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Monday, April 19, 2021

Top 5 Travel Destinations for Americans during the Covid-19 Pandemic

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As the State Department begins to relax travel restrictions–moving from a global “Level 4” (do-not-travel-blanket) to “Level 3” nation-specific reqs, Americans are left with a patchwork of rules, recommendations, and regulations that can potentially make planning a trip or vacation untenable. In fact, many international locales remain closed-off to non-essential American travelers (the U.S infection rate for Covid-19 now tops 5 million).

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Woman reading on a beach. Photo courtesy of unsplash.com.

Popular travel destinations like Italy, Great Britain, Japan, and Singapore all maintain restrictions on U.S. travel. To further complicate vacation-planning, other quality travel destinations that do accept American travelers (Mexico and Egypt among others) are still slapped with the “Level 4: Do Not Travel” State Department warning.

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Illustration of Guam travel protocols for Covid-19. Image courtesy of visitguam.com.

So where can U.S citizens go? Here are 5 destinations for the wanderlust-pining American traveler where host nations maintain essential pandemic safety precautions while offering outsized vacation potential:

1. The Caribbean

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Rusted cannon buried in the sand on St. Lucia. Photo courtesy of st.lucia.org.

Island destinations, due-in-part to their relative isolation, were some of the first nations to begin accepting American travelers again. St. Lucia, St Barts, Aruba, Jamaica, Cuba, Bermuda, Barbados, and other Caribbean islands are open to American travelers–with restrictions.

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Saint Lucia travel safety protocols courtesy of stlucia.org.

Common travel requirements include verifiable proof of a negative Covid test within 7 days, minor health assessments, insurance, etc. Additional safety measures like “containment to approved resort/hotel” are also common on the islands.

2. Ireland

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Collage of Irish travel highlights courtesy of Ireland.com.

Another island destination on the list! Ireland (and Great Britain) accept American travelers without pre-testing requirements. The Emerald Isle does however require at least 14 days of “self-isolation” upon arrival.

There are no curfews in place, and the Irish Department of Health is committed to treating any traveler that contracts Covid-19 during a visit.

3. United Arab Emirates

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Dubai at night. Image courtesy of visitdubai.com

Fresh on the heels of a landmark deal with the nation of Israel, the UAE claims the third spot on this list of countries that are open and accepting American travelers.

The United Arab Emirates, a close trading partner of the United States, has some of the most relaxed rules (regarding travel from the United States) when considering the state’s responsibility to slow the spread of Covid-19.

4. Croatia

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Croatia by the sea. Image courtesy of unsplash.com

This small European country stands apart from the relatively strict (non-essential travel) bans and other Covid-19 policies taken by the European Union. While a negative Covid test is required to enter the country, Croatians make no attempt to hide their enthusiasm about welcoming international travelers. Pulled from the Croatian Embassy website, paraphrased:

“All EU/EEA nationals can enter Croatia freely, without restrictions. All other foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, may enter Croatia for business, tourism, education, or other pressing personal reasons…”

5. U.S. Territories

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An isolated beach in American Samoa. Photo courtesy of americansamoa.travel.

Often overlooked by stateside travelers, U.S. Territories like Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico can make for great vacation destinations while providing relative safety, comparable to less populated areas of United States proper. All Territories accept U.S. travelers, but many have their own Covid-19 safety measurements in place like pre-testing, quarantine, etc.

While some nations (including those listed above) are opening their doors to American travelers, the State Department still strongly recommends that Americans do not travel out of the country on non-essential business. All travel destinations listed above are “Level 3” or higher on the Covid-19 travel advisory issued by the federal government.

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