If you have upcoming plans to travel to Maui, the state of Hawai'i’s tourism organization is asking you to reconsider your trip to the island so that its resources can be devoted to helping Hawai'ians impacted by devastating wildfires.
Wildfires are burning both on the island of Maui and on Hawai‘i Island’s Kohala Coast. Many roadways are closed, and evacuations continue from deadly wildfires which have already killed at least 36 people and destroyed the historic town of Lahaina.
Though the Kahului airport on Maui remains open, Hawai’i Tourism Authority asks tourists who are on the island to leave and those with immediate travel plans to Maui to push back their travel plans so that attention and resources can remain focused on helping the local community.
What should I do if I have an upcoming trip to Hawaii?
It depends on what part of Hawaii you plan to visit. Hawai’i Tourism Authority is providing updated travel information on its website. It asks current visitors to leave and those planning to stay in West Maui in upcoming weeks to consider rescheduling their visit.
If you have upcoming travel to other parts of Maui or on the Kohala Coast of Hawaiʻi Island, which is also experiencing wildfires, the tourism agency recommends you contact your hotel for updated information about how your travel plans might be impacted.
However, if you have travel planned to the other islands – this includes Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island outside of the Kohala Coast – your travel plans are not impacted by the current travel advisory.
If you are scheduled to fly there or anywhere on the islands, make sure you check with your respective airline for any flight changes or cancellations. Update your contact information – including phone number and email address -–and download the airline's app to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information.
Many airlines are allowing customers to change their tickets without additional fees. For instance, Southwest is allowing customers who had travel plans to Maui to rebook to destinations on other islands in Hawaii that are not impacted by the emergency.
Also, check with your travel insurance or credit card company to see what they might cover in terms of rescheduling your travel plans.
How can I support the local community
The best way to support the local community at this time is to make a financial donation to support the established local organizations on the ground who are assisting those who are impacted by the wildfires.
Lonely Planet and The Points Guy have teamed up to donate $25,000 to the Maui Strong Fund, and if you also want to help, you can learn more about the organization and donate here.