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Big Island Early May 2021

Blues

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My wife and I have reservations for early May at two different HGVC's in Waikoloa in early May. We're flush with points due to the pandemic, and we booked it as a place holder back when HGVC was not charging for reservations. So cancelling is totally cost-free. Haven't booked air yet, but debating between doing so, or cancelling altogether. We'll be fully vaccinated before then.

Issues - we don't really want to hassle with the Covid testing/quarantine restrictions. It could be a problem, if we get a false positive. Last I read, BI won't let you quarantine in a timeshare. So if we have a last-minute false positive, it will be costly (last-minute hotel) and extremely inconvenient. Not to mention that I booked 2 different HGVC's, each of which is for less than a week. Willing to put up with a minor hassle if there's no chance of getting quarantined.

Second issue - if most things are closed, we won't enjoy ourselves. Particularly restaurants, but also attractions, places that rent snorkel gear, etc.

So my questions to experienced Hawaii TUGgers. Do you think the BI will at least modify their Covid restrictions by then, to allow in those with a valid vaccination record?
Do you think things will be back to semi-normal, with good availability of restaurants, etc?

Sitting on the fence right now, and have to cancel by start of March (60 days advance) to preserve my HGVC points. Thanks for your help and opinions.
 

Henry M.

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I'm on Maui right now. Things are pretty normal as far as restaurants and other things to do go. The resort is pretty full (80%of capacity), so there are lots of tourists here. We've been here since December 2 and it has been a great time to visit the islands.

My niece and a friend have come by, and COVID vaccination has been a non-event if you can get a rapid test from one of the Hawaii trusted partners. I haven't heard of many issues with false positives.

To me, the biggest issue would be having to switch resorts. You lose a whole day checking out and then waiting to check in at the next place. I'm not familiar with HGVC, so I don't know if this is a real problem or not.
 

zentraveler

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I'm on Maui right now. Things are pretty normal as far as restaurants and other things to do go. The resort is pretty full (80%of capacity), so there are lots of tourists here. We've been here since December 2 and it has been a great time to visit the islands.

My niece and a friend have come by, and COVID vaccination has been a non-event if you can get a rapid test from one of the Hawaii trusted partners. I haven't heard of many issues with false positives.

To me, the biggest issue would be having to switch resorts. You lose a whole day checking out and then waiting to check in at the next place. I'm not familiar with HGVC, so I don't know if this is a real problem or not.
I would agree with HenryM. that switching resorts with each of them being less than a week could be a hassle but doubt that the rest of it will be much of a problem. The tests are relatively easy to get and the process will only get smoother I suspect. Plenty enough open on Maui and Kauai to make for a nice, if not completely normal, vacation.
 

Luanne

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Henry M.

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My understanding is that the Big Island is in the same shape as Maui. Tourism has picked up significantly the last couple of weeks.
 

bevans

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I recently decided to cancel our Kingsland reservations for the middle of May until the end of May. Due to the Covid restrictions and possible lack of events and the fact that a rental car for two weeks is just under $900. We decided that this is not the time for us to be going. Curt
 

stslc

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We were on the Big Island about 3 weeks ago. It was great. Testing was no problem. My wife received her first dose of vaccine exactly one week before the test and tested negative. We flew Alaska and appreciated the pre-clear. You do have to have a second test upon arrival. Again no worries.
Well worth the hassles to be in Hawaii.
 

Blues

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

You do have to have a second test upon arrival. Again no worries.
Actually, big worries. If one of us gets a false positive on this 2nd test, we could end up in quarantine. As pointed out, we can't quarantine in a timeshare on the BI, so we'd have to scramble to find a hotel, adding a large cost, just to hole up for a while. I think it's this possibility that will swing us to cancelling this time around.

It's a shame that, when we scheduled this last summer, we assumed everything would be back to normal by now. I wanted to check out the new Ocean Tower conversion for HGVC, so I booked a few days there, a few days to go to the Hilo side, and then 5 days in Bay Club. Not a very feasible itinerary during the pandemic. It's also a shame that the BI added this 2nd test requirement, which, as unlikely as it is to turn positive, adds a huge risk to traveling there. It seems to me that the politicians in Hawaii have no idea how they're affecting potential travelers, and hence their tourism economy. Oh well, we'll try again later this year of next year. We go periodically anyway; it doesn't hurt to cancel this one. And as I said, we'll get all our points back and didn't pay a reservation fee.

Thanks again for the thoughts.
 

1Kflyerguy

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We just got back from 6 nights on Maui at the MVC ocean club, and have a reservations for Kings Land on the big Island in May.

Your right the situation in can be challenging. While its hard to accurately predict what Hawaii will do, but based on their history you should assume they will move very cautiously and will probably be among the last states to fully open up.

I am fairly certain the leaders of the state understand the impact of there restrictions.

For our pre-travel test to Maui we went with the Hawaiian Airlines testing and they came though for us, actually early for my wife.

I need to start tracking the Big Island process, but last I heard the testing after arrival is a random test, not everyone that lands... My guess is they will drop this requirement before the state drops the pre-travel testing requirement...
 

stslc

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We just got back from 6 nights on Maui at the MVC ocean club, and have a reservations for Kings Land on the big Island in May.

Your right the situation in can be challenging. While its hard to accurately predict what Hawaii will do, but based on their history you should assume they will move very cautiously and will probably be among the last states to fully open up.

I am fairly certain the leaders of the state understand the impact of there restrictions.

For our pre-travel test to Maui we went with the Hawaiian Airlines testing and they came though for us, actually early for my wife.

I need to start tracking the Big Island process, but last I heard the testing after arrival is a random test, not everyone that lands... My guess is they will drop this requirement before the state drops the pre-travel testing requirement...
Big Island of Hawaii to perform a post-arrival rapid antigen test
The Big Island's Mayor has said that trans-Pacific travel to the Big Island of Hawaii will require a two-test plan where travelers who participated in the state's pre-arrivals testing program will additionally need to take a free rapid post-arrival test at the airport after arrival. Currently, that test is performed upon arrival, but the county is considering offering it four days after arrival instead, potentially at one of three testing sites (in Hilo, Kona, and the Kohala Coast). If a traveler fails the test, the Mayor said they would be administered a separate PCR test and subsequently have to quarantine where they have reservations, either until the test comes back negative or they recover from COVID-19.

Currently, the Big Island is testing all incoming trans-Pacific travelers for COVID-19.
 

lynne

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Big Island of Hawaii to perform a post-arrival rapid antigen test
The Big Island's Mayor has said that trans-Pacific travel to the Big Island of Hawaii will require a two-test plan where travelers who participated in the state's pre-arrivals testing program will additionally need to take a free rapid post-arrival test at the airport after arrival. Currently, that test is performed upon arrival, but the county is considering offering it four days after arrival instead, potentially at one of three testing sites (in Hilo, Kona, and the Kohala Coast). If a traveler fails the test, the Mayor said they would be administered a separate PCR test and subsequently have to quarantine where they have reservations, either until the test comes back negative or they recover from COVID-19.

Currently, the Big Island is testing all incoming trans-Pacific travelers for COVID-19.
The additional testing is a large reason why Hawaii County has a positivity rate of 0.4% vs 1.2% and 1.8% on Oahu and Maui. Lanai's arrival rules are more strict and they currently have a 0% positivity rate.
 

1Kflyerguy

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Big Island of Hawaii to perform a post-arrival rapid antigen test
The Big Island's Mayor has said that trans-Pacific travel to the Big Island of Hawaii will require a two-test plan where travelers who participated in the state's pre-arrivals testing program will additionally need to take a free rapid post-arrival test at the airport after arrival. Currently, that test is performed upon arrival, but the county is considering offering it four days after arrival instead, potentially at one of three testing sites (in Hilo, Kona, and the Kohala Coast). If a traveler fails the test, the Mayor said they would be administered a separate PCR test and subsequently have to quarantine where they have reservations, either until the test comes back negative or they recover from COVID-19.

Currently, the Big Island is testing all incoming trans-Pacific travelers for COVID-19.
Thanks, guess they changed or i just had it wrong. When we added the Maui trip, i started focusing on the Maui requirements..
 

alwysonvac

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Sitting on the fence right now, and have to cancel by start of March (60 days advance) to preserve my HGVC points. Thanks for your help and opinions.
You actually have a little more time if you want to wait and see if Hawaii’s requirements change.

60 days before check-in —> Changeable Reservation Policy kicks in (you can no longer change your reservation)
30 days before check-in —> Cancellation Policy kicks in and you start losing points

However HGVC’s Cancellation Rule has been waived until April 30 :)

 

Blues

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You actually have a little more time if you want to wait and see if Hawaii’s requirements change.

60 days before check-in —> Changeable Reservation Policy kicks in (you can no longer change your reservation)
30 days before check-in —> Cancellation Policy kicks in and you start losing points

However HGVC’s Cancellation Rule has been waived until April 30 :)
Thank you alwaysonvac. You are TUG's go-to expert on HGVC, and I always appreciate your advice.

So, what you're saying is that I have a choice --
60 days before check in, I can change the reservations I've made, park them somewhere later in the year, and when I figure out what we really want to do, use those reservations and points for another vacation, without having to pay the $79 (?) fee(s) again. Or

30 days before check in, I can cancel those reservations, preserving my points. But once we decide what we'd like to do, I'll have to pay an additional $79 fee to make that new reservation.

I can live with that. I was unaware (or missed the ramifications) of the change to the cancellation rule. I can always count on you.

ETA - Or, wait. I can actually cancel anytime up to April 30 and fully get my points back? That's what I think your link says. Awesome!
 
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alwysonvac

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Yes, just make sure it’s
  • 61+ days before checkin if you want to change your reservation (park it somewhere later) and preserve your exchange fee
  • 31+ days before checkin if you want cancel your reservation which will forfeit your exchange fee but preserve all of your points
With HGVC’s special April 30 extension, you can wait until then to decide for your May trip without losing your point but you’ll have to pay another reservation fee.
 

alwysonvac

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