Let’s all just take a moment to CHEER that 2020 is over, our healthcare workers and kupuna (elders) are starting to get vaccinated, and judging from our reservations already booked for February and March, more and more people are starting to travel again.
Whether you are heading to Maui next week or next year, we wanted to take a moment to assemble some resources with helpful travel information, plus tips from recent or soon-to-be travelers, to get your started on your journey to Maui. (Please, also do your own research with your airlines, accommodations, etc, and follow the advice of the CDC, state and local guidelines, and your own medical professionals.)
PRE TRAVEL TO MAUI
Please visit this website HawaiiCovid19.com for the most up-to-date travel information to the state of Hawaii. As of January 28, 2021 (date of posting), anyone arriving from off-island must take a COVID-19 test 72 hours and have a negative result posted PRIOR to travel in accordance with the State of Hawaii’s list of Trusted Partners linked here and travelers will need to download and log into the Safe Travels Hawaii app/website linked here.
In addition, County of Maui Public Health Emergency Rules now require the download of the AlohaSafe Alert application or other Google-Apple exposure notification system application for all travelers on the Safe Travels program and those who obtain a limited quarantine exemption.
For transpacific and interisland travelers, downloading the exposure notification apps is a requirement to avoid quarantine for 10 days. This is in addition to a negative COVID-19 pre-arrival test from a trusted partner.
FOR YOUR SURF LESSONS
Maui Surfer Girls is limited in the amount of people we can have in our surf lessons, due to the current Covid protocols on Maui, and despite the fact that visitor numbers are greatly down, we’ve still be running full or nearly full each day. We do recommend that you book your surf lessons prior to arrival on Maui, especially if you are traveling with a larger party or during holiday (as in President’s Day) or Spring Break weeks (basically any week in March!)
Per state requirements, we will be wearing masks on the beach, but we can remove them and stay safely distant while on the water.
2021 also saw the new state law about banning certain types of sunscreen. To read more about the sunscreen ban, click on this post here.
TIPS FROM CURRENT / SOON-TO-BE TRAVELERS
We asked a few people who have recently traveled to Maui, or are coming soon, for their best tips for future travelers (again, please do your own research before traveling as each day/week is changing). We thought it was really interesting to get the perspective from the visitors’ point of view!
I’m in Maui now. Pretty much everything is open, with a few exceptions. All the tours are open, but masks are mandated even aboard the boats. We did Road to Hana and the food shops at Nahiku were all still closed so be prepared to not eat there if you’re planning a Hana trip. Paia looked more shut down than anywhere else we’ve been but that could have been the time of day? As far as getting here, just make sure you follow save travels rules and testing (we did ours at Walgreens – zero issues and insurance paid for my test), it was easy for us. Just got off the plane, had to wait in line for like 15 minutes then breezed through. Still totally worth coming, I felt save (Covid and otherwise) and have had a blast! I don’t want to leave!!
I’m here now. Walgreens red dot test. 1 hour print it out. Alaska airlines for last leg is easy as they put a wrist band on you and you go straight to baggage. Everything is very clean/quiet. Very nice.
We were in Lahaina from 12/22 to Jan. 7. Some business were still not open. Restaurants are required to limit seating to 5 in a group. What was shocking was to see businesses that are gone for good. Having written all that, there are more than enough businesses open and ready to serve.
Bring ice cubes in an insulated water bottle. It’s a long flight and my airline had no beverage service. They gave out warm bottles of water as we boarded.
If you have all of your documents organized (QR code) – you can breeze through the Maui airport if there aren’t a bunch of other arriving flights. If you don’t, it’s going to take more time and inconvenience for everyone.
Most everything is open. Dinner reservations are a good idea – just plan your week ahead of time. Masking – just like on the mainland – is required indoors. Outdoors, as long as you can maintain 6 feet apart – no mask required
Print off your documents and have them ready you show them at the airport at the car rentals and all hotels less crowds but less tables and less chairs at the pools. Watch the website there are new changes coming.
Things are changing quickly here. There are no easy answers. My #1 tip is to take the FREE post-arrival test because if you’ve gone to all the trouble to do the research and still decide to come here, it’s only 5 minutes of your life and would really help our rapidly deteriorating situation on Maui. Mahalo!
Activities are open. I booked activities mid January for a mid February trip. Some dates were sold out so I’m happy I started booking when I did. I also booked restaurants that are historically busy without problem. I know things are at 30% capacity. We easily found accommodations with a cancellation policy if our testing comes back positive. I am a bit nervous for the testing aspect of the trip as it is so time sensitive and out of my hands to some extent. I have not booked a rental vehicle yet although I should.
Southwest has been having crazy good deals on airfare. We rented local for a car. Kihei rent a car, Maui cruisers or Maui car rental. Surf VRBO for condo.
Not sure what your local mask mandate is like, but prepared to wear a mask even when outdoors in a public space. Wasn’t a big deal for us, but I was a little surprised that the policy is more strict than what we have here in IL. Safe Travels website and procedure is a well-oiled machine. Follow the directions and, provided everyone in your party gets their negative test back in time, you’ll be just fine.