What to Know Before Visiting Oahu, Hawaii – Weather, COVID-19 Rules

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii had one of the strictest travel policies in the United States.

From my experience living on Oahu at that time, traveling to and from Hawaii wasn’t too difficult as long as you were prepared. My parents have come from their home in California to visit me at times over the past three years, and everything has gone well. I’ve been out of state about three times during the pandemic and never had any issues as long as I did my research to stay up to date with current restrictions.

Now the policies are much more flexible. In March of this year, Governor David Ige lifting of travel restrictions for domestic travelers. Domestic travelers no longer need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test or upload travel information online. However, international travelers must still follow federal rules United States travel requirements to enter the country.

Tips for traveling between the Americas and Hawaii:

  • Always carry a pen. Each group of passengers must complete an agricultural form which is given to you during your flight. Airlines don’t always have enough pens, so to make it easier for you, put one in your hand luggage.
  • Hawaii’s ecosystem is fragile and many native species are already threatened. As a result, there are certain items you cannot bring into the state from the continental US, especially plants and produce (unless you purchased them at the airport after TSA check-in). Learn more about restricted items here.
  • Bringing a pet on your Hawaii vacation is tricky, as the state has strict animal laws. If you do not have the necessary vaccines for your animal, it will be quarantined at the airport. In my opinion, it’s not worth trying, but you can Learn more here.

When is the best time to visit Oahu?

Oahu weather rarely drops below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. That said, summer is warmer and often sunnier than winter, which can be rainy. There is also a hurricane season which runs from June to November.

Overall, I wouldn’t worry too much about the weather as you’re likely to have pleasant conditions and temperatures no matter when you visit.

One thing to keep in mind about the seasons is how they affect surfing. During the summer, the South Rim gets a nice swell, but many beaches, like those in Waikiki, are still swimmable and the North Rim is gentle. During the winter, the North Shore ignites with big waves, sometimes reaching 30 feet. This is when the surfing competitions take place and the professional surfers visit the island, which is always fun to watch, but also means that the north coast will be crowded and the beaches will not be swimmable if you are not an advanced surfer.

See Insider’s Complete Guide to Visiting Oahu.

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