Since the start of COVID-19, the once-coveted Hawaiian dream vacation has turned into a dreaded tropical nightmare.
From government officials forcing you to prove you don’t have COVID-19 (or else face quarantine), to actually being locked in your hotel room (or locked out and arrested should you decide to leave) – it’s no wonder most freedom lovin’ Americans have chosen to stay away.
But now, left with a crashing economy due to a lack of tourism, Hawaii is so desperate to lure travelers back that they’re offering free roundtrip travel accommodations.
Of course, most of Hawaii’s economical hits are self-induced.
I mean… when you arrest tourists for surfing alone on the beach, you aren’t exactly going to get a whirlwind of people eager to visit your state.
Same with telling travelers they’re “welcome” to visit – but only if they promise to stay in their hotel room the whole time or else risk getting permanently locked out if they dare set foot outside.
So it’s no wonder Hawaii made Proud American Traveler’s top list of least-friendly states for freedom lovin’ Americans to visit.
And clearly Hawaii is seeing the repercussions of their mandates considering they’ve already instituted a number of programs to lure people back.
They recently tried to entice travelers with their “Safe Travels Program” – but it’s a bureaucratic nightmare full of websites and applications not even worth the headache to figure out.
So now, hoping to lure even more travelers back, Hawaii introduced a new program called “Movers and Shakas” (yes really) that offers free roundtrip tickets for remote workers to come make Hawaii their new temporary home.
But don’t think you’ll get to do whatever you want on your “Hawaiian vacation.”
Those who decide to take advantage of the program will be asked to sign the “Pledge to Our Keiki,” which explains how you’re required to treat the island once you’re there.
Part of the pledge reads:
“For this birthplace of aloha that typically welcomes more visitors than has
residents—I will live aloha, tread lightly amongst this beauty and make it
cleaner than I found it. For a Hawaiian people whose ancestors sailed here using only the stars to guide them in search of islands to sustain them—I will learn from your legacy and support your ongoing voyage toward sustainability.”
And of course they close it with having you agree in writing that you will “graciously” abide by local public health guidelines.
You’ll also be expected to stay at least 30 days and commit to volunteering at various non-profits on the island.
Oh, and you don’t get to pick your island. The free airfare is only good if you commit to living in Oahu.
But here’s the real catcher – you must already be employed and have proof of steady income to qualify.
In the meantime, Hawaii has since closed submissions for their first round of applications, so we’ll have to wait and see when (or if) they open up another round, but it’s clear Hawaii is eager to breathe money back into their economy.
And sure, they’ll offer discounts on lodging, but as already mentioned, you’ll be expected to actually contribute to the economy once you’re there.
The truth is Hawaii’s latest travel stunt proves once again that actions have consequences.
When you impose invasive (and insane) mandates onto people who want to visit your state, don’t be surprised if you end up having to buy their way back.
Americans want the freedom to travel within their own borders without being forced to jump through hoops.
So will people take advantage of this program?
Sure, some will.
If you’re a remote worker, you may decide it isn’t a bad idea to score a free trip to Hawaii and work on the beach for a month.
I mean use the system to your advantage right?
But with the ever-changing lockdown restrictions, no one knows what will be pushed onto travelers next.
And if you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, you might end up stuck in Hawaii for longer than you’d like.
To stay current on the latest Proud American Traveler stories, follow us on Facebook and be sure to like and share our posts!