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Hawaii Travel Tips: Save on your Hawaii Tour

Updated on October 5, 2010
A beautiful view on Pali Lookout. Warning: Hold your Hat!
A beautiful view on Pali Lookout. Warning: Hold your Hat!

 Over this past summer, I took my 17 year old son to Oahu, Hawaii. Now, you know teenagers. They like to get out and do things. I, being an “old man” (as my son puts it), am just as content laying on the beach like a beached whale sipping a Splitzer and enjoying the sounds of the waves. Since this trip was his graduation present, I thought it would only be fair to book him some tours and go on various attractions. Being a cheapskate at heart, I always start my research on the Internet as early as possible to find out the most cost effective ways to do things. There are many Tour/Activity operators on the Internet so you have plenty of choice on whom to book with. Throughout my Internet searching travels, I came across something called a “Go Oahu” Card at


The Go Oahu Card offers 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 day passes. They also offer an “Explorer Pass” option that allows you to customize the activities you want to partake in. As my son and I were in Oahu for 10 days, we decided on getting the 7 day pass. We got the passes on sale for $165.00 a piece ($330.00 for two). With this pass, you are able to use it on around 30 activities ranging from surf board lessons, bike rentals, Pearl Harbour Tour, Honolulu City Tour, a sailing adventure, moped rentals and a Luau. A few activities like Germaine’s Luau, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaiian Surf Lesson and a Dollar Rent a Car option are bonus items so you may only choose one of these during the life of the card (See:

You should know some of the activities require you to book reservations. When you get your “Go Oahu” Card, you are given a booklet that clearly tells you which activities require prior booking and which do not. The phone numbers to call to book are clearly given in the booklet supplied with your card. You can choose to pick up your “Go Oahu” card at their office on Lewers Street in Waikiki. We decided to have them mailed so we could book any activities requiring booking ahead of time. We preferred this as we wanted to be assured to get the activities we want in plenty of time. Booking ahead does better assure you of the date you want to go on a selected activity. Depending on the activity, you may need to go to the “Go Oahu” office to swipe your card and receive a voucher. This was no problem as their office is only blocks away from Waikiki Beach.

As I mentioned before, I am a cheap skate. My total cost with the “Go Oahu” Card was around $350.00 including shipping. So, I thought I would compare the Go Oahu Costs with others so you can see the savings:

·         Pearl Harbour/City Tour

Go Oahu Card: Included $64.00 for 2

·         Germaine’s Luau

Go Oahu Card: Included $158.00 for 2

·         Makani Sail

Go Oahu Card: Included and we went twice that week $75.40 for 2

·         Grand Circle Island Tour (with tour guide to explain the various sites)

Go Oahu Card: Included. We also went to this Museum twice! $144.00 for 2

·         Bishop Museum

Go Oahu Card: Included $35.90 for 2

·         Dole Plantation. Train and Maze

Go Oahu Card: Included

From our receipt: $35.00 for 2

·         Queen Emma Summer Palace

Go Oahu Card: Included

From our receipt: $11.00 for 2

 We also went on a Crater hike, used the Waikiki trolley and visited the Iolani Palace using the “Go Oahu” Card. Now, if I would have booked these attractions separately, I would have paid a grand total of $488.30. So, I saved $138.30 and I didn’t include the other attractions listed above in the figures.

Another tip I can give you is the bus service in Honolulu is excellent! You can go to and tell it where you are at and where you want to go. The system will tell you which bus to take and where. If you don’t want a Guided Circle Island Tour, you can take bus 55 and circle the entire island for $2.50 each. My son and I bought a month pass for $60.00 each and went all over Oahu the entire week. Also, being the cheapskate that I am, I wanted to get transportation to and from the airport. The best deal I found were the great folks at Roberts Hawaii. You can book a round trip to/from hotel and airport for $15.00 each. Details are located here:

Enjoy your vacation and save money at the same time!


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    • profile image

      Marilyn 6 years ago

      Any suggestions on how to get on the Doris Duke Tour? I signed up last year to get in

      Their lottery drawing but not picked. Oct. 5th we will be going to Oahu for 10 nits. We (2)

      Would love to get on that tour.

    • profile image

      Tee 7 years ago

      Hi there,

      How did you get the cards on sale? They are at $244 a piece :S


    • lisakleinweber profile image

      lisakleinweber 7 years ago

      I love the go oahu card. :)

    • cybersleuth profile image

      cybersleuth 7 years ago from Canada

      A beautiful photo! An thank you for the Go Oahu tip!!