It’s an unfortunate question that people ask when it comes to visiting any new destination. But given that we’re talking about the land of aloha is there really any cause for concern? Is Oahu indeed safe for women who choose to travel alone? Allow us to answer the question – yes, Oahu is absolutely safe. That said, there are some things to consider when planning your itinerary.
4 Things You Need to Know As a Woman Traveling Alone Around Oahu
Outdoor Adventures to Avoid?
This point really isn’t so much about heading out on an island adventure alone as a woman as much as it is about going alone, period. Would we advise that anyone hike the Haiku Stairway to Heaven solo? Given that you have to show up in the dark around 4 or 5 AM before security starts their shift we can say it’s a bad idea.
It really comes down to how comfortable you are with heading into remote areas alone, where a lot of Oahu’s best attractions are. A solo swim and exploration of Mokoli’i Island? Mountain biking around Kaena Point State Trail on the west side at sunset? Save those and other isolated attractions (WWII pillbox destinations, etc.) for next time when you have someone to travel with you. Otherwise, simply take the following “best practices” to heart and you’ll have a great (and safe) time:
- Create an itinerary and leave it with hotel reception (or host) to let them know that you’re going out on a hike or long distance paddle (i.e. Mokulua Islands) and so forth.
- Let someone back at home that you’re going out on an adventure and to alert the authorities if they don’t hear back from you after a certain time.
- Prepare for island weather. Rainy and wind change quickly here and a sunny day can quickly turn hazardous.
- Pack essentials, including a first aid kit, flashlight, fully charged smartphone, sunblock, water, and snacks.
- Where appropriate attire for the activity, such as a windbreaker and hiking boots. Also wear bright clothing.
- Stay on designated pathways and trails
Given that Honolulu attracts partygoers from the mainland the same unfortunate concerns that apply to a woman going out at night ANYWHERE in the world apply. When people drink and have no one to watch out for them bad things can happen. This is far less likely in Honolulu than New York, LA, Miami, and so on, but the risk of running into a nefarious drunkard is present, even if rare. Instead of nightclubs in Chinatown or even those on Kuhio Avenue of Waikiki, stick to hotel adjacent places like Duke’s Barefoot Bar, Maui Brewing Company, and Tiki’s Bar & Grill on Kalakaua Avenue which are bustling, highly visible, and super-friendly places to enjoy beer and cocktails along side friendly locals and visitors. When heading back to your Waikiki area accommodations late (after 10 PM) night walk along Kalakaua or hail an Uber/Lyft. Be sure to avoid walking Kuhio Avenue after 10 PM or you may get solicited by traveling businessmen who assume that you provide a “service”. While Kuhio has cleaned up over the years, there are some stragglers left on the block.
Of all things that may make you feel uncomfortable alone on Oahu, TheBus tops the list. We won’t sugarcoat Honolulu’s public transit system when it comes to this. Aside from the quick jaunts from Waikiki to Ala Moana Center, Hanauma Bay, and other routes that are packed with fellow visitors, TheBus does collect come questionable characters. For instance, if heading from Honolulu to snorkel at Electric Beach Park on the west side there’s a good chance that a creepy old guy that smells of Smirnoff and cheap aftershave will sit near you to strike up a conversation. It doesn’t go beyond that, but if such a thing makes you uncomfortable you might reconsider public transit and opt for a ride share or car rental.
Police Presence and Good Samaritans
Hawaii 5-0 is everywhere in Waikiki and Honolulu. If in the off chance someone is bothering you there are police cruisers up and down the road to shut down the threat quickly. Then there are the local enforcers, which include the Waikiki Beach Boys, bartenders, hotel concierges, lifeguards, and good samaritans throughout the island. You can turn to them if anyone oversteps in your direction. This is not a place where people look the other way – we take care of our people, including those who just arrived.
If you have a certain activity in mind and are unsure how safe it may be when traveling alone, please feel free to message us on Facebook. We are more than happy to provide you with some helpful advice.
~ ALOHA ~