The travel bug has never felt more real! We are yearning for the sun, beach, sightseeing, adventure and excitement away from our social media accounts and the news. Most of us are ready for a nasty breakup with year 2020. I am ready to block it from my memory and make a quick dash and turn the corner into the fall. So, where can we travel to now that COVID-19 has disrupted most of this year’s travel plans? Americans now have options when it comes to international travel. Finally! Get ready to dust off your passport as we check out what your next passport stamp will read.
Keep in mind, there are some alternative options but we all don’t have 14 days to quarantine. We need some convenient and realistic options. Since the countries listed below are currently accepting American travelers, I still like to encouraged my clients to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 prior to departure. The current situation with the pandemic is still developing so things can change momentarily.
It doesn’t take much to entice a traveler to beautiful Antigua. Antigua opened its borders on June 1 in a phased plan. Visitors are required to take a COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to arrival and be able to present documentation of negative results. Visitors are also required to wear a mask in all public places and are subject to temperature checks when arriving to the island’s airport. I loved my stay in Antigua and would go back in a heartbeat.
The “One Happy Island”, Aruba started welcoming travelers back on July 10 and in just one month has seen over 11,000 tourists! Head’s up! Residents of certain hot spot states are required to upload a negative COVID-19 test online taken within 72 hours before their flight and uploaded at least 12 hours before departing. Other U.S. travelers will have the option of uploaded their test results or taking a test upon arrival in Aruba. It will cost you $75 and require quarantining until the test results come back. Save yourself the time and headache and upload your results in time. Travelers are also required to purchase mandatory COVID-19 health insurance prior to travel.
Why work from home when you can work from Barbados? Barbados started to offer visas that allow foreign nationals to live and work in Barbados for up to one year. Those of us looking for a shorter stay can vacation as long as you show proof of a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers can also choose to undergo a test at the airport and quarantine until the results are ready.
It doesn’t hurt that Bermuda has an increasingly low rate of COVID-19 transmissions. Entering the island will require you show a negative COVID-19 test from no more than 5 days before departure and be prepared to fill out a travel authorization process online for a $75 fee. Here is where it gets tricky. All travelers will also take a mandatory test at the airport. You will have to quarantine in your hotel room for an average of 6-8 hours or until the test results come back negative. Visitors will then be tested every fours days while on the island and be required to take temperature checks twice each day. Clearly Bermuda is not the most convenient destination to travel to during these unprecedented times but it is doable! Keep in mind, as the temp drops in the US, it also does in Bermuda. While US travelers are welcomed to the island, it might not be the warm, tropical vacation you would think the island to be. However, if you’re look for a picturesque beach, beautiful sunsets, a little pampering, great dining and more, than leave Bermuda on the table.
Hey, fellow east coasters! This one is for perfect for us. Residents from New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut are welcomed to the popular destination in Central America as of September 1. Starting September 15, residents of Colorado, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania can also enter. U.S. citizen tourists from these states wishing to enter Costa Rica must complete a digital epidemiological health pass, obtain a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of their departure and purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses due to COVID-19.
Tourists in Croatia will not have to quarantine if they provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours. Yes, you read that right! A european country welcoming US citizens! Travelers are also asked to fill out an entry form. While the European Union has recommended that U.S. not be included in the countries allowed to resume non-essential travel, individual countries are able to make their own decisions. Croatia has its door wide open for us!
The Dominican Republic will be one of the more convenient and affordable islands to travel to! The destination lifted border restrictions on July 1 and by September 15 travelers will no longer have to show a negative COVID-19 test result. Instead, authorities will randomly administer a quick breath test to between 3% to 10% of passengers upon arrival. Sounds painless! As part of immigration and customs forms provided by the airline, passengers will be also fill out and submit a health affidavit.
The “Hawaii of the Caribbean” is open! Be prepared to present a negative COVID-19 test within seven days of travel, complete a pre-arrival registration form in advance and undergo screening, including temperature checks, upon arrival at their international airport. Saint Lucia has implemented a COVID-19 certificate for hotels, requiring them to meet more than a dozen criteria for sanitization protocols, social distancing, and more.
Known for its reasonably priced all-inclusive resorts, white sand beaches and a laid back culture, Jamaica is requiring tourist to undergo a temperature check and some tourist to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival. Travelers from areas considered “high risk,” including Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas, have to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving. Taking extra precautions, the island is also requiring each hotel to designate at least one employee at a time as a “COVID-19 Safety Point Person” to conduct spot checks. So pack your bags and “come to Jamaica and feel alright”.
US residents will no longer have to enter into a mandatory quarantine upon arrival to the capital, Male. Nor will they need to produce proof they have tested negative for COVID-19. Travelers do need to submit an online health declaration form within 24 hours before departure. With each hotel essentially on its own island, you are technically in quarantine. If only quarantining in the US was as glamorous as a stay in an over-water bungalow perched over the most beautiful blue ocean water at a 5 star luxury resort… Sigh!?!
Popular destinations in Mexico such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, are checking all the boxes for a stress-free, sunny vacay! It’s no wonder travelers are flocking to this fun filled destination. While the land border between the U.S. and Mexico remains closed, it was never restricted via air. A matter of fact, my clients the Foxs just returned and had a blast for their last minute mini-moon. Cancun was the first destination in the Americas and one of the first few in the world to receive the “Safe Travels” global safe and hygiene stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council. Skip the COVID-19 test for this destination as it is not a requirement. Anticipate resorts to take your temperature upon arriving!
Turks and Caicos
United Arab Emirates
If you have The UAE on your bucket list then consider flashy Dubai! Dubai has relaxed some entry requirements. Tourists must arrive with a negative COVID-19 test taken 96 hours prior to departure. However, there is a chance you may randomly be selected to take another COVID-19 test upon arrival. If you take a test at the airport, you must remain in your hotel until you receive the test result. It will be worth it once you are checking out the deserts on the back of a camel, climbing the tallest building in the world, dining at world-class restaurants and taking in the cultural monuments.
Traveling during these uncertain times means being prepared and staying up-to-date on the latest travel advisories and news. Recently my clients, the Foxs, flew into Cancun airport. They offered some great tips on traveling through the pandemic and insight on their experience in a recent Q&A blog post. With a little planning and preparation, you can still enjoy a much needed vacation. Taking time off to recharge has proven benefits for your physical, emotional and mental health. After the last several months in quarantine, we could all use some time to recharge and get the adrenaline pumping. If you are traveling during the pandemic, pack a mask, hand sanitizer and together, lets go over your options including a hotel certified in bringing guests a clean and safe vacation.