Unlike what most people think, it is completely possible to backpack Hawaii. I’ve gone to Oahu twice and I’ve heard great things about Backpacking the other islands – especially Maui. The nice thing about backpacking Oahu is that you really do not need to rent a car so you can save a lot there. Oahu has a decent public transit system that can take you all over the island for 2.50 every ride. The only downside is that it can take much longer on the bus than it would to do the drive.Here are my fave things to do in Oahu on a budget:
1. Waikiki Beach & Town
You will most likely be staying at a hostel right in Waikiki when you travel to Oahu so you’ll get to know Waikiki quite well. The beach and parts of the town have free wifi for an hour or so which is really convenient if you want to look up where to grab a bite to eat after lounging on the beach or where to head next! The beach is usually very busy, but you can always find a place to lay your towel. The crystal warm waters and the backdrop of palm trees guarantee a phenomenal day spent in Oahu.
2. Climb Diamond Head
The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm, with the last entrance to hike the trail at 4:30 pm. It only costs 1$ per person if you’re walking in. I walked from waikiki here and it was a longer but easy walk. If you’re driving in it will cost 5$ per car.
3. Walk to Diamond Head Beaches
As much as I really do love Waikiki beach, it can get a little annoying how busy it is. If you want a quite piece of paradise I recommend doing the walk to the Diamond Head Beaches. You can also take public transit but why not spend some time getting a little exercise as well? Here, there will only be a few others stretched out on the beach. Mostly local surfers who come to enjoy the large swells. Sometimes these beaches are a little windy though – so keep that in mind before heading there!
4. Rent a car for the day and go to the North Shore
Or of course, you could try public transit. I really wanted to have my freedom though so I went to the cheapest car rental place in Waikiki – Waikiki Discount Rental Car. I rented the car for 24 hours and headed around the island. This was one of my favorite days spent on the island!
5. Relax on Lanikai Beach
Lanikai beach is only an hour or so bus ride from Waikiki and its worth the trek! There are opportunities for kayaking, or paddle boarding here too. The beach is massive so there is lots of room to find a quiet spot for yourself.
6. Hike Koko Crater Railway Trail
This is definitely a difficult hike to conquer, especially with the heat raining down on you as you do it. But that view from the top is absolutely worth it. It’s so peaceful and quiet at the top and the breeze helps you cool off.
Check out: where to Stay in Oahu on a Budget?