Welcome to the beginning of a brand new business healing adventure. Myself (Elise Lasko) with coReiki and Ashley Johnson with Galaxy Unite and Shaping Art have decided to team up and explore starting a retreat center on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We hope sharing our COVID-19 travel to Hawaii experience is helpful for future travelers to the islands during this time. 

We arrived here on October 6th from different mainland locations prepared to quarantine for 14 days due to the state of Hawaii COVID-19 travel policy.

Prior to departure, we used a couple of different Hawaii travel and state of Hawaii websites to guide us.   They require that you register your trip with the state and 24- hours prior to departure submit a Health Questionnaire related to COVID-19. I have linked some of the helpful sites under resources at the bottom of this article.

At the moment we were traveling, we were prepared to quarantine for 14-days upon arrival. According to the site, the state would reopen on October 15 with travelers being able to enter without quarantining based on the condition that they have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of arrival.

Note: The state of Hawaii will ONLY accept test results from TRUSTED TESTING AND TRAVEL PARTNERS: AFC Urgent Care, Carbon Health, CityHealth Urgent Care, Color, CVS Health, Discovery Health MD, Kaiser Permanente, Quest Diagnostics, Vault Health and Walgreens (as of 10/6/20). In addition, you must have a PCR test. Be sure to ask prior to requesting a test.

Since our arrival, we have read a few different articles and the Mayor of the Big Island is pushing for there to be a test prior to arrival and a test on arrival. I personally believe this would make the most sense considering the greatest risk of getting COVID-19 would be the actual flight! If you plan to travel in Hawaii in the upcoming months, be sure to check with the state of Hawaii website as well as the designated island of travel websites.

Although it wasn’t technically necessary according to the safety procedures at our time of travel to get a test, we felt it was responsible to have one done prior to departure. I was tested through the drive-thru pharmacy at CVS and received my results in 2 days. Ashley had her test done at an Urgent Care center and received her results in 5 days. We both tested negative.

I flew from San Diego to Kona (Big Island) with a layover in Honolulu (Oahu) with Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines did an excellent job at managing the COVID precautions.  They temperature checked every passenger before boarding the plane. I was wearing a face covering designed like a bandana that hooks over the ears.   The flight attendant requested that I also put on a mask before boarding (something I was planning to do once on the plane). She also gave me an antibacterial wipe to do additional surface cleaning of my seat and hands. I also used my own OnGuard hand sanitizer which is an essential oil based doTerra spray sanitizer that supports immunity and fighting infection. I also used my OnGuard essential oil roller on my wrists, neck, chest and forehead as I feel it gives me extra protection to support my immunity.

I wore a N95 mask with my additional face covering over it for most of the flight with the exception of snacking and drinking water.  I was the only person in the entire row (meaning me in the window seat with two empty seats next to me and also no one in the row opposite of me from the aisle).

Overall, the flight on Hawaiian Airlines was pretty empty. Flight attendants were extremely kind and quick with responding to requests and providing in flight service with food and drink.  All food was prepackaged and they were giving bottles of water and cans of soda and juice.  I also really loved their matching shirts and masks!

Prior to departure, I had filled out my health questionnaire which I received a QR code for in my email. The questionnaire serves as accountability to ensure you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 prior to arrival.

Upon landing and deplaning, there were several airport representatives with iPads wearing gloves and masks that scan your QR code and ensure you are aware of the 14 day quarantine.  Because I had a layover, I had to also fill out the questionnaire for my second flight from Honolulu to Kona.

Something really great about the Kona airport is that is mostly open air and was also pretty empty. It was quick and easy to pick my bags and find Ashley.

The owner of the farm and place that we are staying very kindly offered to pick us up and also get us groceries. This is part of the quarantine rule. You are to be picked up at the airport and taken directly to your place of stay and not allowed to enter any buildings. We were very grateful for our situation that he was so willing to pick us up and do the grocery run.

We are allowed to walk around on the property while we quarantine, which to us has been perfect. The state of Hawaii also requires that you submit a daily quarantine check-in which is texted to our phones daily. We received a call a few days after arrival from someone with the state of Hawaii reminding us of the rules and ensuring we stay at our location until our quarantine period ends on October 20th.

We are staying on a beautiful farm in Hawi, which is located on the east northern part of the island.  There are lots of fruits and vegetables growing that we can pick daily.

To take advantage of this time, we are gathering information about potential properties on Zillow that we want to explore for a retreat space once we are out of quarantine. We are also getting clear on what the space will look like, what we will offer, and how we want to divide up our roles. We have a couple other people who plan to join us and are working on how we can align our abilities to offer the perfect place for guests traveling from afar as well as how we can serve the local community.

Ashley and I intend for this blog to be a documentation of our journey as we grow and develop our ideas further.  We also thought it was important to share how to safely travel to Hawaii during this challenging pandemic and hope it can be helpful for those that are interested in visiting the islands.

We are excited for you to follow us throughout the upcoming months as we discover, build, and grow this retreat space.  Please subscribe and follow us along the way!

Written by Elise Lasko

Edited by Ashley Johnson


Hawaii State Department of Health COVID-19 Travel Requirements: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/#travel-FAQs

Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form Registration: https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/

Hawaii Travel Site COVID-19 Travel Requirements: https://www.gohawaii.com/travel-requirements


  1. Fran Bevilacqua

    I’m moving back To Hawaii in the next few months and I will be teaching soul collage there maybe we could do a collaborate great Journey notes

    1. Elise Lasko

      Fran- it would be great to connect with you. Please email us at info@galaxyunite.com once you arrive.

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