I thought of sharing about my travel out to Oahu back in January of 2006. Due to the fact that I lived in Honolulu, I kind of knew the ins and outs of the area. Within Waikiki there are many hostels to choose from, although there is only one Hostelling International Hostel in Waikiki. Hostelling International is an organization that has certain rules that the hostel has to abide by to be a member of the HI-organization. The other hostels can be dumps, they are all on Lemon street. Some are party houses. I try to stay at hostels of Hostelling International. Rules: no smoking, no alcohol, lights out at 11pm, each door has a lock, they have regular housekeeping, they have lockers.
During the winter, Hawaiian Airlines has great deals for flights from the west coast. I flew from San Francisco to Honolulu for $341.00. They are the one airline that still serves food on their flights. The hostel in Waikiki is two blocks from the beach toward the end of Kalakaua Ave (where the hotels end) on Prince Edward Street. An ideal location, everything in Waikiki is walking distance from the Hostel.
Oahu has an excellent bus system. Most people from the airport will pay around $40 for a taxi to get to Waikiki. I took the bus for $2.00. It dropped me off one block from the Hostel.
The bus is also easy to use to Ala Moana mall-park and beach, also to Pearl Harbor and Hanamua bay..
Since I lived there in 1994-96, I decided to rent a bike for two days at $15.00 a day. When I lived in Honolulu, I road my bike everywhere. I didn't own a car on the Island. I biked to all the places in Honolulu that I wanted to go. Then I rented a car for a couple of days and drove up to the north shore and around the Island, although this can be done by bus.
The hostel cost? $25.00 a night. Great deal for Waikiki, considering most people pay $100's for a bed and a shower at a hotel. The hostel is an apartment setting. The trick is to ask for a bed in the back room (two bunks-four person) because it has a door. The three beds up front is where everyone walks through. Of course Waikiki is noisy. Dumpsters and doors slamming at eight in the morning, along with cars squealing away and horns honking. The trick is to get up early hit the bathroom, since there is only one per apartment, and enjoy the morning. I am the siesta type of person. In the afternoon nobody is in the hostel - perfect time for a nap. They have a shared Kitchen with a common room and parking for a car if needed.
There is also another HI-Hostel outside of Waikiki up in the University area, I didn't stay at that one, although I guess it is quieter, but less bus routes and no parking.
Basically the island of Oahu can be visited on a shoestring budget. If your a person that is a four or five star hotel resort traveler, then a third class hostel might not be for you. I must say, for any five star spoiled well to do type of person; a third class hostel could prove to be a humbling experience.
Flight in winter, around $341.00
Hostel five night stay $125.00
Renting a bike per day $15-$20 a day.
Bus travel, Reserve $30 as an average.
I hope this review is helpful for anyone who travels to the Island of Oahu.