Tag Archives: How to go to Hawaii during a pandemic

Hawaii or Bust: Packing for Travel in the New Normal

Funny, before when we would go to ships, we would carry about 10 bags. 4 suitcases, two carry on bags as well as a guitar bag that held two instruments. Now, in 2020, we purchased an RV Van to escape our being stuck in the house situation due to the Covid-19 quarantine and other things happening in the State of Michigan last year. That really changed how I pack cause I basically have a small house with me everywhere we drive Large Marge. So in many instances, my Kayser Cafe house is duplicated inside Large Marge, aka our Winnebago Mercedes Sprinter Van.

Travel Hawaii Covid RV Vanlife
Large Marge

Now, Large Marge has taken us to some of the most beautiful Michigan beaches and I really can’t say one bad thing about our miles and miles of coastline. It really has something for everyone. I know folks really love the four seasons here and dig going out in the winter for a snowshoe, ski or other fun outdoor activity. I am though, a warm weather beach girl, reformed life guard, former cruise ship musician travel junkie. I just want my hot sandy beaches with the sun baking down while I’m hanging in the shade drinking a tropical whatever the drink of the day is.

Covid Travel Hawaii

So, that leads me to packing for a flight to Hawaii. Before, would have been easy, beachwear, sunglasses, flip flops and one nice dress. Today, I’m thinking about traveling for 12 hours not knowing if there is food along my journey, wondering if the guy next to me is going to keep his mask up for the flight or if they will be rude and disrespectful. I’m wondering if when we get to the airport I will be reminded of why I love humanity or of the fact that I sometimes question how it is we continue to exist.

We are all a result of what we have thought.


So, I will pull on Buddha’s mindset and believe that people are good. When I’m packing my carry on, I’ll include the usual:

  • electronics, iphone, laptop, ipad & charging accessories
  • journal
  • paperback
  • swimsuit
  • toiletries smaller than 100ml
  • flip flops
  • an outfit incase my other bag doesnt arrive
  • snacks (crackers/cheese)
  • water bottle (I wonder if they’ve closed off the drinking fountains)
  • hand sanitizer
  • travel wipes to clean tray & armrests
  • NEW: KN95 Masks (minimum 2/person/flight)

Seems odd, I’m sure I’m forgetting something. But I just get stuck at the mask requirement. I have no problem wearing it and will do so without causing anyone angst. I just feel like I’m going out into The Walking Dead or some other end of the world science fiction film. Somewhere my gut says, stay home. But really, the media is killing me. So the best way to cut it off is to create my own adventure and document what’s really happening in the world.

Covid Travel Hawaii
Sunset in the Hawaiian Island

Last time I went out of state, we drove to North Carolina to visit Jake’s sister in Durham. I wrote a blog about their gardens a few years ago. The Duke Gardens were closed due to Covid during our last visit, but we did have a great bike ride about 30 down the American Tobacco Trail. I guess I should write about that too.

Hawaii or Bust: A 2021 Covid Travel Log

We’ve decided that we can no longer sit at home and wait for something to happen or wait for everyone to receive a vaccine. We also know and understand the risks we are taking. That’s not really your business.

The process of traveling to Hawaii safely is straight forward. Make sure you get a recognized negative covid test and follow their steps as indicated on the Hawaii Covid 19 website. A couple weeks ago, we created a profile on their Safe Travel Hawaii site and provided our flight, hotel and car rental information for our planned trip. We also did so knowing full well we may have to postpone our travel if everything didn’t just fall into place. We had to get a negative test from a maximum of 72 hours before our flight from the West Coast of the USA to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian government has partnerships with several different testing centers. Note, we were NOT able to use a test arranged through our local Henry Ford doctor. We made an appointment online and went to our local Walgreens on Woodward Ave for a pre-arranged drive up self administered test. (Rapid Test that provides results within 24 hours.) We sat in our car and the pharmacy manager handed us each a swab, we wiped each nostril 5 times in a circle, put it back in the plastic sleeve & went back about our day. After about 3 hours, we received an email with our results… Lucky us, Covid free.

Lucky us, Covid free!

Walgreens Rapid Test 24 hour results from 1/12/2021

Now, we have uploaded all our documentation to our travel profiles. I’ve checked into the first flight we have taken since March 8 2020. Next steps, we complete the remaining questions on the Safe Travel Hawaii profiles and go to the airport.

This has been a slightly nerveracking process, but honestly, we have been safe & quarantined for the majority of 2020. I feel like moving into a 2 bedroom apartment in Hawaii will be about the same as it is here. We only see each other and whatever is out our window. So, I’m excited to see some palms and hear the birds singing. I know we will arrive in the dark, but there will be a rainbow… there always is.

I feel fortuante to have visited the Hawaiian Islands so many times in my life. Our first trips were thanks to our work performing for Princess Cruises and I felt like a local then. Last year two weeks on Oahu reminded me what beautiful sunsets the Pacific holds. This year, almost three weeks on the Big Island and I am in bliss.

Ps we almost moved to the Big Island once. Maybe this time it’s for real.