PLANNING A VACATION TO HAWAII IN 2021
How great does a week spent in the Hawaiian Islands sound right now? This US based destination is on many a winter bucket list and for an abundance of good reasons. Hawaii’s mild weather can be enjoyed during all months of the year and with a wealth of activities and natural beauty, this destination is an excellent choice for families and couples alike. For those looking to feel the the warm breezes of the tropics without leaving the country, Hawaii may be the perfect choice.
Safety & Testing Protocols
When the Covid-19 virus began to circulate last spring, Hawaii quickly implemented a state-wide lockdown and tourism was suspended. As such, they were able to keep case rates low and as of October 15th, 2020 began to welcome back out of state US travelers-but only with safety at the top of mind. They have established a multilayered testing and screening process to protect the safety of both it’s residents and visitors. To preclude the mandatory 10 day quarantine, Hawaii has introduced a Pre-Travel test option where travelers are required to submit a negative PCR test result taken with 72 hours prior to departure from a ‘trusted testing ‘partner’. Here’s the step by step process:
- Register online for the Safe Travels Hawaii program and receive your QR code needed for airport processing.
- 24 hours prior to departure, complete the Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health form via your Safe Travels Account.
- Obtain a negative NAAT/PCR covid test within 72 hours prior to your flight departure time (for the final leg of your journey) from an approved testing provider. Pre-travel negative test results must be in hand prior to your departure for Hawaii.
- Upload into your Safe Travels account but bring a hard copy of your result document as a back up.
- Once you arrive at the airport in Hawaii, your temperature is taken and your Safe Travels QR code is presented. Select counties (including the Big Island) may require travelers 5 and over to submit to a rapid test at the airport upon arrival.
- Once at your hotel and while on island, continue to wear a mask in public places and exercise social distancing. Enjoy your Hawaiian vacation!!
Which Island should I visit?
Each Hawaiian island has its own distinct personality and unique attributes. Right now, I wouldn’t recommend inter-island hopping given the complexity around testing and quarantine regulations. I have also left Kauai off of this list for now since they do not currently allow for the pre-travel testing option.
Home to the capital of Hawaii- Honolulu, famed Waikiki beach and Pearl Harbor, this island boasts a fusion of east and western cultures.
Must do ~ Hike to the top of the iconic volcanic crater Diamond Head and drive to the North Shore to witness some of the most epic surfing you’ll ever encounter.
Where to stay ~ Four Seasons at Ko Olina or The Laylow
A favorite among Hawaii buffs- this island is said to combine all of the best qualities of each Hawaiian island- lush green rainforests, volcanoes, stunning beaches and rich heritage.
Must do ~ Drive the Road to Hana and attend a Luau
Where to stay ~ Andaz Maui at Wailea or Montage Kapalua Bay
The smallest and most undeveloped of the Hawaiian islands and only 9 miles from Maui- Lanai is where you go for seclusion and to immerse yourself among unspoilt natural landscapes.
Where to stay ~Four Seasons Resort Lanai or its sister resort Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort
Hawaii (the Big Island)
The largest and most geographically diverse island, Hawaii is home to crystalline waters, black sand beaches, lush forests, snowcapped mountains and active lava flows. Those with a penchant for adventure will be well occupied here.
Must do ~ Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and take a helicopter tour to see breathtaking terrain that is inaccessible by car.
Where to stay ~ Mauna Lani or the Four Seasons Haualalai
If you do decide to visit the Rainbow State, I hope this guide to planning a vacation to Hawaii in 2021 is helpful! Enjoy your trip and Aloha!