Where Can I Travel Right Now From The United States?
By Geoff Whitmore, Contributor
June 17, 2021
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Many people are ready to start packing their bags and travel for the first time since the pandemic began. While most of the United States is easy to access again, international travel is slower to return to its pre-pandemic normal. Here's where you can fly right now from the United States.
Mexico was one of the first international destinations to reopen to Americans. This neighboring nation to the south remains one of the most tourist-friendly travel destinations in 2021.
There are no pre-travel testing, proof of vaccination or quarantine requirements to enter the country. However, anyone entering the United States from any foreign country must obtain a negative pre-travel test to re-enter the U.S.
Some of the popular vacation spots include Cancun and the adjacent Riviera Maya. Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas can also be worth exploring as you can relax on the beach and enjoy the great outdoors.
The land border between Mexico and the United States remains closed until further notice. Therefore, you will need to fly to this country.
Several countries in Central America and South America are open to U.S. residents. The entry requirements can vary by destination but are stricter than flying to Mexico. Here are some of the countries to consider flying to first.
Belize requires adult travelers to either present proof of vaccination or a negative pre-travel COVID test to waive a mandatory quarantine. Children ages five or older only need to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.
All tourists must stay at a registered Gold Standard hotel while staying in Belize. It's possible to stay at multiple Gold Standard resorts during the same stay. This is the nation's program to promote health safety between tourists and locals.
Costa Rica's Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) accept international travelers.
There are no mandatory testing or quarantine protocols, but travelers may need to follow several other steps:
- Complete an online health questionnaire within 72 hours before arriving
- Acquire medical travel insurance
The mandatory travel insurance must cover lodging if the tourist must quarantine because of testing positive for COVID-19 in Costa Rica. This requirement applies to fully vaccinated travelers too.
Travelers to Ecuador will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative pre-travel test. It's possible to visit the Galapagos Islands, but additional testing may be necessary.
Panama is open to U.S. tourists that are fully vaccinated or can present a negative pre-travel test. Unvaccinated travelers will receive a second diagnostic test when going through customs to enter the country.
Americans can fly to Brazil after completing a traveler's health form and getting a pre-travel negative diagnostic test. This nation tends to have higher active case counts than other Latin American destinations. You may decide to go to a different country that may have a lower health risk.
The Caribbean is also open to flights. You might come here to be lazy on the beach or to potentially take one of the first post-COVID cruises that are restarting from non-U.S. ports.
The Bahamas entry requirement depends if you're fully vaccinated or not. The fully vaccinated only have to present proof of vaccination to enter. However, the unvaccinated will need to get a negative pre-travel test to enter. All travelers will need to complete a traveler health form.
Curacao has these current requirements when flying from the United States:
- Complete online immigration card before arrival
- Have a negative pre-travel test
- Obtain a negative antigen test on day 3 of trip
- Have adequate medical insurance
The nation currently doesn't exempt fully vaccinated travelers from these requirements. Also, all travelers will need to carry printed documents of the necessary steps at all times.
The Dominican Republic has some of the most lenient entry requirements in the Caribbean. All travelers will need to finish a traveler form but won't have to undergo pre-travel testing. However, the airport authorities will conduct random entry tests. Presenting proof of vaccination or a negative pre-arrival test waives the airport screening.
Other Open Caribbean Destinations
You can also fly to these Caribbean destinations with relative ease, but entry requirements vary:
- Puerto Rico
- Turks and Caicos
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Europe is the highest-anticipated reopening to date as it's a popular international getaway for many reasons. Only a few nations are open, but Americans can visit the Old World once again.
Fully vaccinated travelers can fly to France for tourism by showing proof of vaccination and a negative pre-travel test. Unvaccinated and partially travelers can only travel for essential travel reasons. Unfortunately, tourism isn't an essential reason.
Greece is open to vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers without a mandatory quarantine. Travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to enter.
Americans that arrive on a "COVID-tested" flight can waive the mandatory 10-day quarantine to fly into Italy. Arriving on another flight requires a 10-day quarantine regardless of your vaccination status.
The fully vaccinated can fly to Iceland and enter by showing proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. cannot enter the country.
Spain is now welcoming vaccinated adults and their minor children from the United States. To enter, travelers will need to obtain a QR code from the Spain Travel Health portal and show proof of vaccination. Children 12 years or older will need to show proof of vaccination too.
The Maldives is one of the few places Americans can fly to for leisure outside of the Americas and Europe. Travelers will need to present a negative pre-travel test and complete a traveler health form.
It may also be necessary to stay at one approved resort for the stay. Travelers may be able to stay at multiple resorts, but prior permission may be required. Inter-island travel restrictions depend on the current infection rates.
While the entire world isn't open for tourism, more destinations are opening up this summer. It's essential to review the entry requirements before booking your flight to complete all the necessary pre-travel steps. Knowing what to expect and getting all of the mandatory steps done beforehand can help one have an excellent trip abroad.
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