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Saturday, August 12, 2023

Travel Advisory: Help Maui By Not Traveling There

By now, we've all heard about the horrible wildfires in Maui. The historic cities on the island are being evacuated and many people are facing homelessness, because they have nowhere to go. If you have plans to travel to Maui, change them, and if you were thinking about going to Maui, don't. So, what can you do? 

Traveling enables us to see new places and help preserve them by putting our vacation dollars into those communities. While you can't see Maui right now, you can still help the communities effected by the wildfires and hopefully preserve the culture and history before it's completely destroyed, ensuring others are able to enjoy it in the future. 

If you want to help those in need, you can do so by donating to the following organizations:
  • The Hawaii Community Foundation– Supports communities affected by the wildfires.
  • Maui United Way– Provides immediate financial assistance through grants to nonprofits spearheading relief efforts, and to individuals who have been affected by the fires.
  • American Red Cross– Disaster relief for those forced to flee their homes.
  • Maui Food Bank– Accepting money, food, toiletries, and other household items for those in need.
  • Maui Humane Society– Looking for volunteers to foster dogs displaced by the wildfires, as well as donations of pet food, litter, and pop-up kennels.
  • Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement– This nonprofit organization that supports Native Hawaiians is raising support “for ‘ohana impacted by the devastating wildfires on Maui.”
  • ‘Āina Momona– A Hawaiian nonprofit aimed at providing environmental sustainability, food security and resilience, and social justice to Hawaiians.
  • Malama Maui– Here are other resources for helping Maui and Hawaiian families, including resources for residents and where you can donate supplies directly if you're on the island.
What you need to know right now is that all non-essential travel to the island is suspended and people are being asked to postpone or even cancel their trips amid the evacuating and disaster response. Visitors to the island are trying to figure out how to cope, with many staying in the airport and some sleeping in their rental cars and having to flee their hotels with the bare minimum. You don't want to add to that, especially with so many fires burning and spreading across the island. The historic city of Lahaina has been mostly decimated, and there are also wildfires burning on The Big Island, though not as severe.

Unfortunately, like much of the country, Hawaii has faced a very dry season and high winds, so any sort of spark can use those two things to its advantage and cause a fire to rage out of control. This has happened on a larger scale than Hawaii is used to and the damage has been surprising and devastating. 

The wildfires aren't just affecting those on the islands, but there are many Hawaiians living on the mainland who don't know if their loved ones are safe or not, because they can't get in contact with them, and others who have the same issues with their family and friends traveling amid a disaster. 

If you still want to visit Hawaii, you can still go to the other islands and you can enter to win a trip for 2 to Kauai from Fodor's and Dollar Flight Club. And if you're looking for an alternative to Hawaii, check out these 8 destinations.

Have you ever been to Hawaii? We last went in 2013, but were looking to go in January next year.

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