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Just returned from Hawaii

Yes, I know Hawaii isn't Europe, but it was our first "baby step" of travel since the pandemic started. Here's a summary of our Maui experiences:

We are two fully-vaccinated seniors .

The downloading of the negative [approved] covid test results worked smoothly, and the airlines and hotels required you to produce the on-line result. No one wanted to look at the printed results. There were some problems in areas of poor wi-fi.

It was an advantage to fly an airline that checked your covid test results before you departed, and gave you a wristband. If this did not happen, you were required to stand in line at Maui airport and have your results checked, which took about 20-30 minutes.

The Alaskan Airplanes were almost full- attendants said about thirty seats were open on each flight. Folks were sitting in the middle seats.

The hotels seemed very busy and staff reported that travel has increased greatly in the past few weeks. It does seem that the increase in travelers caught the island off-guard somewhat, as staffing in some places was not enough to meet demand. At the rental car counter, there was only one staff to serve a long line of people, and the requirement to open the Hawaiian visitor app slowed down the process, as the wi-fi was inadequate. We were able to reserve a car in advance, and the cost wasn't horrible [$440 for the week.]
One hotel required a wristband be worn on its property, and the color changed daily, to demonstrate that the hotel was only allowing covid-screened guests on its property. The other hotel did not.

Masks were required everywhere, and compliance good.

Pools were open, but jacuzzis were iffy: one hotel only allowed two people in at a time, with reservations.

Restaurants closed early- around 8pm, so there were lines to get in around 7:00pm

In Lahaina, many businesses were permanently closed; the open restaurants has limited capacity, and thus lines.

Overall, it was a great experience, we felt we were on a vacation, and helped support IMHO that travel can return in the near future.

Good luck and safe travels!.

Posted by
7389 posts

Happy to hear you enjoyed your trip.

It is not my idea of a "Hawaiian vacation"'

Posted by
1231 posts

Joe, the Mai Tai's were good, and once you jumped thru the hoops, the beauty of the islands provided relaxation and a long-lost feeling of normalcy.

Posted by
2855 posts

Thanks for the timely trip report, Pat. We have family going to different islands in June and August so we are all trying to stay on top of what it going on there as things re open. Fortunately they have flights, lodging and cars reserved. Waiting to see if testing will be required like it is now or vaccine proof will be enough. Their airports have locations for testing for the airlines they are flying from, Hawaiian and Southwest. We plan to go somewhere in Hawaii this winter so thanks!

Posted by
1231 posts

I'm imagining that for future international travel, and IF vaccine passports are developed, there would be similar online processes for showing proof of vaccination. We will see...

Posted by
127 posts

I am currently vacationing on Maui and I will echo some of the comments above. Reservations are helpful to ensure a place for dinner (we had a wonderful sunset dinner at Kimos and the tables are all spaced far apart with masks everywhere). We are staying in a condo so take out is a great option for us while still supporting the local businesses. There are lots of places with outdoor seating and the restaurants and shops are all open. Not as crowded with tourists as other years when I've been here, but still a sizable number of visitors. Beaches aren't too crowded either even at popular Black Rock by the Sheraton. The snorkel cruises are still going out as well. Overall a very good vacation trip with the only differences from prior years being more limited seating indoors and the need for reservations. But the great outdoors is still here and wonderful!! Nice way to start venturing back into traveling (and yes, I'm also a 65+ who is vaccinated)

Posted by
1231 posts

I forgot to mention the use of QR codes and readers. Our hotels and restaurants had a framed QR codes at the table/counters, and we used our QR reader app to view menus and daily activities schedules . This eliminated one-use paper menus.

Posted by
2716 posts

Thanks Pat for your report. Glad you enjoyed your experiences. Maui has been our Spring trip for years. That said we missed 2020 due to lockdown and chose not to return this spring. Hopefully we will return next year. We miss it! @Plumeria- good to hear Kimos is thriving. Always our go-to for a lovely sunset!

Posted by
5879 posts

Thanks for the report. You didn't mention anyone requiring or asking about your vaccination status, just current test results. So no sign that "vaccine passports" are a useful concept for domestic travel.

Posted by
4644 posts

Thanks for this report. Friends are staying on Kauai right now and report having a great time. I'll wait for paper menus to return, I don't know my way around those newfangled QR codes and other fancy 21st-century stuff. ;-)

Posted by
1231 posts

Stan you are correct-
no official inquiries regarding vaccine status, but all of the travelers with whom we interacted [obviously a limited case study] had been fully vaccinated.

Posted by
5879 posts

Ufkak, I pointed out no vaccine status info was required, because of up-thread mentions of them, and the frequent reference to being vaccinated in people's posts. If no entity is even asking your status, its moot to keep discussing them. But now you're mentioning Hawaii will be issuing some certification for residents? But most mainlanders wont have such a thing, so still won't be needed for visitors?

Posted by
12314 posts

Or wait on the outcome of the Supreme Court case.

I was in Hawaii at New Year, excellent trip. A great idea if international travel is off your radar this year Shorter flight from the East coast, less crowded flights,, fewer airports to navigate, less entry hassle. better exchange rate. So much safer than international travel, cheaper.

Posted by
4796 posts

So the wristbands were apparently a short-term strategy? With all the suggestions that vaccination documentation could easily be forged, are wristbands more secure? Of course, they’d have to be standardized, as do maybe vaccine papers, and on what color coding would countries/airports agree?

Then there’s the approach that it doesn’t seem to matter whether one is vaccinated - what do the latest test results say, regardless of having gotten shots or not?

Posted by
25519 posts

Or wait on the outcome of the Supreme Court case.

somebody has taken the State of Hawaii to the Supreme Court?

waffor?

Posted by
1231 posts

Ufkak, there should be an "OR" between #1 and #2.
Safe travels!

Pat, thanks for your report. Glad you've enjoyed your trip. I would probably wait until all covid restrictions are lifted to make the most out of the trip.