Top off activity-filled days with happy hour mai tais, writes online guru Eli Orzessek.

I will be in Oahu for almost two weeks next year. I have a few days with friends on the North Shore, then a full week in Waikiki by myself. Just wondering if you have any tips and tricks for a solo female traveller?


- Mel

My contact at House of Travel has given me some great tips to pass on.

Shopping is a must in Waikiki - catch the Pink Line trolley bus to the Ala Moana Centre. Here you can find all the big department stores such as Bloomingdale's and Macy's, as well as old faves such as Gap and Banana Republic.

If you're after a bargain, head 30 minutes out of Waikiki to the Waikele Premium Outlets. Adidas, Calvin Klein, Converse, Kate Spade and Nine West are just some of the outlet shops.

If you want a break from retail therapy, head to the beach and learn to surf or stand-up paddleboard, with private and group lessons available. Day tours are another great option - Hanauma Bay Snorkelling and the Grand Circle Island Tour are some of our favourites.


A trip to a spa is always a winner - indulge at the Moana Lani Spa at Moana Surfrider, the spa at The Modern Honolulu or Na Ho'ola Spa at Hyatt Regency Waikiki.

Dining out, people-watching and lying on the beach with a good book will suck up any further spare time.

A friend of mine has been to Hawaii a few times and recommends booking a bus trip out to Pearl Harbor and the Dole pineapple plantation.

Haleiwa, about an hour out of Waikiki, is also worth a day trip - it's a historic hippie town with the best shaved ice at Matsumoto Shave Ice.

Deputy Travel Editor Stephanie Holmes says: "Watch out for the happy hour mai tais at Waikiki's beach bars. They're cheap and delicious but very strong. So pace yourself."

Readers respond:

I was surprised at your response to the query re Dubai airport for a slightly older couple ('Ask Away', Travel, September 20). Transferring there is a daunting experience. Walking from arrivals to departures is no mean feat. It is many kilometres, and after a long flight the last thing you want to do is shop. The toilets I tried had long queues and were messy. The small transfer buggies are few and far between. You do require the full three hours if you are to have a refreshment. Obviously with your younger legs, you did not find it the arduous transfer that we did.

- Kay Spence
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