Since the coronavirus hit the U.S., roughly 40% of U.S. employees now work from home. If you’re one of them, you may be fantasizing about trading your boring apartment walls and modest desk for tropical air and sandy beaches.
The program was launched through a partnership that includes the Hawaii state government, business leaders, alumni associations, and organizations including the Central Pacific Bank Foundation, Hawaii Executive Collaborative, Island Holdings, Inkinen, and FCH Enterprises, the parent company of Zippy’s restaurants, according to a press release. The goal? Diversifying Hawaii’s economy amid business shutdowns and decreased tourism.
“Now that many people have the choice to work remotely, there’s an opportunity for former residents to return home and for out-of-state individuals and families to live and work from Hawaii for a longer period,” said Jason Higa, CEO of FCH Enterprises. “We believe this program will attract many former Hawaii residents and professionals seeking a safe, warm environment to continue living their normal lives while contributing to the Hawaii community.”
So what’s the catch, you’re asking? There isn’t one, necessarily, but it does require some planning (and maybe saving) to participate. Here’s a closer look at the initiative.
How Do I Qualify For A Free Trip To Hawaii?
First, you must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to apply. It would help if you also were employed and worked remotely or had the option to do so. Current residents of Hawaii can’t participate at this time.
You must be able to move to Oahu within a month if you’re selected for the program and stay there full-time for at least 30 consecutive days. You also need to commit 15 hours a week to volunteer with local partners, including the Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts of Hawaii, and the Pacific-Asian Center for Entrepreneurship at UH Mānoa. Program participants are also asked to sign the “Pledge to Our Keiki,” a commitment to treating the lands and waters with respect. You have until Dec. 15 to apply for the program.
Fifty participants will be chosen (selection criteria are still in the works), and additional participants will be added on a rolling basis. Those who get picked receive free round-trip airfare to Hawaii, as well as other perks. Members of the same household, such as couples and families, are encouraged to apply, too. However, if you have pets that you plan to bring, keep in mind that traveling to the island and securing housing will require extra time and planning.