3. GETTING AROUND. How is transportation in Hawaii island?

27 Feb
Safe Hitchhiking in Hawaii
Hitchhiking in Hawaii: Interns Emma & Annika

Transportation in Hawaii is a little different! Here are some transportation options:

1) Car Rentals. We recommend that you book your car rental before you arrive. Most of the traditional car rental agencies operate out of Hilo or Kona Airports.

2) Hitchhiking. Due to our island location, hitch hiking is a popular way to get around! It is relatively safe and easy but there are unsavory characters on the island. Make sure that you take a look at the driver and trust your intuition. In Hawaii, it is legal to ride in the back of a pickup and many guests have enjoyed that open-air driving experience!

3) Sharing Gas: Sometimes Interns, Volunteers and Guests own or rent their own cars and may offer a free lift. However, please understand that anyone who gives you a lift is doing so because they feel like it. Be appreciative; you may ask but do not expect people to give you rides. And if they do it is often a courtesy to at least offer them something for gas expenses.

4) Airport Pickup Service. If you are arriving and not planning to rent a car we recommend you use our donation based Airport Pickup Service to get to the community.

5) Public Transportation in Hawaii: There is a skeletal bus service on the island for $2 a ride. This erratic but cute and very island style service is called Hele-on Bus.

6) Bikes & Scooters. They are used by many but we must warn that it is a little dangerous to ride bikes in the rainforest. The idea that Puna is safe for cyclists is false. Many local drivers don’t like bikes. And the roads are treacherous, curvy, covered in leaves and often very wet. We have written twice to the government to ask for road dividers to separate cyclists to no avail.

7) Car-in-Hawaii Rental. Tel: 808-936-6347. This is a local rental company that will often offer rentals to under-25s, foreign nationals and those who wish to have a long-term cheaper rental. Please let them know we referred you. You can also arrange a long-term rental with them for a cheaper price. We get a small referral fee for this service. However, please note that we are NOT responsible for rentals that result from this referral!