The Best Summer Destinations That Are Re-Opening To U.S Tourists
Wondering what countries you can travel to this summer as a US citizen? Summer travel is looking more hopeful than ever as government restrictions begin to ease, more vaccines become available and nasal swabs get easier and easier (but do they though?). Popular summer destinations like Greece and The Seychelles are beginning discussions around reopening strategies and what that will look like for foreign tourists. With the US’s promise that all adults will have access to a vaccine by the end of May, 2021, it looks like we can start making those long-awaited plans that have been on hold for far too long.
Many countries whose economies rely heavily on tourism have set specific dates that they will begin accepting international tourists so long as they are vaccinated or present proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival (individual countries’ policies vary). This list of destinations introducing more lenient entry policies for vaccinated travelers is likely to grow in the coming weeks and months but bear in mind these policies are subject to change based on the trajectory of the COVID cases over the next few months.
Now for the good stuff!! What countries are open to US tourists this summer?
Our beloved Barcelona, sun-draped Seville and idyllic Ibiza may be within reach this summer! Vaccinated foreign tourists or those testing negative are said to be allowed entry beginning July 1st, 2021. The specific travel requirements for travelers from outside the EU are still in the works but it is still music to my ears! Who else is ready to sip some Rioja and watch a Flamenco show??
Current travel restrictions can be found on the embassy’s website.
It is hard to imagine a better post-quarantine destination than Greece. There’s nothing like sun and salt water to help us ease the anxiety from the past year, am I right?! Greece plans to begin accepting vaccinated tourists from the EU and surrounding areas beginning May 14th, and if all goes well they will open their borders to all vaccinated international travelers by July 1st, 2021. Unvaccinated travelers will be required to present proof of a negative Covid test within 72-hours of their flight. Time to book a trip to Santorini and stay somewhere dreamy like in one of my favorite hotels or in this one of a kind cave house or this gorgeous white washed apartment overlooking the Aegean sea.
For current travel restrictions see the embassy’s website.
Did you know that Georgia is said to be the birthplace of wine?? Sitting at the intersection between Europe and Asia, this virtually unknown country offers dramatic green valleys spread with vineyards, hip natural wine bars and world class restaurants in Tbilisi and dramatic mountain scenery! Georgia has recently opened its borders to all travelers (with the exception of UK travelers) that can show proof that they have been fully vaccinated.
For more information head to their government site.
St. Lucia, one of the Caribbean’s most popular honeymoon destinations will begin accepting flights from the U.S June 4th, 2021. Visitors must also present a negative covid test within 5 days of their flight. Honeymooners can opt for the high end service of resorts like Jade Mountain and Sugar Beach, or the privacy of beautiful open air villas like this one.
For more information see the St. Lucia travel website.
French Polynesia is made up of over 100 islands, some of the most well known being Bora Bora, Tahiti and Mo’orea. Any of these islands will make you feel as though you’ve stepped right into a postcard from paradise. This is the perfect spot if you’re dream post-quarantine vacation includes an overwater bungalow and swimming with exotic sealife! For one of the most unique experiences out there, stay on this luxury modern house boat! Government officials have announced that they plan to begin allowing international flights again starting May 1, 2021.
For updated travel restrictions head to their official tourism site.
A scuba diver’s dream, Belize is now waiving COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers who can show proof they have been fully vaccinated. International travelers must book their stay at a “Gold Standard Hotel” and download the country’s health app. For non-vaccinated travelers, proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of travel or a negative rapid test from within 48 hours of travel is required. Alternatively, travelers can get tested upon arrival at the airport for $50.
For updated information head to their official tourism site.
Between the Nile, the ancient Pyramids that dates back to 2500 BC, Cairo and the Red Sea, there is so much culture to experience in Egypt. June-September is the best time to experience the beach resorts around the Red Sea! International flights will resume July 1st with travel incentives like waiving tourist visas!
For updated information on travel restrictions head to the embassy website.
Whether you’re in the mood for booze-cruising on Yacht week or hiking through the lush Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes, Croatia has got it all! If it were me, I’d escape to the Mediterranean coast and hide away in this gorgeous countryside villa. Starting March 2021, CROATIA IS OPEN! International tourists that present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival will now be permitted entry.
More details on the official tourism site.
Just south of Mexico, this Central America hidden gem is full of rich culture, Mayan ruins and lush jungles. Vaccinated travelers who can prove they’ve received both doses at least two weeks prior to travel are welcome to enter restriction free. For any non vaccinated travelers, a negative PCR test within 3 days of arrival, or proof of recovery are now accepte along with a completed online health pass. Bring on the boundless jungles, amazing coffee and pristine beaches please!
More details here US Embassy in Guatemala.
From safaris to wine tasting, South Africa is one of my absolute favorite destinations in the world – and a place everyone should visit AT LEAST once in their lifetime. It offers gorgeous mountain scenery like Table Rock and Lionshead, as well as white sand beaches where you can even hang out with penguins!! South Africa is now permitting travelers from all over the globe so long as they present a negative PCR test within 72-hours of their flight. Temperature checks and a contact tracing app are also required upon arrival.
More details on the embassy website.
Home to tropical beaches and active volcanoes, Nicaragua is now open to all tourists who present a negative COVID test on arrival (no time frame is indicated on how recent the test must be). If you’re looking for laid-back luxury, surrounded by jungle sounds yet right next to the beach, look no further than the Verdad Hotel.
More details on the embassy website.
Craving a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia or exploring the mosques of Istanbul? I know I am. Turkey is now open for travel, except for arrivals from South Africa, Denmark and the UK. Passengers must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure even if they have been vaccinated.
Updated information on the embassy website.
Located off the coast of Kenya, this boulder dotted island archipelago is heaven on earth. Spend your days hiking through lush jungles or relaxing on picture-perfect beaches. Beginning March 25th, 2021 the Seychelles will start allowing international visitors who have either a negative PCR test (within 72 hours of their flight) OR can show proof that they have been fully vaccinated (received both doses if applicable) two weeks prior to entry. Right now, many hotels like the Four Seasons are offering special incentives to entice travelers, like getting your fourth night free!
For updated entry requirements see the Seychelles Tourism Site.
Explore some of the most remote and enchanting wildlife in all of Africa.Those looking to tick off a once-in-a-lifetime safari, or bucket list trip to Victoria Falls can now visit Zambia with limited restrictions in place. The best time to visit is June-October, their winter. Having opened to all tourists, visitors must only present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 7 days, and won’t need to quarantine.
More details can be found on the embassy website.
American tourists are currently allowed to visit the stunning country of Thailand, but that comes along with a 10-day quarantine. Government officials are currently working on reducing restrictions for vaccinated travelers that will go into effect in April, 2021 and they are anticipating all restrictions to be lifted by October 2021!! Full moon parties here we come!
They are looking to ease border restrictions for travelers from low risk countries like New Zealand and japan as soon as May 14th, and if the case numbers continue to decline the borders might open to Americans by the end of the summer. Get ready to sip Champagne in Champagne!!