Hawaii’s allure remains strong and its attractiveness is real and unchanging. You can visit many other beautiful and tropical places in the world, but at the end of the day, there is only one Hawaii. It is unique and stands alone. Hawaii is in the very essence of the fragrant air we breathe, the aloha.
What Hawaii Covid restrictions will remain in place in 2022?
1. When entering Hawaii.
Hawaii Safe Travels rules will remain in force well into 2022. What that means is that to avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine, arriving passengers must comply with the current vaccination or testing requirements found here. Those include mandatory use of the Safe Travels portal for uploading both the proof of exemption and a required health questionnaire. The latest State of Hawaii video makes it easy to see the rules:
2. During your Hawaii vacation.
Hawaii continues to observe a statewide mask mandate indoors, and that too isn’t going to change soon. In addition, each island can make its own rules. Oahu and Maui for example require proof of vaccination to dine indoors. Lastly, as of December 1, many statewide regulations were dropped, and each island is free to establish its own COVID rules. For example, on Kauai, that means you should carry your proof of vaccination or negative test result with you in case it’s required to dine. Rob was at Kokee Lodge several weeks ago where proof is required to dine and he had left his at home.
Which Hawaiian islands should you visit in 2022?
Conde Nast Traveler readers recently picked Maui 2nd, Oahu 5th, Kauai 7th, Big Island 8th, and Lanai 9th among all islands in the USA. Do you agree with their rankings?
It’s hard to go wrong when picking any Hawaiian island for your trip. It can come down to the best deals in airfares and accommodations or it can be about personal favorites or the type of experiences you are seeking.
Oahu: One of the best choices for travelers looking for variety, value, and choice including beaches, activities, nightlife with a distinct city experience.
Maui: A top choice for Hawaii deals. Plus it’s a good mix of rural and city with spectacular beaches, an interesting blend of action and relaxation, and tremendous variety in all regards.
Big Island: Larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, with a unique landscape sculpted by major ongoing volcanic action.
Kauai: Iconic tropical scenery, rural charm, resorts, great beaches, and outdoor activities.
Lanai: offers world-class resorts including a medical spa. Molokai is a return to Hawaii of the past with more limited visitor accommodations.
Are you still not sure where to go? A go-to source for Hawaii destination information is the Hawaii Revealed series of online and print guidebooks.
One final suggestion we’ve previously mentioned is an easy way, especially for first-time visitors to visit multiple islands. Read our better-than-expected review of the all-Hawaii NCL Pride of America cruise. It will be returning to Hawaii sometime early in 2022 and we will have updates as that happens.
Should you visit more than one island.
“Island-hopping” sounds great. The reality is somewhat different and worth taking into consideration. Changing islands during your trip will take at least 1/2 day or longer to accomplish, so decide if that is worth it given the amount of time you have in Hawaii overall. If you plan on being in the islands for over one week, this becomes more feasible. Driving to and from airports, checking in and out of accommodations, and the time, expense, and hassle of flying interisland itself, should all be considered.
When is the best time of year to visit Hawaii?
1. For the best Hawaii weather.
Hawaii’s climate typically features year-round mild temperatures with few major storms, variable but moderate humidity, cooling trade winds even in summer, and microclimates with great variability in frequency and amount of rainfall from one location to another.
November through April: Nights at sea level are in the 50s and 60s with days sometimes dropping into the 70s. The coolest months here are February through April.
May through October: The rest of the year features nights in the 70s and days in the 80s (or hotter at some locations). The warmest months are July and August.
Winter rains typically occur in November/December and March/April, which can impact all parts of all islands. Otherwise, rain in Hawaii tends to be of the micro-climatic variety, as a result of trade winds crossing the islands.
2. For the lowest prices.
For the best priced Hawaii vacations, including cheap flights to Hawaii, avoid spring break, mid-June until mid-August, and the end of year holidays.
The upcoming winter “snowbird” value season is for travel from early January through late March. We are going to see better than anticipated winter prices due to intense competition, making this a great time to visit Hawaii.
From mid-April to early June is another top time for low-priced Hawaii vacations.
Lastly, late summer/fall travel is the other time that offers better value for off-season Hawaii travel.
3. For the least crowds.
The same periods that feature the cheapest prices also offer the least crowding. That is winter, after spring break, and late summer and fall. These get our unequivocal thumbs up as the best choice for the least crowds. These are times you can luxuriate in the sense of still having the islands more to yourself.
How long should a Hawaii vacation be?
An extended weekend in Hawaii can work, a week here on one island is better, and two weeks or longer is ideal. There is both a time change to adjust to as well as the mental shift to “island time” that takes a few days after getting away.
Choosing between Hawaii hotels and Hawaii vacation rentals.
Hawaii hotels in Waikiki and at the major Maui resort destinations especially remain popular albeit expensive. Hawaii vacation rental demand, on the other hand, is very strong. The reasons are clear. Hawaii hotels are expensive especially when combined with today’s limited staff and facilities, among other issues.
You can contrast that with the alternative of a vacation rental, having your very own Hawaii vacation home or condo with a kitchen and little to no interaction with others needed. At this time when we are all rethinking travel, being in greater control of our travel environment is going to remain key going forward. That together with value-seeking has resulted in vacation rentals’ popularity.
See our updated comparison of Hawaii hotels and Hawaii vacation rentals, including island by island costs.
Will you need a Hawaii car rental?
Other than in Waikiki, most people will decide that a Hawaii car rental is a good idea. It’s not that you can’t see Hawaii without one, it just will be far more complicated and less spontaneous. While it is possible to remain on the grounds of one property and use Uber, taxi, shuttle, or bus to get there, that isn’t generally thought of as the most desirable Hawaii experience.
See our just updated post on How to Save Money on Hawaii Car Rentals | 25 Tips. There are over 500 visitor comments to help too.
How far in advance to plan and purchase your 2022 Hawaii vacation?
1. Planning. When planning a Hawaii vacation, it is never too early to start. Besides the planning can be half the fun. Planning a trip at the last minute can also be fun and exciting, albeit with limitations in today’s environment. Executing your plan comes next.
2. Buying. When traveling during peak periods (spring break, summer, and end-of-year holidays), it is best to purchase as far in advance as possible. That is typically close to one year in advance. While last-minute availability can occur even then, the choices become limited, especially for accommodations and car rentals. Many people who come to Hawaii at peak seasons, book every year and do so as soon as availability opens.
During the remainder of the year, feel free to plan spontaneously when even a last-minute trip to Hawaii remains possible.
What about planning for dining, activities, and tours?
As with Hawaii car rentals, airfare, and accommodations, follow the guidance of reserving/purchasing in advance for peak periods. Consider buying online directly at the vendor’s website as there are often better deals for direct booking.
Remember our new sunscreen law.
Hawaii banned sunscreens that can damage our marine environment and coral reefs. The sale and distribution of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are prohibited. The new law became effective on January 1, 2021.
“Our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the earth can have lasting impacts…. This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawaii’s coral reefs.” — Governor David Ige.
Please drive safely, and return again.
See our guide to safe driving tips for visitors to Hawaii. We want to help you avoid problems.
Should you consider travel insurance?
Yes, you should, no matter whether or not you eventually decide to buy it. Do not purchase through an airline, tour company, or cruise ship. Buy through a legitimate trip insurance company. Begin shopping within a few days of making your first trip reservation as waiting can result in reduced coverage options such as cancel-for-any-reason. Consider how much money is at risk (non-cancellable trip components) and how much you are willing to lose in the event of trip cancellation or early termination. Shop around for the best insurance for your specific needs rather than buying it with airline tickets on a whim. You need to do your homework on this to avoid throwing away money and even then perhaps not getting the coverage you want.
Please add your thoughts and questions.