Whether your ideal Hawaiian vacation means time sunning, shopping, or snorkeling, there's an island for you. Find comfortable masks. The SafeTravels Program will remain in place statewide through at least Jan. 28, but since local governors are now in charge of rules in their territories some things may change from an island to another. The test must be taken within 72 hours of the flight's departure. Of course, there are also beaches with a more traditional look for example, the basically perfect Mauna Kea beach on the Big Island. Finally, I received the green light and walked through the doors where a group of Hawaiian dancers welcomed me with a performance. Instead of zones, Hawaiian Airlines now boards passengers starting from the back of the plane. Take your kids to explore waterfalls, hike, volcanoes and explore the natural beauty of the islands. Even if you pass on Disneys Aulani, points-friendly resorts in Hawaii such as the Grand Hyatt Kauai offer kids clubs and have water slides, kid-focused activities and more than enough to do. You can see humpback whales from November through May, with the peak months from January through March. The Best Hawaiian Islands to Visit for Different Kinds of Travelers Will it be lava flows or luxury resorts? If splurging on a helicopter tour, choose a provider that builds in carbon off-setting in the pricing. You can rent a car using your state-issued drivers license and the rules of the road are the same as they are at home in the Lower 48. In 2020, tourist arrival dropped by 75% which caused . The most popular tours are still in effect, even during COVID, and there is much to see and do in this Pacific Island chain. The island chains that make up the West Indies are located in the Caribbean Sea. Compare the cost in points or miles to cash, and see which option is best. Stash some snacks. As long as the virus is alive and well, staying at home is your safest option. The whole place had an air of solitary leisure. With about 65,000 visitors, the island attracts only a fraction of all the tourists that visit the island group each year. According to The Inter-American Development Bank tourism accounts for 34-48% of GDP for the countries like the Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica. Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPGs editors and is not influenced by the card issuer. It also provides visitors with an in-depth look at the people who currently inhabit the islands and a glimpse into the other world of mystical creatures who watch over Hawaii. My favorite is the Montage Kapalua Bay [reopening October 15] up at the north end of the island. In the Caribbean, unless theres ferry service from one island to another as is the case between St. Thomas and St. John it can be expensive and inconvenient to fly between them. I opted for the ahi poke dish with rice chips as the prologue to my meal. Everyone is looking forward to the reopening of Mauna Lani, an Auberge property [soft opening on November 15], several years in the making, said Ken Neibaur. Snorkeling on Molokini [an uninhabited island close to Maui] is also a highlight, she says. After months of being cooped-up in our Kakaako condos, my husband, our 3-year-old son, Duke, and my mother-in-law couldnt wait to escape the city for the wide-open spaces of the Big Island. Check your bags and your expectations. Anini Vista Drive Estate feels like its own boutique hotel, with five bedrooms, a lush pool area with two waterfalls and a bridge, plus towering palm trees everywhere. Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Heads up to all the stressed parents: Alcoholic beverages are temporarily unavailable for purchase on Hawaiian Airlines. FYI: they call your mobile phone on the spot to double-check the number you wrote on the form. It does share the beach with Disneys Aulani [opening November 1], which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the traveler. Ala Wai Canal, Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. An expert guide rides along and provides the history of the island and its sights. After landing at Kahului Airport, I stepped off the plane into a different line where my personal QR code was checked to show proof of my negative COVID-19 test. Seahorse farm tour. Youll find a range of beach types in both destinations. The Honolulu Museum of Art houses some of the most influential pieces in the island chains history, and is a must-visit for any art lover. Its a very large property, with a tremendous amount of public space. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lifted its requirement for travelers to test negative for Covid-19 before entering the United States. Read on to find out why readers voted for the Island of Hawaii, as well as the other top Hawaiian islands. Lanai is great for a quiet trip or honeymoon because there isnt an urge to do a great deal., Statue of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku on the beach in Waikiki, Oahu. For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. Bring easy-to-eat snacks, such asgranola bars or sandwiches that dont require you to come in contact with an airport table or plane tray table. Many of these plants and creatures have made the Maui Ocean Center their home, and a visit to this aquarium is a must-do on any new travelers list. 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. This point is an excellent photo spot and was once the place where spectators stood to watch Amelia Earhart take her first solo flight from Hawaii to the mainland United States. Oahus top attraction, the Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the best places to explore the rich culture of the Pacific Islands. Is The White Lotus breaking up with Four Seasons ahead of Season 3? Humble Market Kitchin is a chef Roy Yamaguchi restaurant. Kilauea is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes on earth at the moment. Prices can vary from reasonable to expensive, depending on when and where you travel. The Four Seasons property will reopen December 1. With some of the most diverse marine diversity on the planet, it is no wonder that people flock to the Maui Ocean Center for an up-close look at the species of the island chain. When COVID-19 struck the United States in late winter 2020 relaxing on a warm beach with a subtle island . The islands offer a variety of all-inclusive options; there arent any true all-inclusive properties in Hawaii. Steep cliffs on the coast of Maui, as seen from the Road to Hana. Do your prep work. airlines safety procedures said that middle seats were blocked off, 6 Hawaii-Inspired Childrens Books to Read With Your Keiki, Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend in Honolulu: April 27May 3, 2023, Education Cheat Sheet: Handling Friend Drama at School, Education Cheat Sheet: How to Raise a Problem-Solver in Hawaii, Education Cheat Sheet: 9 Ways to Get Involved at Your New School. Heres an in-depth look at the all-inclusive beach resorts you can book on points in the Caribbean. You will find many places along the way where it is easy to rent a paddleboard for the day. The North Shores famous bike path will take you alongside some of the most picturesque beaches that Hawaii has to offer. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Credit ranges are a variation of FICO Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application. "We've decided to postpone traveling because of the pandemic." On the island of Oahu, the Safe Access O'ahu program, which required proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter businesses such as restaurants, bars and gyms, ended March 5. Closer to the airport, and better for sightseeing the entire island are the Four Seasons Resort Maui, the newer Andaz at Wailea, and the Fairmont Kea Lani. I think they have the most pools and water activities for kids anywhere in Hawaii, with multiple swimming pools for different ages., Advisor Josh Alexander with Protravel International also loves the Montage Kapalua Bayspecifically, their private residences, which offer larger living spaces and with gourmet kitchens.. You can do all the research and preparation, but know that there is bound to be some turbulencewhether it is a change in policy, a long line or a toddler tantrum. Want to see the latest flight deals as soon as theyre published? If youre lucky, you may even see a whale or dolphin dance by your boat. Speaking of temperature, the lows can dip below freezing at the summit, so you'll want to bundle up. The Four Seasons is evaluating its reopening date, with a decision coming soon.). The basics. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. The north side, with Princeville and Mount Waialeale in the center, gets a ton of rain, averaging 450 inches a year, says King. This hike is one of the more challenging, so expert hikers may enjoy this tour as part of their Waikiki visit. The following Southwest credit cards are offering a 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. Molokai is most definitely a destination off the beaten path. TSA is also currently allowing passengers to bring up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizerin carry-on bags. In the Caribbean, peak hurricane months are August to October. Best Things to Do in Kauai #1 Napali Coast #2 Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park #3 Kalalau Trail See Full Ranking List Outdoor Activities Hughes 500 Helicopter - 4 guests max with no middle. Related: Review of cruising the Caribbean on the Disney Dream. The park offers picnic facilities, restrooms and concession stands. King likes the area around the Mauna Kea, and has rented a condo there with his wife, Barbara, for a couple of months at a time, since its away from crowds, with good beaches and activities. Masks are still strongly recommended for people over age 65, those with compromised immune systems or who care for people at risk of severe illness, and those unvaccinated for COVID-19. At Sea Song at Kahili Bay, a secluded rental house that sleeps eight, imagine cooking in that cozy kitchen with a view of the water. It was a trip we were supposed to take Easter weekend and had been eagerly waiting to reschedule. If you're open to waking up at 3 a.m., the Haleakala National Park sunrise summit should not be missed. Follow The Points Guy on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to text message alerts from our deals feed, @tpg_alerts. #1 in Best Hawaiian Islands to Visit Though it's perhaps most famous for the fabulous coastlines of Ka'anapali Beach and Wailea Beach, Maui is a great option for first-timers who are looking. Hawaii's indoor mask mandate ended on March 25, 2022. Neibaur also loves to recommend the home rental options at the Four Seasons complex, especially for those seeking more privacy now. Kids love this tour as well. For those in the middle and eastern parts of the U.S., the Caribbean is also much easier on kids when it comes to jet lag. Check here before booking an award fare. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year. To avoid airport delays and stress, print and fillout theState of Hawaii Traveler Health Format home 24 hours prior to your flight. For example, the Bahamas requires all tourists over the age of two to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days. This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Here's what it was like to travel to the Hawaiian island during peak season in December amid the COVID-19 pandemic. /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. On the other hand, the Caribbean has a network of rum distilleries that offer tours and tastings. Then, of course, youll have to allow time for clearing customs on both the front and back ends of the trip. With beautiful ocean views, the restaurant exuded a safe, comfortable atmosphere. Learn to surf with world-class athletes, hike through lava fields to volcanoes, and zipline in rain forests; go snorkeling with dolphins by day and manta rays at night. 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping, 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases, Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points), Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status, Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award. When you visit this site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. The nonstop flight time from San Francisco to Honolulu is just about five hours. Related: The best ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles. */, Travelinglifestyle.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Copyright 2022 Traveling Lifestyle Network, LLC. Yamaguchi creates "Hawaii inspired Euro-Asian cuisine," as an homage to his family's roots. You can read more about the airlines cleaning procedureshere. In fact, the longest line we encountered at the airport was for Starbucks! There, you'll complete a health questionnaire and upload your negative test result. Some businesses may still require or encourage the wearing of masks. With a 98 percent drop in tourism, travelers can get back to the feeling of what Hawaii used to feel likeand deeply engage with its culture in a more sustainable way. Haleakala is home to Maui's highest peak, soaring 10,023 feet above sea level. Now No. Select your seats. Travel along the Road to Hana to experience East Maui's scenic coastline, explore Haleakala - the world's largest dormant volcano - in the Upcountry and discover the former tribal battlegrounds. If you are an early bird and a germaphobe (who isnt these days? No reservations are necessary. Super Wingsepisodes on his iPad kept him still and entertained the whole time. Travel to Hawaii during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go Hawaii visitors must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test. A short ferry ride from Maui is the island of Lanai, about 18 miles long with only 3,000 people living there. This hike is great as part of a day trip to the monument. Its valid on all Alaska Airlines flights with no blackout dates. Whatever you choose to do, Hawaii will always be a dream destination. You pay $99 for the fare (plus as little as $23 for the taxes and fees). And when we say easier, we mean a combination of factors, including the distance and duration of the flight; if you have to connect somewhere before arriving at your final destination; and the cost of the flight in either cash, points or miles. What's the Covid situation? The Spirit of Aloha and Polynesian influences remain strong and are a major reason why people continue to want to visit the Hawaiian Islands. The next couple of weeks will be crucial to see how Hawaii emergesit would be best to have a standard entry policy for all islands, which is key for people to feel confident. During the tour you will enjoy several photo stops at vantage points on the island, a macadamia nut and coffee tasting tour and a shrimp lunch on a local Hawaiian farm. Fly out first. If youre into wildlife, you can see dolphins, sea turtles and stingrays in both Hawaii and the Caribbean. If you want to go to Hawaii from the East Coast, you may need need to book connecting flights. Sometimes, the best choice comes down to personal preferences, where youre flying from, how much time you have and flight and hotel availability for your dates. Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the authors alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 6. One could even snap a picture of the QR code on the TV to use as a remote control. For those considering a luau, you'll be immersed in authentic Hawaiian culture at the open-air Old Lhain L'au.Speaking with Kawika Freitas, the director of public and cultural relations, I learned that luaus completely shifted to a new format to comply with Hawaii state and local COVID-19 mandates. When people talk about Hawaii, they want to be in the resort, protected, and not urban. The islands of Hawaii are a magical paradise, filled with natural wonders, pristine waters and rich culture. The daily exhibition features works by native Hawaiian artists including interactive exhibits and family-friendly installations that kids can touch and explore. Hale Ae Kai is inspired by Balinese design, surrounded by gardens and ponds, and centered around a gorgeous pool, perched on a hilltop overlooking the ocean. It is, in a word, special. The Grand Wailea is huge, but it is a great family resort. After the guided tour, guests are free to explore on their own. Haleakala is home to Maui's highest peak, soaring 10,023 feet above sea level. Add around 30 minutes if you leave from Los Angeles instead. Few things compare to sunsets over Oahu, so if youre on the island, a sunset sail on a Makani catamaran is a must-do. But unlike drivable U.S. destinations, which saw a surge in summer visitors, Hawaii's beaches remained quiet and . At that moment, I knew I had arrived in paradise. There are a number of Caribbean islands that are on the U.S. Level 2 and 3 travel advisory lists. The other restaurants and the Hawaiian Airlines Premier and Plumeria Lounges were closed. Aerial landscape view of cliffs and green valley, Kauai, Hawaii. In the days leading up to our flight, questions kept me awake at night: Will Duke keep his mask on? On December 24, the Biden administration announced it would lift. Pro tip: The Park is open to all visitors but, due to the strong eruption back in December, it is not recommended for visitors with heart or respiratory problems, children or pregnant women until the air becomes clearer. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua has its own take on a work and play package, called OOO (Out of the Ordinary)families can get away together and still be productive at work or school in residential suites with small kitchens; they can move to the poolside cabana if they just need to listen in on the Zoom call. Most of the Caribbean, with the exception of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are foreign destinations. Ever since Hawaii mandated a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals on March 26, it has been stop and go for reopening its borders. There are few places to stay, with just three hotels. Travelers often ask if its easier to visit Hawaii or the Caribbean. What the Experts Think, Have a Trip to Paris Planned? Both destinations have fantastic, balmy weather year-round, palm trees and fragrant tropical flowers, white- or black-sand beaches, forests filled with hiking trails, plenty of offshore activities and a ton of ways to get there and stay with miles and points. The Chocolate Factory tour is open for business during Covid. This was not what I had expected or prepared for! But theres so much more to Hawaii (and the Caribbean) than the resorts. Hawaii has its popular cultural show, the luau, that showcases hula dancing, fire twirling and traditional dishes like kalua pig and poi. If you turn inland to Mauka between mile markers 14 and 13 onto Honomu Road, youll be surprised to find an amazing collection of art galleries and gift stores as well as several cafes. 7. Hawaiis remote location in the Pacific Ocean make it uniquely positioned to enjoy some of the most rare coral reefs, marine animals and flora in the world. There are great fare sales to the Hawaiian Islands from the West Coast from a number of airlines, including a recent deal alert for round-trip flights to the islands for under $200. Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a New York City-based journalist and author who specializes in celebrity and lifestyle coverage. All restrictions on intercounty travel have been lifted, meaning no pre-travel testing or quarantining is needed for travel between the Hawaiian islands. You can hike, sail, dive or snorkel in either destination, though whale watching is definitely better in Hawaii. 3, Maui is beloved for its something-for-everyone attractions, from rain forests to national parks and 30 miles of beaches, as well as its five-star lodgings and what one reader deemed "amazing food. Watching the sunset along Hanalei Bay on Kauai is also something special that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. Since it was my first time on the island, I knew I wanted to try the local, fresh fish. Looking toward the back, I noticed travelers were more spread out, and that, indeed, the middle seats had been blocked off. Things to do on Molokai Check outthese tipson how to get your keiki to keep their masks on. In fact, Hawaiian Airlines has stated that they arelimiting capacity to 70%during this time. Oahu Hidden Gems Tour + Snorkeling with Turtles If you live on the East Coast, the Caribbean is much closer than Hawaii. We say theres no universally bad time to visit either destination. If youre worried about crowds in either location, avoid peak dates when lots of families travel near holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break. The Caribbean may have more specifically kid-focused lodging options, but there are plenty of full-service resorts in Hawaii that also cater to kids. USD $62.99 - 8 hours. Almost every Caribbean destination is open to travelers regardless of vaccination status. Copyright 2022 Travel + Leisure Co. All Rights Reserved. Molokai Molokai is the least visited island of Hawaii. Entry stipulations in the Caribbean vary by island nation. To show you whats possible, here are some fun things to experience with a family on Kauai and the Big Island. Once complete, you'll be issued a QR code that allows airport officials to verify your information and approve your stay in the Aloha State. You could stay in a favorite of Barack and Michelle Obamathe 5-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom, plantation-style Estate, recommended by Debbie Misajon of the Coconut Traveler. My guide picked me up at my hotel and asked a variety of health questions, in addition to the customary temperature check. Temperatures remain . Find the right card for you. Once you arrive, there is no reason to leave or go very far, other than to explore other parts of the island. One of our favorite luaus in Hawaii is the Smith Family Luau on Kauai, which has been a family-run business for decades. Set on a gorgeous backdrop of swaying palms and positioned on top of a lava bed, this golf course is ringed by the breathtaking Kiawe forests. It is also one of the most popular spots for a photoshoot. When the uniformed National Guard soldier checked Dukes temperature with a handheld thermometer, he wasnt nervous and instead flashed an excited shaka as we proceeded to the travel form line. A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery. Opt for a window seat or wherever you can be farthest away from other passengers. Consider the beachside Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, which was voted the best hotel on the island (and No. Research your Caribbean island choice to get a feel for whether youd feel comfortable exploring beyond your resort or not. That's when the island's generally reasonable room rates take the most significant plunge. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Book a guide to drive you up, so you can learn about the dormant volcanic crater and its history. This tour will take you to the Na Pali Coastline, Waimea Canyon, Mount Waialeale, and Kauais breathtaking waterfalls. Fuji, Japans most iconic volcano. If service is important to you, remember that some Caribbean countries are newer to the tourism industry than others. 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