect to have a wonderful time, but it’s important to take safety precautions and do your research before hopping on a plane.
If you’re planning to go on a solo trip to Hawaii soon, you’re in for a thrilling adventure in one of the best island destinations in the world. However, before you go, here are five things to keep in mind about your trip:
Things To Know About Traveling to Hawaii Alone
1. You Have To Take Extra Safety Precautions
As exciting as traveling alone can be, it always comes with greater risks than traveling with other people. On the flip side, when it comes to being able to explore such a beautiful place without having to consider other people in the planning and itinerary, who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity, right?
Just remember not to let your eagerness to have fun make you forget about keeping safe in this island paradise. It may be beautiful, but just like any popular tourist destination (and, in fact, any place in the world), there is always the possibility of danger.
Maui, being one of the most tourist-dense areas in Hawaii, has the highest crime rate in the country, followed by Kauai and Big Island.
Ask Hotel Staff for Safety Tips and Recommendations
You should always do your research about the destinations you’re going to in advance, but don’t just stop there. Once you get to your hotel or accommodation, ask the staff for safety tips and recommendations about places you’re planning to visit or activities you want to do.
Since they are most likely locals, they will know the place so much better and can give you insider advice that you may not be able to get through a quick Internet search or from friends who have been to Hawaii.
Some of the things you can ask about include the following:
- Safety of the area at night
- Basic do’s and don’ts
- Safe places to eat or drink
- Beaches or trails that are unsafe
- Available travel groups
- Group tour sessions
- Advice about places in your itinerary
- Emergency hotlines
- Taxi and other transportation numbers
While you don’t have to limit your activities based on what they say, you can use their advice to streamline your itinerary and weed out certain places that are unsafe for solo travelers.
Secure Valuables and Cash in a Personal Vault
Don’t forget to buy a personal vault where you can leave valuables like jewelry, cash, and other important documents. You can keep this vault in your accommodation every time you leave so you don’t have to carry all your valuables around with you.
If you don’t have one yet, you might want to consider this Rolling Nomad Polyester Travel Case with Lock Combination from Amazon.com. It’s water resistant (perfect to bring along when island hopping!), comes with dividers so you can easily organize important documents, and doesn’t actually look like a vault so it’s pretty inconspicuous as well.
However, if you want something more secure, you can go for this SentrySafe Portable Safe (available on Amazon.com) that’s made of durable alloy steel (practically nothing can bust this open) yet is tiny enough so you can throw it in your luggage without any problem.
Even if you do have a personal safe, however, remember not to simply leave it lying around in your hotel room or Airbnb. We certainly wouldn’t want people to touch our things, but we can never be too sure. As the old saying goes, better safe than sorry.
You can keep your personal vault under your bed, inside the dresser, or in one of the cabinets. Also, don’t forget to bring the key with you!
Don’t Go Hiking Alone
Hawaii is known for its natural beauty, and there is no end to the beautiful hiking spots that you can go to. However, hiking alone, especially on trails that are particularly secluded or tricky, can be very dangerous. If you get in an accident, hurt yourself, or lose your way, you’ll have no one to help you.
So even if you have been on several trails in the past (some may be on your own), it’s never wise to do so, especially in a foreign country where you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of the place.
Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to forget hiking altogether.
The safer way to go about it is by going with a group. You can check for travel groups ahead of time and arrange to join them, or you can simply make friends on the spot and ask if you can join their group.
You’ll find that other tourists and even locals are very welcoming to solo travelers because they know how dangerous it can be to travel alone. So don’t worry about getting rejected. You might even end up getting invitations to join a family or a group of friends for dinner after the hike.
I also recommend reading my other guide on getting around in the Hawaiian islands before your arrival.
One thing about traveling alone is you are surrounded by strangers. While there is a wonderful possibility there of building new relationships and making new friendships, it’s always safer to mingle with caution.
Here are some tips on how you can do that:
- Avoid joining one-on-one invitations to secluded places.
- Let your friends and family know where you are and where you’re going.
- Avoid posting about your travel itinerary on social media.
- Try to join wholesome family groups or group sessions.
- If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut.
- If you’re a woman, try to strike up a conversation with another woman (preferably who is with a group of friends).
As you strive to keep yourself safe, though, don’t forget to have fun. You’re in Hawaii! Sure, crimes do happen here, but not as often as in some other countries. So try not to overthink it either.
Refrain From Carrying Valuables
When you’re in Hawaii, expect to be walking around, hopping from one island to another, and trying out different restaurants and bars. When exploring, remember not to carry your valuables with you.
Bring enough cash for any fees, food, and drinks, and not much else. Refrain from wearing expensive jewelry, designer bags, and other items with a hefty price tag, as they can make you a target of pickpockets and robbers. In other words, keep a low profile.
All your other cash and valuables should be left in your accommodation and kept safely in a vault or safe.
This not only keeps you safe from pickpockets but will also be much less of a hassle in case you forget your bag somewhere.
Avoid Secluded Areas at Night
You will be extra vulnerable when you’re alone, so try to avoid going to quiet and secluded streets or areas, especially at night. Stick to places where you can be seen and you can see people around.
Moreover, as much as possible, avoid walking to your accommodation late at night. You can try taxi apps instead, as they are a much safer alternative. It’s understandable that you want to have the full island experience by exploring the place on foot, but you can do that in the daytime instead.
Transportation apps usually have a safety feature where the precise location, driver, and information about the vehicle can be tracked, so you can be at ease.
It wouldn’t be a perfect island getaway if you didn’t party. However, try to stay sober the whole time you’re solo. You would not want to risk getting robbed or, worse, being the victim of a more serious crime just because you could not stay alert or take note of your surroundings.
Know your alcohol limits, and don’t push them. If you know you don’t drink alcohol too well, try to stay away from it. There are plenty of ways to party and have an exciting time without booze. Why not get to know the locals and make friendships that you can bring with you back home instead?
Make Friends With Other Tourists
You’ll be surprised at how tourists can look out for other tourists, especially those who are by themselves. Perhaps it’s because they know the risks involved too well and are, therefore, more willing to help you out.
So don’t pass up on the opportunity to strike conversations with other tourists that you meet at restaurants, on a hike, or while enjoying the beach. It makes things easier when you have people around who can look out for you or whom you can ask for help from should you find yourself in a tight spot.
2. It’s Best To Arrive in the Early Afternoon
A travel hack that you might find useful is to book a flight that gets you to Hawaii around the early afternoon instead of early in the morning or in the evening. This is because hotels usually allow guests to check in around noon or early afternoon.
This way, you don’t have to wait until you can check in, which can be a huge hassle if you have a big suitcase with you (I strongly suggest that you travel light, though). You can go straight to your accommodation, freshen up, and start your Hawaiian adventure.
On the other hand, if you had arrived in the early morning, you’d be waiting for hours, and you would most likely be too tired to enjoy your destination when you arrived. Late at night is also not ideal, because then you’d have nothing to do except look for food or maybe crash a party.
If you haven’t started planning your trip yet, you may be losing valuable time. Read my full guide where I discuss how far ahead you should start planning your trip to Hawaii.
3. You Can Explore Lesser-Known Beaches
One of the best things about Hawaii is its beaches. With no one to consider, get the opinion of, or wait for, you can go to as many beaches as you want.
Since you decided to travel to Hawaii by yourself, it’s safe to assume that you also wanted to have some peace and quiet, and enjoy the beauty of nature on your own, which means you probably want to experience that private beach feel – on a public island.
If that’s the case, then you’re right to come to Hawaii. It has plenty of secluded beaches where you can have a morning dip on your own. Here are some at the top of our list:
- Kealakekua Bay
- Waipio Valley Beach
- Mokuleia Beach
- Secret Beach
- Makua Beach
- Halona Cove
However, remember Safety first! So tell your loved ones where you’re headed, and be sure never to stay in a secluded location until evening.
4. Expect Things To Be on Island Time
When you’re in Hawaii, remember that you’ll be on Hawaiian time. And that means nothing is hurried here. There’s never any rush. So if you make friends with the locals and set an appointment to meet for drinks, don’t be surprised if they arrive a little later than you expected. That also applies to services and goods.
Eating out can mean having to wait for your food because they don’t whip up meals like a McDonald’s or a big city restaurant.
Try to enjoy the island vibe, and chill. If you’re coming from a place where you’re always in a hurry, being on island time can be refreshing.
5. Learning the Local Language Is a Plus
You will be going around on your own, which means that you’ll be communicating with lots of locals. While Hawaiians do speak English, it means a lot to them when you can speak to them in their own language.
It communicates that you appreciate their culture and their country, and they will be more open and friendly toward you. Hawaiians are really friendly, but you’ll need to build rapport if you want to make friends or have people to call for help.
Hawaii is a beautiful place to explore with friends but an even more exciting one to enjoy solo. Just remember to bear these tips in mind to make sure that you only make good memories of your trip.