I know this won’t be the most popular post and I’m sure to get some nasty feedback, especially from travel providers. Listen, I’m in the business of promoting travel, too. So when people aren’t traveling, I’m not making money. I lost 95% of my income last year and it only started to crawl back a few months ago.

But money has never been that important to me, as long as we’re healthy and I can pay the bills to provide for my family. I also think it’s more important to give advice that errs on the side of caution than the other way around.

Believe me, travel is in my blood. I long for the days when I can start crisscrossing the globe again and get paid for it but right now just isn’t the time.

In June, when everything was looking great, we took our first family trip EVER! That’s because my wife, son and now two-year-old daughter stopped flying in May of 2019 when Natalie was in the late stages of her pregnancy. Olivia was born in August but we took the advice of our doctor and postponed travel with a newborn until after flu season and the baby had built up her immune system and gotten her first set of vaccines. Then COVID hit and the rest is history.

We had hoped to be traveling all around by now but instead, we’re buckling up again since our kids are unvaccinated and vulnerable. No one knows what the long term COVID-19 effects are and I’m not taking chances with my kids.

I’ve had multiple people who live in Hawaii (including relatives) ask me to tell my readers/listeners not to go to Hawaii right now. And that’s not just because it’s crazy crowded and really expensive. It’s because hospitals are filling up fast.

Here’s a quote from one of Oahu’s local TV stations (KITV Channel 4): “Unfortunately, we’re seeing more and more COVID cases in the community and more and more patients in the hospitals. Across our organization, we have 135 so higher than we had a year ago at our peak. We don’t see that number going down soon.”

Personally, I wouldn’t be going anywhere where’s there’s a not a lot of hospital beds, no matter if there’s a pandemic going on or not. But especially when COVID is running rampant. What happens if you get in a car accident or have a heart attack?

So how do you find out what the numbers are? There are a few ways:

1. Use Google
Google the destination and the word “hospitalizations” or “COVID rates”. I just did that with Honolulu and the State of Hawai’i – Department of Health Disease Outbreak Control Division | COVID-19 website came up. It shows case numbers, which are clearly skyrocketing and there’s a summary dashboard that includes Maps, Epidemic Curve, County Rates, and Testing Data.


2. Read The Local News
Check the local newspapers or TV station websites and see what their top stories are. For KHON2 (Channel 2 news), their top story reads: We’re closer to the point where we will run out of capacity’: Hawaii health officials urge no gatherings. One of the quotes in the story is from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii president stating, “We’re getting closer and closer to the point where we really will run out of capacity in the state.” Gulp.

I can’t imagine Hawaii not implementing stricter entry requirements like instituting mandatory testing or quarantine again, which will kill tourism. But that’s why I think it’s best that travelers just start going to other places that aren’t being hammered right now.

Speaking of other places, a Twitter follower from Canada just asked me: “Hey @JohnnyJet we had a trip planned for Punta Cana, but now thinking about flying into FLL renting a car and staying in Port Saint Lucie, what are your thoughts on spending a week in Florida for a week in November? Both of us are double vaccinated.”

My answer: November is a long way away. It all depends on the numbers but if it was for this week, I would say no way, Jose.

3. CovidActNow.org
This brings me to my go-to website for checking hospitalizations and case numbers. COVID Vaccine & Risk Tracker – Covid Act Now. Just type in the destination like Port St. Lucie and as you can see from the screenshot below, they’re disastrous.

Listen, I get it. People want to travel. I’m one of them and I think if you’re fully vaccinated, don’t have any pre-existing conditions, and don’t live with anyone who is vulnerable, like those with health problems or little kids who can’t get vaccinated, then go. Just be sure to follow the guidelines and rules like wearing a mask, not going out if you’re sick or have been exposed, and don’t go to an area that’s being hammered or is a place where locals don’t want tourists because of a strained infrastructure. I would also avoid crowds and eating indoors and try to fly first class to have fewer people around me.

Another resource: CDC COVID Data Tracker

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14 Comments On "How To Check Hospitalization Numbers of Your Destination and Why it Might Be Time to Cancel Your Trip to Hawaii"
  1. Valeri DeCastris BA MS|

    Good for you for standing up for public health and people instead of the Almighty Dollar!

  2. Maryetta|

    Thank you for your comments regarding travelling to Hawaii right now. I’m a resident of Maui, and I can tell you, our local population is feeling extremely stressed right now. Our hospital is at capacity and infections are on the rise, seemingly uncontrolled. Our small, very remote, communities in Hana, Molokai and Lanai are starting to have clusters in their communities as well, which is really scary as they have no long term acute care available to them.
    Residents have been asked to hunker down, stay home, don’t gather and “do our part” while tourists keep flocking here unabated, large gatherings, packed resorts/beachs. Many of us are feeling upset and angry, trying to protect our families the best we can when many work in the hospitality industry.
    Now is not a good time to visit and expect to feel the “Aloha Spirit” from us.

    1. Mac|

      You mention clusters and infections that are uncontrolled. Perhaps if people vaccinated as we are required to before we visit your island.

      1. Lin|

        Just for your information , hawaii has the 3rd highest rates of vaccination in the country. We were doing great with that. This latest surge has shaken us all

  3. Tony|

    Hoping you don’t read this or see this as one of those crazy anti-vaxxer comments but….
    We got back from our other home in Hawaii couple of weeks ago – Big Island. More crowded THAN USUAL. (Generally not crowded.) Yes, but had no problem with rental car or going out to eat or going grocery shopping or even going to a few “tourist” stops. Generally, as we’ve been going to our home for many, many years we only go to tourist stuff when we are showing someone around-that was the occasion this time. Traffic, etc. extremely mild in comparison to our home near beach in So CA.
    At same time, we heard mayor’s of two islands- Maui and Hawaii voicing complaints of locals, which amounted to, “….we want tourist $$ but not the tourists.” The mayor of Maui went so far as to tell airlines to quit bringing people. There was NO SURGE in Covid. Alas, the airlines kind of laughed. As you may know, the Mayors of the Islands are quite powerful. Two weeks hence the Islands announced, HUGE SURGE Remember this was while mainlanders were not allowed to come unless fully vaccinated. I wonder about credibility of Island reports.

  4. Cindy B|

    The Hawaii news is very sad indeed. I spent the months of November, February and April on the big Island and was happy to see all the precautions in place and that everyone was mask wearing, social distancing and eating outside. Thanks for the links. I plan on spending Oct and Nov back in Hawaii even if it’s hunkering down. I won’t be part of the problem.

  5. Michael Smith|

    If only the airlines would listen – they are sticking to non-refundability, even to crazy high covid states, including states asking people to stay away (Hawaii). While many are allowing credits vs cancel, given COVID, not sure we’d use credits this year.

    Do you see this changing and bringing back more cancellation/refund options if covid continues this trend?

  6. Bill|

    Johnny Jet has been overreacting nonstop since the start of the pandemic. Remember, WE WILL NEVER HAVE ZERO COVID. It WILL become endemic like the flu or common cold. It will NEVER go away completely.

    Also note that vaccination rates are not that high in the US. So go get your vaccine and grow up and move on with life. Or how about we just stop giving people their welfare check until they get vaccinated?

    There is a certain percentage of our population who REFUSE to move on and are totally ok with destroying our culture, politics, economy, and mental health over this virus.

    Get vaccinated. MOVE ON.

  7. Chase|

    Great info. I respect those in Hawaii who would like a break from tourists. Totally understandable. I’d rather not be part of a problem and appreciate your insight.

  8. Chris|

    Thanks for the information and thoughts. Ignore comments that contain all caps.

  9. BigIsland|

    Covid is wild in Hawaii. Johnny is right. Don’t plan to go to Hawaii for the next few months. Think of cancelling your trip. See you next year.

  10. BigIsland|

    Get vaccinated, Wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoor places, social distance, and please don’t come to Hawaii now. Our hospitals are full. Our health care system cannot handle this many sick people.

    And NO, it is not like the flu. You don’t have to get this. Just use precautions, commons sense, stay away from all crowds, and get vaccinated. Flus and Colds do not do this to our hospitals.

  11. Kathryn, ICU Nurse|

    The Delta variant has been a game changer. The virus has mutated, obviously causing many breakthrough cases which are outsmarting the vax. Please don’t give up hope! There are prescription medications and nutritional supplements such as zinc, quercitin, Vits D and C, that generally work well if taken within the first few days of symptoms. These treatments, in combination with certain antibiotics, blood thinning meds, prednisone and others, which have all undergone multiple world wide studies, are proving to be helpful. I have first hand experience with the benefits of early treatment. Florida is setting up monoclonal antibody clinics throughout the state because the med has been documented to reduce the symptoms and viability of the disease. It is very disappointing that the CDC isn’t encouraging use of these meds in the early stages and is relying only on the vax, which we now see isn’t foolproof. Often, if you wait until a patient turns blue and has respiratory issues, it is too late.

  12. Pam|

    Johnny, thanks for continuing to post. I really appreciate your opinions . Hoping your dad makes a full recovery soon!

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