I am going to visit Hawaii (O'ahu) for the first time and am debating between using Uber/Lyft or just renting a car to travel from Honolulu to the beaches on the north side. It seems like the prices are roughly the same between these 2 options. What would be recommended? Is parking an issue which would make Uber/Lyft a better option? Thanks!
It depends on your travel plans, but I'd lean toward renting a car if you plan to visit these beaches. A Lyft trip from, say, the Sheraton Waikiki to Waimanalo Beach will cost over $40 one-way, more if there's demand and few cars available. A trip to the north shore like Aliʻi Beach Park costs over $80 one-way.
I don't know your dates, and if you're there at a super-busy time that could be a factor, but trying a couple of random ones, I can rent a car for $30-$40/day. Even with the charge for hotel parking, it seems like you'd come out ahead and would have the flexibility to make all the trips you want without paying again.
I would absolutely rent a car. You might want to see a little bit more than the beaches you have planned. You might spontaneously decide to try the shrimps on one of these food trucks. You might want to go back to Honolulu on the other side of the island to see more of Hawaii. You might see a huge turtle laying on the beach and you would like to take pictures. Or you might simply stop and wonder about these strangely looking trees. Your rental car will give you this freedom, that is very limited when using Uber/Lyft/Taxis.
I never had problems finding a place to park. In Honolulu we used the parking garage of the hotel, outside I don't remember ever having looked for parking. This might depend on the season, though.
If you use Uber/Lyft/Taxis, it will be relatively easy to calculate your budget, if you have a rental car you have a few unknowns (How much gas do you need? How much will parking cost?) that will make the budget calculation a tad bit more difficult, and likely in the end more expensive. But hey, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to Hawaii often, so these are costs that I absolutely would be willing to take.