Destination Freelancing: Oahu, Hawaii

For those seeking a tropical escape while having the technological comforts of home, I couldn’t recommend a better freelancing destination than Oahu, Hawaii. I have the great excuse of being able to visit Oahu frequently to see and stay with family, but a recent trip I did had me looking at my home as a place to potentially freelance from for a long stretch of time. I built my business on the assumption that I could work from anywhere with an Internet connection. Could this be true of Hawaii? Below are my findings of the pros and cons of working as a web-based freelancer from Oahu.

Lanikai Pillbox Hike in Oahu, Hawaii

Benefits of Freelancing in Oahu

Hawaii is part of the United States. This brings on a slew of benefits such as everyone speaking English, U.S. dollars being accepted, and (best of all) you get full cell phone reception without international roaming fees. Overall, communication with locals and your clients online is a snap.

The Hawaii time zone is 3 hours behind standard Pacific time, making it feel like daylight savings on steroids! This time zone difference is like adding 3 extra hours to your work day. Coming from west coast of the mainland, it meant that I was naturally waking up at 5am or 6am every day, ready to begin the workday, and leaving more time in the afternoons for play.

Cons of Freelancing in Oahu

Cost of living in Hawaii is notoriously high. Many people often make the reference of milk costing double in Hawaii, and it’s not an exaggeration. Not only do groceries cost more, but gas and rent do as well. Thinking of couchsurfing with friends? Expect tight quarters if you get someone to agree, and perhaps an out-of-town location as most locals don’t live in Waikiki or on the beach. If you’re planning a short-term trip to Oahu, you could get by with freelancing; living for a long period of time in Oahu while freelancing is a much more difficult situation.

Not everyone in Oahu is hip with technology. Coming from Seattle where it’s practically a social faux pas to not have a Facebook and Twitter, Oahu seems very behind the times. Many businesses don’t speak social media or tech, which can be great in the sense that there are lots of business opportunities in Oahu, but not so great in that finding a place to do freelance work out of can be tricky. It’s not like Seattle where every coffee shop has free wi-fi, big tables to spread out on, power strips to plug your laptop into, and the patience to let you sit there working for hours at a time after buying only a single cup of coffee.

Best Places to Freelance in Oahu

If you’re staying in a hotel, chances are you’ll have wireless Internet capability. It may come at a cost though, which is why it’s best to dedicate offline hours to assembling your content and scheduling peak times to do a mass upload or online transmission. As I mentioned earlier, the presence of coffee shops with wireless internet and ample working space is limited. However, Starbucks can almost always be counted on for having free Wi-Fi, as well as any Hawaii State Public Library.

For a handy list of free Wi-Fi spots, check out these online directories:,_Honolulu

Waipio Valley Hostel, which we found on Air BnB.

Waipio Valley Hostel, which we found on Air BnB.

Affordable Places to Stay in Oahu



Hostelz – Oahu Options

Hostel Bookers – Oahu Options

Go Hawaii Hostels

Delicious taro malasada in Hawaii

Delicious taro malasada in Hawaii


Must Visit Places in Oahu (a very short list)


Curry House

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar (for the açai and kava)

Leonard’s Bakery (for the malasadas and pao doce)

Macky’s Sweet Shrimp Truck

Alan Wong’s Restaurants

Koko Head Crater Hike Oahu Hawaii

Koko Head Crater Hike on Oahu, Hawaii

Outdoor Fun and Best Photo Opportunities

Ko Olina Beach Resorts

Koko Head Crater Trail

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Makiki Trail Loop

Mount Tantalus Lookout

Pali Lookout

Punchbowl National Cemetery

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

Ka’ena Point

Lanaikea (Turtle) Beach 

*A personal plug: For photos from my latest trip to Oahu and the Big Island, click here.

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By | 2016-12-21T17:57:48+00:00 June 11th, 2013|1 Comment

About the Author:

Suzi Pratt is an event, food, and concert photographer based in Seattle. She started Intrepid Freelancer to inspire and teach others how to start a photography business. View her at photography portfolio, and subscribe to herYouTube channel.

  • Generally I don’t learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.

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