will Hawaii open for tourists on July 1st?

beach at Four Seasons Maui © 2020 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

Hoping to travel again soon? I sure am. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have been sheltering in place for over two months. I was forced to cancel two trips, a site inspection trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and a Windstar river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel.

Many travelers are hesitating for obvious reasons. We all prioritize our health and the health of our families. Beyond that, no one wants to fly off on a vacation and be surprised with a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Flexible reservations are an absolute must. Before making a reservation, we want the flexibility of waiting as long as possible to assess the situation before committing to a trip.

Major luxury hotel brands are responding to what travelers need. New, flexible cancellation policies have been announced by Four Seasons, Marriott International (parent company of Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, etc), and others. With only slight variations in wording, their new policy is this:
If you have an existing reservation, you can cancel it without charge up to 24 hour prior to arrival* as long as the cancellation is made by June 30, 2020. 
If you make a new reservation before June 20, 2020 for any future date, 2020, you will be able to cancel that reservation without charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival*. 
*This policy may not apply to Festive Season bookings, to dates with special event restrictions, or to periods of peak demand.
Please be patient. It takes time for new policies to be reflected in hotel reservations systems. Every rate for every room category at each hotel has to be modified. Please reach out to your travel advisor to iron out the details with the hotel or resort of your dreams.

copyright (c) 2020 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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