Episode 119: Turo Hawaii: Transforming Hawaii Travel with Local Insights

by | Mar 28, 2024

Today, we delve into an innovative approach to experiencing the islands: Turo Hawaii.

With special guests Catherine Mejia and Leonani Puailihau from Turo, the leading car-sharing marketplace, we explore how this service offers a more personal, impactful, and culturally aware way to travel.

Turo is about more than transportation; it’s about connecting with local communities, embracing responsible tourism, and contributing to a sustainable Hawaiian adventure.

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Meet the Guests

Catherine Mejia, Turo’s Senior Public Affairs Manager, and Leonani Puailihau, Turo’s Senior Community Relations Manager, join us to share their insights.

Catherine’s expertise in technology and community interaction and Leonani’s deep-rooted Hawaiian heritage provide a comprehensive look at how Turo supports Hawaiian communities and promotes responsible tourism.

Their contributions highlight Turo’s embodiment of the aloha spirit, offering listeners a unique perspective on Hawaiian travel experiences.

Turo: An Overview

Turo has redefined the way travelers embark on their Hawaiian journeys, allowing users to book the perfect vehicle from local hosts.

This peer-to-peer model not only diversifies vehicle options but also supports local economies and sustainable travel practices.

Turo is committed to utilizing the world’s idle vehicles, making travel more accessible, personal, and authentic.

As Turo expands, its impact on car sharing will foster a community of hosts and guests dedicated to conscious, connected travel.

The Impact of Turo in Hawaii

Turo’s influence in Hawaii goes beyond convenient car rental, providing crucial support and community engagement, especially evident during the Maui wildfires.

Mobilizing local hosts and guests, Turo facilitated significant contributions to relief efforts, showcasing its commitment to the Hawaiian community.

This rapid mobilization highlights Turo’s understanding of kuleana (responsibility) and aloha, underscoring its significant role in Hawaii’s tourism, culture, and recovery ecosystem.

Engaging in Responsible Tourism with Turo

Choosing Turo for travel in Hawaii signifies a commitment to exploring the islands respectfully and sustainably.

This platform encourages thoughtful immersion in the Hawaiian experience, offering an alternative to traditional car rentals.

By prioritizing community values and environmental respect, Turo enhances the travel experience, ensuring visitors contribute positively to Hawaii’s natural and cultural preservation.

What We Discuss in This Episode

  • Introduction to Turo and its role in Hawaii
  • The personal and impactful travel experiences Turo offers
  • Catherine Mejia and Leonani Puailihau’s insights on Turo
  • How Turo supports Hawaiian communities and promotes responsible tourism
  • Turo’s response to the Maui wildfires and community support initiatives
  • The benefits of choosing Turo for transportation needs in Hawaii
  • Engaging in responsible tourism through Turo
  • Turo’s safety protocols and comprehensive insurance policies
  • The importance of the aloha spirit in Hawaiian tourism and Turo’s embodiment of it


Thank you to Catherine Mejia and Leonani Puailihau for their invaluable insights. Their dedication to connecting travelers with Hawaii in meaningful ways supports local communities and the environment.

Thank you for joining us, listeners. Your interest in responsible travel makes Hawaii’s Best Travel a source of inspiration for many. By choosing platforms like Turo, we can travel in ways that respect and preserve Hawaii’s beauty and spirit.

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Find out more about today’s guest…

Self-Guided Island Tours

Travel Pono (responsibly)

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Bumper music, Ukulele and Chill, provided by Coby G (used with permission)
Bumper music, Aloha Friday, provided by Clay D (used with permission)


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Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.