Before the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the airport as a visitor usually meant a stop at a car rental company followed by a scenic drive. These days, that is not always the case. Car rental inventory on Kauai was cut by almost half in response to decreased travel throughout 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic, a situation we now refer to as the “Rental Car Crisis.” Testing and vaccinations have allowed travelers to return to Hawaii but getting passengers aboard flights is considerably easier than bringing cars across the ocean, while we are in the middle of a nation-wide car manufacturing shortage.
One alternative option that has recently expanded on Kauai are airport shuttles, which present a viable option to get people where they need to go and allowing travelers to avoid an uncomfortable delay to their final destination.
If you are staying at a hotel or resort, they may have their own shuttle service. In case their in-house option is overbooked, or if you are traveling with a large group that requires a certain number of seats or room for a certain amount of luggage, then the following local shuttle operators each offer convenient solutions:
- Roberts Hawaii Airport Shuttle
- Speedi Shuttle
- Kauai Island Shuttle
- Kauai Luxury Transportation
- Kauai Taxi Company
Some suggestions when booking a shuttle:
- Make your arrangements in advance. No shuttles are allowed to do “on-demand” booking at the Lihue Airport.
- Consider the size of your travel party. A shuttle could transport your group and luggage much more comfortably than an available rental car. Local shuttle companies have options that can accommodate six to 12 passengers with luggage.
- Include the shuttle services in your travel plans. Some shuttle services offer tour packages, while others also have hop-on, hop off schedules for those that prefer to travel more at their own pace. Perhaps one or more of a shuttle company’s tours matches with what you’ve wanted to do on Kauai all along. Depending on the shuttle company, customized tours for your own group are also available. Ultimately, you can use a variety of shuttle companies while on Kauai depending on where you need to go and for what you want to see and do.
Each of the above shuttle providers offers online booking along with prices and schedules, as well as tour and route availability. Questions and personalized services can be discussed over the phone. With the shuttle services available on-island, a potentially long stop at a rental car company after exiting the airport instead becomes a walk straight onto your shuttle, helping to make sure that you make the most of your time on Kauai.