Travel I canceled my family vacation to Hawaii — here’s where we’re going instead
Early-bird dining, beach reservations and a scramble for sunset cruises: Maneuvering a Maui visit in 2021
Maui vacationers face hard-to-get restaurant and activity reservations, new entry rules at state parks and other issues this summer as travel surges.Before tossing them in the in the shopping cart, I called the company from the store to ask about availability for a sunset sail during my weeklong stay.
As we welcomed spring and the vaccine became available, I found myself feeling optimistic that my family (I have a toddler and a preschooler) would be able to travel again this year — I even had high hopes that my toddlers might be vaccinated by the end of the year.
So I, like a lot of other people, started booking trips. Certainly we’d be able to enjoy anfor my birthday in August and for New Year’s, right?
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox,.
Should Hawaii-bound families visit Disney’s Aulani resort in 2021?
For better or for worse, Americans have been flocking in near-record numbers to Hawaii this summer. With many international destinations still closed or restricted to American tourists in ever-changing ways, Hawaii has fit the bill for travelers wanting a more far-flung vacation without all the hassle of crossing international borders during a global pandemic. My …My husband, two kids and I were some of those Hawaii-bound tourists this summer. We spent a week on Oahu in late July and early August 2021 at Disney’s Aulani resort.
We ended up canceling both of those trips — one just a couple of weeks before we were supposed to leave and the other months in advance.
But I haven’t given up hope for a family vacation in 2021. Here’s where we’re going instead.
Where we were going
Although my kids did great wearing their masks on our flights from San Francisco (SFO) to New Orleans (MSY) in May, the more contagious delta variant had me more worried about the health of my unvaccinated children. By the beginning of the summer, we knew that the vaccine likely wouldn’t be available for their age group before 2022 andcases were skyrocketing. We decided to cancel our much-anticipated Mexico vacation at the last minute and look forward to for a beach vacation this year instead.
What you need to know about Hawaii’s second vaccine passport
You can love them or hate them, but vaccine passports are increasingly being used to prove immunization status to travel and visit indoor venues such as restaurants. The United States uses a paper card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prove that people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Obviously, that can …The United States uses a paper card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prove that people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Obviously, that can become a problem when it comes to travel for several reasons, such as the potential for fraud or losing your card.
However, not even a month later, I began to read that Hawaiian locals and government officials were— both because of COVID-19 and bad timing for the tourism industry. Though we consider ourselves independent and highly responsible travelers, we felt it disrespectful to visit under these conditions. So we canceled our end-of-the-year trip to as well.
Two vacations were canceled in the span of a few weeks. Considering my unvaccinated toddlers’ health is top of mind and that cases were rising everywhere we looked, I knew that my options were limited. Traveling internationally isn’t an option right now because of lack of vaccination availability for the kids, and also because I don’t want my 2- and 3-year-olds to have to get a COVID-19 test if we can help it, and it’s a requirement to reenter the U.S. from abroad.
How to use points to plan a backup vacation in case your first plan falls apart
These days, vacation plans are extremely unpredictable. Entry restrictions for different destinations are frequently changing, and when or where the next COVID-19 surge will happen is a gamble. It’s almost impossible to know if your anticipated vacation will truly happen — especially if it’s a trip that involves flights and/or passports. That’s why having a …Entry restrictions for different destinations are frequently changing, and when or where the next COVID-19 surge will happen is a gamble. It’s almost impossible to know if your anticipated vacation will truly happen — especially if it’s a trip that involves flights and/or passports.
The only destination that I feel comfortable traveling to with my family right now is right here at home.
Where we’re going instead … hopefully
We’re choosing to stay closer to home for a few reasons:has beautiful — albeit not as warm — beaches, great weather and in the country (at the time of this article).
We’ll — hopefully — spend a few blissful days after Christmas and over New Year’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach in Dana Point, California. The nonstop 90-minute flight from our home airport in the Bay Area to Orange County feels manageable for my young family and we’ll rent a car to ensure that we can further maintain social distancing.
I’m looking forward to both the beach and the resort, which appears to be welcoming to kids and families — something I look for when traveling with my toddlers. We’ll plan to visit the Ocean Institute for a marine life tour and spend a lot of time at the beach.and Legoland are less than an hour away, although we’re still not sure if we’re ready for that with a 2- and 3-year-old quite yet.
Would you take a personal loan for these expenses?
Would you take a personal loan for these expenses?Maybe you’re too busy thinking about the upcoming college semester — whether yours or your child’s — to be thinking too hard about winter break just yet. Or maybe you’re just trying to sneak in one last epic summer vacation. No matter what your life looks like this August, here’s how to tell whether or not a personal loan might be worth considering.
Protecting our trip
Despite my best efforts, it’s still possible that this trip won’t happen. We have no idea what will happen between now and the end of the year and that’s why we booked our hotel and airfare the way we did, despite not getting travel insurance this time.
The Waldorf Astoria is part of the Hilton portfolio of hotels, but I don’t have Hilton Honors points or transferable points that I’d be willing to spend at Hilton. Instead, I paid cash for a flexible rate that will allow us to cancel our reservation up to three days before arrival — so we’ll have plenty of time between now and then to change our plans. And though I’m not a Hilton loyalist,.
We usedto book nonstop flights from the Bay Area to Orange County on Southwest Airlines for added flexibility in case we need to cancel our flights. . It doesn’t hurt that we’re also traveling during the holiday season and we’re able to save money by using miles to pay for this part of our trip.
Because of the flexible hotel rate and airline tickets purchased with miles, I won’t purchase additional travel insurance for this trip. But if we were traveling internationally or had paid cash for nonrefundable accommodations, I would further protect my investment with.
Why, Yes, You Can Snag Some of the Best Christmas Decor on Amazon
And they're SO chic.
It’s difficult to plan future travel when the status of COVID-19 transmissions, variants and vaccine availability continues to be so uncertain.
My family has canceled two vacations so far this year but we’re planning for one final trip this year a little closer to home. Instead of celebrating the new year in Kauai we will spend a few days at a Southern California beach resort, which is just the escape we’re looking for — hopefully.
Featured photo by Alija/Getty Images.
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use aand potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
New study confirms families are flocking to vacation rentals .
It’s a trend TPG has been telling you about for more than a year now: Families have discovered the benefits of vacation rentals. Airbnb and Vrbo saw upticks in rentals of homes that can accommodate more people in both 2020 and 2021, suggesting a rise in family travelers seeking space to enjoy each other’s company …Airbnb and Vrbo saw upticks in rentals of homes that can accommodate more people in both 2020 and 2021, suggesting a rise in family travelers seeking space to enjoy each other’s company outside the confines of a traditional hotel room combined with extended weekends facilitated by continued remote work.