Wading through the different travel restrictions is a headache. What’s more, it’s a little bit of a moving target right now. Restrictions can change at a moment’s notice. With that said, increasingly more destinations have been opening up to Americans itching to travel again. Our list of where you can travel now isn’t exhaustive. It’s is simply a list of the easiest countries for Americans to travel to right now.
We’ve done the work for you. Here’s where you can travel now through the summer:
As of January 26, all flights to the United States require passengers to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test before boarding the flight. During the ongoing pandemic, travel restrictions may change unexpectedly. For the most up to date information, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you are ready to travel but obtaining a negative PCR test within 72 hours on arrival to your destination has you worried, then travel to Zambia. You only need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 7 days of arrival. In March, head to South Luangwa National Park. It is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and home to the elusive wild dog. In March, you have the best chance of spotting them.
Costa Rica is one of the easiest destinations for Americans to travel to right now. To begin, there’s no quarantine or COVID-19 test required. You simply fill out an online health questionnaire and carry insurance during the duration of your trip. For Spring Break, Costa Rica really is a no brainer. There are a number of private villas in Costa Rica that are ideal for traveling right now. For your return trip, we can arrange a healthcare professional to come to your villa and administer a PCR test. You’ll have your results within 24 hours. What could be easier?
After a ten-month hiatus, Sri Lanka has opened its borders to travelers. Sri Lanka requires travelers to test negative for COVID-19 within 96 hours of departure. Upon arrival and 7 days after arrival, travelers will be tested again. If you wish to stay longer, you’ll be tested again after 7 days. Visitors also must carry at least $50,000 in travel insurance. You won’t have to quarantine, but you do have to stay in a hotel within a government-designated “travel bubble.” You will, however, be able to visit national parks and popular sites and go on safari.
Travelers to Botswana are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test valid within 72 hours of their departure for Botswana. Within 72 hours of your departure from Botswana, you are also required to present a negative PCR test.
Travel to the Maldives
Sunshine and sand are calling. Beautiful, remote, and sparsely populated, Maldives is the perfect place to “dip your toes in the water” of international travel again. You’ll need proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of boarding your first flight en route to the island nation. Within 24 hours of your departure, you’ll also have to electronically submit a “Traveler Health Declaration” form.
May in South Africa is considered the dry season. It’s also considered a low season for tourism. Go in May to be rewarded with fewer people but ample sightings of wildlife, especially as they congregate around water holes. As far as restrictions go, South Africa requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of the time of departure.
Travel to Belize
For an easy getaway with minimal time spent in an airplane, head to Belize. It’s a quick flight from the states. May is the beginning of the low season in Belize so you can expect fewer people. However, skies are still blue and the sun is still shining. You’ll also find prime diving in Ambergris Caye. Travelers to Belize must carry a negative COVID-19 PCR test less than 72 hours old. Additionally, an app called “Belize Health App” must be downloaded onto your smartphone, and the required information must be filled in within 72 hours of arrival. The app will give each traveler a unique QR code that must be scanned on entry.
If you have the time or wish to make your trip a “workcation,” then head to Chile. You’ll need the extra time there because international visitors must quarantine on arrival for 10 days. A negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding your flight to Chile is required prior to entry, and you must complete an online form with the Ministry of Health. Finally, you’ll also have to carry proof of a health insurance policy with $30,000 coverage for COIVD-19. Before leaving quarantine, you’ll also be tested again. However, May is one of the absolute best times to travel to Chile. It’s one of the best times to track pumas in Torres del Paine, there are generally fewer tourists, and the skiing in the mountains near Santiago is good.
Ecuador was one of the first countries to allow international flights from the United States so they’ve had a while to figure out their entry procedures. Travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken less than 10 days prior to arrival to visit mainland Ecuador. To continue onto the Galápagos Islands though, the PCR test must be taken within 96 hours of arrival to the islands. If you’re staying on the islands longer than 8 days, another test must be taken. In June, you’ll have a chance to see some pretty spectacular events such as blue-footed booby courtships, sea turtle hatchings, and waved albatrosses laying their eggs on Española.
Get out and stretch your legs this summer in Montana. Glacier National Park is home to over 700 miles of hiking trails. In June, the lower elevation trails are usually snow-free. By mid-to-late July, the higher elevation trails, mountains passes, and Continental Divide tends to be snow-free as well. It’s also home to the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most beautiful roads in America. The 50-mile stretch of road goes past glacial lakes and cedar forests, but it’s only navigable from mid-June to mid-September. Due to COVID-19, only part of the road is open right now, but that may change depending on the pandemic. For the most up to date information about driving on Going-to-the-Sun Road, visit the National Park Service website.
June is one of the driest months in Rwanda, so it’s the perfect time for gorilla trekking. Rwanda is the forerunner in bringing tourism back to their country with their quick implementation of health and safety protocols. Because of that, they have had a lot of time to perfect the process. To travel to Rwanda, US travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed no more than 120 hours before initial departure. A second PCR test will be administered on arrival. Travelers will receive these results within 24 hours while isolating at one of several designated hotels in Kigali.
Travel to Colombia
July in Colombia is peak travel season for a reason. If you are exploring the Amazon region, the water is lower, giving you more places to explore and a higher chance of spotting wildlife. Travelers to Colombia must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 96 hours of arrival, and they must complete an online pre-registration form called “Check-Mig” up to 24 hours prior to their flight.
July is one of the best months to see the Great Migration. Additionally, Tanzania does not currently have any COVID-19 test requirements in place for foreign visitors. However, if your airline requires a test as a condition for traveling, you may be asked to show the results again on arrival. This might be one of the rare years where you can see the Great Migration at the height of the tourist season without huge crowds.
August falls in the middle of the dry season in Namibia. You can expect sunny days with a cool start and end to the day. While it is peak travel season, there are likely to be few crowds in 2021. Namibia was one of the first countries in southern Africa to test a “travel bubble” with select countries. All travelers must enter through Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 7 days of departure. Ker & Downey can book your direct flights from Frankfurt to avoid transit through South Africa.
If some sun and sand are calling to you, Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is a great option for September travel. It’s an easy destination for a last-minute getaway due to its proximity to the United States. Mexico never closed its airports or enacted a travel ban for US travelers. There also aren’t any COVID-19 related travel restrictions or quarantines in place if arriving by air. You can expect a health screening, like a temperature check, on arrival.
Travel to Kenya
Kenya has opened its borders to all US travelers, provided they have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of departure. Go in September when there are clear skies, a low chance of rain, and fewer mosquitoes. The Great Migration passes through the Masai Mara from July to October. With Ker & Downey, a safari to Kenya during the high season remains intimate with small, luxury properties situated in prime viewing locations of the migration.
Atacama Desert, Chile
As we mentioned before, there is a quarantine in place for Chile. However, if you have the time and can make it south, head to the Atacama Desert. The lunar landscape is a playground for adventurers with giant salt flats, active geyser fields, hot springs, and archaeological sites. There’s plenty of room to spread out and relax in the lap of luxury as well. It’s just the respite we need right now.
Where You Can Travel Now
Ker & Downey is an award-winning tour operator known for our custom itineraries and attention to detail. If you are ready to travel, but overwhelmed by the health and safety protocols in place and don’t know where to start, we are here to help. We’ll take care of the details so that the only thing you need to worry about is packing your bag. Contact a Ker & Downey designer to start planning your next adventure. In the meantime, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more travel inspiration.