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Malama Maui

Malama is a Hawaiian word that means to care for, protect and preserve. The phrase Malama Maui represents all that is important as the residents and tourists move forward.

Many conscientious travelers have asked me when it is appropriate to visit Hawai’i again after the recent wildfires. I recently attended a training program hosted by the Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau to share information about how visitors can return to Maui and ways we can help the people of Hawaiʻi.

The Islands of Hawaiʻi are some of the most beautiful places on Earth, and the world watched in horror last summer as wildfires tore through areas on the Island of Maui and Hawaiʻi Island. The fires on Maui caused terrible devastation and loss of life as the beloved town of Lahaina was completely destroyed. Thankfully, the vast majority of Maui was not damaged by the fires, as the affected areas total about 10 square miles on an island of 735 square miles.

Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority; Pierce M. Myers Photography

The people of Maui rely on tourism for their livelihood and all areas except Lahaina are now reopened and ready to welcome visitors. Visitors are asked to be mindful as they return to Maui and to:

  • Visit with Aloha and compassion

  • Support local businesses

  • Consider participating in volunteer opportunities throughout the islands

  • Learn about the cultural significance of Lahaina but stay away from the area out of respect

  • Show grace to the people of Maui and avoid asking them about the fires

For travelers visiting other parts of the state, there are six major islands to visit in Hawaiʻi: Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Maui, and the island of Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian Islands have so much to offer, with festivals and events year-round. Look at event calendars on the website to plan your trip around a food festival, a hula contest, holiday parades and more.

Whale watching season is from December to May, and there are boat excursions from all the islands. There are 50 state parks on the Hawaiian Islands and 8 National Parks. Many parks require advance reservations to limit the number of visitors and protect the environment. Do your research and plan ahead to get reservations online as the more popular parks fill up quickly.

The food and beverages in Hawaiʻi range from food trucks to gourmet restaurants that feature farm-to-table feasts. There are breweries, wineries and distilleries to visit and sample their unique offerings. They are usually located in picturesque settings that invite you to relax and stay a while.

The people of Hawaiʻi know that they must protect their environment and have recently banned the use of sunscreens that can cause damage to the fragile coral reefs and wildlife. They ask that you don’t bring sunscreen from home and only buy the approved sunscreen after you arrive.

It is easy to get to the Hawaiian Islands from Eugene Airport as we can choose from flights on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United.

National & State Park Reservations:

To support relief efforts, visit


Meet Vacation MOM Vacation MOM is brought to you in partnership with Eugene Airport

Donnita Bassinger has been visiting the Hawaiian Islands and sending clients there for 40 years, and she would be happy to help plan a special vacation for you. She is a mom of three, living in Eugene where she is active in Scouting and local charities. She looks forward to talking with you about your travel plans.

Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 or on facebook @VacationMOM


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