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where are US travelers visiting this Fall?

a flower lei on a beach in Hawaii

Many of my clients have been reaching out lately.  I think so many of us is so tired of this virus and just need an escape somewhere!  You might have seen social media posts of friends or others traveling and exploring new places.  You have seen news articles and media sharing actually how safe it is to travel.  Maybe you’re still on the fence though because you are just not ready to travel yet.  And it is ok.  but if you are curious where everyone is comfortable traveling to, I’ll share that my top 3 requests are : Hawaii, Mexico, and private home rental within driving distance.

This past few weeks has been all about Hawaii for me! Not only am I filling more requests for traveling to Hawaii, I feel I’m also becoming an expert of Covid-testing for Hawaii! As of Oct 15th, Hawaii has been allowing visitors to bypass the 14 days quarantine with a negative covid-test pre-arrival. It has been a slight challenge with many visitors. Changes happen weekly but mostly in the right way and to keep island residents and visitors safe. I think that’s great! And, I’m here to help you with it all!

I attended a 2 day Hawaii Virtual Conference last week with all the islands, hotels, and tour suppliers.
Normally, we would meet in San Jose with some lovely immersive island music and dance experience. But a zoom will have to do this year. I still get to hear all the New Updates for all the islands so that will be helpful in planning your future getaways. I’m excited for what’s in store for you when you feel ready to travel again.

Just to quickly summarize, beginning 11/24/20, in order to not have to quarantine in a hotel room for 14days upon arrival to the islands, all travelers MUST take a Covid test within 72hrs of their flight departure, and MUST have a negative Covid-test result BEFORE they board their flight.  They cannot wait for results while they quarantine anymore.  Everyone will have to quarantine 14 days or the duration of your intended stay if you do not have a proof of  negative Covid-test before you take off.    You must also be tested by a specific list of test partners that is approved by the State of Hawaii, or again, your results will not be validated.

There are a couple more requirements that I can share with you when you’re ready to plan.

Hawaii has been welcoming visitors from US and Japan, and will be welcoming Canadian visitors mid Dec with a similar testing Safe Travels protocol.

I’ve also created a simple guide.  Click on the image and check it out.  It has a quick overview of all the islands, and different ways to see and experience the islands,  plus, a few pages dedicated to traveling to Hawaii during the pandemic.   I hope you find this resource helpful.  And that you can use it to plan your next Hawaii family vacation!

woman performing a hula dance
Let me also share this lovely video of Hawaii with you. It’s a beautiful story of the legacy of Hula dance. Or you might enjoy this article: Building a Hula Legacy. Enjoy! Keep dreaming of your next family vacation in the beautiful islands.

Mexico, Caribbean, Tahiti and Hawaii opened for travel during pandemic

image with title of Global Safe Travel Protocols , hashtag Safe Travels

The pandemic has impacted our travel industry like little else in our lifetime yet travel always comes back. It’s not purely a luxury ‘item’ anymore – it’s a way of life to stay connected to family, friends and our sanity.  There is something extraordinary about travel. Exploring new places and sharing new experiences together help brings us closer.  Though most cruise lines have decided to pause sailings until at least Sep 15, a lot of destinations have opened up to tourism again.  Let me share here what it’s like for some of these destinations. You know the beach is calling you!

Hawaii Waikiki Beach

Mexico.  Although you may hear Mexico still has a large number of virus cases, their beach towns have kept things under control and has been welcoming travelers since June 1. They have achieved seal of approval from the World Travel and Tourism Council as a safe destination by following straight global protocol guidelinesGlobal Safe Travel Protocols

This is a great option with a short direct flight from most US cities. No Covid testing is required to go. Just a health form.  Of course, anyone not feeling well should stay home. There will be health screenings and temperature scans at airports. Regular precautions like face masks and frequent hand washing will be the new normal.  I’ve attended many trainings of different resorts and with the tourism board of Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta area and I feel most confident of this destination.  Hotels & resorts have elevated their cleaning measures to meet our even higher expectations now.  They are also required to have only 30% occupancy now. Dining and pool areas will be less dense.  Buffet serving formats will be changed if it’s available. Occupancy will slowly increase as things improve.  There are many amazing resorts here. You can have hotel rooms to suites to villa style stay. Lots of space to spread out.  In the Fall, there is also the turtle nesting season if you want to observe it.

Caribbean.  Many islands are also beginning to open up. Some islands require a negative Covid-19 test or quarantine. Some also require travel insurance and a travel declaration form submitted prior to arrival. Lots of variations here, so best to consult your friendly travel advisor.

Tahiti.  Opening July 15. Again, a negative Covid-19 test within 3 days of arrival is required. Officials can conduct random tests a few days after arrival. Some resorts are not opening right away.  Since there are already limited number of hotels here and not every hotel is open, expect limited availability. Flight schedules are also limited. The nonstop flights from SFO is now gone.  But still have nonstop from LAX.

Hawaii.  Hawaii was never closed, but it was requiring a 14day quarantine upon arrival. Beginning Aug 1, that requirement has lifted.   Travelers will need a negative Covid-19 test within 3 days of arrival. Once you get there, it’s paradise!  I also have lots of lodging options that can align with your comfort level.

So, what does all these mean? What if someone reserves a trip and then as it gets closer to vacation, got tested positive for Covid-19? Well, just like all other times, you should have travel insurance.  A few travel suppliers I work with have now implemented flexible cancellation policy as well as good insurance coverage options.  I will not let you leave home without one as I will always watch out for your safety and travel investment.

COVID-19 virus testing differs by location. Many testing locations require an appointment and a doctor’s order while some Urgent Care locations permit walk-in or drive-thru testing. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has partnered with several pharmacy and retail locations to accelerate testing in more communities across the country. HHS provides links for testing locations.

If you’re feeling ready, flights and hotels are ready to give you that nice vacation you know you so want to have.  Please reach out to me to discuss your options and get further clarity on different entry requirements or how to travel safely. Start Planning!