Although tourist areas are generally safe, visitors should always stay alert, even in laidback Hawaii (and especially in Waikiki). If you’re in doubt about which neighborhoods are safe, the island tourist office can advise you. Avoid deserted areas, especially at night. Don’t go into any city park at night unless there’s an event that attracts crowds—for example, the Waikiki Shell concerts in Kapiolani Park. Generally speaking, you can feel safe in areas where there are many people and lots of open establishments.
Avoid carrying valuables with you on the street, and don’t display expensive cameras or electronic equipment. Hold on to your purse, and place your billfold in an inside pocket. In theaters, restaurants, and other public places, keep your possessions in sight. Remember also that hotels are open to the public and that security may not be able to screen everyone entering, particularly in large properties. Always lock your room door—don’t assume that once inside your hotel you’re automatically safe.
Burglaries of tourists’ rental cars in hotel parking structures and at beach or hiking parking lots have become more common. Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas, if possible. Never leave any packages or valuables visible in the car. If someone attempts to rob you or steal your car, do not try to resist the thief or carjacker—report the incident to the police department immediately. Ask your rental car agent about specific spots to avoid on each island, and get written directions or a map with the route to your destination clearly marked.
Smoking—Smokers will be hard-pressed to find places to light up. It’s against the law to smoke in public buildings (including airports, malls, stores, buses, movie theaters, banks, convention facilities, and all government buildings and facilities). There is no smoking in restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Neither can you smoke at public beaches or parks. Essentially, you’ll be relegated to the tiny smoking section on the edge of your hotel property. More hotels and resorts are becoming nonsmoking, even in public areas, and most B&Bs prohibit smoking indoors. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of a doorway, window, or ventilation intake (so no hanging around outside a bar to smoke—you must go 20 ft. away). Smoking marijuana is illegal; if you attempt to buy it or light up, you can be arrested.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.