I have traveled multiple times throughout the last year during this COVID-19 pandemic, both for work and for pleasure.
However, due to restrictions in place worldwide, I had yet to experience the new normal of the long-haul flight.
That changed this past weekend with a cross-country trip from Atlanta, Georgia to the island of Maui, Hawaii to stay at a couple of villa properties and tour all of Kaanapali Beach Resort.
First up was the morning flight to Los Angeles, which came and went quicker than expected. I’ve been dreaming of visiting Hawaii for a long time. It was the big trip that the pandemic ruined for me in 2020, so once the flight tickets were set for my family the anticipation continued to build and build.
After an hour layover at LAX, we boarded the plane bound for Maui beaming with joy. I’m fairly positive it was evident how excited we were even though our faces were covered due to the mask mandate.
In total, the journey was over 12 hours, which was a slight shock to my body because it had been too long since I’ve had to do that.
The more I traveled for work the easier it was to handle strenuous flights and to adjust to time zone changes. I was a tiny bit worried the lack of “time travel” on my part due to the pandemic might set me back with some serious jet lag, but thankfully it did not.
Instead, I’ve been trying to help my one-year-old daughter fight the jet lag and adjust to this type of travel. The middle of the night rocking her to sleep gives me flashbacks to the first few months of her life. If you’re a parent, you know how rough those early months are with the lack of sleep.
My wife and I may be slightly sleep-deprived, but it hasn’t stopped us from exploring the beauty that Maui has to offer.
And in a way, that’s what travel is all about – making the most of the time you have after arriving at your destination no matter how you’re feeling.
COVID-19 restriction signs at Kahului Airport on Maui (photo by Lauren Bowman)
The entry process into Maui is of course different because of the pandemic, but honestly, it was a breeze to get through. Fill out the Hawaii Safe Travels steps ahead of time and make sure your negative COVID-19 test is uploaded to your account. Lastly, provide proof of your COVID-19 vaccine shot to bypass the additional COVID-19 test that Maui requires for all arrivals.
I’ve waited longer in customs lines than the time it took to get off the plane, show all the necessary documents, grab our bags and wait for our shuttle ride here in Maui.
Entry protocols will change this summer as Hawaii sets up pre-test exemptions for vaccinated travelers, but you’ll still have that long flight.
Once you arrive though, you discover it’s all worth it. After all, there is a reason Hawaii is among the top destinations on many traveler’s bucket lists.
Stay tuned to TravelPulse in the coming days and weeks for additional coverage of travel to Maui and Kaanapali Beach Resort.
When’s your next long flight? Let me know on Twitter and Instagram: @EricBowman_
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Originally Appeared On: https://www.travelpulse.com/opinions/column/bowmans-travel-brief-a-long-journey-to-maui-hawaii.html