When on Kauai, everyone is on "island time." Book a discounted rental car in advance with Skyscanner's unmatched price comparison tool to arrive at Lihue Airport, drive off, and share some aloha!
Cheap Car Rentals in Lihue
Kauai Island is easy to navigate, though it is almost essential to have a car if an itinerary calls for more than R&R at a beachside resort. Luckily, those visitors flying to the "Garden Isle" will find internationally recognized companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Avis, Hertz, and Budget at Lihue Airport. Most rental car companies open at 5 a.m., so travelers can arrive bright and early and set off for some island adventures.
Pick up a rental car just beyond Lihue Airport's baggage claim area at the Rent-A-Car booths across the street from the terminal. Depending on budget, the best kind of car to rent in Kauai is a convertible to really take in the fresh air, though an economy rental will do just fine.
Gas Stations Near Lihue Airport
Even the standard price for gas is expensive on the island, so keep this in mind when booking a rental car. Kuhio Highway is a convenient to stop and refuel, as well as stations set off of Kaumualii Highway. For those catching a return flight in the morning, most of these gas stations are conveniently open as of 6 a.m.or earlier.
Traffic on Kauai Island
Driving through local traffic is not stressful as compared to traffic in major cities around the world like Bangkok or New York City. Heavy periods of traffic occur for construction or during the day due to tourism around the island. Lihue Airport is on the southeastern end of the coast, and just under an hour-long drive away from the spectacular north shore beaches.
The roads accommodate most vehicles, though be cautious when driving on two-lane roads, especially when there are delays due to any excessive construction work or livestock crossing. Be especially cautious when sharing the roadways with pedestrians or bicyclists.
Kauai Island by Car
Getting to and from Lihue Airport and hopping around the island is fairly easy, though there are only a few major highways along the coast. The drive from Lihue to Princeville is a popular choice that only takes around 45 minutes and is home to some of the island's most gorgeous sunsets. This vacationing resort community offers cliffside views, some featuring the massive Makana Mountain, and is the perfect setting for a romantic meal or sharing a crisp bottle of bubbly.
Poipu is only 25 minutes from Lihue and is considered one of the Best Beaches in America according to The Travel Channel. Check out Kauai Culinary Market, a lively Wednesday market that offers live island-style music and cooking demos at the Kukuiula Shopping Village. From Poipu, drive an hour and twenty minutes to Kokee State Park, home to some of the best hiking trails, wetlands, and views of Waimea Canyon.
It's not possible to drive around the entire coastline of the island due to the Na Pali Coast, vast wilderness areas, and state parks. However, a rental car gives travelers the flexibility to explore all of Kauai how they please and on their own time.