Hawaii Visitors Can Now Score a Free Hotel Night in Exchange for Volunteer Work

Visitors can plant trees, participate in a beach cleanup, or more to participate.

Hawaii is encouraging travelers to volunteer during their visits in exchange for a free night in a hotel after the island welcomed visitors back in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, called Mālama Hawai‘i — or care for Hawaii — allows tourists to volunteer, getting involved in everything from tree planting, ocean reef preservation, making quilts for elders, to taking on a beach cleanup on their own time, the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau shared with Travel + Leisure. The program has partnered with hotels across the islands to offer guests the opportunity to get involved and some are giving tourists a free extra night as a perk of participating.

“Our goal is to attract mindful visitors who will leave Hawai‘i better than when they arrived,” John Monahan, the president and CEO of the visitor and convention bureau, told T+L in a statement. “By doing so, visitors will experience a deeper connection and a vacation that really becomes more meaningful to them.”

Dozens of hotels including the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (one of T+L’s top resort hotels in Hawaii) are participating in the initiative.

- Kent Nishimura/Contributor/Getty Images
Kent Nishimura/Contributor/Getty Images

Joining in on the initiative, Alaska Airlines has pledged to plant a tree for every flight to the islands of Hawaii through the end of the year, the carrier said, estimating they will plant nearly 900 trees in partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative. 

“As we welcome visitors back to Hawaii, we want to support awareness of mindful travel to the Islands — both in the air and on the ground,” Daniel Chun, Alaska’s director of sales, community and public relations for Hawaii, said in a statement. “Alaska has always taken great pride in being responsible stewards of the places we fly, and we hope our guests take pride in this, too.”

Visitors to Hawaii are able to skip the state’s mandatory quarantine if they arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a certified laboratory taken within 72 hours. Several airlines, including United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and American Airlines have introduced pre-flight testing programs for passengers. A second, free COVID-19 test is required upon arrival at the airport in the county of Hawaii.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Popular in Volunteer + Charity