Solo Travel: One Week in O’ahu, Hawaii

Flight: Westjet Toronto-Vancouver-Honolulu

March 29-April5

Hostel: HI Waikiki Interantional Hostel

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Out of all the Hawaiian Islands, I decided to go to Oahu. I heard that in order to explore the other islands that you needed to rent a car and I didn’t have that in my budget for the week. However, after talking to a friend who recently visited Maui, I was told that the hostel he stayed at would provide shuttles to the spots that visitors wanted to see – so definitely check that out if you’re trying to decide between islands and won’t be renting a car. Oahu has a reliable and easy bus system which made travelling the island much cheaper. It’s only 2.50 for a one way trip and you can get all the way around the island by bus.. it just may take a while.

Day 1: Flew from toronto – vancouver, spent the night in Vancouver then flew to Honolulu. The hostel that I stayed at had its doors locked until check in time at 3:00 pm so I waited on the beach until I could check in (which took literally almost 2 hours) so I didn’t get up to too much, just hung out at Waikiki beach, ate dinner and watched the sunset.

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Day 2: I woke up bright and early for the sunrise on Waikiki beach. I went and grabbed a delicious coffee from the “Honolulu Coffee Company” and enjoyed it on the quiet beach as the city was just waking up. I went to the grocery store and hopped on the bus to hike “Koko head” and snorkel in Hanama Bay. The bus ride was about an hour long and once I got off I reached into my bag for my cell phone to take a picture of the mountain and noticed it was gone. I stopped on the sidewalk and emptied everything out searching my bag over and over and over again, but my phone was inevitably missing. I couldn’t decide what to do..I didn’t want to waste the day and go back hoping I left it at the grocery store or something only to realize it was just simply stolen and have wasted a whole day in Hawaii.

So, I hiked up Koko head laughing at my life because a) I fucking lost my cell phone on the first day of my trip and b) this fucking hike is meant to kill people I’m sure. But once I got to the top, nothing really mattered anymore and I just enjoyed the beautiful views with my lunch.


I was too anxious about my cell phone (because clearly I am addicted to it) so I  skipped Hanama Bay and headed back to Waikiki on search for my phone. No luck. I was pretty bummed and moped around for most of the rest of that day. At least I was sad on a beach, right?

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Day 3: I woke up determined to forget about my phone, and enjoy my trip. I started the morning off with another beautiful sunrise on the beach, and then walked over to Diamond Head trail. I had breakfast on the way, and then hiked to the top of Diamond Head.

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Afterwards, I walked back to my hostel (because I forgot to bring my swimsuit!!). Then walked back in the same directed to find some quiet beaches. I spent a few hours on some of the Diamond Head beaches. They were incredibly beautiful – but also incredibly windy!!!

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I decided to treat myself to dinner too.. thai food = my favourite food.


Day 4: My body was super sore when I woke up this morning. I had walked over 20 km the day prior, and with those two hikes my body was exhausted. So for the first time since getting here – I slept in a little. Then I packed myself a picnic lunch and took the bus to Kalua and Laniki beaches. THEY WERE SO FREAKING PRETTY. The water was so clear and gorgeous. I couldn’t stay too long though because the sun was really hot and there wasn’t any shade.

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Day 5: Road trippp!! I wanted to see the whole island so I decided to rent a car for the day and drive around to the North Shore. I woke up early, and went to this questionable car rental place around the corner from my hostel called “VIP car rentals.” For being under 25, I only have to pay 100$ for the day – insurance and everything included. The car was not the nicest or cleanest but it worked and that’s all I cared about. I drove up to Haleiwa bay first, and then made my way around the island stopping whenever I saw a beach that looked nice … sooo I stopped a lot. I knew for certain however, that I needed to find Laniakea Beach because from what i heard sea turtles liked to hangout there. It took me awhile to find it, passing it a few times when I did. There aren’t any signs to show you where it is and I didn’t have any sort of GPS but I managed to find it!! After about 20 minutes of hanging out on the beach I saw some turtles!

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I also saw this weird looking thing that was moving around and scared the shit out of me.


I stopped at these infamous food trucks and had tasty nachos and then headed on my weary to more gorgeous beaches.

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After dropping off my car, I ended my day with a delicious pho. Nom nom nom


Day 6: I decided that today was a lazy day to spend in the sun. I slept in a bit, walked around, laid on the beach, walked around some more, laid on the beach again – you get the picture. I met another Canadian girl, and the two of us decided that the next morning we would attempt hiking the Haiku stairs in the morning- so we needed to go to sleep really early.

Day 7: We woke up at 4 am to be out of our hostel by 430. The Haiku stairs are about a 40 minute drive from Waikiki so we took an Uber to get there. They are illegal.. which is why we went early in hopes to not get caught. Unfortunately, after wandering around for about 20 minutes a guard spotted us and started yelling. Luckily there was a fence between us and we were able to get away without getting charged or arrested! So semi success? We ended up drinking some wine and having a picnic on the beach instead, and then going out for dinner – so it wasn’t a total loss of the day. I left that night and flew back to Calgary and then to Toronto to start work the next day. WooO wish me luck on this time change!

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**Hostel Review: Would not recommend. The only nice things about this hostel was that it was clean. That’s it. The “manager” has a million rules for everything and you feel more like you’re staying in a prison than in a shared, friendly community. I’ve heard great things about seaside hostel in Waikiki – they were sadly all booked up when I booked.

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xx, S


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