Here are the best smartphone apps to enhance your Hawaii travel experience. It’s time to give your Hawaii holiday a digital upgrade!
BEST HAWAII TRAVEL APPS:
- Drops or Duolingo
- KHON2 WX – Radar & Forecasts
- Hawaii Revealed
- Open Table
- Shaka Guide
- Tip Calculator
- Uber or Lyft
DaBus2 uses real-time data from Oahu Transit Services to GPS track all ‘TheBus’ services island-wide, providing accurate arrival information. This is an essential travel app if you’re planning to ride Oahu’s public bus system. Use DaBus2 to locate nearby bus stops, explore routes and timetables, and see the map location of any bus in real-time. Apple | Google (Free app)
TIP: DaBus2 is the replacement app for DaBus, make sure you download DaBus2.
2. Drops or Duolingo
Drops and Duolingo are language learning apps. Hawaii is the only U.S. state with two official languages, Hawaiian and English. These apps help you learn Hawaiian words, popular phrases, and slang. These apps enable you to learn the basics of the Hawaiian language in a fun and educational way. I recommend travelers opt for Drops, it’s words-based and more fun! Drops Apple | Google Duolingo Apple | Google (Free app & Paid subscriptions)
3. KHON2 WX – Radar & Forecasts
Download the KHON2 WX weather app for fast, accurate local weather at your fingertips. This app delivers Hawaii’s most accurate hour-by-hour forecast for the next day and for the week ahead. Change from Fahrenheit to Celcius by hitting the top right arrow in the Radar/Weather section. Apple | Google (Free app)
4. Hawaii Revealed
Hawaii Revealed are award-winning guidebooks, now available in app format. They’re famous for a no bullsh*t approach expressing their anonymously reviewed and unbiased opinions on everything Hawaii. Invest in Hawaii Revealed to get the low-down on Hawaii’s local beaches, attractions, sights, activities and more, to figure out where to stay with their concise hotel summaries e.g. how far from beach, amenities, whether it has a pool or not and to easily compare restaurants and other dining options like luaus. Apple | Google (From $17.99/year per island)
TIP: If you’re like me and enjoy reading, highlighting and writing notes in books, order Hawaii Revealed guidebooks in paperback!
Instacart delivers groceries on the same day, or up to six days in advance. They connect you with Personal Shoppers to shop and deliver groceries from any of these Oahu stores – Safeway, Costo, CVS Pharmacy, Sam’s Club, Foodland and Times.
$10 OFF YOUR 1ST DELIVERY:
6. Open Table
Open Table is key for making dinner reservations, especially in Waikiki on Oahu and Lahaina and Wailea on Maui. Most Hawaii restaurants are listed on the app and easily secured. Note, bar seats are always open for walk-ins, first come first served. It will help you find restaurants by island and city and book reservations at restaurants to avoid disappointment. Apple | Google (Free app)
TIP: You can also cancel and change your reservations as needed via the app, it’s so convenient!
7. Shaka Guide
Shaka Guides are the next best thing to having a Hawaii tour guide in the car. These GPS location-based audio tours provide turn-by-turn directions and points of interest on set drive itineraries around Hawaii. A Shaka Guide is for self-drive touring at your own pace around Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, and Kauai. Use it to discover the best spots to stop and explore along the way and learn interesting stories, history, and facts about Hawaii during the journey.
DOWNLOAD THESE USEFUL HAWAII TRAVEL APPS (From $9.99):
TIP: The Shaka Guide is essential listening for driving the Road to Hana, a scenic road trip on Maui’s north-west coast!
8. Tip Calculator
This awesome app works out the tipping math for you. Most hospitality staff you will encounter on your Hawaii holiday depend on tips for their living so it’s important to get it right. Apple (Free app)
TIP: Standard practice for tipping is 10-20%, dependent on your satisfaction of the service.
RELATED >> How Do You Tip in Hawaii?
9. Uber or Lyft
Uber and Lyft are life-changing apps for getting around Hawaii, and they’re cheaper than using local taxis! They make traveling a breeze in the main areas of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, and Kauai, and are available to/from the major island airports. Uber and Lyft help you get to and from Hawaii hotspots in an affordable and convenient way. To use the app drop your pin for a pick-up, choose your drop-off, and then watch the GPS tracker to see your driver en-route. It’s easy to make payments, the ride is billed to your credit card and your receipt emailed to you (it’s a cashless experience, add a tip through the app post-ride). Uber Apple | Google Lyft Apple | Google (Free apps)
TIP: Set up your Uber and Lyft accounts and get familiar with the app before landing in Hawaii. Hawaii Admirer fans who are new to Uber or Lyft can use the following Promo Codes for first-ride discounts. Uber: k6863 Lyft: ASHLEE538536
Yelp helps people find great local businesses thanks to users who provide helpful reviews. This app is popular in Hawaii making it a fabulous resource to find just about anything you’re looking for. It’s the perfect app for searching and locating highly-rated restaurants, checking out photos of dishes and the menu to help you choose what to order and to find specific businesses e.g spas, hairdressers, coffee shops and more. There’s also an event listing for what’s on. Apple | Google (Free app)
TIP: Inspect the businesses Yelp profile for Check-in Offers! Check-in on the Yelp app and show the wait staff to access the discount.
THESE FOOD DELIVERY APPS ARE ALSO USEFUL HAWAII TRAVEL APPS:
RELATED >> Hawaii Events & Festivals
TIP: Don’t forget to call your mobile provider before you depart! Ask them about your plan in regards to international data and roaming charges. You’ll want to make sure 1. your phone will work in Hawaii 2. that your plan covers you for international calls, messages, texts and data, and 3. what the applicable rates will be. If it sounds too expensive, make sure your phone is unlocked and look into buying a U.S. pre-paid sim card.
RELATED >> How Can I Use My Mobile Phone in Hawaii?