The island of Molokai is among the most tranquil locations in Hawaii. Since it’s less populated than bigger islands like Maui and Oahu, you’ll enjoy a peaceful solo trip here.
While our post on solo travel in Hawaii initially recommends these larger islands as among the best places for solo travelers given their quaint small towns and black sand beaches, Molokai is also worth giving a chance.
Here, you’ll find it also offers some less-visited yet undeniably gorgeous destinations. Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Papohaku Beach Park, and Moaula Falls are only some of the beautiful places you can include in your plans. Notably, most of them are best accessed by car—and since there’s no public transport on Molokai, it’s ideal to rent a car and have a road trip of your own.
However, since you’re traveling solo, you must plan accordingly to ensure your safety and comfort. Whether this is your first solo road trip or not, here are some useful tips for your Molokai travel adventure:
Make an itinerary
Your itinerary will serve as a handy guide to streamline your activities. It will also help you learn more about the destinations you visit. For instance, the Kalaupapa Peninsula hiking trail is sometimes closed due to landslides or other natural disturbances, so searching in advance will let you know if it’s currently open. This will also help you pick certain locations where you can socialize with locals in lieu of travel companions. For example, you may want to drop by Hula Bean Cafe, a local haunt for residents and tourists alike.
Since you’re traveling alone, be sure to send a copy of your itinerary to a family member, partner, or friend. That way, at least one person knows where you’ll be at all times.
Book a car in advance
Renting your car early will be tremendously beneficial. Since you’re handling all the logistics of your trip alone, you don’t want to forget to book a car or run out of car options. There is only one major company for car rentals in Molokai—located in the airport—so rentals sell out fast during peak seasons. The two and four-door Jeep Wranglers are the most popular options, as these have a sporty feel that can handle various terrains during your road trip. Minivans are also available if you’re bringing lots of things with you, like multiple suitcases or a surfboard.
Expect resort-style pricing since there’s only one major car rental company in Molokai. However, if you book early, you can avoid rising prices due to high demand. Be sure to have your flight details, driver’s license or International Driving Permit, and credit card ready before you book.
Familiarize yourself with the roads and driving laws
Learning Molokai’s roads and driving laws reduces the chances of you getting caught off guard or unknowingly breaking the rules during your solo road trip. For example, you might be surprised to know that there are no stoplights in Molokai since the smaller local population means there are fewer cars on the road. The speed limit across the island is 45 mph, so strictly follow it for locals’ safety and to avoid conflict with the authorities.
Checking the news about updated road laws and closures before your road trip will also help you plan alternative routes accordingly. For instance, the road to Kawakui Beach was blocked for a long time due to a hunting company, and it was only recently reopened after locals took action.
Gather local emergency contact numbers
Emergencies can be scarier to handle when traveling solo. Having contact numbers for local hospitals, towing services, and police departments may help keep you at ease during your road trip. You can even include Molokai airport contact numbers, in case you lose baggage before your road trip or need assistance getting your rental car.
Have these numbers on speed dial or include them in your contact app’s favorites section for easy access in case of emergencies.
A solo road trip in Molokai promises multiple opportunities to explore its beauty and tranquility. Make sure to follow these tips to ensure a safe and comfortable journey!