Ask RedWeek / April, 2021

Is it worth flying to Hawaii during COVID?

I love Hawaii and would really love to get out of my house and visit the islands! But, I'm nervous about COVID testing, cleanliness, and restrictions. Is it worth the hassle to fly to Hawaii right now?

Since Kauai rejoined Hawaii's Safe Travels pre-travel testing program, allowing visitors to forgo the required quarantine period if they have a negative COVID-19 test, nearly all of the islands are open for tourism again.

We know our members are itching to get back to their tropical paradise resorts, so we polled our followers on social media to find out what their travel experiences were like during their recent Hawaii trips. We hope that these real-life insights from RedWeek members help you as you consider planning a Hawaiian trip this year.

Of travelers surveyed, most went to Maui in the first quarter of 2021, with most vacations taking place in January and March. About half of travelers surveyed received a COVID vaccine prior to their departure to Hawaii. However, none of them said they had to self-quarantine upon arrival.

Most of the travelers reported a positive experience with their flights. Here are some things that people said about their recent flying experience:

    "I felt safe and would recommend flying right now."
    "The middle seats were blocked on the plane, I would fly again."
    "It's not for everyone because people still don't respect your space."
    "Our flights were very inexpensive!"

100% of travelers surveyed reported being satisfied with the cleanliness of their resorts. A few of the resorts included in our survey responses were Marriott's Maui Ocean Club, Westin Kaanapali Villas, and Hyatt Ka'anapali Beach.

All respondents reported minimal issues with COVID restrictions on their resort property. Apart from slight modifications in the way that food is served, limited occupancy rules, and mask mandates, it seems like most tourists were still able to enjoy their vacations in the midst of it all. Here are a few things people had to say about their Hawaii resort restrictions:

"The pools were open but not the jacuzzis. You have to wear a mask and the lounges were nicely spaced. The nice part is that it is not as crowded as usual. Some of the food service was not open and the activities were limited."
"I traveled alone just to get away because I just got tired of sitting home and felt like I was vaccinated long enough. I pretty much stayed to myself and because it was just me. I had no problems having dinner or sitting out by the pools alone."

Most Hawaii travelers said they would recommend traveling to Hawaii right now, though one or two had words of caution. Here are a few things people said when asked if they would recommend traveling to Hawaii right now after their experiences:

    "Absolutely I will go again NEXT MONTH!"
    "Wait until spring break is over."
    "Yes, it was a nice time."

In summation, the responses from our survey tell us a few things about how comfortable travelers felt about heading to Hawaii amidst the COVID restrictions:

  • Most people are getting their vaccine before traveling.
  • No one had to quarantine during their stay.
  • Most people felt comfortable flying, especially if they had already been vaccinated.
  • All people said they felt safe and clean in their resort.
  • Resort restrictions only seem to be a slight hindrance on vacation fun.

It goes without saying that you should only travel right now if you feel comfortable and safe doing so. This article is solely to share information with our members about what the status of Hawaii travel looks like right now from an inside perspective. Always research your destination and your resort guidelines before booking your trip.

The majority of Hawaii travelers we are seeing right now are booking rentals out into June and July. Browse availability here. Aloha!

Get more COVID-19 details by island via the following links:

Comments (3)

    Avatar for Vera W.
    Vera W.
    Apr 13, 2021

    Does anyone know ... once you are in Hawaii covid free, are you able to fly to one of their other islands , or do you need another covid test?

    Avatar for Robert D.
    Robert D.
    Apr 13, 2021

    No one is talking about the cost of rental cars in Hawaii. They are 3x to 4x the normal price.

    Avatar for Jane T.
    Jane T.
    Apr 13, 2021

    Has any accommodation been announced for fully-vaccinated visitors? For example, the latest research finds that vaccinated individuals are highly unlikely to transmit any active virus particles. That would seem to obviate the need for pre-travel testing and post-arrival quarantine.