❓ COVID Travel. Itching to get away somewhere this winter but wondering how to do so while being mindful of the ongoing pandemic? I’ve got a few ideas for you!
Face it. We’re all feeling the need for a break at this point. And airlines, hotels, etc. have had some time to fine-tune their safety measures. So, what are some options for traveling mid-pandemic?
Personally, I’m looking for travel that:
- Has an abundance of outdoor sights or activities,
- Has plentiful outdoor or take-away dining options,
- And, has relatively few entry barriers (like mandatory quarantine times or multiple testing requirements).
Below is my short-list for destinations that meet these requirements!
For Sun & Sand
As you may recall from this post, one of my top picks for COVID-adaptable travel is a private sailing charter. Nauti Cat is currently docked in Grenada where she’ll be safe until hurricane season passes. In November, the crew will be sailing her back to the Virgin Islands for the start of the new charter season.
Check out some of the amazing new menu items that Chef Peggy has been creating during the off-season! Remember, if you use code NATTYGAL when making your reservation, you will receive a 5% discount on 7-day trips as well as commemorative t-shirts for your group. NOTE: Offer valid on new 7-day bookings made by 12/31/20.
Alternately, consider a trip to Cozumel, Mexico! There are currently no testing requirements in place but you can expect temperature checks and other screenings on arrival. Located off the mainland, the island of Cozumel is somewhat sleepy and best known for its scuba diving/ snorkeling.
Mexican tourism officials have implemented many new safety regulations including fewer passengers per dive boat, and mask, temperature, and sanitization steps at places of business. We stay at the IHG El Presidente Cozumel, a spectacular property that has always operated at well below capacity which helps maintain the feeling of privacy and luxury. There are plenty of outdoor dining options on property and in-town.
Adventure lovers should look to Africa for travel options! For a variety of reasons, Africa has both far fewer cases and far fewer fatalities from coronavirus than most other regions of the world. Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda all offer excellent animal viewing and safari experiences. At most camps, it’s commonplace to take meals outdoors.
Kenya requires a negative COVID test 96-hours or less before arrival. Tanzania requires a health questionnaire and screening and states that a COVID test may be required at the airport. For Rwanda, current rules require a negative COVID test 120-hours or less prior to arrival and 1 airport required test. You must shelter in your hotel until receiving the results of the airport test, typically less than 24 hours.
For Euro Vibes
If European vibes are what you crave, check out the Balkan countries of Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. There are no required quarantines and each requires a negative test result no older than 48 (Croatia, Serbia) to 72 (Montenegro) hours. As the weather can be a bit chilly and damp during the winter months, this might be a better option for early to mid-spring travel.
Notable outdoor sights include the walled town of Dubrovnik, the Mostar bridge, the Zadar sea organ, the hilled town of Trogir, Plitvice Lakes, Skadar National Park, the Kotor Ladder, and more. Take-aways spots are frequent as are outdoor dining. It’s much more common for Europeans to eat outdoors even in the cooler weather and many patios are equipped with space heaters.
Turkey is another viable option. The capital city of Istanbul has a fantastic mixture of European vibes and Middle Eastern exoticism while Cappadocia and Pamukkale offer fantastic outdoor activities.
Be smart when booking! Follow a few simple guidelines:
- Book changeable tickets or look into insurance options.
- Keep up-to-date on regulations and entry changes leading up to your trip. The State Department and individual consular websites for each country are great sources for updates.
- Wear your masks or a mask/shield combination while traveling and when in public spaces where social distancing is not possible.
NOTE: While travel by personal car or a rental vehicle like an RV remains your safest option, I personally am feeling better about the prospect of air travel. My choice is to wear both a mask and eye protection in flight. That along with the information in this article gives reassurance that risk from flying is minimal. And as I work from home, I’d likely naturally quarantine on return.
Stay safe but keep dreaming! We all need things to look forward to. Thanks so much for stopping by! I always appreciate your support, sharing likes, and follows. Until next time,