Even though Hawaii typically receives fewer annual visitors than Maui or Oahu, that doesn’t mean it is behind on its offerings. The Big Island has a very different look and feels compared to the more tropical islands. With erupting volcanoes, an interesting rugged terrain, ancient historical sites, and breathtaking beaches, this island is surely worth exploring!
Did you know that the entire coastline of Hawaii is made of black volcanic rock? Well, this speaks volumes about what you can expect on this island. While you can go here to chill and lay under the palm trees, but a true Hawaiian experience would be to witness the raw natural and plentiful ocean life in action.
Due to COVID-19, traveling around the world was halted completely, resulting in a major drop in Hawaii’s visitors. However, as the island begins to open up many are wondering what it’s like traveling in Hawaii in 2021.
So, if you’re looking to travel to Hawaii this year, we’ve put together a guide of what you can expect from this majestic island.
Traveling in Hawaii 2021
Hawaii is one of the few places that has opened up and is ready to welcome visitors. However, it is necessary for every visitor to do a pre-COVID test. In fact, on some islands, you may even be required to take a secondary COVID test according to each county.
It’s mandatory for visitors to wear a mask and practice social distancing when visiting the islands. Almost all attractions including restaurants and shopping venues are open for visitors to enjoy. Every attraction has a mandatory mask-wearing rule and you are also not allowed to gather in large groups.
All the residents and businesses on the Big Island have taken things pretty seriously ever since the pandemic panic began. A huge majority of attractions and activities are opened, but only for a limited number of hours and with smaller capacities than before. This is why they highly encourage all visitors to book ahead for activities, dinner reservations, and excursions since space is usually quite limited.
What Should You Pack For Safe Travelling In Hawaii 2021?
Here’s what you’ll need to pack to travel safely in Hawaii this year.
Face masks – Face masks are a must-have! So, make sure to pack multiple cloth face coverings as it’s safer to change them frequently. Moreover, all public places have a mandatory face mask requirement.
Hand sanitizer – Make sure to stock up your suitcase with enough hand sanitizer that will suffice throughout your entire trip. This is important because alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be in short supply on the Big Island.
Medicine – If you are on any sort of medication, make sure to bring them along. You will need to bring enough over-the-counter and prescription medication that will last you your entire trip.
What Activities Can You Do When Travelling In Hawaii 2021?
Here are a few of the main activities you can do on the Big Island, especially if you have a short trip.
Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
If you visit the Big Island and don’t see the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, then it doesn’t even count as visiting the island! Hawaii is famous for its fascinating geology and this national park is the perfect place to experience that. From ancient petroglyphs to miles of lava tubes and an active volcano, you will get to witness it all at this Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Another top experience that you can expect at this park is Crater Rim Drive. This 11-mile road trip offers a stunning view of the park where you can truly witness the landscape of this place in its true glory.
Visit Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
If you’re a big fan of flowers and beautiful gardens, then you must visit the Hawaii Botanical Garden. This is one of the top things to do on the Big Island. Located just north of Hilo on the old coast highway, you will get to tour this stunning botanical garden with over 2,000 species of tropical flowers and plants. A visit to the botanical garden makes for a great day trip if you’re heading to the east side of Hawaii for sightseeing. You shouldn’t feel too bad about pay the entrance fee to the garden as this fund goes to a non-profit organization.
Scuba Dive with Manta Rays
If you want to tick off scuba diving from your bucket list, there’s no better place than the Big Island to do that! You can scuba dive or snorkel with manta rays just north of Kailua-Kona, where the manta rays come at night to feed. Manta rays are the largest of rays with a wingspan up to 18 feet, so this activity definitely makes for a one-of-a-kind adventure. There are many diving and snorkel operators who will guide you in detail regarding this activity.
Skydive on the North Shore
If skydiving tops your bucket list, there’s no better place than Hawaii where you should take the plunge and tick it off your list! Imagine jumping out of an airplane over an island in the Pacific Ocean – there’s probably no better sight than this. Most visitors tend to go to the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii to skydive. The whole process is very smooth and it’s usually a tandem dive, so your instructor basically does everything while you sit back and enjoy the ride. This is truly one of the most exhilarating experiences to have at the Big Island!
Hawaii is the ideal place to snorkel. Even though you have to pay at most places to go for snorkeling excursions, there are many places around the island where you can just hop inside the water to enjoy ocean life. There are various shops in all touristy areas that rent snorkeling equipment for as long as you need. These shops also provide you a map with marked places that have a lot to offer in terms of snorkeling.
If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii in 2021, you need to ensure that you follow all protocols, take as many precautions as you can, and well, enjoy your trip to the fullest!