Living in Hawaii watching the news of massive winter storms, severe cold and power outages across the country, I have a confession to make: we’ve been feeling the cold here too.
That’s because the temperatures have been dropping into the 60’s at night (brrrr…) and residents are seen in the morning wearing their winter jackets, sweaters and closed toed shoes. Of course, by late morning we’re back to our usual mid to high 70’s and beach life returns to normal.
If you’re reading this from a place with sub-freezing weather I know what you’re thinking. I moved from Southern California to Minnesota in my early 30’s. It wasn’t until I had endured a couple of harsh winters that I realized who all those people were at Disneyland wearing short and t-shirts in January while we walked around Fantasy Land in our winter parkas. Instead of thinking, “Who are these people?” I realized I was one of them.
So I get it, we’re sissies when it comes to winter weather. And if you landed in Honolulu or Kona or Kahalui tomorrow, you’d be more inclined to shed clothing than put on an extra layer.
So why am I telling you this? Well, I’m telling you this because now might be the best time ever to visit Hawaii, and not just because of our idyllic winter weather.
Like the rest of the country, cases of Covid-19 have dropped dramatically over the last few weeks. The state’s 7 day average is down to 50 per day, and the positivity rate is only 1.0%. Yes, you have to get a negative test 72 hours prior to arrival (go to https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/ to get started!).
The pay off for dealing with the inconvenience and cost of the test is huge. Hotels and activities are offering discounted rates. The resorts, boats and beaches are less crowded, and the opportunity to explore the island with so few visitors to contend with creates a once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian vacation opportunity.
“Right now, you get on this huge boat that normally holds 149 people, and there are only 74 passengers”, says Boss Frog’s Chris Kasper, who operates the tour boat Calypso on Maui. “People feel like they’re on a private charter. There’s never been a better time for visitors than right now. Here on Maui, where we currently have more tourists than any other island, it’s still pretty empty.”
For now, that means visitors don’t have to worry about finding a spot on the beach or hitting a traffic jam on the Road to Hana.
“Once the Covid restrictions are lifted, things will start to get back to normal pretty quickly”, Kasper adds, “and this one time opportunity to see the islands at their best will be gone.”
On Oahu, visitor numbers haven’t been lower for at least 40 years. “There are enough resorts, restaurants and activities open that people have plenty of options”, says Dean Calibraro, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Fly Shuttle and Tours and Ka Moana Luau. “Pearl Harbor, for instance, is fully open, but there’s no long lines or crowds at the attractions right now. Our luau is running at half capacity and dinner is served to our guests at the table. Everyone has a better view and overall experience. The feedback has been incredible since we re-opened.”
If the weather doesn’t have you dreaming about a Hawaiian vacation then maybe the unique experience being offered right now will.
For more information on the Calypso Maui, visit https://calypsomaui.com/.
For more information on Fly Shuttle and Tours visit https://flyshuttlehawaii.com/.
For more information on Ka Moana Luau, visit https://www.moanaluau.com/.
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