Why you should Visit Hawaii Right Now
Covid cases in the United States have been rising out of control over the winter, and most Americans are looking for some sort of a reprieve from the mandates and restrictions in their hometowns.
With Hawaii opening up for business and tourism in October, many have been trying to find a way to experience the islands for themselves.
We’ve just returned from a week on the islands, and without a doubt we can tell you that if you’ve been looking for a time to visit the islands, you absolutely should make right now the time to visit.
It should also be said, before we get too deep into the post, that you have to make your own choices of whether traveling or not is the right choice for you.
While we don’t condone nor condemn travel at this time, we realize that the choices you make as an individual or a family are yours to make, and we seek to provide you with an opinion of what we saw on our trip.
Tourists are Gone
As you can imagine, tourism has slowed to a crawl on the island. A once crowded and sprawling Honolulu has been replaced with a nearly empty Waikiki Beach, filled with locals and sporadic tourists from the USA.
International flights have all but stopped to Hawaii, so crowding is no longer a problem.
We called around for a snorkeling tour and found that if we wanted one, they were only with 1-2 people on the boats. If you wanted a tour, now’s the time to have virtually private tours with no one else.
On Maui, we drove around the island and barely saw any other cars on the road to Hana.
Rental Cars are cheap and plentiful
I can recall a time when rental car companies were charging over $100/day for Jeep Wranglers and convertibles would command the same price or even more.
For the dates of our trip, we found rentals with National Car Rental and Avis for only $17/day. We had considered saving up our free rental nights to use them for Hawaii, but with a weeks-long rental only setting us back $125, it seemed like a better option to pay.
You can see that this luxury Porsche had been parked so long at Honolulu airport that someone could write “wash me” on the hood. The parking garage was overflowing with vehicles.
Hotels are also Inexpensive
With the exception of the top end luxury hotels, hotels can be had for a song.
Rates for the main Waikiki hotels for our stay were only $109 a night, including breakfast and even parking.
If you’re looking to use your hotel points, chances are that the hotels will have rooms for you. Many chains, like Hyatt and Marriott, restrict some of their free nights to “standard rooms” only. With the lack of tourists, the hotels have plenty of rooms to go around.
We stayed at a Hyatt property and just casually asked the front desk what the occupancy rate was. For the dates we were there, the hotel didn’t get over 25% occupancy.
Beaches are Truly Secluded
Part of the allure of paradise is the “secluded beach.” Crystal clear blue waters and white sand are what people lust after, but because the beaches were always full in the winter with tourists, they’re nearly impossible to find.
On Oahu we headed east and found that the beaches there had a maximum of 40-50 people on them. Even Waikiki beach, with the exception of sunset, had plenty of space to relax, stretch out, and get some sun.
In Wailea, Maui, the beaches for the high end properties were nearly empty, considering the low occupancy for the hotels. Some of the hotels have not reopened yet, further adding to its true secluded nature.
Restaurants are Open
While you might find that many restaurants are closed in your hometown, many Hawaiian restaurants are open, especially with outdoor seating. Who wouldn’t mind outdoor seating when you have beautiful 82-degree weather?
Reservations are recommended, but not required. Hawaii’s economy is based so heavily on tourism that all the restaurants that we went to were beyond happy to see us, and we found that the food was even better quality. I imagine since there were less people to serve, more time and attention was given to the quality.
This won’t last for long
As people start to catch on, tourism will start to creep back up. Flights are going to start filling up again soon, so make sure that if you’re going to go, you should do it now.
It should be noted that there are special requirements to go, so head over to the Hawaii Tourism board website to see the steps required to get to the island without a 10 day quarantine.
Negative Covid tests are required before departure. You must wear masks at all times on the island. You must abide by local safety regulations.
Aloha, and enjoy your time in paradise!