There's no denying that the islands of Hawaii are simply gorgeous. The bright blue skies, the warm, sandy beaches. Clear ocean waters and stunning views of cloud-covered mountains appear everywhere. It's exactly the sort of setting that inspires visitors to...pack up a U-Haul and drive around?
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the entire world in ways none of us suspected. There seems to be a shortage of everything, from semiconductors and toilet paper to rental cars in Hawaii. With tourism and traveling now heading back to normal levels, that means visitors to the islands are getting creative. Unfortunately, their creativity is creating more havoc than the islanders can handle.
U-Hauls are predominantly known for their usefulness in helping people move large objects or large quantities of objects from place to place. They're generally easy to obtain, and drivers get charged by the mile, which means you're somewhat in charge of your own destiny when it comes to expenses.
However, when the narrow roads of your island are swarmed with U-Hauls carrying nothing while belching up big box truck clouds of exhaust, they suddenly become less appealing.
The problem started when Hawaiian rental car companies were forced to sell their stock to keep business afloat during the pandemic. No tourists means very little income. But, now the tourists are back, and there are no cars for them to rent. Airport rental cars are booked through September, and those that are available cost hundreds of dollars per day.
To help ease the situation, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the state's DMV have posted alternate island travel methods, including shuttles and ride shares. Hiking is also an option in this tropical island paradise, too. In a place where the weather is so nice that many buildings don't have doors, hoofing it from location to location isn't a half bad idea!
In the meantime, all parties are trying their best to discourage tourists from renting a U-Haul unless they really need one. And driving to the beach is definitely not considered a situation that requires a U-Haul.