Before you arrive:
-Google Earth your hotel before arrive in Waikiki, and get a feel for the general layout of Waikiki and Oahu.
-A paper copy of this Instructable.
-Download and print copies of documents recommended in this Instructable.
-Borrow a library, or a friend's copy of the Lonely Planet Guide for Hawaii.
-Always have a pen and paper/diary with you to note down any bargains for later in your trip.
-Pack a snorkel, mask and fins (borrow if you have to) if you plan on lots of snorkeling.Accomodation
(this one's up to you)
Although cheap, hostels are also crowded, noisy and poorly maintained. I don't know about you, but the only party I want to hear is my own! It doesn't cost much more for a private room in hotel.
There are plenty of cheap hotels around. Most places cost more for a beach view, so choose a city/mountain view room where possible (avoid facing directly down to Kuhio Ave, as there are loud buses almost 24hrs a day).
After reading through Lonely Planet and reviews on the internet at www.lonelyplanet.com
etc., I booked online and stayed at Waikiki Grand at the Diamond Head end of the Waikiki strip at www.waikikigrand.com
. From reviews, I was aware that a Gay Bar was located beside the ground floor, but I hardly heard a sound from it from my room. I simply clicked on the hotel's Book Reservations
link and found a cheap room. On arrival I was upgraded to an awesome beach and Diamond Head view for FREE! by doing nothing extra. Room was nothing special, but tidy, and included a basic delivered breakfast and newspaper. Next time I'm in Waikiki, I'll book definitely there again!
So read your borrowed copy of Lonely Planet Hawaii, get online, and make your choice.Usual Hotel Tip: Don't use the Mini-Bar. Go to an ABC store (see below) for all of your supplies.As soon as you arrive:
-At the airport, find a brochure stand, and collect a few Free Maps and Tourist Magazines (see below), to get you started, and fill in time on the shuttle.
-Then grab a Shuttle (all pretty much the same) to your Hotel, make sure that you buy a Return Ticket, it's cheaper ($US14 vs $US8 + 8). Just remember, when arranging at your Hotel's desk to book a shuttle back to the airport to show them your ticket, so that they know which company to ring. A bus would be even cheaper, but at this stage you probably aren't exactly certain where everything is, and they don't allow much luggage on board.Once you have checked in:
-Go for a walk up Kalakua Avenue
, which is the main strip along the beach, to get to know your surroundings, and
-Visit the Visitor Information Center
, located in a Gazebo at the Diamond Head end of the Waikiki strip, Corner of Kapahulu and Kalakaua.
The staff are very helpful, and have just about every possible brochure available, including individual bus route/timetables. They have a very good handout on Getting to/From Diamond Head State Park
. Collect TheBus System Map
-Collect many of the numerous Free Tourist magazines
, (What's on/This Week in Waikiki, etc.) from stands on most main street corners in Waikiki and hotel lobbys (plus at the Airport). Collect as many different magazines as possible, so as to see all discount offers.
-Collect Free Maps of Waikiki and Oahu
, from the same places as above. Again, collect many different ones.
conversing with Booking Stands, as they often advertise more expensive versions of tours and activities, many that you can simply do on your own for free. Just look at the displays from a short distance to see what's on offer.
-TheBus System Map
, (Visitor Information Centre, and some other places), has all bus routes around Waikiki and Oahu.
are on almost every corner. Stock up on bottled water (bulk packs), cans of soda (mixers), and alcohol. Very reasonably priced. Great place for cheap souvenirs.
A basic online starting map can be found at www.planetware.com/map/waikiki-map-us-hi183.htm