How do you choose the best Hawaii Tour Packages and Companies?
We know. Everybody claims to have the best Hawaii tours packages or one of the best Hawaii tour Companies. This post will give you little-known legal and compliance guidance. It also has tips and tricks for filtering online reviews. Make sure to read this before searching through the top-rated tour companies and Oahu activities.
6 questions to ask about activity and Hawaii Tours Packages?
We promise this is not just an advertisement for Halia Tours. That will come, but only at the very end. This article will help give you information regardless of which of the best Hawaii tour Companies you choose. It has legal and compliance questions to ask before you even book. There are also tips and advice when reading through online reviews and Hawaii tours packages. Before getting started, here are a few critical questions to ask.
Different people like different types of vacations and tours. There are a wide variety of options on the island that offer different types of fun.
Many small operators donʻt come from the transportation or hospitality industry. Often their backgrounds are in technology, giving them an online advantage.
We have included some compliance information to help you sift through the options. Not only that, but we have also added information to check safety priorities.
Most private tours have a 5 Star rating. Even with a lot, 4.5 should be the minimum. Weʻve shared some tricks to evaluating the strength of an online review.
There is a difference between private and group tours. We have compiled some of the pluses and minuses of each option.
We made it easy to save, and give back to Hawaii and you can learn more below. Choose a positive impact activity and save from $100 – $400 on any tour route.
If you didnʻt already jump to a particular section, we promise, it will be worth it. Whether you are searching for the top-rated tour Companies on Oahu or general Hawaii tour packages, this will help. Especially for those of you traveling with family. Whether you decide to book Your Private Tours or something else, this will help give you confidence when making a reservation.
What do you consider fun on your vacation?
We all have different personalities and interests. So that is something to consider when doing your research. Just because one person loved something doesnʻt always mean you will. Some folks want to do as little as possible on vacation.
Others want to jam as much into that precious time as possible. Some people love to swim, and others prefer to shop. No matter what your style, this article will help you narrow down the perfect Hawaii tours packages for you.
How do I know if the top-rated tour companies are legitimate?
Online reviews can be challenging to sift through, and most people know that the Better Business Bureau charges for accreditation. Before we say this, it is essential to note that operations owned by Native Hawaiians may have additional freedoms in light of historical and cultural aspects. However, there are a few quick and easy ways to tell if those top-rated tour Companies are legit. First things first, if they donʻt have a Public Utility Company or PUC Number, donʻt do it. They are not a real business, and almost certainly donʻt have the proper insurance.
The other easy indicator comes from the Department of Transportation. Anyone that accepts reservations from people out of State is engaged in Inter-state Commerce. Which means they need to have a US DOT Number. If they do not have that, do not book with them. That means there is a good chance they have no idea what they are doing in the Transportation Industry, or they donʻt care.
Choosing safe activity and Hawaii tours packages
While many companies love to talk about safety in their Marketing Departments, not everyone prioritizes it in their Operations. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell the difference.
Anybody that puts you in the water needs to be Certified, from First Aid to Oceanfront Lifeguarding. Also, if someone provides you a board or kayak, they must have a permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
What are the island-specific rules and regulations?
No matter what island you are visiting, if you are going on a hiking tour that is not private property, it must be permitted through the Na Ala Hele Trails System. There are a few exceptions, like Diamond Head, but not many. In addition, each island has different regulations for both tours and Covid responses.
For example, the island of Maui has regulated commercial activities on weekends and public holidays. On Oahu, there are several off-limits areas that we will cover shortly, but a permit is also needed to stop at any public park longer than 15 minutes. We are not arguing for or against them, just making you aware.
Knowing red flags and off-limit locations
We get it. There is no way most visitors would know any of this stuff. Quite frankly, some of the top-rated tour companies donʻt even realize it. Beyond the technical details, there are a few places no tour company can go. We will keep it to the island of Oahu for this one.
Regardless of what The Price is Right says, there is no legal tour to the Stairway to Heaven. In addition, from Sandyʻs all the way up the coastline to Kualoa Beach Park, there are no beaches that allow tours to stop. Some botanical gardens like Hoomaluhia do not allow tour vans.
Are all Hawaii tour packages more or less the same?
Once you get to the best Hawaii tour Companies that are compliant, each is a similar price once you consider the details. But if youʻre not necessarily looking for safe and legal, make sure you donʻt pay like it was. As far as the stops and activities are concerned, thatʻs where you should look next. Some are more relaxed, and others are more active.
Many people prefer to support small businesses, and others prefer larger, more established companies. Still, others want a more intimate, customizable experience. At the same time, some are looking to meet new people on a group tour. As a result of the current environment, lots of folks choose to go private. Once youʻve got that decided, itʻs time to check out the reviews.
Filtering reviews of Hawaii tours packages
When it comes to private tours, itʻs relatively easy to get 5 Star Reviews. So if their overall rating is lower than that, there might be something wrong. It is much harder to do this with group tours. That said, nobody is perfect. If there is some bad feedback, make sure it applies to you.
Then take a look and see if there was a response. If so, was it professional? Did they take responsibility? Are there other reviews by that person? Another thing to look for is keywords. If there are a lot of them, the Company may have paid for those reviews.
Do you want a private experience or a group tour?
While we vastly prefer private tours, sometimes a group tour makes more sense. If you are single and looking to meet people, definitely go with a bigger bus. Some of the best Hawaii tour Companies offer this style. Those may also fit if you are on a budget or maybe not overly interested in the attractions. Of course, you never know whoʻs going to bring the crying baby, and you are on a stricter timeline.
As we mentioned, we prefer custom and private. Although sometimes this option may be more expensive, for families, itʻs often the same price, if not cheaper. Not to mention, you get to skip the spots that arenʻt your style. Which means you spend more time at the places you love. Suppose that baby belongs to you, no worries. They can cry like itʻs their birthday. We can even put on some soothing music for them.
After that, itʻs all about personal preference
The reality of island life is there are only so many places you can go. If you are looking at a group tour and itʻs all even so far, decide based on the itinerary. Chances are they canʻt guarantee that guide you requested anyway. Some of these are locally owned, some are not.
But a private tour probably can. The biggest thing to check is compliance. After that, you will spend a lot of time with your guide. So youʻll want to make sure itʻs a fit. Itʻs also an excellent idea to reach out in advance and ask questions. Most of these are locally owned, small businesses.
One of the best Hawaii Tour Companies and reasonable prices
We know weʻre biased, but we hope you choose Halia for your Hawaii tours packages and Oahu transportation needs. We intentionally priced ourselves to be competitive with group excursions, even though we offer custom private tours. However, unlike most small Companies, we have over a decade and a half in the hospitality industry. We are also 100% Compliant and can do virtually anything as long as it is safe and legal.
Not to mention itʻs super fun! Thatʻs the whole point, right? We have rated 5 stars across the board and love what we do. At Halia Tours and Transportation, we also take our responsibility to the community seriously. After all, this is our favorite place on the planet. In Hawaii, the word for responsibility is also used to mean privilege. We try to keep that in mind in everything we do.
Save money and give back to the Community
That is one of the reasons we offer Your Community Service Tours. Guests can have a blast and save $100-$400 at the same time. Just spend one stop enjoying a positive impact activity and explore the rest of the day. This is by far our favorite tour and is a great deal!
Take an Oahu Circle Island Tour and stop to clean up a beautiful beach during the trip. Itʻs that simple. You can even visit Pearl Harbor and then work in a taro patch afterward. The Hawaii Tourism Authority liked this idea so much that they made their own version.
Choose from any of the most popular tour routes on the island
One of the things that make Your Private Tours of Oahu the best Hawaii tours packages is that you can choose from any route or even combine them. That way you can have one unforgettable day. Take a tour of Pearl Harbor and then explore the rest of the island if you want. You can even visit the top attractions on the island in one day.
All tours are 100% custom and private. You can even plan your experience around any theme or event. The flat rate, group pricing is a la carte and makes it flexible to see and do exactly what you want. Not only that, but we offer 6, 9, and 12-hour tour routes. You can even go from sunrise to sunset or plan to sleep late. Guests can even experience a more traditional circle island tour but around your pace and tastes. You canʻt go wrong.
As always, mahalo nui loa for taking the time to check out the Things to do on Oahu Blog. Make sure to follow us on social media for updates and ideas for your family vacation to Hawaii. Donʻt forget to share with your family and friends.
We certainly hope this post made that a bit more clear no matter which Hawaii tours packages and top-rated tour companies you decide. Of course, we want you to choose Your Private Tours of Oahu, Hawaii, and would love to show you around. But no matter what, enjoy your vacation, and thank you for reading. If you have more questions, weʻve posted some more answers.
Ad-free blog brought to you by:
Subscribe for more Things to do on Oahu
Keep up to date with all things Hawaii, stay in touch, get special offers and much more!