If you are a US citizen, where do you travel to this spring and summer? As many had foregone their summer trips in 2020, this year plans to be a race to see which spot Americans can get to and feel ‘normal’ again.
The list of global destinations may be longer than you would have expected. Some of the staple vacation spots are currently off-limits and it is unclear whether or not they will be open come the summer season. Regardless, we have uncovered a list of countries where US citizens can go even if the entry requirements vary. See your options and our picks below.
Options—Mexico, United States
Even though the US and Mexico (one of the first foreign destinations to open to Americans) are open, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has extended the ban on non-essential travel between the US and Canada through 21 Apr 2021.
Not every state in the US has 3.5 distinct geographic regions, 5 national parks, 45 state parks, 5 national historic sites & trails, and a dozen national monuments & recreation areas. Utah is definitely a unique state and here is more information as to why it is a great time to travel there this spring.
Options—Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Bonaire, The British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (US territory), St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos
The Caribbean Islands are welcoming travelers and entry requirements differ but travelers can expect to obtain a pre-arrival test.
Our pick—St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Many visitors will want to enjoy the ample water sports, beaches, activities, and day trips to other islands but St. Thomas is also known as the best shopping spot in the Caribbean and one of the top shopping areas in the world.
Options—Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru
The entry requirements are different for each country but one common trend is having to get a pre-travel diagnostic test within 72 hours before arrival. If not, you may be required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days.
One of the most incredible countries in South America, Colombia is one of adventure travelers’ favorite destinations. From lost cities to colonial cities and everything in between, there is a place for every traveler to be enriched by the culture, landscape, and people. Everyone has always boasted an amazing experience when returning from Colombia, including this expert traveler.
Options—Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Iceland, North Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine
Much of Europe is still closed to Americans especially some of the most popular countries like France and Italy. While Europe is still dealing with significant lockdowns and border closures, places like Greece (soon to open to Americans) and other Mediterranean countries are and will be ready for the summer traveler.
Even last summer, Croatia was one of the few countries in the world open to Americans and many took advantage. Some have remained in the country (namely “digital nomads”) and as the new Digital Nomad Visa went into effect earlier this year, many are descending on this hotspot for the weather, beaches, and location in the EU. With over 1,000 islands, there is plenty of coastline to find your own spot to work, play, or just blend into the picturesque landscape.
Options—Botswana, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Of course, the entry requirements vary by nation and you may need a qualifying travel reason that requires a visa to enter for non-essential purposes. Also, travelers may have to choose one country to visit for the stay before returning to the US due to many suspended flights between African nations.
A heavenly cluster of biodiverse islands with some of the world’s best beaches, the Seychelles has always been a unique destination for travelers as well as one of the safest countries in Africa. Many describe the deep blue waters, white sandy beaches, and exotic sea life as paradise on earth. However, avoiding the rainy season is best and, therefore, April/May and October/November are the times of year to plan for.
Options—Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand
Much of Asia is closed to non-essential travel and can be more difficult to reach than Europe these days. Even the Tokyo Olympics will be barring any foreign nationalities from visiting Japan as tourists.
This idyllic couples destination boasts luxury hotels set on private islands that seem to be floating on water. Given that these specially-designed hotels are built for isolation, many would see this experience as a ‘typical’ vacation in the Maldives even if you are purposely going to continue social distancing during the pandemic. That said, expect the hotels to have some rules upon arrival that are geared towards safety and health measures such as temperature checks and wearing masks indoors.
Regardless of where you are able to and/or choose to travel to right now, the US requires all returning residents to get a diagnostic test upon arrival from international travel. A negative test result is necessary to avoid a mandatory self-quarantine. Proof of a COVID-19 recovery from the past 90 days can also waive the mandatory re-entry test.
Traveling this year will still be tricky since cases are surging in some countries. Although we try to stimulate travel and indicate the safest places to go to, we ask that you visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html for the CDC’s most updated recommendations.
Traveling somewhere else?
Click here for more information on the best destinations and top locations in The Americas.
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