Solo Female Travel Hawaii



In October, a fellow blogger asked me if I had ever been to Hawaii. My response:

"No, and I'm not sure if I ever will. It's just so expensive to fly to such a small island."

Fast forward two weeks and I was clicking submit on for a three week travel plan. My first stop being Oahu, Hawaii.

Travel is so unpredictable. Places I never imagined are suddenly imaginable thanks to a lot of research and killer flight deals.

So last month I began adventuring, touring and discovering Oahu, Hawaii as a solo female traveler.

With no plans and no idea what the island had to offer, I had to start on some research....about two days before I showed up. I sat on the plane on my layover in Phoenix staring at my phone waiting to see if I could sleep on the couch of a friend of a friend my first night. God, I am such an awesome procrastinator. And for having little planned-not even a place to sleep, I have to say things went extremely well.



Solo female travel is extremely intimidating at first. Half of the people you meet will think you are completely insane and the other half with think you are the coolest person alive. Traveling alone opens you to meet amazing new people and to lead you on adventures you never knew existed. It also strips you of all your comfort and forces you to be in situations most would find uncomfortable.

For example: eating alone. Others tell me all the time they feel bad for people at restaurants who sit alone and that in fact they look lonely. With solo travel, be prepared for those "I feel bad for you" stares. But you are not afraid.

I took a tour on the island and was the only single traveler of the group. But I never felt alone. I paired up with some friendly guys from the Philippians and we had a kick-ass time biking the beaches of North Shore, SUPing, Kayaking and just hanging out. Plus everyone else wants to learn your story. Once they find out you're alone it's a flood of questions:

"Aren't you scared being a female and alone?"

"How long are you traveling for?"

"You're not seriously all by yourself...are you?"

But in the end, a majority give you major props. And hell, maybe I am a little crazy...but I like it that way.




So I show up to Hawaii and stayed with some amazing people from, who were more than kind to open their home for me for the first few nights. After that, I just started floating. A hotel here, staying with an old high school friend there. I usually discovered where I was sleeping the day of after being sent on the street with my backpack and no plan. I'll admit it was extremely stressful but extremely fun. I always love to be a little spontaneous. We should all learn to do that a bit more. (Note: make sure you're not traveling there during the Honolulu Marathon, as all hostels will be booked)

I also went on some KILLER hikes. The landscape here is absolutely insane. Jurassic Park meets Lost meets Avatar meets Narnia. All the locals stroll around and I'm there next to them staring up and screaming "BEACHES AND MOUNTAINSSSSSSSSSS".

solo travel hawaii

Hawaii is absolutely one of a kind. The island of Oahu is no longer than 26 miles across, but the ecosystems are completely different based upon the area. The beaches are sunny almost everyday and see about 10 inches of rain per year. Some mountains are actually rain forests that can see up to 400 inches of rain per year with low clouds often lingering.

Did you know 3 of the top 10 rainiest places in the world are located on the islands of Hawaii?

The contrast explains why rainbows are so incredibly common here (At least one a day).

The absolute most difficult and annoying thing I had to deal with while traveling alone in Hawaii was lack of transportation. Unfortunately, I tried renting a car but those dreams were quickly smashed. Locals also told me how risky renting a car is, because if you take it out of the city islanders can spot rental cars and then break into them.

The bus system is quite slow (3 hours to get to the other side of the island) and hitchhiking may be common on the other islands, but Oahu is not the best place. Mopeds are probably the best solution, however that means you must travel light enough to carry everything from place to place on your back. The friend I couchsurfed with the couple days had a moped and we rode that around until we got pulled over by the police for riding two people on a one-seater. Oops.


Overall, I give solo female travel Hawaii 4.8 stars and am definitely returning in the future. I could spend 6 months there and not do every hike I wished. I never felt scared or intimidated and by traveling solo I made dozens of new friends in a matter of 7 days. Not bad, right?

Solo traveling will always lead you to fun and exciting adventures that wouldn't be possible otherwise. You will meet the skeptics who think you will end up on the side of a milk carton. You will meet the people who envy you because they've always wanted to do it. But most importantly it will teach you that the world is not scary and that good people outweigh the bad tremendously.

Outdoor travel blog

At any given moment, Shalee is either lost, hunting for ice cream, or obsessively planning her next adventure.

Born and raised in rural Michigan, she began exploring the shores of Great Lakes as a teen, often sleeping in her car to save money. Eventually, her urge to explore pushed beyond her Midwest borders. Today, Shalee shares her tips and stories to thousands of readers interested in adventure, outdoor, and sustainable tourism. Her pack now includes two spunky hiking cats and her partner, Josh. Learn more about her here.


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  1. Bella on April 21, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Going to be landing in Oahu June 8th!!! staying until July 🙂 Me and my other friend Ainsley will be there and would always love to meet new people and make new friends while we’re there

    Forgot to leave my email last time: [email protected]

    Let me know if anyone knows anything about Oahu or would like to hang out..we’re just backpacking and winging it 🙂

  2. Sevi on June 1, 2017 at 4:12 AM

    I’m also a solo female traveller and I’m looking for other solo female travellers. to enjoy beautiful Hawaii. Going to be on Maui and Kauai in December 2017.
    I’d love to get an answer from you 🙂

  3. Moneyca on June 19, 2017 at 1:53 AM

    Hi. Anyone going to Oahu Aug 11th-18th?

    • Maxine on June 19, 2017 at 8:27 PM

      Yes I will be there the entire month of July and August! 🙂

  4. Maxine on June 19, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    I will be in Oahu for 2 months+ mainly on the North Shore if anyone wants a partner to hike and explore!

    • Maxine on June 19, 2017 at 11:56 AM

      This will be my first solo trip ever! A bit of nerves but mostly excitement. What should I expect?

      P.S. I’m friendly but on the shyer side so that makes me a bit nervous of meeting new people.

      • Shalee on June 19, 2017 at 7:36 PM

        Hi Maxine! Looks like Moneyca just commented saying she was going to be there Aug 11-18th! If you are there during that time 🙂

      • Anna on June 20, 2017 at 8:57 PM

        Hi. When will you be in oahu.
        I live in sydney and am planning to go too but not sure when.

        • Maxine on June 20, 2017 at 10:01 PM

          Hi Anna,
          I will be there the entire months of July and August 2017 in Oahu.

      • Clara on June 21, 2017 at 1:50 AM

        Hi Maxine

        I visited the Big Island on my own and I had a blast! An easy way to meet people is through Couchsurfing, talking to travelers in hostels (if you rent a car you will find a lot of travelers who would like to take trips together!) and taking one-day trips (there are a lot of awesome tours you can book). I met a lot of cool people and it was one of the best experiences in my life! I highly recommend going alone. I was also quite nervous about talking to people, that’s why I used couchsurfing to meet travelers, it makes talking to new people less intimidating. Have fun :D.

        • Shalee on June 21, 2017 at 7:34 AM

          Oh yes, I agree with this! Couchsurfing 100%. Even if you don’t stay with anyone there should be couchsurfing meet ups in the area.

        • Maxine on June 21, 2017 at 8:42 AM

          Thank you so much!

  5. Maxine on June 19, 2017 at 9:32 PM

    Hi Shalee,
    What do you recommend to meet other travelers? I’m not too outgoing but friendly.


    • Shalee on June 21, 2017 at 7:33 AM

      Hi Maxine! I would really recommend taking a small tour somewhere. I’m not usually a tour person, but I took a small bus tour to the North Shore for $99. There was only about ten of us, but we all became pretty close and I didn’t even feel like I was solo traveling for that day. I randomly met a few other travelers on the beach, too. Where are you staying for those two months? I’m sure you’ll be able to meet a lot of people! Hawaii I found to be extremely hospitable.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      • Maxine on June 21, 2017 at 8:44 AM

        Thank you Shalee! I will do that. You and your blog have been so inspiring.

  6. Maxine on June 21, 2017 at 6:59 PM

    I’m staying at different condos and homes on airbnb as well as HomeAway.

  7. Lisa on September 24, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Hi girls!!!! I am so excited to by my hawaii ticket this week! I’ll be there from October 11th 2017 – October 17th 2017!!! Who would like to join me on this amazing first trip of making new friends and memories?!!! Email me!!! [email protected] I’m pretty stoked!!

  8. raquel on December 7, 2017 at 10:51 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I am super excited about my solo trip in January from the 14th-18. If anyone wants to meet up and do some site seeing with me or just explore the island let me know. My email is [email protected]

  9. Olah P Gandy on December 19, 2017 at 10:56 PM

    Hi Ladies,

    I decided last minute that I want to go to Hawaii for my birthday. Traveling solo so if anybody else will be there mid January 10th thru 15th, please email me [email protected]

  10. Rajpreet on April 6, 2018 at 10:43 PM

    Hi Ladies,

    I will be going to Hawaii sometime in May. Looking for a travel partner, this will be my first solo trip, this article and the following conversation has really motivated me. Pls email me at [email protected]

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