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Hawaii Tours vs. Rental Cars

Hoku Hawaii Tour Bus

When faced with planning an upcoming trip to Hawaii, one of the bigger questions on your mind may be whether to rent a car to take in the sights on your own or to take organized tours and excursions. Here are some pros and cons to each option.

Rental Car Cons

Cost: With a decent sized rental car easily costing upwards of $400 per week, you’re looking at a pretty big chunk of money budgeted just for a vehicle. If you take tours and public transportation to get places, you’re likely saving money in the long run. This is especially true if you’re staying for two weeks, where the cost skyrockets to $1,000 or more just for the freedom of driving around on your own.

Limitations: When you decide to tackle the island on your own, you may be limiting yourself to the beautiful sights you’re missing out on with no official tour guide. Without knowing which sights are must-sees, you’ll have to cobble together your own tour of sorts, likely missing the hidden gems. Plus, if you’re not the best navigator, you’ll have a tough time figuring out where to go and how to get there.

Rental Car Pros

Freedom: Knowing you have a rental car to rely on, you can take off on a moment’s notice, eat outside your resort, and pick and choose the sights you want to see, which you may not necessarily be able to do with an organized tour. Many tours come as package deals and you’re limited to whatever that particular package offers.

Time savings: You don’t have to worry about meeting up with your tour guide, rushing around to get there and spending time in transport with a bunch of other people. Instead, you can utilize your time best by going at your own pace, seeing only what you want to see, getting up when you want, and leaving when you want. You want to spend a whole two days exploring the Road to Hana? Go right ahead, no one’s stopping you!

Tour Cons

Structure: If you like going at your own pace, you may feel restricted with the structured feel of an organized tour. This is especially true if you’ve been to Hawaii before and have been-there-done-that. Of course, this can also appear in the “pro” list if you’re the type of person who likes structure to their day!

Tour Pros

Hassle-Free Sightseeing: Taking an organized tour through reputable companies like Hoku Hawaii Tours means you are always in good hands with knowledgeable guides. These guides live here and do these tours every single day, so they know the area and know all the little facts about Hawaii’s history. You can’t get that bonus driving around in your own rental car!

No driving: If you hate to drive, are geographically challenged or just like it when others take care of you, a tour is the best bet. No fumbling with smart phones or maps – just let your tour guide bring you where you need to go.

Experience Hawaii the way that’s best for you, whether that’s renting your own car or booking an excursion through a tour guide.