Hawaii is popular for its stunning landscapes and beaches, but the safety of Hawaii travel has been a concern of many travelers.
Before 2011, Hawaii was rated by Travel and Leisure magazine as one of the safest U.S. states in which to live, based on crime rates and political stability.
Tourism has been a large part of Hawaii’s economy as well as its politics.
In 2016 alone, nearly 9 million people visited the island state.
The government is working to keep travelers safe by taking necessary precautions and following advice from safety organizations such as the U.S. Department of State and other countries’ travel advisories.
Concerning safety concerns regarding natural disasters, Hawaii was ranked as the 13th safest state by WalletHub.
According to scholars at UH Mānoa, Hawaii’s infrastructure can withstand and recover from any disaster better than most other states in the nation.
If you enjoy surfing, come to the island of Oahu for some of the best surfing in the world!
Although most beaches and areas are safe for swimming and recreation, be cautious when you go deeper into the waters as currents can become dangerous.
Warnings & Dangers in Hawaii
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Violent crime, such as murder and armed robbery, tends to be associated with the drug trade. As a result, incidents often occur in places frequented by addicts, including secluded areas under the freeway or train tracks where addicts tend to congregate. However, tourists are seldom affected by this crime. Hotel safety is generally good due to tight security, but tourists should still take extra precautions at night. You will have to be vigilant about natural disasters. It is best to have an emergency plan in place when you travel, including where you will seek shelter if there are tsunamis or earthquakes.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Taxi drivers are considered vigilant and helpful in most cases. Taxi crime has declined steadily since 1992 due to strict government regulations. However, some taxi drivers will try to overcharge visitors, so you must be aware of this before getting into any cabs.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Pickpockets are common in Honolulu and other busy areas. Tourists should be cautious of thieves who work with accomplices to distract their victims.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Hawaii is located in a region of high volcanic activity, which can cause earthquakes. Hawaii has no active land volcanoes, but earthquakes are still a threat to the state. The island-state is located in an area called the "Ring of Fire" where earthquakes are very common. Hawaii experiences tsunamis throughout the year, but most often during October through May. Hawaii also has 5 active volcanoes. A couple of them are among the most active volcanoes in the world.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Violent crimes and muggings are rare in Hawaii, but it is still important to stay vigilant. Keep valuable items out of plain sight and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Hawaii itself is normally not a target for terrorism like New York. However, terrorism can happen anywhere at any time - especially domestic terrorism. So it is important to be vigilant, no matter how safe a state is otherwise.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Tourists can get scammed into paying for things they could see for free. Be aware of getting catfished on Instagram - in other words, a beach may look better in a photo than it does in real life.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Overall, women travelers can feel safe here, even when traveling alone, as long as they take normal safety precautions. Of course, regardless of gender, be careful with your property. Property crime is the most common crime in Hawaii.
TAP WATER RISK : MEDIUM
The state once had good pristine drinking water but it has suffered contamination in recent years. Petroleum has been found in the water.
Safest Places to Visit in Hawaii
Kalaupapa, Molokai, Hawaii
Kalaupapa is a remote peninsula on the island of Molokai.
It has also been recognized as a national historical landmark.
The area has no cars and only hiking trails, making it safer than other areas in Hawaii.
Maui is one of several islands that make up the state of Hawaii.
It’s easy to see why Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation was founded there since it’s home to some of the world’s largest macadamia nut farms.
Mostly, this island is known for its sunny beaches, but there are some tourist attractions inland too.
Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
There are many beautiful places on the Big Island of Hawaii, including some popular national and state parks.
It’s also home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes, including Kilauea and Mauna Loa.
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu is one of several islands that make up the state of Hawaii.
Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii.
Even though tourists mostly visit Waikiki Beach for its seaside resorts, beaches, surfing contests, and cultural festivals, there are still other tourist attractions to be found in Honolulu.
Pearl Harbor, historical Ali’iolani Hale, the U.S.S Arizona Memorial, Iolani Palace, Kapi’olani Park Playground, Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail are in Honolulu.
It’s also home to the world-famous Honolulu Zoo and two volcanoes, Diamond Head and Punchbowl Crater.
Placess to Avoid in Hawaii
Honolulu, Oahu has its good and bad.
Bad neighborhoods include Makiki, Punchbowl, and Iwilei.
It is the main site for drug transport in the state.
Also, avoid the Kamehameha Highway (Route 99) at night.
In 1993, the U.S Navy turned over control of this small, uninhabited island in Maui County to The State of Hawaii after using it as a bombing target since World War II.
While there are some buildings left behind by the Navy, much of Kahoolawe is now barren because the thick layer of topsoil was blown off.
Pahoa, Island of Hawaii
This part of the state has the highest number of sex offenders.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Hawaii
- Be careful when swimming. When swimming in the ocean, make sure to swim only near a lifeguard. Riptides and other dangerous currents can be found in Hawaii.
- Watch your bags. Always pack your bags yourself and do not allow strangers to carry them for you.
- Using the buddy system at night. Don’t go out alone at night or walk around town while intoxicated. It is best to travel in pairs or groups instead.
- Protect your valuables. Lock all valuables away in the safe provided by your hotel room before checking out of your room each day, especially if you are staying in a less expensive hotel without any security features like deadbolts on doors or peepholes in doorknobs.
- Don’t leave valuables in the car. Do not leave anything of value visible through the windows of your car when driving around Oahu, Kauai, or Maui, since thefts from cars have occurred and continue to happen.
- Drive during the day. If you are renting a car, try and drive during daylight hours and be aware of any accidents, construction sites, or other vehicular obstructions in the road ahead of time to prevent being hit from behind or sideswiped by another driver.
- Don’t rent a flashy car. Rent a cheaper rental car instead of a pricey gas-guzzler when visiting Hawaii since prices can add up at filling stations quickly.
- Know where your food comes from. Do not accept food from strangers when visiting Kauai or Molokai – in case it has been laced with illegal drugs. This is rare but still occurs in parts of the state, so always be careful when in crowded places like farmers’ markets, festivals, and beaches where a lot is going on all at once.
- Use protection on your adventure. Do not perform any risky activities which could lead to death or serious injury when in Hawaii including bungee jumping at a state park, ziplining over a rainforest deep in the jungle, or rock climbing without proper experience and safety equipment.
- Get travel insurance. Make sure that you have travel insurance before heading out on vacation in case of accident, illness, theft, or natural disaster when visiting Hawaii, so your trip isn’t ruined by unexpected expenses.
So... How Safe Is Hawaii Really?
Hawaii is a beautiful, tropical paradise for most tourists who visit the state.
Unfortunately, there are always some risks when you travel to just about any place in the world.
As with anywhere else, Hawaii has its good and bad parts of town.
The most frequent violent offense in Hawaii is aggravated assault, which makes up 52% of all violent crime in the state, as opposed to 68 percent across the country.
Property crime has decreased significantly over the past year – from 24% to 18 percent this year.
Burglaries are far less prevalent in Hawaii, accounting for 13% of all property crime vs. 16% across the United States.
Crime has gone down by 33% since 2019.
Hawaii has low instances of terror-related attacks, but tourists should remain vigilant at all times when in crowded public places or near large events where there are a lot of people gathered all at once.
Overall, you should be safe here with common-sense precautions.
How Does Hawaii Compare?
- Visas - If you are a non-US citizen, you are required to get a tourist visa to visit the United States. The length of your Visa will depend on what country you are from. You must apply at the US Consulate in your country.
- Currency - The United States uses the u.s. dollar as currency. You can pay by cash, credit card, or debit card. Electronic payments such as Google pay and Apple pay are also more and more common at retailers in the country.
- Weather - Overall, the weather in Hawaii is nice, with warm to hot temperatures year-round. It does rain a lot throughout the islands but usually only for brief periods before clearing up quickly without many clouds remaining in the sky afterward. There are no real cold days when visiting Hawaii. So, even during the winter months, you shouldn't need more than an average light jacket to stay warm.
- Airports - You can fly to this state from many locations in the world, including mainland US cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Phoenix. Hawaii airports include: •Hilo International Airport (ITO) •Kahului Airport (OGG) •Lihue Airport (LIH)-- On Kauai Island •Waimea-Kohala Airport (MUE) --On Big Island
- Travel Insurance - It is a good idea to have some type of travel insurance when you visit Hawaii. Of course, General Health travel insurance is important in case you get sick. Also, since property crime is common here, make sure you have some type of property-liability insurance in case your items get stolen.
Hawaii Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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