We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Solo trip in March-advice?

Seattle, Washington
12 posts
Save Topic
Solo trip in March-advice?

Hi all,

I've been getting great info from the forums, and am looking for some more specific advice. I'm planning a trip to the Big Island for the first part of March. I'm most interested in whale watching and snorkeling, so I'll most likely be staying someplace on the Kohala Coast (haven't totally narrowed down which place yet).

This'll be my first trip to the BI, and as a solo, 30-something female, I'm looking for tips on how to stay safe (in addition to common-sense stuff, of course) and get the most out of my trip.

I know it's not ideal to snorkel on your own, but are there sites that are best for that? Any particular spots to avoid? I do plan to take a tour or two, as well.

I'm also wondering if anyone has personal experience with any solo traveler sites--I was thinking of seeing if I could meet up with someone just to have a snorkel or hiking buddy, but there are a lot of forums out there and I was hoping to see how it'd worked for others.

Thanks for any help!

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
40,303 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

Hi,

the Kohala Coast is very safe from crime, although the ocean safety concerns you mention are legit. I think the safest spots are Makaʻiwa Bay and Anaehoʻomalu except that at the latter, the water clarity is so poor and there isnʻt good snorkeling. Waialea I would only do very close in around the center rocks and only if it is fairly flat, which could happen in March but isnʻt the norm.

At one time there were a lot of meet up type posts on Lonely Planetʻs forums, but the Hawaiʻi posting has always been tough because for some reason they have it lumped in with the whole US. I used it for the South Pacific.

Obviously your best bet for being with people in the water is a tour.

Second you can look for people on the beach who are snorkeling and perhaps ask to tag along. People are in a pretty generous mood much of the time.

Edited: 2:06 am, January 16, 2014
Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
40,303 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

You may also meet people here for example if you sit at the actual bar in a restaurant, you can join in conversations, and if you were in a condo. you could meet people in the common areas, if at a guesthouse or B&B your host may have some friends to recommend, if at a hotel in the bar or common areas, also ask the concierge I guess.

Just stay away from Craigslist and personal ads. I wouldnʻt trust anyone from here who wants to meet a single female not to have an ulterior motive, and that might be OK but they might be creeps.

Level Contributor
62 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

I've travelled in Hawaii alone, also a thirty something female, and had some of the same concerns. Two things have helped: 1) make some friends on the forums who might want to hang out or introduce you to others. 2) at beaches, I tend to befriend families (both local and tourist). Generally feel safer say leaving my cooler etc to snorkel with a mom and/or dad with kids are also hanging out. On the weekends you'll find plenty of locals at the more popular beaches sometimes big groups of families n friends. As a single woman, often they will respond kindly to simple requests like that.

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
2,803 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

Solo hiking and exploring will be generally "safer" at places like Volcano National Park w/ reasonable hikes like Kilauea Iki. Where as remote walks on the beach your are kinda on your own out there.

See if you can arrange for accomodations w/ a good host or concierge that you can check in with to alert them as to your daily plans (in case there;s trouble) and also give you local advice. Sometimes breakfast at B&B's is a good place to strike up w/ a new friendship. Last time out I got a ride to Green Sand Beach that I was reluctant to explore on my own (struck up a conversation at breakfast).

The upside of solo travel is you will be on your own schedule. The upside of dragging a friend along is you can share the experience and costs. But make sure you are compatible w/ travel priorities (nothing worse then you are ready to hike and they are ready to plant them selves at the pool).

Hooking up w/ some good tours will help you meet others as well.... hopefully the smaller group type events (not the big buses). Places to snorkel or swim for a single women would be places like Two Step near Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Place of Refuge) where there is safety in numbers or Hapuna Beach assuming the surf conditions are good for swimming.

As for meeting someone don't make that the priority but be open to reasonalbe meetings in small groups vs. hanging out at the local watering holes will be "pot luck" at best.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
43,222 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

Almost all national parks have hikes that you can join in on . . . Here in Denali they are called Disco hikes (we all have a visual there!) but it stands for discovery hikes, which are led by an interpretive ranger. They are usually great fun! Here is a list of events (which includes some hikes) for VNP:

www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/events.htm

As Lara suggested, I have done trips with my kids to Hawaii, so I have been semi solo . . .and I love to snorkel, so I tend to hang out in groups with other snorkelers - that helps. Same as putting your stuff on the beach near other families - they tend to be friendly and watch out for you.

Too bad there aren't more B&B's in Hawaii - that is such a good place to meet up with other people. Some hostels are also good places to meet others wanting to do the same adventures. I hope you have a fabulous time! :)

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,045 posts
179 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

I am not a woman, and 30 something lies a few decades back in he rearview mirror, but I once did lots of solo traveling and snorkeling. And I have women friends who have camped solo on the Big Island who have reported no problems while doing so. Therefore, I conclude that the dangers associate with being a single woman on the Big Island are no more than being a single woman in Seattle. As for snorkeling, if you're experienced and a reasonably good swimmer, you should have no problems at the better snorkeling beaches on the Kohala Coast. By March the sea should he calmer than it is now in January, but remember that conditions will probably be better in the morning than in the afternoon.

LA
Level Contributor
11,030 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

All of this assumes you will be renting a car.

Seattle, Washington
12 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

Thank you all for the tips--much appreciated!

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
31,936 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

"So I conclude that the dangers associate with being a single woman on the Big Island are no more than being a single woman in Seattle."

I pretty much agree and would even go so far as to say overall the BI is quite a bit safer (having lived extensively in both places), and of course just like in the Seattle area there are certain places to avoid there are certain places to avoid here, and I think overall you've gotten good advice.

With regard to ocean conditions, I will differ though. I've been diving, snorkeling and swimming on this island regularly for more than 15 years and overall March is the worst on the west side. High surf, wind chop, poor viz, undertow, wicked currents seem to be much more common in March than any other month. So much so that I try to plan to be gone during that time (I'll be in Tahiti this March). So do try to find a snorkel buddy and always keep a close eye on ocean conditions.

Edited: 9:59 pm, January 20, 2014
10. Re: Solo trip in March-advice?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 am, January 22, 2015