Where would you like to travel in 2021? Every year, Gildshire looks for the best places. For months now, it seemed inconceivable to think about traveling overseas. The global pandemic and travel restrictions closed the borders of many countries, particularly to Americans! When has that ever happened? But here is some good news. Travel opportunities are on the upswing this year. Some overseas destinations are still off-limits, but more and more countries are beginning to open their doors. Of course, they are opening their doors with health protocols in place. But that bodes well for American travelers in 2021. Hotels and airlines also continue doing their part for vacationers to travel safely without the fear that has gripped us for a year now. The best places to vacation during a pandemic? Ever so slowly, the gates are opening wider and wider.
What are some recommendations for travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Vacation bookings are on the rise, according to travel insurance aggregator Squaremouth. Sixty-five percent of trips for 2021 are to international destinations! That is an incredible uptick in overseas versus domestic travel! Melissa Biggs Bradley, CEO of the travel-planning company Indagare has this to say. “We are definitely seeing an uptick in trip-planning and requests right now for 2021, as well as far-flung international trips. Many of our members are planning trips for 2021 and 2022 because they know demand will be high in popular destinations.“
How should I social distance while traveling during COVID-19?
International travel will not look or feel the same as it did pre-pandemic. There are new safety, COVID testing, and cleaning protocols. You will also be expected to mask up and use the social distancing techniques that you learned here. But the new normal of travel will have a silver lining. Crowded and over-touristed destinations will be less crowded, and travelers are spreading out and opting for isolated places. Travel experts predict that tourists will be more thoughtful and responsible than in the past. Finally, travel companies, airlines, and hotels policies will be more flexible than ever before. We already see a trend toward hotels and airlines allowing travelers to postpone or cancel trips when necessary.
One word of caution, first, before we dive into destinations. Check travel restrictions for the country you want to visit. Consider warnings from the U.S. State Department and the Center for Disease Control. But for naysayers who claim that it is irresponsible to travel during a pandemic:
I’ll bet you didn’t think of this when planning for the best places to vacation during a pandemic.
The travel industry employs over 98 million people worldwide, making up over three percent of employment around the globe. Booking a trip actually helps support economies here and abroad. Now, on to (As Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it) the places we’ll go.
- Costa Rica: This Central American tropical paradise has the lowest Covid-19 fatality rate in Latin America. Folks looking to travel sustainably will be glad to see the progress Costa Rica has made. This long-time global sustainability standard runs on 99.5% clean and renewable energy. The Costa Rican government has plans in place to achieve complete decarbonization by 2050. Costa Rica is the first Central American nation to legalize same-sex marriage. That shows a commitment to welcoming all travelers. Do not miss their luxury glamping destinations, such as the one below.
- The British Virgin Islands; Pictured above: This has always been a sailor paradise. Pristine waters, guarded by secluded beaches, endless catch-your-breath scenery, and 60-plus mountainous islands visible on the horizon. Kimberly Wilson Wetty of Valerie Wilson Travel says, “The BVI deserves to be seen again. After rebuilding from Hurricane Irma, the British Virgin Islands were ready for the limelight and then Covid. A visit is not complete without a drink or two at the Soggy Dollar beach bar.
- New Zealand is one of the countries that has best dealt with Covid. Many travelers are ticking off their New Zealand bucket lists right now, and they are also basing their travels on some kind of purpose. By purpose, we mean sustainable travel and socially distant in nature. New Zealand clicks all of the boxes, and as far from here (no matter where “here” is in North America) as anywhere on the planet.
That is our current list of the best places to vacation during the pandemic. Month by month, it will grow because this thing cannot last forever. We promise, with our fingers only slightly crossed.