Holiday Trip to Honolulu: Vacation Guide and Tips
Before you can start your vacation to mesmerizing Honolulu in Hawaii, you’ll either need a regular USA Visa or an ESTA Visa USA. You can find the online ESTA application form here. Welcome to our ESTA USA Visa travel guide for Anaheim and Orange County, the sunshine state. “ESTA” stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security manages the VWP which issues the ESTA Visa USA.
You can complete your ESTA application here on this website in minutes, and receive an ESTA Visa USA by email within hours. An ESTA Visa USA will be valid for 2 years and allow for multiple entries into the United States. A regular USA Visa means that you will have to pay a visit to the US Embassy to apply and it will take many days or weeks for the process to complete. So, instead of a conventional USA Visa, complete the ESTA application online here and be on your way within hours.
ESTA USA Vacation Guide and Tips for Honolulu.
Honolulu, Hawaii is a diverse, international hub that also holds the title of the capital of Hawaii. It’s also the largest city within the state. To the international world, it’s primarily known as a major hub for military defense and international business. However, it’s also one of the best adventures you can count on when looking for holiday travel destinations. They fuse the east and west Pacific cultures and offer a robust cultural experience that you won’t find anywhere else. From sightseeing to relaxation, to some of the most exquisite food found on the face of the planet, Honolulu offers it all.
In Hawaiian, Honolulu translates to “calm port” or “sheltered harbor.” To this day, it does an excellent job of holding to its name. The beautiful beaches and unique atmosphere makes it an incredibly popular destination to let loose and relieve yourself of the stresses of the outside world.
Honolulu is a great place to travel year-round but can be a special adventure during the holiday season. Because of the wonderful weather that can be found across all seasons, it can be the perfect place to relieve yourself of the colder months that host the holidays. You’ll be able to spend your time in luxury, as well as true relaxation. With your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re interested in making Honolulu your next holiday destination, this article will provide you with everything you need to know to make it the trip of a lifetime.
Flying to Honolulu
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the major airport found within the city and county of Honolulu. Because of Honolulu’s reputation as a hub for international travel, it’s also one of the top 30 busiest airports in the world. Traffic exceeds 21 million passengers a year.
You’ll find that it hosts most major airlines. It also offers direct, nonstop flights to North American, Asian, as well as Oceania destinations. If you’re flying in from the U.K, you’ll likely have a layover. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the flight to Hawaii will be incredibly long compared to most other international flights. You can expect flights to take between 18 and a half hours to. 24 hours.
The cost of flights will vary depending on the time of year and how close to your travel time it is. On average, you’ll be looking at approximately $1,500 to fly from London to HNL.
Getting to/from the airport
Traveling to/from HNL
If you’re coming in during peak business hours, expect some traffic as you enter Honolulu via HNL. Because Honolulu is such a popular spot for international business, peak business hours such as 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. are known to have increased traffic times.
You’ll have several options after you arrive at HNL if you’re looking to travel to downtown Honolulu. Here are your options:
- Line 19 Bus
HNL is located approximately 6.3 miles from downtown Honolulu, so you can expect to pay a relatively small amount for taxis and Ubers. Taxis are commonly found waiting for travelers outside the hotel and will generally cost you about $30 to get to downtown Honolulu. If you’re in no rush, Ubers and Lyfts are also popular within the city as well. Through these ridesharing services, you can expect to pay roughly $20 for your trip downtown. HNL also runs a shuttle that travels back and forth. However, these will cost about $20 as well but will be significantly slower.
Finally, those interested in the cheapest form of transportation will be happy to know that Line 19 Bus runs out of HNL and only costs $3 to travel to downtown Honolulu.
ESTA Visa – Lounges at HNL
Weary travelers who want to take a rest and relax at HNL will be pleased to know that there are several lounges available for them to enjoy.
American Airlines Admirals Club
The American Airlines Admirals Club will require you to be an Adirmals Club member or pay a fee at the door when space is available. It’s located at Terminal 2, Airside, 3rd floor.
Here are the services and facilities:
- Non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
- Hotspot printing
Delta Sky Club
To enter the Delta Sky Club, you’ll need to have your membership. If you qualify, you’ll find it offers a variety of amenities. It’s located at the main concourse across from Gate F1.
Here are the services and facilities:
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- Fax machines, photocopiers, and hot spot printing
- Newspapers and magazines
Only those who have a United Club membership or eligible elite status will be able to enter this club. If there is room, you’ll be able to pay a fee at the door to enter if you’re not a member. It’s located at Terminal 2, Airside, Diamond Head Gulf Wing.
Here are the services and facilities:
- Disabled access
- Non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
- Newspapers and magazines
ESTA Visa – Honolulu Holiday Hotels
The city of Honolulu is well known for providing world-class luxury accommodations to its guests. You’ll find no shortage of hotels to suit your specific needs. If you’re wanting to live like kings and queens, you’ll also find many extravagant hotels that will provide you with everything you could imagine.
There are also hotels meant for any type of traveler. Regardless of your price range, Honolulu has a hotel for you. You’ll want to look for accommodation either within the city or near some of the wonderful beaches that Honolulu is known for around the world. Take note of which hotels are nearest your preferred travel destinations to save even more money on transportation costs.
Here is the list of the best hotels in Honolulu for all price ranges and budgets
ESTA Visa recommendation – Espacio The Jewel of Waikiki (5 Stars)
If you’re looking for the ultimate experience in luxury in a location you can’t find anywhere else in the world, The Jewel of Waikiki is your best bet. This luxury hotel resides beachside and offers a plethora of high-quality amenities. Included in your stay The Jewel of Waikiki includes a $200 dining credit, complimentary luxury sedan or SUV rental, $125 in daily spa credit, and a $50 wine card. This is all included in your standard rate, so expect only the best when you visit. The bedrooms are coated in modern décor and brightly colored. You’ll find yourself in a room that is designed to impress even the wealthiest men and women.
The Jewel of Waikiki is also located near Diamond Head, the Honolulu Zoo, and of course, it’s oceanside so the beach is a stone’s throw away. This will be your ideal hotel if you’re looking to go all out and treat yourself to the best accommodations that Honolulu has to offer.
Halekulani Hotel (5 Stars)
Halekulani Hotel is another luxurious hotel but at a much more affordable cost. While it doesn’t come with as many complimentary services and credits, it comes with an oceanside view with all the amenities that you could want. Rooms are standard-sized but often come with balcony access. They’re completely decked out in quality furniture, so expect to be living in style. Of course, you’ll also find an outdoor pool, spa, and several restaurants within the hotel and nearby. These are also great for corporate events as you can book quality rooms that can host several people. Large rooms for conferences and meetings are also accessible with the help of hotel staff.
If you’re wanting a luxurious stay in Honolulu without breaking the bank, this can be your ideal option.
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (4 Stars)
The Marriott is known around the world for classy accommodations and high-quality service. They don’t fall short in Waikiki either. It’s a beachfront hotel that offers some of the best services in the city. This can your best bet if you’re taking the whole family and want something less expensive but still want a high-quality stay. It resides on five acres of oceanfront. This means you’ll have all the sand and water you could want. Spend your days with your butt in the sand or enjoy all the fun and exciting sights around you. The Marriott Resort & Spa is conveniently located near the Pearl Harbor Memorial, the zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and Diamond Head Crater. Finding the best time of your life won’t be difficult.
Of course, business rooms and large rooms for gatherings are available at your request. It can be ideal for corporate outings and business trips alike.
Park Shore Waikiki Hotel (3 Stars)
Park Shore Waikiki Hotel is near the Diamond Head Monument and resides close to the beach, Diamond Head Monument, and the general hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu. It’s perfect if you’re wanting an all-inclusive cultural experience. Spend your mornings and afternoons on the beach soaking the sun and follow it up with an evening out and about in the city. Those who want a social environment will thrive the most at the Park Shore Waikiki Hotel. They offer live music and in-room massages for extra comfort and fun as well. If you’re traveling from the U.K and want not only the Honolulu experience but the overall American experience as well, you won’t be disappointed here.
Pearl Hotel Waikiki (3 Stars)
The Pearl Hotel is the perfect hotel for families or groups of friends wanting to enjoy Honolulu but has a budget in mind. The Pearl Hotel is relatively affordable and comes with all the typical amenities you could expect. There’s a pool, room service, clean rooms, and great views. If you’re someone who loves to have entertainment wherever you go, you’ll be pleased to know that most rooms at the Pearl Hotel Waikiki include a PlayStation console and a sports bar and deli are conveniently located on the bottom floor of the hotel. If you’re someone who likes to cool off in the evenings with some Netflix or want to socialize and catch the game in a sports bar, you’ll love it here.
The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel (2 Stars)
If you’re a solo traveler, especially from out of the country, hostels can be the perfect place to spend your time. You’ll find dorms and private rooms offered in a modern, trendy atmosphere. Hostels are great because they’re popular amongst may international travelers. If you’re traveling solo, or even with others, you’ll meet plenty of other travelers to meet and spend time with. These friendships and adventures are known to be some of the best memories travelers make. Beyond standard amenities, the Waikiki Boutique Hostel offers BBQ nights and movie nights to promote more social activity.
ESTA Visa – Sightseeing in Honolulu
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Service
Hanauma Bay is also known around the world for being one of the premier snorkeling spots for amateurs and veterans alike. The bay is beautiful and you’ll find many vibrant and exotic species of fish inhabiting the reefs and other structures throughout the bay. You’ll embark on your adventure in relatively small groups with an experienced guide. The Snorkeling Service will provide you with all the required equipment, training, and instructions to ensure you have an experience you won’t ever forget. Once you’ve gone through all the necessary instructions, you’ll be free to do as you wish as you snorkel through Hanauma Bay.
You’ll also be happy to know that the experience is wheelchair accessible and most travelers will be able to participate. However, it should be noted that good weather is needed for the trip to be successful. If the weather is poor on the day of your trip, you’ll receive a full refund or another date that works for you.
Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran
If you’ve never seen a sea turtle in the wild, it is not just exiting, it is also an awe-inspiring experience. Turtle Canyon guarantees sightings of sea turtles as well as snorkeling tours throughout your catamaran cruise. It’s a guided tour and is hailed as one of the highlights of Honolulu for tourists. It’s also a great opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful weather and oceans that Hawaii is so well known for. If you’re looking for holiday sightseeing, you can’t beat it. Beyond seeing turtles and exploring the ocean, you’ll be given two alcoholic drinks, be picked up from your hotel, and be able to snap beautiful shots of Diamond Head and Waikiki
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
The pearl Harbor National Memorial is also a historic destination that pays respect to one of the most devastating attacks to ever occur on American soil. The 184-foot memorial honors more than 2,300 Americans who perished during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s a somber place to visit, but it pays homage to a part of history that changed the world. Some may consider it to be geared toward Americans, but Pearl Harbor was a revolutionary event and the results of it affected every country throughout the world.
Regardless if you’re traveling from abroad or from the States, you’ll want to make a stop here.
ESTA Visa – Top Restaurants in Honolulu
La Mer is Hawaii’s only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant. If you’re looking for the catalyst of Hawaii’s fine dining, La Mer is your best option. It’s also regarded by many as the most prestigious fine dining establishments on Oahu. On top of their exquisite food and service, you’ll also be able to take in oceanside views that drip of romance. The menu is regarded so highly because of the tropical and fresh ingredients that La Mer sources locally.
If you’re interested, you’ll need to make a reservation. While it’s known for its take on French cuisine, leaning toward any of the seafood options won’t ever be a bad idea.
Alan Wong’s Honolulu
Alan Wong’s Honolulu is appropriate named after Head Chef Alan Wong who created this restaurant back in 1995. It’s a staple restaurant in Honolulu for those wanting authentic and delicious Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. The menu offers a diverse array of meals. They reflect all the ethnic cultures you’ll find in Hawaii. From Wong’s methods to his local, freshly farmed ingredients, he won’t disappoint you.
The Pig and The Lady
Hawaiian Regional Cuisine is something that you simply won’t find anywhere else. However, Hawaii also is known for offering some of the best food from countries around the world. This is because of its central location to many different cultures and countries. If you’re wanting Vietnamese food that rivals the expertly-crafted meals found in its home country, The Pig and the Lady provides.
They also serve up their food on communal tables. The entire meal is a social experience on top of gorging on delicious food.
Koko Head Café
If you haven’t gotten hip to brunch yet, now is a perfect time. It’s the perfect combination of breakfast and lunch foods delivered at the ideal time of day. Koko Head Café specializes in delivering unique meals. Their specialties include breakfast udon, various Pan-Asian meals, and congee. The café is a great spot for someone wanting quality food in a classy environment without breaking your budget in half.
The seafood found in Hawaii is world-renowned for a reason. The nearby ocean provides the freshest ingredients that fuse brilliantly into Hawaii’s diverse culture. Karai Crab is a no-frills spot that serves up custom-seasoned seafood creations. If you’re wanting to fill up, be sure to also consider their Miso sake Clams, the Seafood Pasta, or the local sweet corn, as well as local pineapple kukui sausage.
ESTA Visa – In Summary
Honolulu is also an international business hub and home to some of the most diverse cultures you’ll find in the world. It’s ideal for holiday travelers as well as travelers looking to visit at any time of the year. Solo adventurers, couples, and also families will all find something that’s right for them. From the beaches to the exciting adventures that abound the city, you won’t be disappointed.