HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii remains a top destination for Americans who are looking to resume travel, but some visitors are noticing differences in travel now compared to pre-pandemic.

Sun, sand and tropical weather — it is the vacation many have waited for more than a year to take.

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Shania Clayton, who is visiting from Alabama, said she’s glad to get out of the house and start visiting new places.

“It feels awesome, you know, on the plane and just being able to see people because we was trapped with quarantine for a good little minute,” she said.

For those returning to Hawaii, the difference in travel begins before stepping foot on the airport. A negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before travel is still required.

Latasha Watts said that made her feel safer.

“We are from Alabama, and we went from Atlanta to Seattle, and then from Seattle to here,” Watts said. “We just felt a little bit more comfortable knowing that at least everyone on the plane, for at least this period of time, would have been COVID-negative.” 

Although capacity restrictions have led to long waits, some tourists say it has been difficult to make last minute plans. Tyler Johnson from California said reservations at restaurants are hard to come by.

“I see a nice restaurant, like, I can’t say, ‘Family, we’re going to eat here.’ You have to have a reservation, so that spontaneous acts have diminished significantly,” Johnson said.

Meanwhile, a couple who visited from San Diego had no luck finding a rental car on Maui at a decent price. Adrian Suarez said they had better luck in Honolulu.

“For Maui, it is easier and cheaper to ride on a helicopter than a car because it’s $1,500 a day,” Suarez said. “That’s crazy!” 

These minor inconveniences are not weighing down the feeling of taking a long overdue vacation.