Many convenience groceries and packaging services sell prepaid calling cards in denominations up to $50. Some public pay phones now accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. Local calls made from most pay phones cost 50¢. Most long-distance and international calls can be dialed directly from any phone. To make calls within the United States and to Canada, dial 1 followed by the area code and the seven-digit number. For other international calls, dial 011 followed by the country code, city code, and the number you are calling.
Calls to area codes 800, 888, 877, and 866 are toll-free. However, calls to area codes 700 and 900 (chat lines, bulletin boards, "dating" services, and so on) can be expensive -- charges of 95¢ to $3 or more per minute. Some numbers have minimum charges that can run $15 or more.
For reversed-charge or collect calls, and for person-to-person calls, dial the number 0 then the area code and number; an operator will come on the line, and you should specify whether you are calling collect, person-to-person, or both. If your operator-assisted call is international, ask for the overseas operator.
For directory assistance ("Information"), dial 411 for local numbers and national numbers in the U.S. and Canada. For dedicated long-distance information, dial 1, then the appropriate area code plus 555-1212.
Generally, hotel surcharges on long-distance and local calls are astronomical, so you're better off using your cellphone or a public pay telephone.
Just because your cellphone works at home doesn't mean it'll work everywhere on Oahu. It's a good bet that your phone will work in Honolulu and Waikiki, but take a look at your wireless company's coverage map on its website before heading out. If you need to stay in touch, consider renting a phone from InTouch USA (tel. 800/872-7626; www.intouchglobal.com).
Internet & Wi-Fi
If you do not have your computer with you, find a cybercafe close to where you are staying: check www.cybercaptive.com and www.cybercafe.com. If your hotel doesn't have Web access, head to Web Site Story Café, 2555 Cartwright Rd. (in the Hotel Waikiki), Waikiki (tel. 808/922-1677). It's open daily from 7am to 11pm and serves drinks. Or, go to www.shaka.net for locations of their Internet kiosks.
Aside from formal cybercafes, all public libraries on Oahu offer free access if you have a library card, which you can purchase for a $10 fee. The closest library is the Waikiki-Kapahulu Library, 400 Kapahulu St. (across from the Ala Wai Golf Course; tel. 808/733-8488). Most hotels in Waikiki have business centers where you can rent computers and get on line access for a fee. If you have your computer with you most hotels (and even small B&Bs) on Oahu have in-room Wi-Fi connection, but the charges can be exorbitant ($11-$14 per day).
ShakaNet (www.shaka.net), Hawaii's largest wireless provider, has completed the first phase of its free Wireless Waikiki network. Phase I covers a significant portion of Waikiki and includes an estimated 1,000 hotel rooms, portions of the Honolulu Zoo, Kapiolani Park, Queens Beach, Kuhio Beach, and the adjacent shoreline. The boundaries of Phase I are on their website.
Remember to bring a connection kit of the right power adapters, or find out whether your hotel supplies them to guests.