Are you flying solo on your next Big Island vacation? Traveling alone allows you to fully immerse yourself in the magic of Hawaii and experience all it has to offer at your own pace. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures or tranquil moments of reflection, it’s easy to find activities to enjoy while traveling alone. Need help creating your itinerary? Here are five must-try activities to do solo on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Take Surf Lessons
Learning to surf is an excellent way to spend your time while traveling on your own. You’ll experience the island in a whole new way while learning new skills and putting your body to the test. Start with professional instruction to get acquainted with the gear, learn surfing techniques, and memorize safety rules.
Many popular companies offer surfing lessons on the Big Island, such as:
- Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures
- Kona Surf Company
- Ohana Surf Lessons
- Kahalu’u Bay Surf and Sea
- Happy Surf Land
Once you learn the ropes, you can rent a surfboard and other gear to head out on your own. Just be sure to choose well-populated beaches and cut your sessions short if the beach starts clearing out.
Swim with Manta Rays
The crystal-clear waters of the Big Island are perfect for swimming with majestic manta rays. The night dives are particularly impressive because the rays come to the lights to feed, creating a surreal underwater experience.
To join these night dives, just find a boat tour company offering manta ray encounters, such as:
If the manta ray experience leaves you craving more, call up these companies to see what other adventures they offer. Ocean Encounters, for example, takes guests on manta ray dives at night and dolphin adventures by day.
Go on a Helicopter Tour
Helicopter tours are amazing when traveling on your own. You don’t have to decide who gets to sit next to the pilot. And you can simply focus on the view from the beginning to the end of the flight.
For the best experience, you’ll want to find a tour company that takes you to all the sights you want to see. If you’d like to see the Kilauea Volcano from above, Hawaii Tours can take you there—and they even offer an Overnight Volcano Experience with a two-night stay in Volcanoes National Park and private sightseeing tours.
For a glimpse at all the best sights on the island in one trip, you might want to book your trip with Paradise Helicopter Tours of Hawaii, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, or Mauna Loa Helicopters. These companies offer sunset tours, waterfall flyovers, and coastal excursions galore.
Whenever you want to get your heart pumping, set your sights on skydiving trips on the Big Island. This is the perfect way to see the island from an all-new perspective while satisfying your need for speed and adventure.
Skydive B.I.G., Hawaii Adventure Tours, and Big Island Gravity are just a few companies offering skydiving experiences. If you’re not quite ready for a solo jump, ask about their tandem skydives. On the tandem trips, the instructor joins you to pull the parachute cord and help ease your worries about getting the timing right.
You can also ease into the experience by going parasailing first with companies like UFO Parasail. You’ll still get to soar through the air and see the island from far above the land. You just won’t have to experience the freefall sensation or pull the chute at just the right moment for an easy landing.
Tips for Enjoying Your Solo Travels to the Big Island
Ready to enjoy the adventures of a lifetime? Here are some tips to keep in mind for your solo travels to the Big Island:
The island’s diverse climate means you can experience tropical warmth and chilly weather in a single day. So, be sure to pack plenty of layers, a good pair of walking shoes, and all the sunny day essentials, like sunglasses, sunhats, and sunblock.
Rent a car
You can only get so far on public transportation while visiting the Big Island. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore hidden gems and less touristy spots while continuing to fly solo on your adventures.
Visiting the Big Island is all about enjoying the laid-back vibe. To do that effectively, it’s always a good idea to book your activities and accommodations in advance. This is especially important during the peak tourist season from December through March.
Even though you’re traveling alone, you should still tell someone about your plans for the day. This is important whether you’re going to popular tourist spots or remote areas. Also, get to know all the local safety guidelines, especially before hiking or participating in water activities.
Always show your respect to the locals, environment, and sacred sites during your travels. Follow the ‘leave no trace’ principle, heed posted signage, and avoid going onto private property at any time.
Learn key phrases
English is widely spoken on the Big Island, but learning a few Hawaiian phrases can enrich your travel experience. Simple words like saying aloha for hello and mahalo for thank you can go a long way.
Document your journey
Snap photos, take videos, and jot down notes in a journal to document your vacation from start to finish. You’ll love looking back on your travels and sharing your experiences with the world upon returning home.
No matter what you put on your itinerary, your Big Island solo adventures will undoubtedly have you looking forward to your next trip. So, start building out that schedule, pack up all the essentials, and study the top travel tips to get ready for a vacation to remember.