Should You Be Planning Your Next Vacation Escape?

A winding road along Maui’s coastline into the sunset. Photo Courtesy: Archershoots/Getty Images

Summer is over, and our chances for a much-needed faraway vacation weren’t necessarily met. I already told you about my trip back to Barcelona to see my family in July and why I don’t think this was the appropriate time to travel to Europe.

But with the holiday season around the corner and the effects of pandemic fatigue weighing on us heavier than ever, is it responsible — or even possible — to start thinking about the next escape we might take?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding travel to international destinations with very high levels (Level 4) of COVID-19 and advises you should be fully vaccinated before heading to countries with high levels (Level 3) of COVID-19 — you can check travel recommendations by destination here. The agency also recommends delaying domestic travel until you’re fully vaccinated and reminds us that wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.

You might also want to know that, yes, air travel can increase your risk of getting COVID-19. And we’re far from the early days of summer and their low numbers of newly reported coronavirus cases. The Delta variant is driving the increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations in the U.S.

Maybe, like myself, you’ve given up on the idea of international travel this year but are thinking about how promising the Hawaiian islands always sound. Especially after how the paradisiacal Maui was portrayed in The White Lotus. You may need to settle for rewatching the HBO show or screen some other Hawaii-set titles, such as the movie The Descendants (2011) starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley, though. In a news conference held on August 23, Hawaii Governor David Ige asked visitors and residents “to reduce travel to Hawaii to essential business activities only.”

“It’s not a good time to travel to the islands,” Governor Ige said, adding restaurant capacities have been narrowed and there’s limited access to rental cars in the state. “The visitors who choose to come to the islands will not have the typical kind of holiday that they expect.” Governor Ige pleaded for would-be visitors to curtail travel to Hawaii through the end of October and remarked the state’s hospitals are at capacity and the ICUs full.