Ready to travel but not sure where you can go now that you are fully vaccinated?
We compiled this list of our favorite destinations that have eased restrictions for vaccinated Americans.
Exempt from all restrictions:
Travelers must complete a Travel Authorization form and have travel insurance for a minimum of 5 days with covid-19 coverage.
Currently, Mexico does not have a vaccination or testing requirement to enter. You will be required to fill out a health form.
The Dominican Republic does not have a requirement to enter. You will be required to fill out a health form and be subject to a random COVID breath test. Vaccinated travelers are exempt from random testing. All travelers will perform a temperature check.
The Bahamas welcomes fully vaccinated travelers and are exempt from any pre-arrival testing requirements as well as on-island testing protocols. All travelers are required to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa and opt-in to a COVID-19 health insurance.
Belize will waive testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. Travelers must book their stay at a "Golden Standard Hotel" and download the country's health app.
American travelers who are fully vaccinated are exempt from pre-arrival testing or self-isolation requirements.
American travelers who are fully vaccinated are exempt from pre-arrival testing or self-isolation requirements.
Fully vaccinated Americans are exempt from presenting a negative test.
Travelers can enter French Polynesia once they are fully vaccinated. Those who can show antibodies can also travel to the South Pacific archipelago. Before traveling, foreign travelers must fill out an ETIS form, uploading all the relevant information. They must have been in the U.S. for 30 days before heading to French Polynesia, and may be required to test on their first and fourth days in the country.
Greece is welcoming fully vaccinated tourists and other foreign visitors with antibodies or negative test results. Travelers must bring their records as well as the QR code from the Passenger locator form that is filled out prior to arrival.
Iceland welcomes fully vaccinated Americans without requiring them to quarantine or undergo mandatory testing.
Ireland welcomes fully vaccinated Americans without requiring quarantine or mandatory testing. Tourists must fill out a Passenger locator form 48 hours prior to arrival.
Fully vaccinated Americans are exempt from presenting a negative test. All travelers must complete a Travel Declaration form before departure.
Entry is allowed with Testing Requirements:
Travelers must upload a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel and complete a Travel Authorization. Travelers may be subject to additional medical screening upon arrival.
Vaccinated Travelers headed to Bermuda must apply for a Bermuda Travel Authorization-which includes a negative PCR test one to three days before departure, which must be submitted 24 hours before travel. Upon arrival they will be tested and will be required to quarantine until they receive results. Following a negative test, vaccinated travelers will not have to quarantine but must test on days four, eight, and 14 of their trip.
British Virgin Islands
The BVIs are welcoming fully vaccinated tourists with shorter quarantine measures in place. Travelers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test from within five days of arriving, get tested upon arrival, and quarantine until results are received. They will not be required to test again.
Vaccinated tourists must test negative before traveling, carry paper copies of their vaccination record, and upload their documents to the ArriveCAN app or website.
Italy welcomes vaccinated Americans without requiring a quarantine. They should come with proof of vaccination status and negative PCR test.
All travelers ages 12 and up are required to submit a negative PCR test dated 3 days before travel. Travelers will be subject to a health screening upon arrival.
Turks & Caicos Islands
All travelers age 12 and up to Turks & Caicos must be fully vaccinated and obtain a travel authorization at least 24 hours before departure. Travelers must upload digital vaccination records along with a negative test taken 3 days before departure. Testing requirements do not apply to passengers younger than 10.
For the most up-to-date information, please check with your Travel Advisor.
Ready to start planning your next adventure? We would love to help you find the perfect destination.
Meg Kinnerk is the Founder and Owner of MDVTrips & Mickey's Dream Vacations Inc. Meg lives in Chicago and enjoys traveling the world with her husband and two sons. During Meg's 11 years in the Travel Industry, she has been recognized for her achievements across several platforms, including being a Top Producer with Funjet Vacations, a member of Disney's EMTAC Team, Disney Destinations Top Producer, and Universal UPreferred Agency as well as many others.
September feels a bit like a fresh start. Kids are back in school (hopefully). Lucky ducks with seasonal vacation homes have returned. And those of you with flexible schedules can have all the best travel spots to yourselves. That is music to my ears, especially right now.
You’ll find fewer crowds at places that have been relatively busy all summer—think national parks, beach towns and popular vacation areas. For much of the country, it’ll be paired with spectacular weather. If you’re able to travel in September, do it. It's one of the best months to explore.
Of course, it's more important than ever to do your homework before traveling. Make sure you have all your accommodations booked before going, and look up local health & safety mandates. Bring your mask, pack extra hand sanitizer, and don't skip a bathroom opportunity when one presents itself.
That said, if you want to enjoy one of the least busy travel months, here are a few trips to consider.
With Covid-19 on everyone’s mind, outdoor vacations have never been more appealing. That’s why a trip to one of the country’s 62 national parks topped travel excursions between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you crave a little more solitude, take your trip in September. You’ll slip in after kids go back to school, but before the fall colors tourists hit. In many parks, weather tends to still be warm, but not oppressively so, and everything from rental cars to accommodations tend to put less pressure on the pocketbook.
A few parks to consider:
Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Great Smokey Mountains, Glacier, Zion, Acadia
With the arrival of autumn, the crowds are gone, prices are low, and cooler temps mean you probably won't end up looking like a lobster at the day's end. In fall, I love a long stroll on the shore, or planting a chair in the sand and losing myself in a great book. Paired with lower hotel rates and generally less busy restaurants, I say there's a great argument for saving your beach vacation until fall.
A few of our favorite fall beach destinations:
Marco Island, Destin, Riviera Maya, Maui
September is one of our favorite times to visit the Disney parks thanks to low crowds. In addition to the low crowds, you have the delicious Epcot International Food & Wine Festival happening and the new Boo Bash after hours event at Magic Kingdom Park. Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is in full swing with their new Oogie Boogie Bash event happening on select nights through October.
Fireworks are also back at the Disney parks so now is a fantastic time to celebrate with family and loved ones.
Special offer: Save up to 25% on select Disney Resort stays.
Planning a Disney vacation isn't easy so leave it to the pros. We will plan your vacation from start to finish exactly the way you envision. Let us do all of the work, you have all of the fun ºoº
The seaside town of Tulum, located just one hour from Playa del Carmen and Cancun International Airport (CUN), is home to ancient architecture, spectacular cenotes and luxurious, eco-friendly resorts. This is one of the last seaside towns built by the Mayans and welcomes every type of traveler for the ultimate Riviera Maya experience. Here are four luxurious resorts we recommend if you’re ready to take Tulum all in.
1. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa-Unlimited Luxury
Located on a secluded sugar-white sandy beach just one hour and 25 minutes away from CUN, Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is ready to impress. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, with your family or friends, this upscale resort combines fun and relaxation for everyone. In fact, you might recognize its Spanish, hacienda-style ambience from the first season of Bachelor in Paradise. That said, it’s the ultimate escape from reality with seaside swim-out suites, tiki huts, colonial architecture and eco-friendly fountains alongside over 5,000 plants, plus seven bars. This is the vacation vibe for every traveler.
2. Kore Tulum Retreat and Spa Resort
The Kore Tulum Retreat & Spa Resort is the only Adults Only All Inclusive boutique hotel in Tulum. It is a unique accommodation perfect for couples and adults who are looking for the perfect holiday with an exceptional personalized service. Luxury and spacious suites with Jacuzzi, stunning location in front of the sea for the celebration of weddings, perfect ambiance for relaxing and resting, gourmet All Inclusive service.
3. Bahia Principe Grand Tulum
Visit the ancient Mayan ruins amidst the surrounding lush greenery before or after vacationing at the Bahia Principe Grand Tulum located in the heart of the Riviera Maya. This all-inclusive resort was carefully designed for you with sustainability and exclusivity in mind. Crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches surround the resort’s wide variety of a la carte restaurants, professional golf course and spacious rooms and pools just moments away from the shores.
4. Catalonia Royal Tulum Beach & Spa Resort
This adults-only all-inclusive resort sits on the sugary sands near Xpu-ha beach, ideal for active travelers, couples and groups seeking an enjoyable Mexican hideaway in Tulum. Catalonia Royal Tulum is surrounded by its tropical atmosphere filled with native jungle trees, local plants and stellar cenotes near the Caribbean coastline. To make the most of your stay, take a stroll through the hotel’s on-site gardens, relax in the Alegria spa, take a dip in one of the pools, or wine and dine alfresco. Plus, after spending your day with fun in the sun, there’s a disco and nightly shows featuring international entertainment you must see to believe.
Whether you’ve vacationed like a Mayan elsewhere or are interested in visiting one of these resorts in Tulum, tell us in the comments below.
Hawaii is one of the world’s top vacation spots and for good reason. Beautiful white-sand beaches, delicious food and fantastic culture make this hot destination one of the best. Among all of the fabulous things to do on the islands, here are a few of our favorites.
1. Dinner and a show, Luau Style
What would a trip to Hawaii be without a traditional luau? There are bunches of fun luaus waiting to be had but one of the top luaus in the area is held at Paradise Cove on the island of Oahu. Paradise Cove offers three different luau packages: Standard Luau, Orchid Luau and Deluxe Luau. Each package comes with a Hawaiian dinner buffet, a “welcome Mai Tai” and assigned seating while the Orchid and Deluxe packages offer some additional perks that don’t come with the Standard Luau. In addition to attending the party of a lifetime, extra adventurous guests can arrange an on-site snorkel or surf tour by day.
2. Snorkel in Turtle Canyon
Nature fanatics won’t want to miss Hawaii Nautical’s catamaran turtle snorkel cruise to Turtle Canyon, one of Oahu’s best reefs and scuba spots. On this epic journey travelers will enjoy music, drinks and views of Diamond Head Crater as they coast on a 53-foot catamaran on the way to the snorkeling drop-off point. Along the way, wildlife sightings of dolphins, whales and turtles are sure to be expected. Upon arriving at Turtle Canyon, guests will attend a short safety briefing before strapping on their gear and exploring the ocean with their knowledgeable snorkel guide.
3. Tour Kualoa Ranch, aka Jurassic Park
Movie buffs will be happy to find that Ka’a’awa Valley, the filming site of numerous Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV shows such as Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and LOST, is open to the public. Visitors can get up close and personal with some dino friends, explore a WWII bunker built into the side of the mountain range and scour through movie posters, props and memorabilia left on the island throughout the years. Travelers looking to experience this movie magic should be sure to book reservations well before visiting, as many tours sell out two to three weeks in advance.
4. Remember Pearl Harbor
Among the many essential sightseeing opportunities in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor should be near the top of every traveler’s bucket list. Travelers can visit Pearl Harbor for a guided tour seven days a week and can expect detailed historic narration of the site and the events that took place there on that tragic day in 1941. In addition to touring the famed USS Arizona Memorial, travelers can also experience the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Bowfin Submarine Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
5. Visit the only Royal Palace on American soil: Iolani Palace
Before Hawaii became part of the U.S. in 1959 it was a self-governing country complete with its own monarchy. Residence to the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Iolani Palace acted as home to historical figures such as King Kamehameha III and Queen Liliuokalani. Today the palace is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most iconic buildings in Hawaii. Travelers can experience the royalty for themselves on a guided or solo tour of Iolani Palace Monday through Saturday.
Whether it’s unforgettable pool experiences, new kids club offerings, robust keiki (children) day programs, or kitchenettes to make travel just a bit easier, we have you covered with our favorite Hawaii resorts.
1. Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa
Mickey and friends love vacationing at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, and you will too. Perfect for adults and kids alike, Aulani is an island retreat that immerses visitors in Hawaiian traditions in a dreamlike setting removed from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. When you aren’t busy chilling by the pool, experience some of the many nifty on-site activities like guided resort wildlife walking tours, stories around the Mo’olelo Fire Pit, ‘ukulele lessons, character experiences and ‘Ohana Disney movie nights.
2. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
With special features like Waikiki’s largest Super Pool, 20 restaurants and bars, on-site gardens, ponds and waterfalls, and daily resort activities, it’s no wonder why visitors are flocking to Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Situated on the widest stretch of beach in Waikiki, this fabulous hotel has everything you might need for your island getaway and more.
3. Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Celebrate the best of Honolulu from Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach. Widely known as the "First Lady of Waikiki," our historic hotel first opened its doors in 1901 and offers a seamless blend of Victorian elegance and contemporary comfort. Boasting an unbeatable beachfront location, we're just steps from the immaculate shores of legendary Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of Honolulu's most beloved shopping, dining and entertainment attractions. For your convenience, we provide three distinct, sophisticated room layouts, each one overflowing with thoughtful amenities. In addition, our hotel features a towering banyan tree, a shimmering outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, the only beachfront spa in Waikiki and six on-site bars and restaurants. Host an event with us here in Honolulu to take advantage of stunning outdoor venues and top-quality planning and catering. Allow Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach to raise the bar for beachfront luxury.
4. Turtle Bay Resort
Whether you dream of underwater encounters with local wildlife, chopper tours that soar above the tree-lined shore or hula lessons with the one you love, Turtle Bay Resort is here to help you meet your vacation goals. Dubbed Hawaii’s “most experiential resort,” Turtle Bay Resort encourages visitors to get out there and explore with their custom-built packages and special offers to help travelers do more and save more. And with beach cottages, vista levels, ocean villas and modern rooms and suites, there’s no better place to relax and unwind after an action-filled day than Turtle Bay.
5. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort stretches along its namesake white-sand beach on the Island of Hawaii. The Kohala Coast is known for its world-class shoreline as well as for the cultural and archaeological gems nestled between its centuries-old lava fields. Our resort’s contemporary style contrasts with our lush, manicured gardens and the endless blues of the sky and the ocean. Enjoy our four reimagined dining venues influenced by the island’s bounty. Hit the links on our award-winning 18-hole Hapuna Golf Course designed by Arnold Palmer. Cool off in two swimming pools, including a 6,800-square-foot freeform family pool and an adult-exclusive infinity pool, overlooking Hapuna Beach. Our WestinWorkout Center and Crossfit Studio are complemented by the Hapuna Spa for rejuvenation and relaxation. Our resort boasts more than 85,000 square feet of newly refreshed function space for productive business meetings and inspiring social events. Choose from 249 oversized guest rooms, including 17 suites.
6. Hilton Waikoloa Village
With sixty-two acres to explore, a stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village is an experience in itself. The property has two fabulous resort towers to choose from and a number unique on-site offerings such as a four-acre ocean-fed lagoon with a white sand beach and watersports, three pools (complete with waterfalls and waterslides), mahogany canal boats for transportation around the resort and Dolphin Quest, an interactive dolphin experience. In addition to these unique features that set Hilton Waikoloa Village apart, the resort also offers more traditional experiences like award-winning dining, shopping and spa services.
7. Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Inspired by the aloha spirit, Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is a luxury Hawaii Island resort and spa located along the breathtaking Kohala Coast. Travelers who choose Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii can expect to immerse themselves in nature as the hotel is surrounded by 32 oceanfront acres of blooming tropical gardens, rushing waterfalls and a zen-invoking white sand beach and lagoon. Taking luxury to the next level, one of this resort's most popular offerings is its Spa Without Walls, an award-winning experience that blends the area's naturally therapeutic environment with ancient Hawaiian healing arts for a spa experience not soon to be forgotten.
8. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
Set right on Ka’anapali Beach, once named one of America’s best beaches, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa offers a luxury Hawaiian experience. Eight onsite restaurants cover any type of cuisine you would want, including Hawaiian shave ice at Ululani’s. A sushi lounge, waterfalls, pools with swans and an award-winning luau create a well-rounded island getaway.
9. Honua Kai Resort & Spa
What sets Honua Kai Resort & Spa apart is the studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, giving guests more space and the convenience of full kitchens as well as a washer and dryer. It’s like a vacation rental, but with the amenities of a luxury resort. A 3-acre aquatic playground with a network of pools, five hot tubs, a meandering lazy river, and more will keep the whole family happy and out in the beautiful Maui weather all day.
There were too many hotels and resorts that quickly closed in 2020, but behind the scenes there were also some brand-new luxury properties that quietly had grand openings in vacation destination hot spots. Here are six new hotels and resorts that debuted in 2020 that we think are worth a visit.
1. Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa
Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa originally opened in March 2020 and temporarily closed soon after, but on April 1, 2021 — no joke — the resort reopened and welcomed its first guests. The all-suite, upscale and modern resort is on Anse Marcel Bay on the French side of the island and is just 35 minutes away from the Princess Juliana International Airport. This resort has a lot to boast: It has the largest infinity pool in the western Caribbean; a white-sand beach with calm waters; views of neighboring Anguilla island (just a 20-minute boat ride away); fun on-site activities like bocce ball, cooking classes, Ping-Pong, yoga and kayaking; and a chic, international adults-only vibe. Plus, guests can choose from three different incredible views from the 258 suites: ocean, marina or mountain. A 7,000-square-foot spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, six on-site restaurants and five modern bars round out the on-site experience, but venturing off the resort grounds cannot be missed. The French side of St. Martin is known for its outdoor markets and cuisine — both French and local — so every guest’s itinerary should include some time to get out and about. Itineraries should also include a visit to the nearby Orient Bay Beach, the island’s most famous beach, dotted with idyllic restaurants and bars.
2. The Fives Oceanfront puerto Morelos
The Fives Oceanfront Puerto Morelos opened its doors in July 2020. The boutique hotel on Mexico’s shores is in Puerto Morelos, a charming beach village midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Some say this enchanting fishing village is the best-kept secret on the Yucatan and the perfect vacation destination for both a relaxing or adventurous trip. This is The Fives’ third property that offers a laid-back ambiance with a refreshing approach to modern Mexican design that is sure to have visitors feeling relaxed and recharged with every visit. Guests that are eager to escape to the refuge in Mexico’s breathtaking Riviera Maya will feel at home in their beautifully designed one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with residential style and chic Mexican décor in all 94 suites on the property. All suites are equipped with the latest technology, floor-to-ceiling windows, furnished balconies and more. There is a private beach club with cabanas and sun loungers along the Caribbean Sea, plus two infinity pools and local and global alfresco cuisine that caters to everyone, which just so happens to overlook the turquoise-blue Caribbean waters.
3. Dreams Natura Resort & Spa
The opening of Dreams Natura Resort & Spa may have been delayed, but the wait was worth it for the resort’s grand opening in September 2020. The 553-room resort is inspired by the Mayan jungle it’s beautifully nestled in. From the cenote-inspired spa to the exotic fish ponds, the resort respects and honors the environment around it. Beyond the beauty, there are plenty of on-site activities for everyone in the family. For water lovers, there are four swimming pools, including an activities pool, children’s splash pool and an infinity pool complete with waterslide, and a lazy river perfect for chilling out. Foodies will rejoice at the dining options available from the nine on-site restaurants. From French to pan-Asian to authentic Mexican, every appetite will be more than satisfied, plus the exclusive Chef’s Table dining option lets you get in on the action in the kitchen and watch the chef prepare your meal. This all-new, all-suite resort is just 10 minutes away from the Cancun International Airport, but its location, tucked into the jungle, will make you feel like you’re a world away.
4. Coral LEvel at Iberostar Selection Bavaro
Iberostar now boasts seven hotels in the Dominican Republic. Though it technically opened in 2019, Coral Level, the exclusive hotel within the Iberostar Selection Bávaro complex, is remarkable enough to include on this list. Both all-inclusive hotels are family friendly and set right on Costa del Coco, a beautiful golden-sand beach in Punta Cana. Guests of the Coral Level will enjoy premium services like the private beach area with Bali beds, suite-style rooms, priority booking in restaurants and a priority wine selection. You’ll also be privy to all the perks of Iberostar Selection Bávaro, like access to the spa, the three-floor fitness center and 18-hole, P.B. Dye-designed golf course, the best in the area. No matter where you stay at Iberostar Selection Bávaro, you can stroll through the complex’s charming Caribbean town with quaint shops, set among tropical gardens. Beyond the resort, you can visit the Hoyo Azul cenote, just 15 miles away, and marvel at its turquoise waters.
5. Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort
Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort opened in July 2020 with views on views on views. Every room and suite at this new Dreams property, located in the exclusive gated community of Puerta del Mar (30 minutes from the Cancun International Airport), has an ocean view. If that alone doesn’t spark your interest, this contemporary resort has even more to entice you. This place was meant for families. The resort’s “family suites concept” includes connecting rooms that can accommodate up to six people. An outdoor theater, two surf pools, Splash Park, climbing wall, Explorer’s Club for Kids and a Core Zone Teen’s Club will keep everyone busy. And a complimentary water shuttle to the Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center and to Isla Mujeres dock terminal is a super fun and convenient way to explore the surrounding area. If you need a break from the fam, resort guests have direct access to the Puerto Cancun golf course just next door. The rooftop pool is adults-only and while the Bluewater Grill restaurant serves up fresh fish and seafood to everyone during lunch, dinner is Mediterranean fusion just for adult diners.
6. Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa
Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa rolled out the red carpet for first-ever arrivals in March 2020. The highly anticipated, top-rated, all-inclusive luxury resort in Grenada is located on two white-sand beaches in Tamarind Bay. The grand opening followed Royalton’s expansion in the islands of the eastern Caribbean, offering guests a new level of hospitality to the picture-perfect island of Grenada. Discerning travelers searching for a luxurious beach getaway will feel at peace here with relaxing ocean views, a world-class spa and a host of complimentary nonmotorized water sports. But that’s not all — Royalton Grenada Resort & Spa features 269 luxury suites (with rain showers, two-person soaker tubs and signature DreamBed mattresses) and is the first property within the Royalton portfolio that debuted Ma Maison restaurant, the French bistro-style eatery offering authentic cuisine. Guests have other options when it comes to gastronomy with unlimited reservation-free dining at a la carte restaurants on-site. Plus, there is direct access to two of the island’s most beautiful white-sand beaches nearby.
Yes, this is the best year to visit Alaska. Read that again.
It is hands down THE best year to visit Alaska!
With the pause on large scale cruise travel in the United States and Canada, some of the states most treasured spots will be devoid of the massive crowds that we've seen in the past.
Alaska's vastness makes it so simple to maintain social distance and, if you're vaccinated, the safety of a vacation in 2021-for you and the people around you-has been boosted significantly.
Epic Yet Domestic
With ongoing international travel restrictions, Alaska is your grand destination with no passport needed. Just a three-hour flight from Seattle, and with nonstop service from many other US airports, you can go from your doorstep to the "last frontier" in a day. Perk: They also drive on the right side of the road, speak English, and accept US currency. (Shockingly, we've been asked that).
What you need to know
If you're planning Alaska this year, here are a few things you should take notes on.
Understand Alaska's entry requirements
Importantly, Alaska requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering. All visitors should follow the recommendations outlined in the state's guidelines. These can change at any time.
If you do not want to get a test before arrival, you can test when you arrive and isolate until you have your results.
Once you have your test results you will fill out a travel declaration form in the Alaska Travel Portal. If you have health insurance you will need to upload a front-and-back image of your ID card.
If you are even casually thinking about visiting Alaska in 2021, finish reading these tips then contact us to book something. It's a HOT destination right now and everything is selling out.
Alaska is poised to be one of the most popular destinations for spring and summer travel. If you don't lock in reservations now, you may be shut out.
Alaska's wide-open spaces are naturally made for social distancing. Pair that with the fact that cruising is paused and it means that this could be the best time ever to visit the state.
Glacier Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Skagway are all popular spots. They are normally clogged with cruise passengers during the summer but you will not have to worry about that this year.
Small-ship cruising in Alaska
You can still take an Alaskan cruise with a handful of small-ship operators that are not affected by the CDC's rules since their vessels are much smaller than the cruise ships that normally sail the Inside Passage. Let us know if you are interested in this.
Escorted and Independent tours
With a pause on cruising, Princess and Holland America are offering escorted and independent land tours of the state. They can do this because they own various lodges in the region and also work with Gray Line Alaska as part of its normal cruise/land tour packages. Talk with your Travel Agent directly to learn more about the six-and seven-night packages, all of which include a visit to Denali National Park and stays at Westmark Fairbanks Hotel, McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali and Preserve or Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. All amazing resorts!
If you're comfortable traveling this spring and summer a trip to Alaska may be the perfect reset after a tough year.
The natural beauty of the mountains and Inside Passage; the abundant wildlife, from eagles to Dall sheep to humpback whales; and the opportunity to learn more about the state's indigenous tribes culminate to create a pretty amazing getaway.
Let's get started planning this once in a lifetime opportunity.
If the CDC’s travel requirements are throwing you for a loop, read on to find out how to plan ahead and take that much-needed vacation without worry.
The key to passing any test is being prepared. And in the case of travel, that means brushing up on the negative COVID-19 test requirement put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for anyone flying into the U.S. from abroad.
Pouring over FAQs can be time-consuming and confusing, and scrolling Facebook for accurate answers frustrating. But with this “study guide” to break it all down, you can rest at ease knowing that when you arrive on a beautiful beach somewhere tropical, you won’t worry for a second about getting back home.
Like any guide worth its salt, we’ve broken ours up into sections, detailing what to do before you leave; once you’ve arrived; and after you’re home for a safe, peaceful vacation.
1. Check Your Documents … Then Check Them Again
A 101 rule for any vacation, once you receive your eDocs, check them over carefully. Be sure names are spelled correctly and that the dates, hotel, transfers, and add-ons are what you booked.
If you purchased travel protection, read the full terms and conditions so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered. You’ll also want to read provided details on your destination or travel in general, like the latest CDC requirements.
Pro-tip: If anything is incorrect or raises a red flag, reach out to your travel agent immediately—not the day you leave.
2. Have All Results In Hand
While most destinations currently require a negative COVID-19 test, prerequisites for arrival will depend on where you’re headed. Bear in mind that even if a test isn’t required, the CDC still recommends getting tested 1 – 3 days before traveling. So don’t wait to schedule that appointment!
If your trip is for less than 3 days, you’ll have an added benefit: taking a viral test before you leave fulfills the new CDC testing requirement as long as you return home before the 72-hour window has passed.
But what if you’ve already had COVID-19? If you were diagnosed within the last three months, are symptom-free, and have finished quarantining, you’ll need:
Pro-tip: Make your results accessible! If you have a printout, keep several copies, including in your carry-on and with your passport. If you have a digital version, download it to your phone so that you can pull it up even if there’s no WiFi.
3. Know the Rules
It’s just as important to be aware of the rules you’ll be coming back to as the ones you’re going into. In order to avoid unexpected snags, familiarize yourself with your state’s health and safety guidelines, which you can find at usa.gov/state-health.
Remember, with so many factors in the mix these days, regulations can change quickly; check your state site regularly to stay in the know.
Pro-tip: Nervous about guideline changes—or anything else—affecting your trip? Opt for ALG Vacations’ Travel Protection Plus coverage when booking. Cancel for any reason, change without brand fees, and get up to $3,000 per person in trip delay coverage in case you need to quarantine at your hotel.
4. Don’t Forget the Safety Supplies
Masks and hand sanitizer will be your constant companions on your getaway. Most hotels will have an abundance of the latter, but when it comes to the former, pack plenty of extra.
Masks shouldn’t be worn for more than a day at most, and doing laundry or making a mad dash to the hotel store isn’t how you want to be spending your precious vacation. By having a full stock, you can change masks as frequently as needed.
Pro-tip: If you pack reusable masks, bring a separate bag where you can store them after wearing. This will prevent germs from getting on other items in your suitcase.
5. Talk to Your Advisor
There’s a reason (or a hundred) you booked with a travel advisor. Your agent is connected to all the latest information: resort updates, destination news, federal guidelines. If at any time you’re unsure about something related to your trip, don’t hesitate and don’t wait; reach out!
Pro-tip: One week before you leave for your getaway, reach out to your advisor with any final questions or concerns.
With that, you’re now vacation-ready, and this section of your travel study guide is complete. So go ahead and focus on what awaits: relaxing on a picture-perfect beach, care-free.
As COVID-19 vaccine rollouts continue to progress in the U.S. and abroad, a handful of European countries, including Iceland and Croatia, have started opening up to vaccinated travelers. Will others follow suit?
European countries vaccinated travelers can visit
Not all of Europe is closed off to travelers from the United States and elsewhere. Some countries have recently announced policies that allow travelers who have received their COVID-19 vaccine to enter.
As of April 1, anyone can travel to Croatia if they present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate (the final dose must be administered at least 14 days before arrival); can present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in Croatia (if it’s a rapid test, a second test must be taken 10 days after the initial test if your stay in Croatia is longer than 10 days); or were diagnosed with and recovered from COVID-19 no more than 180 days prior to arrival. Children under seven years of age are exempt.
The U.S. Embassy in Croatia reminds travelers that tourists who meet the above requirements will only be permitted to enter Croatia if they provide evidence that they have paid for their Croatia accommodations in advance and in full prior to arrival at the border.
Effective February 2, the northern European country of Estonia has declared that those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the country without having to submit to an otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements. The Estonian government has said that vaccinated travelers must still adhere to any public health measures that are in place in Estonia.
As of February 1, 2021, any fully vaccinated traveler from any country is allowed to enter Georgia as long as they present documentation confirming their COVID-19 vaccination status. (If the vaccine required two doses, proof of both doses must be provided.)
Unvaccinated travelers arriving from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, the European Union, Israel, Kazakhstan, Norway, Northern Ireland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, or the United States must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to travel at the Georgian border. On their third day in Georgia, travelers must submit to a second PCR test.
On March 9, 2021, Greece tourism minister Harry Theocharis said that those who are vaccinated against COVID-19, have antibodies, or test negative for COVID will be able to travel to Greece this summer, Reuters reported. “Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021,” Theocharis said at the global tourism trade fair ITB Berlin. He added that Greece wants to be ready to start its summer travel season by May 14.
Currently, only residents of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland can enter Greece, as well as those traveling from Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Those coming from other countries can only enter Greece for essential travel purposes.
All arrivals into Greece must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within 72 hours before their entry to Greece.
Travelers entering Greece must complete a passenger locator form online, which includes the address of their stay while in Greece. Upon completion of the form, they will be provided with a unique Quick Response (QR) code via email on the day of their scheduled arrival in Greece, according to the Greek government.
Effective March 18, 2021, any travelers—including those from the United States—who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter Iceland and will not be subject to COVID-19 testing or quarantine measures. Previously Iceland’s policy stated that proof of vaccines simply allowed those who were already authorized to travel to Iceland (namely Icelandic and EU citizens and residents) to skip the country’s quarantine and testing requirements.
Travelers must provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated (so two doses if two doses are required) with a vaccine that has been certified for use by the European Medicines Agency, which includes the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
“Our experience and data so far indicate very strongly that there is very little risk of infection stemming from individuals who have acquired immunity against the disease, either by vaccination or by prior infection,” stated Iceland’s chief epidemiologist Thórólfur Gudnason. Iceland also allows travelers who have been previously infected with COVID-19 to enter the country without quarantine and testing.
Most of the rest of Europe has a ban on non-essential travel for US citizens. As more people are vaccinated, more will open up.
Among the many things this pandemic has taught us travelers is that patience is a virtue. As we wait to see how European governments continue to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will need to hang onto a bit more patience.
So many of us cannot wait to get back to Europe. And, we most certainly will. It has always just been a matter of when .
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