So many of us are dreaming about a tropical escape right now, but is it possible? This week we talk with Amber Mamian, from Global Munchkins, about her recent family trip to Hawaii. Find out what to expect in terms of testing, travel restrictions, and hotel and activity protocols when you are visiting Hawaii during COVID.
About Amber Mamian
Amber Mamian is a family travel expert, founder of Global Munchkins, and ambassador for Oprah Magazine who resides in Southern CA with her husband and 5 children. You can follow her family’s adventures and more on Instagram at @global_munchkins and on her site GlobalMunchkins.com.
Get Amber’s guide to planning a Hawaii vacation here.
What to Expect when Visiting Hawaii During COVID
- The state of Hawaii currently has a 14-day mandatory quarantine for visitors.
- However, you can bypass this quarantine if you have a negative test within 72 hours of your arrival. But note that Hawaii only accepts tests from certain companies so you need to do your research regarding testing in your area to determine how you can get a test before your trip, and whether or not you will get the results back in time.
- You can find the information you need about required testing on HawaiiCOVID19.com/travel.
- Amber had a good experience with an at-home testing kit and processing from Vault Health. You take your saliva-based test at home in front of a doctor or nurse on Zoom and then overnight them the kit and you have the results in 24 hours.
- You also need to fill out a mandatory Hawaii travel and health form before you arrive.
- After submitting your forms, you receive a user account with the state of Hawaii. There you can upload the PDF of your testing results.
- Once you have submitted your testing results, you are given a QR code to show on your phone when you arrive, checking in at the hotel, and whenever asked throughout your trip.
- If you do not have a negative test upon arrival, you have to do the full 14-day quarantine, even if your results come in during that time.
- Some airlines, such as United, will make you show your negative test results to board the plane.
- Delta is currently still keeping the middle seat open but we aren’t sure how long they will keep that in place.
- When you arrive at the airport they will check every person’s QR code and contact tracing form.
- For hotel check in, every adult may need to be present to show ID and your QR code.
- Restaurants adhere very strictly to the rule of only five people at a table, so even if you have a large family, you cannot sit more than 5 people together.
- Once you are there, Hawaii doesn’t have a lot of visitors right now so it is easy to social distance when on the beach or taking hikes.
- The Disney Aulani has done an excellent job of explaining safety protocols, providing signage and sanitizing stations throughout the resort, and guests were very good about complying with those protocols.
- The five person rule was also enforced at the pool, where no more than five people from the same family/household could sit together.
- At some resorts in Waikiki, pool usage is restricted to certain hours with reservations required.
- You will likely need to show your QR code when visiting attractions or doing activities outside of your hotel.
- It is helpful to use sites like Yelp to read up on which attractions and restaurants are still open and their hours and protocols.
- Don’t be surprised to find many restaurants closed or require reservations.
- It is helpful to stay in a villa or a place with a kitchen so you can prepare some of your meals.
- Be sure to stay on top of updates in the time leading up to your trip
- Make sure you research your state’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements on return.
- Also make sure you read your cancellation policies for everything you book because things can change quickly.
- Amber loves the swimsuits and travel clothes from Albion Fit. She also loves blazers from Chicos.
Read the Episode Transcript
[00:00:00.150] – Kim
Dreaming of a tropical escape? Find out what it’s like to travel to Hawaii right now.
[00:00:16.930] – Announcer
Welcome to Vacation Mavens, a family travel podcast with ideas for your next vacation and tips to get you out the door. Here are your hosts, Kim from Stuffed Suitcase and Tamara from We3Travel.
[00:00:31.750] – Kim
Tamara, it is the New Year. So happy New Year.
[00:00:34.540] – Tamara
Happy New Year. Yay! We all made it to 2021.
[00:00:37.690] – Kim
Yeah exactly. Is it going to be better? Like let’s hope, let’s hope that 2020 is in the Blinder’s, right?
[00:00:44.020] – Tamara
Yeah. Yeah. I mean it has to be at some point. Right. Like it may not be immediately better but we’re going to get there. Yeah, definitely.
[00:00:50.800] – Kim
Well the vaccination news is certainly hopeful and good. So hopefully that’s a good signal for all of us that we are all going to get back to traveling soon. And I know that today we’re going to be talking about a pretty awesome destination that I think a lot of people are probably dreaming about, especially since when we’re recording this, it’s winter for most people. So I know that I’m dreaming of warm weather at this time of year.
[00:01:13.600] – Tamara
There’s a foot of snow out my window, so I’m definitely dreaming of warm weather right now.
[00:01:18.830] – Kim
So we’re going to talk to Amber all about Hawaii. She and her family took a little trip there, and it definitely looks different right now. There’s a lot of regulations. And, of course, everyone’s going to take their own consideration on whether they’re comfortable traveling and what that looks like for them and their family. But we just wanted to give you guys an insight into what Hawaii travel looks like right now with the regulations about covid. But in the meantime, if you are dreaming of more Hawaii destinations, I think Tamara has some of our old episodes that she’s going to give a little mention of.
[00:01:51.130] – Tamara
Yeah, definitely, because this episode is very much focused on what it’s like to travel right now. And if you are just new to traveling to Hawaii and you want to have some more of a background on maybe some of the different islands and what it’s like at the different hotels, if you go back to Episode 75, we talked to both Kim and Kristi Marcelle about the Disney Aulani, and we went into some very detailed descriptions about what that resort is like. And that’s what Amber is going to talk about also. And if you go all the way back to Episode 55, we talked to Mary from The World is a book about Hawaii. And we were talking about, I think primarily Maui and the Big Island and Oahu. So I guess we still need to do an episode on Kauai at some point, right?
[00:02:37.600] – Kim
Yeah, we should have been there. It was a short trip, but I have been there.
[00:02:42.010] – Tamara
That’s definitely where I want to go and when I would return to Hawaii. But anyway, yeah, let’s chat with Amber and see what it it was like to be there now.
[00:02:58.850] – Tamara
This week, we’re here with Amber Mamian. She is a family travel expert, founder of Global Munchkins and an ambassador for Oprah magazine. She lives in Southern California with her husband and her five children. And you can follow her family’s adventures and more on Instagram at Global_Munchkins or on our site at Global Munchkins.Com. So welcome back to the podcast. Amber.
[00:03:19.520] – Amber
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so happy to be back.
[00:03:22.240] – Tamara
I know it’s been a really long time. Last time we talked to you, it was about cruising, I think maybe Disney cruises, but it certainly has been a long time since any of us were cruising, so. And in some ways, it’s been a long time since any of us have traveled. But you have traveled recently to one of your favorite destinations. Now, I know you guys being on the West Coast go to Hawaii pretty often. But this year it looked a little bit different. So I was hoping that we could talk to you to learn a little bit more about what is it like to go to Hawaii now? Like what does it take to get there? What are the requirements? And really what is it like on the ground, you know, for someone that is considering a trip? So can you walk our listeners through, like, what are some of the testing requirements that are necessary to visit Hawaii right now?
[00:04:06.200] – Amber
Absolutely. So the good news is once you are there, it’s fantastic. Their numbers are really low. It felt very safe the whole time to get there. It’s a little tricky. You just have to kind of do your homework and your research. Currently, the state of Hawaii has a 14 day mandatory quarantine. However, you can bypass that if you do, if you take a negative covid test and 72 hours before your departure, it’s important to look because the state of Hawaii only accepts tests done from certain companies.
[00:04:36.180] – Amber
So you do have to go on to their website. It’s Hawaii covid-19 dot com forward slash travel and everything’s listed right there. But basically, you get your test done 72 hours before departure. And we went through a company called Vault Health, which I highly recommend.
[00:04:50.660] – Amber
It was an at home saliva test, which was really easy on all of us, including my youngest, who’s seven. You do the saliva test in front of it like a doctor or nurse on a zoom, and then they overnight the test kit back to the company and they have your results back in 24 hours. In our case, which was amazing because we’re able to upload those results before we ever departed. And then beyond the testing, you’re also required to fill out a mandatory state of Hawaii travel and health form.
[00:05:17.990] – Amber
And it’s for every member of the family, which was a lot because there’s seven of us adults are required to fill out their own forms. But I was able to fill them all out for the kids. And once you have those done, you have like a user account from the state of Hawaii. And when you get your results back from your testing, you actually upload that PDF right to that website or with your user, you know, your account, I guess I should say.
[00:05:38.330] – Amber
And once that’s uploaded, they email you a QR code and that is like your ticket of gold. You know, when you land, you’re going to need your QR code. I mean, you’re going to possibly need it for the resort. You stay at activities you do. So you definitely need, like your your QR code golden ticket. That’s what I’d call it.
[00:05:57.120] – Kim
Great. And can I just mention, is it true, though, that Kaui is one of the islands, they actually have have been able to opt out, so they still require a mandatory 14 day quarantine? Is that correct?
[00:06:08.400] – Amber
Yes. And thank you for saying that. And you also you cannot island hop either. So, like, you know, we were planning on going to Oahu and Maui instead. We only travelled to Oahu because we would have had to either do another 14 day quarantine when we got to Maui or we would have had to retest again while we were in Oahu.
[00:06:26.430] – Tamara
That’s really good to know. And I think it’s really interesting that you used that private company, because I know with cases on the rise, like testing, not everywhere is it’s not possible everywhere to get testing if you’re asymptomatic or just for travel anyway. But even if you can, there’s not really guarantees of how quickly you’re going to get it back. And I can’t even imagine making that investment and then not getting a test back in time.
[00:06:52.170] – Amber
And there’s a new law, and I probably should have looked that before we talked, but my cousin traveled on her honeymoon. It did not. Her husband got his test results from CVS and before the flight, and she didn’t they only had to quarantine in the hotel for a day or two. But since we’ve been I was told by the hotel that now the state of Hawaii, if you do not have a negative test upon arrival, you have to do a full mandatory 14 days instead of waiting for your test results, come in a day or two.
[00:07:22.020] – Kim
I heard that as well. And I also heard that I think somebody said CVS might be actually opting out or they’re not allowed anymore, but I’m not sure on that. But check that out. So definitely make sure you know who to use. And then I’ve heard lots of horror stories where they say it’ll be back in a certain amount of time, but the people are still like they’re ready to fly out and the results aren’t back yet.
[00:07:44.430] – Amber
So, yeah, I mean, we went with a really big group and we all used Vault health. I think there was 14 of us total because it was my brother and his family and my parents and all of our tests came back within twenty four hours from Vault Health. So, I mean, we were really impressed with their service grade.
[00:07:59.850] – Kim
So beyond just now that everyone knows what the requirements are, what was your experience going navigating like the airport and then your in-flight experience, of course, your West Coast, Southern California. So your flight time is probably only what, like three and a half hours? But what’s the experience like?
[00:08:17.130] – Amber
Yeah, it’s like five or six hours. Yeah, it’s still quite a long flight. So in flight I was really nervous like a couple of days before. We haven’t flown since, but it was our first flight and I did like that everybody on the plane most likely had a negative covid test. My mom flew united and they had to show their covid test just to get on the plane.
[00:08:40.620] – Amber
And so that made me comfortable. And then once we were on the plane, I was really impressed. We did switch airlines. We originally with one airline that stopped doing the middle seat being open. So we switched to Delta and paid a little bit more just to have that comfort of knowing the middle seats would be open and we’d have a little bit more space on the plane. So I do appreciate the Delta did that. The planes were spotless and I did talk to Delta and they sanitized the entire flight before every single departure. And then they wipe down all the seats and sanitize in that way.
And then when you board the flight, they give you another Purell wipe to wipe down your seat yourself. So between all of that I felt pretty good on the flight. I know that they change their air filtration systems often, they said even more often than they are required to. I talked to them about their testing program. I was really impressed with that. For all of their employees, they’re able to do even the rapid test in the lounge at the airport at LAX, which I liked.
[00:09:37.710] – Amber
And, you know, it’s funny to be on a flight, honestly, and have you know, I was worried about the kids having to wear masks the whole time and it ended up not being a big deal at all.
[00:09:46.690] – Tamara
That’s good. I mean, hopefully by now people are kind of used to it, although that’s a long period of time, especially if you’re trying to, you know, take a drink or have a snack, you know, quickly or something like that.
[00:10:00.820] – Amber
I was so nervous, we had the regular mask and then I had bought the clear, like shield. So when we were eating, I had the kid, I just pulled those out and so when they would have the mask off, I would let them have the face shield. That way they could still be somewhat protected. But on the flight home, I guess we felt so comfortable we didn’t use them, to be honest.
[00:10:18.420] – Kim
That’s good to know. And did you, I’m assuming did you pack your own snacks because they aren’t doing or are airlines still doing like drinks and snacks service?
[00:10:27.570] – Amber
So I can only speak for Delta because that’s all I’ve flown since covid. But what they gave you is a Ziploc bag. It had a Cheezits in it. The cookies, I can’t think of what they’re called the you know, the cookies they always have on planes, the bottle of water and a single use Purell. That was it for the entire flight. So we definitely knew that going into it. They email you and Delta stays in contact and is very upfront about the fact that there’s not going to be those services.
[00:10:52.410] – Kim
So we were able to pack enough snacks to be fine.
[00:10:55.650] – Tamara
I think I’d have to pack a whole backpack full of water bottles.
[00:10:59.550] – Amber
Yes, we did.
[00:11:00.720] – Amber
We definitely did pack a lot of water because they give you, like, those little bottles to like it is about a teeny bottle. And they did pass them out.
[00:11:08.700] – Amber
I mean, they pass out water several times. But I do normally drink just so much water on a plane that I had to pack, you know, several water bottles, which you have to buy after you enter the terminal.
[00:11:21.270] – Tamara
So it sounds like once you have your QR code and it’s your golden ticket that you’re able to get into pretty much everywhere. But are they doing any additional screenings like temperature checks or forms or anything like that, like when you check into your hotel or go to restaurants?
[00:11:36.000] – Amber
It depends, I think, on each place. So when you land, it it seems kind of funky, like you were waiting a really long line, almost like you’re going through like a customs. And they check each family’s QR codes and they have to check that. You filled out that form from the Travel Hawaii, which has all of your contact tracing, what resort you’re going to be at. All of your information is there.
[00:11:55.980] – Amber
Once they double check that, then you’re free to leave. Same kind of thing, though, when you show up to the hotel, just a little bit like extra steps. Like I think they needed to know our flight home. We again had to show the QR code. They needed to see each adult. We arrived really late at night and I was in the car with the kids waiting and I thought my husband could just check in, but they needed to see each adult in the party and have ID and your QR code.
[00:12:16.890] – Amber
So I think you just have to be ready to have to show those forms, especially with every adult. It seems like they need to check every adult. The only other thing that we saw when we went out at restaurants, especially being a larger party, being there with my brother and my family, even my own family, to be honest, because we’re seven is the only allow groups of five at like restaurants so that they were very strict about almost every restaurant we went to.
[00:12:39.060] – Amber
We were never able to sit together. They said the state of Hawaii could get them in trouble. And so, you know, obviously a very respectful but I think it’s important for people to know in advance because I had my kids been younger ages, it would have been really difficult for us to have, you know, all of seven of us at one table and one.
[00:13:06.710] – Tamara
Meanwhile, teens are probably like, yeah, we’re fine. We’re fine.
[00:13:10.110] – Amber
Yeah, it was pretty much the teens at one table and our younger seven year old with us.
[00:13:16.060] – Kim
So beyond everyone’s getting tested before they come in and then the basics of just wearing masks when you’re outside and around others and social distancing and cleaning things like that, is there anything else that maybe feels different or seems different about Hawaii vacation right now?
[00:13:31.600] – Amber
Honestly, no, we had such an amazing vacation, it was such a huge breath of fresh air, I think we’re pretty used to all those mandates now. That’s the way we’re living at home.
[00:13:40.480] – Amber
So to have to do that there didn’t feel too awkward. And it was just, you know, the initial getting through the airport, there was a little bit different and nerve wracking once we were there. It felt really good. And there’s a lot of open space in Hawaii where and it’s very empty right now. So we’d be at beaches where there was hardly anybody there and definitely nobody within, you know, I mean, 20 or 30 feet of us.
[00:13:59.920] – Amber
So in those situations when we were hiking and stuff, we take our masks off if we were alone. So it felt really good to us.
[00:14:07.430] – Tamara
That’s nice. It’s good when you can feel, you know, like you are having a vacation, you are having something that’s a break from the norm, I guess.
[00:14:17.030] – Amber
I mean, it definitely felt like a complete vacation. We didn’t want to come home.
[00:14:23.110] – Tamara
So I know you say to the Disney Aulani, which is one of your favorite hotels, we had recently talked to Rob Taylor from two travel dads and he talked to us about what it’s like to go to Walt Disney World right now and what a good job they were doing. So I’m hoping that you had the same experience at Aulani. But what was your experience like? Was it something where you were feeling very comfortable, where the things you think they could be doing better?
[00:14:44.500] – Amber
I thought that Aulani did a fantastic job. I mean, one of the reasons we chose to stay at the Aulani was because we had heard so many positive things about the way that they were doing things at Disney World. And we’re big fans of Disney and we’ve been to Aulani. several times. Everybody at the resorts seemed to be not even have to have the rules be enforced. I think that at check in they let you know what the rules were there signs around everywhere and hands sanitizing stations are throughout the resort.
[00:15:08.170] – Amber
And thankfully, all the guests seem to just comply. So it’s not like I was in a situation where I saw people having to, you know, be scolded or anything for not wearing masks. It just seemed like people were respecting each other. And I did speak with other guests who stayed at other resorts in Waikiki who were telling me that at their resort, the pool had like, you know, hours where they had to make a reservation to go to the pool and that it was a little bit more strict.
[00:15:33.340] – Amber
Once you’re out at the Aulani, if you’re in the pool area, you don’t have to have your mask on. All the chairs are spaced within six foot distance. So there is that gathering rule again. So for my family, a little complicated because you can’t have more than five people together in a group. So for larger families, I think, you know, that’s something to pay attention to. But I think most families are probably about the size of five people.
[00:15:57.310] – Kim
And are they doing a lesser occupancy rate? We’ve been to the Aulani and the chairs are normally completely full on a sunny afternoon. So are they is doing an occupancy decrease so that there aren’t so many people at the pools?
[00:16:16.480] – Amber
Yes. So there is an occupancy decrease and I cannot remember what it is, but it is a reduced occupancy. And like you said, normally Aulani is very, very crowded. It it was very empty. You could you know, you didn’t have to, like, run down to reserve chairs in the morning. There would be good seats available if you strolled into the pool area around two o’clock in the afternoon.
[00:16:36.040] – Amber
I did notice that it seemed like locals come in on the weekends. So if I was choosing to stay there I would definitely try to book a more of a midweek stay like a Sunday through Thursday stay just to avoid that crowd. We decided to leave the resort on those days to avoid having it crowded. But it still was less of a crowd than I was used to at Aulani.
[00:17:01.520] – Tamara
Now, what about when you went off property? Were there things that you had to keep in mind there, like did you need to make advance reservations or were there additional protocols that were in place there?
[00:17:12.320] – Amber
So we did several activities, including a cage dive with sharks, which they did check our QR code. And we also visited Waimea Valley, which is like a like a nature center. And they both of those places checked our QR codes before allowing us in. And they obviously made sure that all the normal restrictions of mask mandates and social distancing were told to us before we entered. But other than that, things seem to be pretty normal. We did try to keep in touch with what was going on as far as like on Yelp and stuff, trying to see what restaurants were open because some places have limited hours and some places were just closed completely.
[00:17:48.560] – Amber
I think that food was probably a tougher challenge than activities.
[00:17:52.910] – Kim
Yeah, that’s what Tamara and I have noticed. You know, all the trips we took this summer is the restaurants and dining is the hardest part about travel right now just because, like you said, some restaurants haven’t been able to keep their doors open, which is limited, the options that are open and then others are, you know, operating at 50 percent or something. And so getting, you know, the mass of people in and out is just really hard.
[00:18:17.500] – Tamara
So is a little side chat about what the heck with a shark cage dive?
[00:18:22.860] – Kim
I can’t believe I’m ignoring it. I’m ignoring it and ignoring it.
[00:18:27.200] – Amber
It’s in a cage. I was really nervous and I almost canceled before we went. I it was all my brother. He’s the thrill seeker. So he wanted to do it. And then my husband, because they become competitive, and then I have an 18 year old son who has to prove himself when the guys are doing something. So I felt like I better go and make sure everybody’s OK because I would have had a harder time sitting out, I think.
[00:18:53.690] – Tamara
Especially if you’re like on the boat and you’re looking down and seeing, like, fins circling your loved ones.
[00:18:58.730] – Amber
Right. Right. I mean, it’s like I’d rather just be in it with them, but it ended up not being scary really at all.
[00:19:04.550] – Amber
And I know that it still is definitely, you know, a risk hopping into that cage. But it didn’t feel as scary as I thought it would.
[00:19:10.850] – Kim
Well, the you guys weren’t in, like, South Africa, right? You know, like the, you know, Great Barrier Reef, where it’s like great whites, you know, bull sharks.
[00:19:20.240] – Tamara
It’s like on our honeymoon we were in Bora Bora. And one of the things that we had signed up for was a shark and ray feeding. And my husband, who loves to dive, is just like, oh, they’re just black tip reef sharks. And I’m like, they’re sharks. Their face looks like sharks. Like when they’re swimming right at you, it’s a shark. And that’s all you can think about.
And I remember the night before I am was cancelled, I was up like all night. I was terrified. And then it was no cage, you know, it was just like we kind of made a line, like behind a rope, kind of like you’re snorkeling and it’s like made a line and then they feed them right in front of you. So the sharks come and they swim like directly at your face. And it’s like last minute they turn and they go back and oh my goodness, I lasted for like a couple of minutes and I’m like, I’ll be in the boat.
[00:20:07.820] – Tamara
OK, well you’re brave. I just had to ask about that.
[00:20:12.290] – Amber
So I’ll get to food. I was going to say one of the reasons we chose to stay at Aulani was we stayed in their villa, which has a small kitchen. And so we’re able to stock up at Target before we got to the hotel. So we were able to do some meals, you know, within our little hotel room, which was super convenient and highly recommend, like maybe Airbnb stays or something like that, or resorts with kitchens would be nice right now.
[00:20:40.520] – Kim
If people don’t know about Aulani, it’s actually about would you say it’s about forty minutes away from Honolulu, from the airport.
[00:20:46.730] – Amber
Yeah, I guess depending on your travel, because it’s like kind of a suburb of sorts.
[00:20:50.810] – Kim
It’s called javelina, but there’s like a Costco right there too nearby.
[00:20:55.250] – Kim
And so it’s it’s definitely convenient if you can splurge for those kind of villa. I think that shopping and having food that you can make in your room is a definite plus right now. So I have an awkward question that I’ve heard some talk about it in some travel groups. But did you feel like there was any kind of negative vibe from the locals towards tourists that you know?
[00:21:27.890] – Kim
I know that it’s kind of a double edged sword. It seems like Hawaii really wants the money that tourism brings. However, I know a lot of locals are kind of stressed and don’t want tourists coming to their island and putting them at risk. So did you have any weird vibes that you felt like the locals weren’t welcoming?
[00:21:41.870] – Amber
So we personally didn’t. And I don’t know if it would be, you know, whether or not you’re following, you know, the restrictions and being respectful, like because to us, people were more than grateful to have a say. I like the small restaurants where, you know, over accommodating. They were, you know, making sure that they cleaned everything and thanking us. And so I had. Kind of the exact opposite, so it’s probably just hit or miss, depending on who you run into, I guess.
[00:22:07.200] – Tamara
Yeah, that’s good, I mean, it’s it is a difficult challenge, I think it’s a challenge for any tourism area and really every state to, you know, in that you need the economic boost that tourism brings.
[00:22:19.740] – Tamara
But, you know, it brings along some risk, too. So it’s good to hear you weren’t, you know, met with kind of open opposition, but more open arms.
[00:22:29.340] – Tamara
Well, since we have you on the podcast, we’ve talked about Hawaii on a few other episodes, but maybe we can just quickly get some of your thoughts and some of your favorite, you know, things to do in Hawaii and stuff. But do you have a favorite island? I know this time you went to Wahoo, but do you have a favorite overall?
[00:22:46.130] – Amber
It is such a hard question, I think, of why all the Hawaiian islands that I’ve been to or to just Kauai, Maui and Oahu Island, Kona are amazing.
[00:22:53.840] – Amber
I really like Oahu. I think that it’s great. It’s got that iconic North Shore and some big resorts. And if you’re looking for more of the hustle bustle, it’s there. But Maui is probably my ultimate favorite. It’s just more relaxed than North Shore, less populated. And I love the road to Hana. That’s really cool. Yeah, I’ve been to I still haven’t been to the big island, so that’s kind of the one I want to get on my bucket list.
[00:23:17.020] – Kim
But I’ve been to Oahu, Maui and Kauai, and I just love Oahu because I kind of I do like all the resort hotels, but I think the Kaanapali Beach area on Maui can bring that. And like it’s like you said, kind of it’s it’s a little lesser, you know, a little more stepped back, which is kind of nice. And the road Hana is pretty awesome.
[00:23:38.440] – Amber
Right. And then Kauai is like so lush and beautiful, but it’s like I feel like even more deserted. Kona is like the big island. It was a trip to me because it’s more volcanic. So I remember getting off the plane and being like, it’s all black. Yeah. And there’s goats like mountain goats like where’s the kitchen? Where’s the palm trees? I was really confused. You drive up to the resorts and you’ll find the beaches there. But that one is definitely different. Very different. But you can see a live volcano, you know. Right.
[00:24:05.620] – Tamara
The only time I’ve been to Hawaii, we did the Big Island, mostly because we wanted to see a live volcano. But I had the first, you know, thought when I first got off because I’m like, hey, where’s all the lush, you know, like this? But then we did Maui, too, and we definitely found it there. But I loved both. And I would just love to go back to now I need to do Kauai and Oahu.
[00:24:25.990] – Kim
So do you have any other favorite hotels in Hawaii that you stayed at or because like you said, Oahu for family is Aulani certainly is a nice draw. So any other favourite hotels for your family?
[00:24:37.270] – Amber
I Think that the best contender for Aulani to me is Grand Wailea in Maui, they have like interconnecting slides in the world, only water elevator. It’s absolutely incredible.
[00:24:47.770] – Kim
Yeah, they are pretty nice there.
[00:24:49.000] – Kim
We stayed at the Sheraton, I think, and they have like a sister property now. I can’t even remember it. And they have like all these pools that run throughout the resort and stuff.
[00:24:58.900] – Kim
And I’ve heard Grand Wailea has a similar kind of just the expansiveness of the pools and the grounds are really fun to explore, right?
[00:25:07.850] – Amber
Yeah, it’s great for families.
[00:25:10.720] – Tamara
Well, what about some of your other favorite things to do with kids, maybe we can just touch on a couple in Maui and Oahu, since those are your top islands.
[00:25:19.810] – Amber
I mean, we go to Hawaii really to, like, turn off and relax. So a lot of times we just hit the beach and surf and boogie board and then go like hiking and snorkeling. I think in Maui, like I said, the road to Hana is really great. It wasn’t really great when my kids were like four of them were really young and I didn’t love it. But as they’ve gotten older, that’s a really fun trip.
[00:25:39.430] – Amber
And obviously getting to North Shore and Oahu, we always see sea turtles and it’s, you know, so fun to watch those incredible surfers surf there, too,
[00:25:48.880] – Kim
and get some shrimp you got for Giovanni’s shrimp truck
[00:25:53.140] – Amber
or Macky’s you know, it’s like a big rivalry.
[00:25:55.680] – Amber
So you got to, I guess, eat from both and then choose, which is the one that you’re going to support
[00:25:59.710] – Kim
and then get some Massimo’s shaved ice afterwards.
[00:26:02.860] – Amber
Exactly. Yes, that is exactly what you need to do.
[00:26:06.890] – Kim
Cool. So do you have any final tips for listeners who are considering a visit to Hawaii during these times of covid anything to keep in mind that they should be aware of?
[00:26:17.920] – Amber
I think just do your homework, make sure you stay on top of updates, because unfortunately things do change, you know, as numbers change. So I think that way you’re just prepared, you know what’s going to happen. Make sure that you talk to the resort before you go so that you know what their policies are as far as, you know, the pool and stuff like that, activities that you’re going to be doing.
[00:26:35.180] – Amber
So you have proper expectations when you get there. And then I mean, I know like sponsorship with Vault health, but I just was so impressed with them. I keep telling everybody about their services.
[00:26:46.720] – Tamara
And then I guess I think it’s probably important to make sure when you’re doing that research about Hawaii to understand your home state, you know, and if they have, you know, travel restrictions, I mean, luckily, Hawaii is the one state that whose numbers aren’t going up as much.
[00:27:00.640] – Tamara
So maybe they’re not on your travel restriction list. But, you know, to know if you have to quarantine when you get back or anything like that,
[00:27:06.670] – Amber
that’s a really good point. And I think all of that, yeah, I was going to say, like California just went on lockdown now. And I think also a cancellation policies. A friend of mine had booked Kauai and was having trouble with their Airbnb, canceling that trip after California had a lockdown. Hawaii now has restrictions, not letting people in. So I think just, you know, making sure that you go in fully aware, like really make sure you’re reading everything, asking questions.
[00:27:29.830] – Amber
I think it’s important right now because travel can be done.
[00:27:32.440] – Amber
It’s just a little bit more work.
[00:27:34.940] – Kim
Yeah, and just like you said, I know Delta has promised to keep the middle seats empty, I think through March and I know Alaska is through January, they’re keeping their middle seats empty. And they are I think those those statements come with an Asterix, though, sometimes like if the flight ends up canceled or sold out or I don’t know how that works, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind also is getting their things to research and be aware of good will.
[00:27:59.450] – Tamara
We have a fun question for you. And I always think of things I don’t know you may not want me to say a fashion icon, but you’re always very stylish. And so I would love to hear from you what some of your favorite brands are. What what do you like to wear when you travel lately?
[00:28:14.600] – Amber
I’ve really loved Albian Fit, and it might be because I just did, you know, Hawaii. But their travel clothes are ones that I’ve had for years and they, like, don’t go out of fashion. So I love it because I can just add a couple of pieces and, you know, it changes that the outfit I like to do those capsule wardrobes. And I think because they sell really high quality basics that are good for travel that they’re kind of my go to.
[00:28:34.190] – Amber
And their swimsuits, honestly, are the best fitting swimsuits I like the most comfortable in those.
[00:28:39.530] – Tamara
Oh, that’s nice. I love places that you can go to where you don’t need to bring like so many extras and you like jackets and things like that because then you can fit more in your bag, you know.
[00:28:50.390] – Amber
Yes. I want it so easy. Yeah. One of my favorite outfits I always see you in Amber that you always pull off so well. It’s just like a T-shirt with a blazer
[00:28:58.580] – Kim
and you wear the cutest little blazers. And every time I try to look for like a cute, like t shirt blazer combo, the Blazers are always like too long or too structured. So I don’t know. I’ll have to ask you later where you where you find your cute little khaki colored beige blazers.
[00:29:13.550] – Amber
I get them at Chicos. Everyday I get teased, but I always find, like, super cute like wraps. I think they call those ones like Rhona’s or something like that. I might be saying it wrong, but those and blazers at Chico’s and you can usually find them on sale too online.
[00:29:27.950] – Tamara
Thanks for your tips. That’s great. So maybe we can just remind our listeners where they can find you online. And I imagine with California’s recent lock down that you’re not going anywhere anytime soon. But, you know, at least they can follow you online and you always post so much from your adorable family.
[00:29:46.670] – Amber
So there’s still some trips because that’s what I did. I decided to give away trips all through twenty, twenty one. And the travel is good through like twenty, twenty two. So, you know, somebody can travel someday since I’m but some are twenty, twenty one.
[00:30:02.840] – Amber
Right. People can follow us at global underscore munchkins on Instagram and then global munchkins dot com online.
[00:30:11.200] – Tamara
Perfect. Well, thanks so much for being on to share your recent experience with who I am glad that you guys had a wonderful time. I’m glad that you came back relaxed and ready to face whatever the next few months bring.
[00:30:22.570] – Amber
Right. Yeah. Thanks so much. Thanks so much for having me. Yeah. Thanks so much, Kim.
[00:30:29.910] – Kim
Well, thanks for joining us for another week here at Vacation MAVEN’s. And you definitely want to tune in next week. What are we going to be talking about Tamara?
[00:30:36.610] – Tamara
We are going to be talking to someone who’s going to teach us how families can fly free and that includes to Hawaii.
[00:30:42.940] – Tamara
And you can do that just within a few months.
[00:30:45.520] – Tamara
So, yeah, tune in, because I think we’re all thinking about how to make our budgets stretch and still keep our travel dreams alive. So tune in on the next episode. Talk to you then. Bye bye.
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