Finding parking in the bustling paradise of Waikiki can feel like searching for buried treasure, with the potential to dig deep into your travel budget.
Hotel parking can cost a pretty penny, and parking meters can be as hungry for your change as the local surfers are for the perfect wave.
Fear not, intrepid travelers!
I’ve scoured the tropical web, braved the phone lines, and even surfed through the options in person to create the ultimate guide to finding the best, cheap, and free parking in Waikiki.
Overnight Parking in Waikiki
Hotels often offer the most convenient but wallet-wrenching option. Most Waikiki hotels provide both self-parking and valet parking, and the latter can easily set you back an extra 10 bucks a day—not to mention the customary tips.
But before you commit to that convenient yet costly hotel parking, here are a few questions to help you navigate this parking conundrum:
- How much does on-site parking cost?
Hotel parking rates in Waikiki can vary widely, and the price tag often depends on the hotel’s star rating and location.
While some may charge a modest fee for self-parking, others, especially the upscale resorts, can demand a king’s ransom.
Take a moment to inquire about the specific parking fee at your chosen hotel.
- Does the structure allow unlimited in-and-out privileges or can you only exist and enter the parking lot once?
Unlimited in-and-out privileges are like finding a message in a bottle on a deserted island; rare and precious.
Some hotels generously offer this, allowing you to come and go as you please without incurring additional charges.
However, many others restrict you to a single entry and exit per day, which can be limiting if you plan to explore the island frequently.
- Is the cost of parking included in the cost of the resort fee?
Picture this: you’ve booked a luxurious resort in Waikiki, and they present you with a resort fee. It sounds all-inclusive, right?
Well, not always. Some resorts bundle the cost of parking into their resort fee, while others keep it separate.
Be sure to double-check to avoid any unexpected surprises when you settle your bill.
- Are your fees determined by the calendar day or by 24-hour periods?
The clockwork of parking fees can be puzzling.
Some hotels may charge fees based on the calendar day, meaning that if you park for a portion of one day and another part the next, you’ll be charged for two full days.
Others may opt for a 24-hour period calculation, offering a bit more flexibility.
- Are there any other costs associated with parking (e.g., taxes and tips)?
In the world of travel, there’s a universal truth: taxes and tips have a knack for sneaking up on your budget.
When inquiring about parking fees, don’t forget to inquire about any additional costs, such as taxes and gratuities.
It’s always better to be prepared than to feel like a ship caught in a storm of unexpected expenses.
Public Parking Options
If you’re looking to save some green while avoiding the hefty hotel parking fees, consider venturing into the world of public parking garages. Be prepared for a bit of a stroll, but your wallet will thank you.
Public garages in Waikiki are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. Some offer day, night, overnight, and even hourly rates, all on the same price board.
On-Street Parking and Parking in Public Parks
Parking meters in Waikiki can sometimes charge as much as a fancy cocktail on Waikiki beach; up to $1.50 per hour! But here’s the catch: we don’t recommend street parking for two good reasons.
First, you might circle the block like a hungry seagull without finding a single available spot. Second, different zones have different rules, and if you don’t pay attention, you might end up with your car surfing the back of a tow truck.
For example, parking along Ala Wai Boulevard beside Ala Wai Canal might seem tempting, but beware! Weekdays from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM are off-limits.
Ala Moana Beach Park also offers free parking during the day, but it’s closed overnight, and leaving your car there might just lead to a moonlight tow party.
Free Parking Alternatives
Hui Car Share is your golden ticket to avoiding parking fees. It’s a round-trip car rental service that lets you reserve and unlock a car with ease.
With 16 locations just blocks away from most Waikiki hotels, Hui is your affordable parking superhero. Remember, though, you must return the car to the same location where you picked it up—no island-hopping for cars here!
Gas and insurance are also part of the package, and prices start at just $12 an hour and $125.50 for a whole day. Plus, all Hui locations are accessible 24/7, making it a convenient and budget-friendly option.
The Cheapest Places to Park in Waikiki
For those who don’t mind stretching their legs a bit, there are two trusty parking options that keep popping up in every local forum and travel blog.
In East Waikiki, the Waikiki Banyan is your best bet, while in the West, the Ala Wai Boat Harbor comes to the rescue.
These spots are both easy on the wallet but might require a bit more walking. After all, in Waikiki, a short stroll isn’t exactly a punishment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s dive into some common questions about parking in Waikiki and quench that thirst for knowledge.
How much is parking in Waikiki?
On average, overnight parking at a Waikiki hotel will set you back around $44.49 a night, while parking meters demand $1.50 per hour.
Can you park at Ala Moana overnight?
Unfortunately, you can’t. Although you can park there for free during the day, the beach park shuts its gates overnight from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM.
Is there free parking in Waikiki?
Yes, you can find free parking on Ala Wai Boulevard, except during restricted hours.
In the land of surf, sand, and sunshine, finding affordable parking in Waikiki doesn’t have to be a wild ride on a wave of expenses.
Armed with the knowledge of hotel options, public garages, and the secret treasure of Hui Car Share, you can navigate the parking waters with confidence.
Save your hard-earned cash for those extra slices of pineapple and enjoy your Hawaiian adventure to the fullest!