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Is Hawaii Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns

Is Hawaii Safe to Visit in 2024? | Safety Concerns

Is Hawaii safe to visit?

Hawaii offers a safe environment for tourists with its low crime rates, though visitors should watch out for petty thefts such as vehicle break-ins and pickpocketing. Natural hazards, including hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, are the more significant risks, but timely information and adherence to safety guidelines can help manage these threats.

When many people think of paradise, they picture Hawaii. The gorgeous island state is a dream destination for many honeymooners and beach lovers. If you want to spend your days on the beach, there’s no better place to go than Hawaii, from Waikiki to hidden coves on Kauai.

The state has a landscape unlike any other in the United States, which you can explore at many national parks such as Volcano National Park.

There are also plenty of creature comforts, from shopping in Maui to luxury resorts. Visiting Hawaii is a great idea, but as with any new place, you may be wondering if it’s safe. Read on to find out.

Is Hawaii Safe to Visit?

Waikiki beach with tourists all around pictured for a guide to whether or not Hawaii is safe to visit

WAIKIKI, HI – APRIL 27 – Tourists on the beach front at sunset on Waikiki beach April 27, 2014 in Oahu. Waikiki beach is beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, best known for white sand and surfing

Yes. Hawaii is very safe to visit. However, just like in any place, you’ll have to take basic precautions to stay safe while you’re out and about. Petty crime such as vehicle break-ins can happen, but more violent incidents are fairly rare.

Some parts of Hawaii are also vulnerable to natural disasters. Hawaii is generally a safe state when it comes to crime. According to sites that monitor crime nation-wide, Hawaiians enjoy lower than average crime rates overall, as well as lower than average violent crime rates.

Tourists may still encounter crimes when they are in town, such as:

  • Pickpocketing
  • Bag snatching
  • Scams
  • Vehicle break-ins
  • Burglaries

These are the petty crimes common in tourist destinations around the world, not just Hawaii. Hawaii is prone to natural disasters, which can definitely affect the safety of your trip.

The Canadian travel advisory for the United States mentions the risk of several natural disasters in the state, such as:

  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Tsunamis
  • Fires

Before visiting Hawaii, pay attention to news alerts for any predicted storms or disasters. If a disaster strikes while you are in town, make sure that you follow government advice. Check on the National Weather Service website to see if there are any active alerts for Hawaii before planning your trip.

Visiting the Hawaiian volcanoes is a popular tourist attraction, and these powerful mountains are mostly safe. However, volcanoes are still dangerous, no matter how much tourist infrastructure is packed along their slopes.

The state of Hawaii has a website with regular updates on volcanic conditions that you should check. In August 2023, the popular resort town of Lahaina on Maui suffered devastating wildfires that killed nearly 100 people.

Although the fires have been put out, the infrastructure still hasn’t come close to recovering, and rescuers are still clearing the ash and debris. The Hawaii Tourism Authority still advises visitors to avoid Lahaina out of respect for locals that are rebuilding their lives.

Crime in Hawaii

Photo of a man walking down the sidewalk in Honolulu between big and tall condo buildings

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii – November 04, 2019: street view at Waikiki with unidentified people. Waikiki is a neighbourhood of Honolulu, most famous for Waikiki beach, which is almost entirely man-made/Christian Mueller/Shutterstock

Crime is not that significant a problem that visitors will have to face when they visit Hawaii. The crime rate is not that high, especially compared to other parts of the United States.

While the risk of natural disasters is a bigger source of concern for visitors, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the risk of crime. According to the 2019 Uniform Crime Report, Hawaii has a moderately low crime rate.

The total crime rate is 3,130 incidents per 100,000 people, which is lower than the national average. Most crimes that occur in Hawaii are property crimes. 91.4% of crimes committed in the state are property crimes.

That means that only 8.6% of total crimes committed in Hawaii are violent crimes, which is again far below the national average. Hawaii is so safe that in some smaller towns, residents don’t even bother locking their doors because they know there is a low risk of anything bad happening.

The most common overall crime in Hawaii is larceny-theft, which makes up about 67% of total crimes committed in Hawaii. This category includes most petty thefts such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft from vehicles.

The only concerning note is that reported rates for some crimes increased in 2019, notably robbery (13.7%) and larceny-theft (by 1.2%). However, these fluctuations in crime levels happen anywhere in the world and aren’t unique to Hawaii.

Theft From Vehicles

One of the most common crimes that befalls tourists while they are in Hawaii is theft from vehicles. This is part of a broader category of petty theft, which often targets visitors.

Thieves often operate in places where they know visitors tend to operate, such as at popular lookout points, in the parking lots of popular national parks such as Volcano National Park, and on the streets of Honolulu and other popular tourist towns.

Cars with rental stickers are often targeted because thieves assume tourists are more likely to have valuables with them. Even if you are driving a rental car, you can follow these tips to make yourself less attractive to potential thieves.

Never, ever leave your suitcases or bags in your car. Drop your things off at your hotel and then go sightseeing.

Also, don’t leave purses or wallets in the car, even if you’re just stepping out to get gas. If you leave anything in the car, such as a spare duffel bag or loose change, make sure that it isn’t visible from outside.


Pickpocketing and other forms of petty theft are some of the most common crimes in Hawaii, and some of the most common crimes that affect tourists. Pickpockets and thieves tend to operate around popular tourist attractions, such as Waikiki Beach.

They target tourists because they tend to be more distracted. Some target tourists due to frustration over overtourism as well. Basic common sense precautions are enough to deter pickpockets.

Don’t walk around with your phone hanging out of your pocket or leave your bag on the table in the outdoor café. Basic awareness around you and holding onto your valuables is enough to protect you. There have been thefts on the beach in the past, but they are easy to avoid as well.

When you’re heading out for a beach day, just take however much cash you will need for the day and leave the rest in your hotel safe. Cover your bag with a beach towel to deter theft.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Empty view of Makaha beach in West Oahu pictured for a guide titled Is Hawaii Safe to Visit

Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

Hawaii doesn’t have many areas that are so dangerous you need to avoid them. That said, it’s a good practice to avoid parks and other deserted areas at night, same as you would anywhere else you visit. Smaller, poorer towns in Hawaii tend to have higher crime rates.

Such places include Wahiawa, Makaha, and Pahoa, but these are places tourists don’t tend to venture. Don’t visit Lahaina until the Hawaii Tourist Authority gives the OK. This area isn’t bad, but it is devastated, and needs time to recover.

Frequently Asked Questions

Night view of Waikiki Beach pictured under a dark night sky with hotels lining the beach for a guide to whether or not Hawaii is safe to visit


Here are some common questions people have asked about visiting Hawaii:

Is Hawaii safe to travel to now?

Yes, Hawaii is safe to travel to now. Just be sure to check alerts for extreme weather and other disasters before you go.

Is Hawaii safe for foreigners?

Yes, Hawaii is very safe for foreigners. However, some Hawaiians resent all non-islanders due to overtourism, so do your best to be respectful.

Which Hawaiian island is the safest?

Kauai is the safest Hawaiian island. It has the lowest crime rate, probably because it is the least populous island as well.

Are Hawaiians friendly to tourists?

Most Hawaiians are friendly to tourists, but some are getting frustrated with the effects tourism has on their home. Match local friendliness with respect, try to seek out local businesses rather than just resorts, and show interest in truly learning about Hawaii and you’ll see how open people can be.

Is Hawaii safe from tsunamis?

Hawaii is not completely safe from tsunamis. It is located in the Pacific Ocean and part of the Ring of Fire, where tsunamis can happen after earthquakes. However, they don’t happen very often and usually there is enough advance notice to seek shelter.

So, Is Hawaii Safe to Visit?

In general, Hawaii is very safe to visit. In terms of crime, you have little to worry about in the state because the crime rate, especially the violent crime rate, is very low. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!