Hello everyone! Emma here. :) I’m so excited to be back contributing to the blog, it’s been a longggg longgg time. I used to post often in 2019 and in the beginning of 2020 but we took a long hiatus from regular posting last year. I’m just beyond excited to be here chatting with all of you again. And this time, I’m back with a travel post! Zach and I are headed to Maui for my birthday and I wanted to share all of our tips, tricks, what I’m packing, and how planning has been like during COVID. *Maui Travel During COVID*
Vaccinated, Basically Thriving
For the 25,000 of you who follow me on my Instagram account, many of you know that I took COVID-19 really seriously over the past year. I was in the higher-risk category for bad symptoms/hospitalization due to my BMI and weight so I basically didn’t see any of my friends or family (outside of Zach, his parents, and my parents) for an entire year. I missed people so much but everyone we knew was a little more relaxed about COVID and I just didn’t want to take any chances. Normally I’m a complete jetsetter in my normal day to day life and not being able to plan anything since March of 2020 has been so hard!
I’ve shared with many of you that I’ve been taking charge of my health more this year and have lost 25 lbs so far – I’m really excited to continue working on this! That being said I still technically qualified under San Francisco’s high-risk medical conditions category as eligible to get the vaccine earlier than most people my age (even before my parents!) due to my BMI. Zach was eligible as well for different reasons so now we’re both fully vaccinated which allows us to take off to Hawaii. Yay! This really makes us feel fully comfortable with traveling again and we are beyond grateful to have received both shots. Can’t believe science has gotten us this far, so fast!
Maui COVID Rules & Restrictions
Anywho, back to Maui. Now that we are fully vaccinated – we plan to really explore the island once we’re there! Both of us have visited Maui before as kids but it’s been YEARS so we leaned on friends and family for advice on where to go and what to do. This time it’s a little different however because of everything Covid related so we wanted to share the new rules and restrictions in place for Hawaii. (as of April 8 2021) …
- All transpacific travelers are required to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner before their departure for the State of Hawai‘i, in order to bypass the 10-day quarantine.
- The test must be done through one of the State’s trusted testing partners available at www.HawaiiCOVID19.com/travel-partners.
- All travelers must complete the State’s mandatory travel and health form on the Hawaii Safe Travels Digital Platform at www.travel.hawaii.gov. Negative test results should be uploaded onto this platform. Travelers are strongly encouraged to complete the forms at least 24 hours prior to arrival. Airport screeners will review information upon arrival and conduct temperature screenings.
- Download the Hawaii Aloha SafeAlert app on your smart phone.
Seems like SO many rules, but in reality it hasn’t been difficult so far. The first thing we did was sign up for an account on the Hawaii Safe Travel’s website and filled in all our personal info/flight number plus where we’re planning to stay. After that we checked with Hawaii’s website to see where we could get our state trusted COVID test.
When it came to our testing we went to the CityHealth’s Drive-Through COVID testing at the Oakland International Airport – they have Rapid PCR/Molecular testing that you can sign up for called “Rapid Testing (Hawaii Only)”. We received our results via e-mail within 1 hour of taking the test, it was so awesome! I’m sharing a screenshot of what the e-mail looked like below (I obviously blocked out personal info), and this is what we uploaded into the Hawaii portal. Make 100% sure to bring a printed out copy version of this as well with you to the airport. So you will need both the uploaded into the portal version as well as a printed copy with you in hand! I can’t emphasize this enough.
Once we uploaded this into the Safe Travels website, it confirmed that we were “COVID Negative” in the portal. After this, I took a “Health Questionnaire” on the Safe Travels website which asked me 3-4 questions regarding my health then they e-mailed me a barcode that Southwest can use at the airport to check my health status. Southwest and a few other airlines are allowing you to get pre-checked on your COVID negative status at your home airport – this allows you to avoid the 2-3 hour line once arriving at the Maui airport. I will let you all know how it goes once I actually get through. Next week I plan to write a follow up blog post!
Trips Plans/Where We’re Staying
Zach and I planned this trip completely last minute – my birthday is on the 11th and Zach wanted me to have a way better birthday than I did last year. (April fell during the height of all the quarantine lockdown and with it bad vibes all around.) We had quite a few travel points laying around, so we were able to book our RT flights on Southwest from Oakland to Maui direct using points about a month ago! (Southwest credit card is the best.) We’re taking an evening 6:30pm flight and arriving around 8:30pm Hawaii time. We leave on Wednesday at 3pm so it’s a quick 5 night trip.
Because we had a $300 AirBnB gift card to use we decided to splurge the first 3 nights and stay at a sweet ocean-front condo that looks SO great. I’ll link it here in case anyone wants to check it out for a future trip. Lots of great reviews in the heart of Kihei! We have a car rented as well which will allow us time to drive around, enjoy some of the beaches, try delicious foods and just chill.
For the last 2 nights of our stay we booked the Hilton Grand Wailea. Love that place! We had enough points for two free nights to use this year so we jumped on this. If you have the Hilton American Express Credit Card, Hilton will give you one free night at almost all their resorts each year. Due to COVID Hilton has allowed an extension for one free night to use from last year to 2021 which allowed us to get 2 nights this year. So great! Beyond excited… the pools look incredible. We can’t wait to utilize the 3 days we are there. Our travel reward credit card also offers an annual $250 resort credit to use each year (drinks/food/spa/etc.) to spend at any Hilton property. You can be sure that we’ll be ordering Mai Tai’s by the pool! See how affordable this trip really was for us? Insane!
What is Currently Open
I’m glad I researched what is open ahead of time because indoor dining is only open at a 50% capacity right now. Because of this many of the popular restaurants are extra full. I made a couple of reservations a few weeks ago in order to secure our spot for dinners because I knew this info. Make sure to do the same if you’re planning on going. Use the OpenTable app or call each restaurant directly to book.
- Hawaii’s parks, beaches, and trails are open for groups of no more than five (5) people on Maui and Kauai, 10 on Oahu, and up to 25 people on the Big Island. Please practice physical distancing and always wear a mask or face covering. All Hawaii county parks and beaches are open on all islands with some restrictions.
- Effective mid-January 2021, a mandatory contact tracing requirement went into effect for all travelers from both the mainland and inter-island to Maui. All travelers to Maui must now download the AlohaSafe Alert App on their mobile phone before departing for Maui. If a traveler attempts to do so on arrival, it will be too late and quarantine will be required. See our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page and the Maui Special Notice section for additional information.
- Hawaiian retailers, bowling alleys, and movie theaters are allowed to open at 50% capacity (100% on Oahu), with no more than five (5) people (10 people permitted on Oahu and Big Island) per party.
- Contact individual tour companies to find out who is currently running tours, some are not opening up until later.
- Hawaii’s Museums, attractions, and zoos are allowed to open at 50% capacity for indoor areas, with groups limited to no more than five (5) people (10 people permitted on Oahu and Big Island).
What I Packed
Below I’ve rounded up everything that I ordered for my trip – SO many cute and fun pieces. It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased any cute clothes so I knew I wanted to snag some new pieces that I felt comfortable in while in Hawaii.
Hope you enjoyed this blog post – let me know… do you have any great Maui travel tips and tricks right now? Any suggestions for things we should see and do? Are you planning any Maui Travel during COVID? Let me know in the comments below!
Click here to see more travel posts from us!