Many of us are getting ready for summer vacation with the hopes that Covid-19 will be under control with the rollout of the vaccine. It will be hard to predict what international destinations will be open to Americans and what protocols they may have in place in a few months. The changes are happening frequently and though we hope they will be for the better, in some parts of the world the vaccine is not as readily available causing further delays in reopenings and the lifting of restrictions.
GOING BEYOND THE MAINLAND
Roadtrips and domestic travel have really been popular in the past year and may continue to be at the top of the list for months ahead. At this time the list of international destinations where we can easily travel to is quite short. Some destinations will allow us to visit, but with some pretty restrictive rules that won’t make for a pleasant vacation. Overall, expect to be inconvenienced at least a little if you plan to travel overseas in the coming months. There are still some destinations out there, that with the right preparation will allow for an international escape. Below are just a few worth mentioning that aren’t too far away, but remember this list is subject to change at any time. (Well, I did include Hawaii only because of some good offers available at the moment.)
A Piece of Advice
Make sure you communicate with the agency or the hotel you’re booking with before you get there. You’ll want to ask what restrictions are in place, what things are open and what is closed, if reservations are required for any of the local attractions, and if there are entry and exit requirements you should be aware of. Take caution as some of these destinations have started to increase prices and are extremely busy, since they are experiencing such high demands from the American market.
There are several options in terms of beach destinations that are open for business and fewer that are more cultural or historical in nature!
SOME DESTINATIONS TO DISCOVER
Mexico, always a popular choice, requires that all travelers register on their website under their “Mexico Vuela Seguro” program: www.vuelaseguro.com/login. The resorts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, as well as Cabo San Lucas are offering some deals for travelers and there are good flight options, too!
Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, though US territories, will at least get you outside of the states and allow you to soak in some fun in the sun with cultural experiences on the side. THE USVI are requiring a negative COVID test as well as registration on their online travel screening portal (https://usvitravelportal.com/). Puerto Rico is requiring that all travelers fill out a Travel Declaration Form through their online portal (https://www.travelsafe.pr.gov/).
Dominican Republic, an all-time favorite, is no longer requiring negative Covid tests to enter and are just doing random aleatory breath tests to incoming travelers. They are requiring registration on their E-Ticket website (https://eticket.migracion.gob.do/) prior to travel. Many hotels are also offering COVID tests free of charge for travelers returning back to the US.
Hawaii, yes one of our 50 states and not an international destination, is still quite exotic and spectacular a spot. Usually quite far and expensive for us South Floridians, Hawaii has some great deals at the moment, including very competitive pricing on flights. Many of the hotels are offering great rates and with a negative COVID test you can bypass their quarantine period.
Costa Rica, is currently experiencing extremely high demand and many hotels are sold out during holiday periods. They are not requiring a COVID test, though do require travelers to register online and purchase medical insurance to cover them in case of needing medical attention due to COVID. Information can be found here on both requirements: https://salud.go.cr/ and https://micrositios.ins-cr.com/seguroviajero/index-en.html.
Aruba is another interesting beach area that is being frequented these days. An online embarkation/disembarkation card should be filled out prior to travel (https://edcardaruba.aw/), in addition to proof of a negative COVID test. They are also requiring that travelers purchase their Aruba Visitor Insurance before arrival.
Colombia, with its rich cultural heritage and welcoming vibe is also open to travelers. Though some places may not be open, most tourist areas are welcoming visitors. Though it may be best to travel on an organized tour or package to ensure minimal disruptions during the trip. A negative COVID test is required as well as completion of an immigration form online (https://apps.migracioncolombia.gov.co/pre-registro/public/preregistro.jsf).
Remember that you will need to plan to get a COVID test prior to returning to the US from most destinations listed above within 3 days of your travel date. Most hotels and local tour agencies have the details on how to get this done easily. Some are even offering free tests as part of your stay!
I do want to caution that entry requirements, restrictions, and overall protocols are constantly changing! If you are planning a trip abroad, it is important to continuously check on local official tourism websites as well as the IATA Travel Regulations Map (https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php) for up to date information. In times like these, it is always wise to get with a knowledgeable travel agent who can continuously keep you in the loop, make your trip more enjoyable, and keep you out of harm’s way! Safe travels!