Whether you are arriving on the Big Island by air or by sea, if you plan to rent a vehicle, all of the major Big Island rental cars are available at the two main airports on the island. When planning your visit, it is important to consider what type of Big Island car rental you prefer and where you will be traveling in order to know which vehicle might suit your Big Island vacation. In addition to renting a car, you can rent an ATV or a scooter, and some Big Island rental cars offer Harleys. Visitors also should be sure to grab a few maps and pamphlets from the airport or the Big Island car rental.
Planning your trip to the Big Island will help you decide which vehicle—or vehicles—you may need to rent when you arrive. If you plan on sightseeing across the entire island, you may want to rent a car or SUV from your Big Island car rental for long distances. While some plans may include off road travel, keep in mind that rental agreements become void off-road, so you may have to rent an ATV or a 4-by-4 vehicle for these particular roads or activities. Motorcycle-lovers may want to rent a Harley Davidson for scenic byways, while scooters are an excellent means of transportation for those traveling in and around town or to Big Island beaches and sights that are closer to their hotels.
While journeying the long and winding roads of the Big Island, visitors will travel with ease on the two major highways going around and across the island, though it may be necessary to have a GPS as in many locations roads are poorly marked. Many rental cars on the Big Island offer a GPS with their vehicles, though visitors may want to bring their own from home to avoid extra charges for the system. Unlimited mileage is included free by several of the companies that offer rental cars on the Big Island, so don't worry about too much travel—in those cases, there's no such thing. However, do pay attention to the contract for your Big Island car rental to be sure of the details; renters may have to purchase an extra package for this feature.
Before heading out on the grand adventure, visitors would also be wise to pick up a map or two of the major cities. The downtown areas in Kona and Hilo can be easily navigated with these detailed maps, but beware of one-way streets, as there are many. These maps and pamphlets can also be helpful in locating parking. Parking prices in Kona and Hilo are at their height here, but there are still a few little-known places where visitors can still find free parking.
Using rental cars on the Big Island can help travelers make sure that they have a worry-free Hawaii vacation. Proper planning often can either make or break your vacation. With the right amount of time, this tropical paradise will offer up its divine fruits, but a rushed trip can turn paradise to chaos, so visitors should book Big Island rental cars ahead of time to ensure that the vehicle you need is ready when you arrive.