I’m going to level with you…this is not one of those informational articles where I name every country that Americans can travel to right now, for that read this or this. Instead I’m going to tell you where to go….no not in that sense, not where to shove it…but where I recommend you travel right now. This is a deep dive using current statistics which always helps me put things in perspective. So, if you are willing to take a small risk, aren’t over 75 and ideally you’ve had the vaccine please read on. Don’t consider going anywhere if you have a co-morbidity, until you’ve had the vaccine.
As someone who has traveled safely with my husband since the end of March 2020 and as a professional travel and group trip leader I’m going to lay out using recent statistics and my own personal travel taste, where you can travel NOW based on your risk tolerance. Of course nothing is completely safe, life is a constant risk assessment scenario.
We all want to know WHEN the world will open up.
This week we learned that Greece will be open as of May 15th, which means our June trip will go forward. I’ve been dancing in the streets around that news. And Mongolia, where we are headed in August is opening on May 1st. I believe most of Europe will be open by this summer….I can’t tell you exactly when and of course each country will be different but real hope is not just on the horizon its staring right at us!
As of March 2021 this is where can you travel….realistically, and where you’d actually want to go. All of these places have safer levels of Covid than in the USA. Of course, don’t be CRAZY and go somewhere where it’s higher.
If you are willing to take the fairly low risk of traveling on a plane (they clean and filter the air constantly so its safer than most any indoor environments) these are my suggestions for those itching to travel right now.
These are my “winners” based on an analysis of recent stats. We will continue to update this page until world travel is truly fully open.
->BTW Did you hear that they’ll have enough vaccine available for all adults in the US by the end of May, 2021! EXCITING.
1. Winner St. Kitts & Nevis
Covid Rate according to CNN on March 1st, 2021 taken directly from the John’s Hopkins center and updated daily (click above link for today’s updated number):
On average you have about 78 Covid cases within a group of 100,000 in St. Kitts & Nevis. Most people, as you probably know, do not get severely ill. In this gorgeous locale, no one has died from the disease. This means that you have .078 chance of getting Covid at any point in time while you are there, odds are 99.922% that you won’t get it here. Compare that to the United States which has a rate of 8732 per 100,000 who have gotten sick from Covid and a total of 157 deaths per 100,000. Simply put, its a lot lot safer in St. Kitts and Nevis then in America. Perhaps a nice place to be stranded for a while!
March and April even May are still very nice months in this Caribbean paradise, the Park Hyatt St. Kitts is 5* and is pure bliss. Let’s face it, after staying home for a year you deserve some luxury!
CNN SAYS: To visit this Caribbean island federation, you must fill out a Travel Authorization Form before arrival and upload a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken 72 hours or less before you start your trip. You must stay on approved hotel property for your first seven days. You must take another test on day 7 of your visit if you’re staying longer. If it’s negative, you can move about on a limited basis. For stays of 14 days or longer, a third test is required. The islands aren’t accepting PCR tests for international travelers and other categories of travelers done by LabCorp. Additional information: US Embassy.
110 out of 100k have tested positive for the disease and 4 have passed away from it.
Mongolia is a land of nomadic people who are known for their horsemanship, training golden eagles and the great yet ruthless conquerer, Genghis Khan. We are heading to this vast and majestic landscape this August. We’ll be traveling in safari-style vehicles from ger to ger (yurts in Mongolia). We’ll learn how to make Mongolian BBQ and milk a yak! Our guide is a Mongolian lady who has set up her own travel business and receives rave reviews. This will surely be the adventure of a lifetime, so if you are going to break out of confinement, why not do it BIG?
Mongolia announced yesterday it will be open by May 1st to travelers from any country if they’ve had the vaccine (2 doses if it’s not Johnson & Johnson).
Perhaps it is a good time to see those gorillas in the mist, something you can do in only 3 countries in the world. Uganda is a jungle nation and you can also hike to see chimps in the nation’s majestic national parks, such as the Kibale National Park. In Uganda you can also watch the Nile river turn into a waterfall at the Devil’s caldron. Here’s a company who creates all women tours to Uganda. Check them out.
CNN SAYS: This lush nation in Central Africa is open to US tourists who have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken no more than 120 hours before departure. More info: US Embassy in Uganda.
91 of 100k have had the disease, and just 1 of 100k have died from it.
4. Sri Lanka
CNN SAYS: The tropical island off India’s southeastern coast has opened back up to all nations. You must have a negative result from a Covid-19 test to enter and stay at least 14 days at an approved hotel or resort. Click on the CNN Travel article below for all the details. More official information: US Embassy | Sri Lanka Tourism.
2 out of 100k have died from the disease and you’ll find just 383 cases among 100k people.
Our Trip to Sri Lanka early in 2022 will leave you breathless. You’ll be staying at a Relais and Chateaux, you’ll experience a boat safari, and tour a night market among your many activities.
CNN SAYS: Home to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya is open to US travelers with a negative Covid-19 test result taken 96 hours or less upon arrival and who pass a strict health screening. No quarantine needed. Outgoing visitors must comply with the Trusted Travel initiative.
4 of 100k have died and 202 of 100k have gotten the disease.
This fall we have a superb luxury tented tour to Kenya. You’ll see the big 5 but you’ll also be able to help some girls get an education….have fun and do good! Join our free webinar with Rupi & Debbie in Kenya on March 24th to learn more, ask questions and take a virtual trip to East Africa!
CNN SAYS: Home to volcanoes and tropical beaches, Nicaragua is open. You must have a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR or serology test. No time frame is provided for how recent it must be. More: US Embassy.
3 of 100k have died and 98 of 100k have gotten ill.
We have a trip for 2022 in the works but in the meantime what about staying in an ex-convent and then hitting the beach!
CNN SAYS: US travelers to Egypt need to present a negative PCR Covid-19 test result. Carefully read the US Embassy’s advice on the timing of the test — to be safe, it should be no older than 72 hours before flight departure. Travelers must present paper copies; digital copies aren’t accepted. You may be required to show proof of health insurance. You may travel to the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheikh without a PCR test, but you must be tested upon arrival and quarantine until you get a negative result. Details: US Embassy in Egypt.
11 have died and 182 out of 100k have had the disease.
Reminder….that is nothing compared to the awful stats here in the US, 157 dead out of 100k and 8732 of 100k with the disease.
Our Goddess of the Nile Trip to Egypt in 2022 has it all. Cairo, the perfect small private Nile cruise plus an extension to the Red Sea. We’ll be led by a husband and wife team of Egyptologists.
CNN SAYS: UPDATE: All people 10 and older entering Guatemala by air and land must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken 96 hours or less upon arrival. You must fill out an online health pass. No quarantine. Travelers who have been to the UK or South Africa may be denied entry. More details: US Embassy in Guatemala.
39 deaths of 100k, 1052 out of 100k testing positive.
We are putting together a tour for 2022. I just went last month and fell in love with both Antigua and Lake Atitlan. Guatemala is a lush jungle-like country that carries on a strong Mayan culture. Be sure you are signed up for our newsletter so you are the first to know about our Guatemala trip.
CNN SAYS: NEW: US travelers can visit the landlocked Himalayan nation. Anyone 5 and older needs a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. You must also quarantine for 10 days or take another test on Day 5 and end the quarantine on Day 7 with a negative result. See the web page for the US Embassy in Nepal for special requirements for hikers and mountain climbers, including insurance.
Safety ratio: 10 of 100k died 949 out of 100k with the virus.
Why not go trekking & rafting after your short quarantine with the Himalayan Girls Adventure Company?
Jamaica requires that you fill out an online travel authorization form. There’s the possibility of being tested upon arrival. All passengers arriving from the United States 12 or older are required to upload negative Covid-19 test results taken less than 10 day from the date of travel to get authorization. Read the island’s requirements closely; it has explicit instructions on taking tests and where you can go. More details: US Embassy in Jamaica | Visit Jamaica website
Covid numbers: 14 deaths per 100k, 800 of 100k with disease
CNN SAYS: US citizens can visit this southern African desert nation, which requires a negative Covid-19 PCR test result that’s not older than seven days. If the test is older than seven days, you’ll be tested and placed in quarantine at your own expense as you await the results. More info: US Embassy.
17 out of 100k have passed away, 1565 out of 100k cases are positive
Hubby and I went to Namibia a few years ago and felt it was spectacular. Grab a lux safari from this company.
12. The Maldives
CNN SAYS: “All arriving tourists to the The Maldives who are 1 or older must have a negative result for a PCR Covid-19 test taken within 96 hours of arrival. There is no mandatory quarantine. See the Maldives’ official tourism website for details.”
The Maldives Covid rate is 3763 out of 100k and 12 out of 100k have died.
I don’t have to sell you on the beauty and relaxation of the Maldives now do I? Why not take advantage of the cheaper rates and get an overwater bungalow. Do I hear digital no-madness? Here are the 15 most outrageous resorts, pick the one that will give you the best deal.
While we are on M’s….Morocco.
CNN Says: This North Africa favorite is open to specific US travelers only. You must have reservations with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency or be invited by a Moroccan company, the US Embassy in Morocco says. A printed, negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure is required to enter. Expect a health screening. No mandatory quarantines are in place, but local curfews are.
24 out of 100k died that’s .024% of 100k who sadly have died from Covid. Looking at it in the reverse the chances of you NOT dying from Covid are 99.873%, even if you get it. 1326 out of 100k have had the disease.
14. Mexico (but not just anywhere)
CNN Says: UPDATE: The land border between the US and Mexico remains closed through at least March 21, but US travelers can still fly there. No testing requirements are in place to enter, but the State Department lists numerous states to avoid because of crime. You can expect temperature checks and other screenings upon arrival. Again, remember you must have a negative Covid-19 test result to return to the US. More: US Embassy In Mexico
Say what? You’ve heard Mexico has been devastated by Covid. True and the lack of tourism has been devastating tourist areas plus Mexico City is hurting with high numbers however places like Oaxaca and others are much safer than here in the US.
146 died 1638 out of 100k in Mexico.
Mérida, Mexico: The capital of Yucatan state is a fantastic place to explore Mayan and Spanish culture. The San Ildefonso Cathedral is one of the oldest in Latin America.
1 in 64, Yucatan have tested positive
1 in 147, in Veracruz, and 1 in 98 in Oaxaca have tested positive.
Oaxaca is the food capital of Mexico and one of the most beautiful Latin American Small Cities you can find. 1 in 98 means you have just a 1% chance of getting it or 99% chance that you don’t.
Compare that to say Los Angeles where 1 out of every 8 people tests positive that means very simply that you have a much better chance of contracting Covid in LA than in Oaxaca.
Not to mention you can get the world’s best tacos in this gorgeous colonial town, 6 for $3.50 and a world class Michelin level meal eating outdoors quite safely for $50 pp. We have 4 trips heading to Mexico including one next year to Oaxaca, we’ve just returned from spending 2 months there and it was heavenly! They were much more cautious there using many more safety measures in Oaxaca than we saw back home in New York or California.
34 died, 3250 out of 100k testing positive
CNN SAYS: Turkey has started requiring that US citizens and all other visitors have a negative Covid-19 test result taken 72 hours or less before their flight to enter. Passengers must fill out an information form and prepare to be checked for coronavirus symptoms. More details: US Embassy in Turkey.
Turkey is not just Istanbul its also known for its gorgeous beaches and stunning resorts. Get pampered this summer at the Lara Barut.
NOTE about the US. I don’t like to say negative things about my own country but this has not been our finest hour. 157 out of 100k are dead, 8732 out of 100k have gotten it. There are only a few other countries in the world that are actually less safe.
As of May 15th, Greece is open…..we are beyond thrilled! You have to have had a vaccine, or tested negative or have the antibodies but they are welcoming us with open arms mid-May. That means our GG2P June trip is back on! We call the trip Undiscovered Greece because we are heading to places that Americans don’t normally go to. Like sheep we all heard to Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. Instead we’ll be heading south of Athens to the Northern Peloponnese where the wealthy Athenians go to bask in the sun and relax. Even if you’ve been before, you’ll be introduced to the REAL Greece and boy is it gorgeous. Act quickly, this trip will fill up in a nano-second.
It brings me great joy to report that this list of where can you travel right now will not contract from here on out…it will only grow!