Overall, Hawaii is absolutely amazing and we could list hundreds of great things about being there and living there.

But, what are the WORST things about living in and visiting Hawaii? Things that might affect you on a day-to-day basis and make you visiting the islands at all?

The Absolute Worst of Hawaii:


Automobile traffic on Oahu, during rush hours in the morning and evening is insane. Hawaii State says there are about 2 cars for every one person living on Oahu. To illustrate this point… these two million cars, if all out on the roads at once? There is not enough paved road to fit them all. Bizarre right? This statistic about having 2 cars per person has been floating around since 1985 – I heard it then.

2. Prices.

I am surprised nobody is following us around and charging us for breathing. It’s that bad. You know things are bad when your monthly expenses for food for your family – approaches the same dizzying height as your mortgage payment.

3. Crowds.

I’ve said since the mid-80’s… Waikiki is like New York City on a beach. There are hundreds of skyscrapers, thousands upon thousands of people out and about – many trying to do exactly what you are doing. It is tough to find any deserted beach, or even space anymore – someone is already there or on their way. One million Honolulu residents plus millions and millions of visitors per year = one big headache for those on Oahu. Go see the other islands too to get the bigger picture.

So, these three things are enough to make most people ready to pull their own hair out by the root as they visit Hawaii – or worse – live there.

These three things primarily affect only the people on the island of Oahu.

The only one of these three that affects all islands is “prices.”

Some people would replace “Crowds” with “Bugs”. In truth – that affects more islands, but to me it really isn’t that bad. Sure there are big bugs, mosquitoes everywhere, and cockroaches flying through your room at night. Geckos? Yeah sure, they’re climbing the walls. No different from many places around the world. If you hate bugs – Hawaii has something for you.

What are some other negative things about visiting or living in the Hawaiian islands?

  • crime – theft is very common
  • inconsiderate tourists
  • inconsiderate locals
  • driving habits
  • finding a place to shee-shee
  • poor education and school experience
  • drug epidemic
  • adjusting to new diet – limited availability of food you liked on mainland
  • police eager to ticket you for anything
  • parking is a nightmare
  • half the island at any point in time is stoned

We had a reader poll for those living in Hawaii – and asked them to…

Choose 3 Worst Things About Living in Hawaii

  • High cost of living (71%, 37 Votes)
  • Illegal drugs epidemic (37%, 19 Votes)
  • Traffic (29%, 15 Votes)
  • Low pay (27%, 14 Votes)
  • High unemployment (19%, 10 Votes)
  • Isolation from other places (19%, 10 Votes)
  • Too many tourists (15%, 8 Votes)
  • Tough for businesses to make it (12%, 6 Votes)
  • Schools (10%, 5 Votes)
  • The people (10%, 5 Votes)
  • Not enough cultural things going on (10%, 5 Votes)
  • Military presence (6%, 3 Votes)
  • The constant police presence (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Bad place to raise family (4%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 52

[Source: Hawaii Poll – 5 Feb 2011]

Over at City-Data Hawaii forum “Souperstar34” came up with this list of 10 Worst Things about Living in Honolulu:

1. Cockroaches

2. Home costs

3. Drivers

4. Drugs

5. Racism

6. TV Commercials – she complained that many ads are for places that aren’t even in Hawaii. Who is watching TV anyway?

7. Traffic

8. Language barrier

9. Relaxed Atmosphere – “everything takes forever”.

10. Island Fever

On a more positive note, here is another reader poll we did:

Choose the 3 Best Things About Living in Hawaii <-click