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Visiting Oahu, Hawaii Post Covid

Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Earth, visited by millions each year.  Many destinations, Hawaii included, shut down to tourists for a period of time due to Covid-19.  Hawaii is back open for tourism with restrictions.  Visitors can have a memorable vacation in Hawaii as long as they follow the set protocols.  It may sound daunting trying to figure out how to comply, but its actually pretty easy.  Read on as I explain how to visit Oahu, Hawaii post covid and have an amazing vacation.

Before You Go:

You booked your trip to Hawaii! Yay you!  Ok, so what next? First check the Go Hawaii website for the most recent rules.  Currently there is a mandatory 10 day quarantine unless you have a negative covid test*.  The negative covid test MUST be from an approved trusted travel partner listed on the Go Hawaii website.  The easiest way to comply with this (in my opinion), is to fly American Airlines through Dallas.  When you arrive in Dallas, by the D gates is an area where you can get a rapid covid test in approximately 15-20 minutes which complies with Hawaii’s requirements.  It is $250.00 per person and you can make an appointment in advance, check in online and breeze through.  It’s also possible to walk up and be helped, just allow for time if there is a wait.  The Covid test area at the end of D gate is open from about 7:30am to 11:30am (again that is at the time of writing).

You must also register with the State of Hawaii Safe Travels online system, (also found on Go Hawaii page). You will need to create an account, then enter several pieces of information before you go.  First, under the trips section, add your travel dates, flight information, names of your party, and where you will be staying.  When you get your negative covid test result, save the paper, but it must be scanned (or photographed) and entered in to the document section.  Next, 24 hours before your flight you complete a short health questionnaire.  After you enter your information you will be emailed a QR code.  SAVE IT! When you get to the airport, you will need to show it to a screener.  This is basically your quarantine bypass.  Your hotel will most likely want to see this as well.  You do not need to complete the daily check ins section unless you are under the mandatory 10 day quarantine.  If you are bypassing the quarantine with this procedure then you don’t need to worry about it.

It is important to note that if you want to island hop, you need to check which islands are open, and it requires a negative covid test within 72 hours or a 10 day quarantine.  On my recent trip, I decided to spend the entire time on the island of Oahu.

Congratulations! You did everything right!  You breezed through screening and you are in Oahu, Hawaii post Covid!  You are going to have an amazing time!  You should double check before you go what is open, and what the hours are as things change.  Oahu, Hawaii has something for everyone and read on for some of the things you should check out when visiting Oahu, Hawaii post covid.

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Swim With Sharks

Adventure enthusiasts, conservationists, and tourists alike will enjoy this two hour boat and snorkel trip with One Ocean Diving.  One Ocean Diving is the brainchild of famed Shark Whisperer Ocean Ramsey and her husband Juan Oliphant.  I have followed them on instagram (ok stalked) for years, and was so excited to make this trip to swim with sharks.  There are multiple boat trips a day that depart from the North Shore, and I would recommend taking the first one out for the day, 7-9am.  It’s a short boat ride, where you can see the shore the entire time, and possibly whales depending on the time of year, to the shelf where the sharks like to hang out.  First there is an education and safety session about shark behavior and what kinds of animals you might see, then its time to get in the water!  Some people wore wetsuits, but I didn’t use one and was fine.  Bring your go pro for some great footage and yes- you will see sharks! The two most common shark species you will see is Galapagos and Sandbar sharks.  The sharks are curious but also intimidated by you, I was so excited when a little sandy swam up to check out my Go Pro!


Koko Crater Railway Trail

If you get your kicks on land and like hiking then this is one for you.  This is a hike that firemen train on boasting  about a mile and a half straight up the crater.  There is over 1000 “steps” that are actually railroad ties.  This is a very difficult hike, and not one that I would recommend for small children or pets.  However, if you are adventurous and in good shape, then this is an incredible hike rewarded by an incredible view. I can’t stress this enough- bring water.The parking lot is small and fills up quickly, so get there early. You can just enter “Koko Crater Hiking Trail” in Apple Maps and it will take you right there.  The physical address is 7491 Kokonani Street, Honolulu, HU, 96825.

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Lanikai Pillbox Hike aka Kaiwa Ridge Trail

This is an easy to medium hike about a mile and a half in the Lanikai neighborhood.  There are a series of military bunkers in the mountain side which are the pillboxes.  I did this hike before sunrise when it was very dark, and sat on a pillbox on the edge of the mountain watching sunrise over the islands.  Sunrise is an incredibly popular time, and there will be crowds.  Bring a flashlight. If it has rained recently the trail could be muddy and slippery.  This will show up in Apple Maps under Kaiwa Ridge Trail, park on the street and there will be handmade signs directing you to the start of the hike.

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Surfing Lesson with Sparky’s Surf School

Whether you have grown up in the water, want to learn to hang ten, or just love the movie Point Break, Hawaii is the best place to learn to surf.  When I decided to taking a surfing lesson visiting Hawaii post covid, I went with Sparky and had an amazing time!  I am incredibly clumsy, but Sparky had me up and riding waves on Waikiki in no time!  Book ahead of time- he’s great for all ages!

If you want some healthy local cafes the check out The Sunrise Shack for incredible açaí bowls, Farm to Barn for the best avocado toast, and Island Vintage Coffee for 100% Kona coffee, and the best banana bread I’ve ever had.  If you have time to wait in the epic line, Giovanni’s Shrimp TruckGiovanni’s Shrimp Truck is famous for its garlic shrimp on the North Shore.  Plus its close to Wow Wow Lemonade.  No visit to Hawaii is complete without Dole Whips, Shave Ice, and LeonardsLeonards famous Malasadas.

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Visiting Hawaii post Covid is still a great idea as long as you follow the right steps at the beginning. If you go be sure to tag me in your photos!

Looking forward to traveling again? I plan and curate family vacations anywhere to take the stress off you!  I host group trips all over the world, find out more information by clicking the option on the menu bar!

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