Where America's day begins, as the saying goes.
Guam reopened their borders to travelers in November 2021. So tourism to the island has been available for awhile, yet is still much lower than pre-pandemic levels. There basically no travel requirements for people visiting from the United States, making it a very easy destination if you don't want to deal with PCR tests, vaccination cards or any Electronic Travel Authorization/online health forms which have become so commonplace now.
There are still lingering effects from Covid. A number of stores had reduced hours or closed altogether. The Waterpark near the Duty Free shopping mall was still closed (temporarily according to their website), the Chucky Cheese had closed down, along with the thrift store "Hidden Treasures" which offered some great thrift store bargains in the past.
The Salvation Army store is still open and just down the road from the Guam Premium Outlets or GPO as the locals call it. We visited the thrift shop for some cold weather clothes for our upcoming trip to Korea, figuring people getting stationed out there (from colder climates) would donate items they didn't need in tropical Guam. We weren't disappointed and geared up for our week-long trip to Seoul I will write about next.
The prices at Kmart had risen considerably from my previous trips to Guam. Kmart used to have a reputation as the best prices in Micronesia, with people traveling from across the region to pick up bargains. I didn't get that impression anymore. Rumors were that Target had bought out this last successful Kmart store in the US, so this could be the end of an era for Guam's infamous Kmart. I recall all prices were at least 20 to 30% cheaper than the Northern Marianas Islands previously, but price comparisons now were about the same price and even noticed some items more costly! Guam's Kmart did have a very good selection of items and some of the sale prices were good, but not nearly the shopping experience from years ago. The only people really able to get great shopping deals on Guam now are the ones who have military access to pay almost 'at cost' prices on items in the stores at the various military bases.
There are some great beaches, surfing, fishing, scuba diving and other activities to enjoy when visiting Guam. We visited the Marine Fish Eye on our last trip, which had recently re-opened Guam could be a great place to escape the winter cold climate and experience a change of scenery rather than the typical visit to Hawaii... all without leaving the US. I would recommend coming here and doing a drive to loop the island, which can easily be done in 1 day. Traveling off the beaten path is a great way to go.
is on a decades old journey to experience the world.