Hawaii is open, so hit the road!

Hawaii is back open to tourism, with the Hawaii Safe Travels program allowing visitors with a negative COVID-19 test to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine. This is great news for Hawaii hotels and businesses that have suffered for months, with many small businesses, restaurants having closed permanently.

Now is an ideal time to book a Hawaii vacation, with many offers and deals available right now. And the number of daily arrivals remains well below the tens of thousands we welcomed before the pandemic. This means that beaches and other popular attractions normally thronged with tourists remain relatively empty and have been revitalized in the absence of high traffic.

So, what to do during your Hawaii vacation? Simple: Hit the road!

Coronavirus in Hawaii
Sunset of Downtown Honolulu. Image: Jamie Winpenny

We are advised by the health and public safety experts to limit indoor activities during the ongoing pandemic. Renting a vehicle on any of the Hawaiian Islands is a terrific way to leave the hotel or resort, and the densely populated areas where they are clustered.

Find a remote beach on Oahu’s quiet Windward Coast. Make the 2.5-hour drive from Kona over the Saddle Road to see the generations-old ranching culture of Kamuela/Waimea on your way to historic Hilo town on the Big Island. Explore Upcountry Maui. Walk along the famous pier in Hanalei Bay on Kauai.

That’s the best way to experience the “real” Hawaii, by going out into our actual communities and supporting the businesses that desperately need your business. With so few visitors here now, every dollar spent by visitors in these communities makes a real difference to residents’ lives.

Heeia Fishpond
A calm morning at the He’eia Fishpond

We here at Hawaii Aloha Travel are your experts on how to experience the “real Hawaii”. We are a locally owned and operated travel and tour company, with deep roots in our Aloha State community. We are “on the ground”, literally, and we work with a vast network of Hawaii businesses.

And remember, wearing a mask is required during the pandemic in Hawaii. The rules around mask wearing can be confusing. Retail and service businesses and restaurants that are open require them. Specifics about mask requirements differ slightly on each island.

Diamond Head view from East Honolulu. Photo: Jamie Winpenny

There is one simple, unofficial rule to follow for Hawaii visitors: wear a mask all times when you leave your accommodations. Keep it on until you get where you are going, whether it’s the beach or a local eatery.

Different states and municipalities have different rules about masking, so it’s likely that the rules will be different for you here than they are at home. Hawaii has been remarkably successful in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, but with more visitors arriving many residents are concerned about the public health and safety concerns an increase of visitors presents. We notice visitors who ignore masking rules because we notice anyone who ignores masking rules.

It was the commitment of the people of Hawaii and their respect for the public good that has reopened Hawaii to visitors. We encourage all visitors to demonstrate that same commitment and respect by wearing a mask when they are required.