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COVID-19 Testing Photo

Thinking of a warm weather getaway? A place with beaches, sand and sunshine? Perhaps you’re thinking of the Caribbean, Mexico or the South of France. Well, a new CDC rule related to COVID-19 may have you re-thinking your plans.

Under this new CDC rule that becomes effective January 26, all international air passengers (two years and older) arriving into the US will be required to get a viral test for COVID-19 within three days prior to their flight departure to the US. If you live in the US, you might think “OK what’s that got to do with me”?  Well, this rule applies to US residents as well as others. The rule states that passengers must provide the airline written documentation of their negative laboratory test results or documentation of recovery from COVID-19. If a passenger is unable or unwilling to provide the required documentation, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.  

Whoa, suddenly this makes things seem much more serious and complicated. Imagine flying to say, Mexico as an example, for a week of rest and relaxation at a nice beachfront hotel enjoying the warmth and sunshine.  Then suddenly having to scramble to find a place to get a test and the accompanying paperwork before you can get on a plane to go home. This then begs the question, what happens if just one person in your party is unable to get the test and paperwork? Do you leave them behind or does the whole party stay?  

What’s a person to do? You NEED to get away, you WANT a vacation to a warm place with beautiful beaches, warmth and sunshine. We at Ola Properties have the solution for you! Pack your bags and head to Ko Olina on the beautiful, sun filled Leeward Coast of Oahu! Ko Olina has some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet and the famous lagoons here are perfect for swimming, snorkeling and just relaxing. 

Admittedly, if you’re coming to Ko Olina you will want to get a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival in Hawaii so that you can avoid the state’s 10 day quarantine. Find the latest Hawaii travel and entry requirements by visiting  https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/

Personally, I would much rather get the COVID-19 testing out of the way before I go on vacation rather than dealing with it while there.  I could imagine myself waking up on day five of a seven day vacation, suddenly remembering that the family needed tests and spending the remainder of our vacation scrambling to find a testing site in unfamiliar territory and hoping to get tested in time to get on a plane back home: with the entire family!

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Book your Safe Getaway Today!

Why create additional stress for yourself by traveling outside the country? Hop on a plane and come to Ko Olina instead. We have weekly rentals at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina or if you are able to work and school remotely, consider one of our longer term rentals and stay for a month or more. Maybe you can ride out the worst of the pandemic here on Oahu where our infection numbers are much lower than most of the Mainland. Give us a call at (808) 726-2878 Ext 1, or you can book directly from our website if you prefer.

Way back in July, 2018 (doesn’t sound like it was so long ago but it sure does feel like it was a LONG time ago) the Governor of Hawaii signed into law SB 2571, Act 104. This sunscreen law prohibits the sale, offer of sale, and/or distribution of sunscreens containing Oxybenzone as well as Octinoxate and it became effective January 1, 2021.  In 2018, after the law was signed, I read about it, attended a meeting about it and I think I even wrote a blog or email about it. Then I promptly told myself “2021 is a long way away, so no need to worry about it now”.

Now, here we are in January 2021, and this law has come into effect.  So why am I writing about this now, perhaps for a second time? I’m writing because the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) sent a notification along with a nice little video that caught my attention and it jogged my memory. I, along with the HVCB and many others want to protect our reefs and marine life and so would ask that you use sunscreens that are safe for the marine environment. With that in mind we ask that if you already have sunscreen, please check it to see if it contains Oxybenzone and/or Octinoxate. If it does, since I hate being wasteful, I wouldn’t necessarily ask that you throw it out but perhaps just don’t wear it if you are going into the ocean. I think that should work.

Another motivation for writing this now, is the video in the link below. The video was produced and distributed by HVCB and they asked that we distribute it to guests. I watched the video and one of the speakers mentioned that the “Reef Safe” stickers you may see on some sunscreens is a Marketing Term and does not necessarily mean a product is actually safe for the  reefs. I for one certainly did not know that.  If you’re planning a trip to Ko Olina, or anywhere in Hawaii and purchase sunscreen after you arrive this should not be a problem. However, if you are purchasing sunscreen prior to your arrival please check the ingredients as apparently even if it has a Reef Safe sticker it could still contain Oxybenzone and/or Octinoxate. Please help us protect the marine environment of Hawaii and the rest of the world.  Click the link below to view the video from HVCB.

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Taking a solo adventure is a great way to connect with your travel destination, and to connect with yourself too. Experiencing the wonders of the Hawaiian Islands on your own can be a truly magical experience. Here are some Oahu activities you can do as a solo traveler:

Learning to Surf is One of the Best Oahu Activities

This is the absolute perfect activity for the solo traveler. If you’ve never surfed, or if you have surfed but you’d like to level up, now is the time to do it. We recommend Kai Sallas’ Pro Surf School, owned and operated by a pro surfer, where they offer both beginner and intermediate surfing lessons. Schedule a private lesson for exclusive 1-on-1 instruction! Lessons are two hours long, and private lessons are $199. As a bonus, you can even take a surf tour of the north and south shores through this surf school. After you’ve learned how to surf, this is a solo activity you can enjoy on our beaches for the rest of your stay, so try to get this in at the beginning of your trip!

Hike to Manoa Falls

This is a short hike, which makes it great for a small outing, and great for those with less hiking experience too. The incline is gradual and not too extreme. Round trip, the hike is just over 1.5 miles. Take this hike and you’ll find yourself walking in the Hawaiian rainforest on a well-maintained trail, through towering stalks of bamboo, over a babbling brook, through a gorgeous grove of eucalyptus trees, and finally emerging at a sparkling, 100-foot waterfall that will take your breath away.

Explore Iolani Palace

This palace of the Hawaiian monarchy is the only royal residence in the entire United States, built by King Kalākaua in the 1800s. As non-natives to Hawaii, this is one of the most important places we can visit to understand and respect Hawaiian culture and history. Plus, it’s just beautiful! It can sometimes be hard to visit historical places or educational attractions in groups, so this is the ideal kind of activity to do on your own. You’ll have more time to explore at your own pace and really soak everything in.

More Fun Things to Do!

Spend Your Stay with Ola Properties

However you fill your days here on Oahu, you’ll always be looking forward to the comfort of your rental when you get home in the evenings as the sun sets over the sea. Take a look at the 1-bedroom vacation rentals in our catalog today to get started and prepare to enjoy the best Oahu activities.

Winter is an absolutely fabulous time to pack up and fly to the island of Oahu. Winter here is warm and sunny, so if you’re looking to escape dreary skies, and cold, and snow, then look no farther than island paradise. The weather usually hangs around 80°, and you’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite Hawaiian activities like beach trips, natural wonders, cultural events during your Oahu trip.

Enjoy the Waters

The waves and tides get wild here in the winter and the tourists thin out, which means you’ll have a little more of the sand to yourself at the beach! It’s perfect surfing weather for the pros or for people who simply enjoy surf watching. If you want to dive in and simply swim in the tropical turquoise waters, head to one of the calmer beaches, like the ones at Waikiki which are protected from winter swells by natural barriers. Beaches like these are also perfect for exploring the underwater environment via snorkeling, which is a year-round source of joy here.

Explore the Wonders of the Island

With the lovely weather, you’ll want to spend a lot of time outdoors. Between trips down to the gorgeous beaches, head inland to enjoy the lush, green foliage and rolling landscapes of the island. Take a hike! Just outside Waikiki, you’ll find one of our favorites: Kuli’ou’ou Ridge Trail, a gorgeous 5-mile round-trip ridge hike that affords you spectacular overhead views of the surrounding island that will take your breath away. Another favorite of ours is the challenging staircase at Koko Head, which boasts more than 1,000 steps. It’s worth it for the rewarding view from the top.

Arts & Culture

There is always so much going on here on Oahu. It’s a vibrant community, and it only gets more vibrant in the winter. Check out the Holiday Craft & Gift Fair at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall on December 22nd, or the eclectic Slack Key Guitar Festival at Windward Mall on December 7th. We have an upcoming Afro-Latin Dance Festival, a Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, and a Festival of Lights Boat Parade too! Everywhere you turn you’ll find a winter celebration that you can join in on to celebrate the season.

Spend Your Winter Oahu Trip in an Ola Property

Have your most magical winter ever on the lovely island of Oahu. Here at Ola Properties, we go the extra mile to provide you with a rental that will make you feel like you are home while you’re here. Call us today at (888) 737-4188 or (808) 726-2878 to learn more about your rental!