The list of countries we can visit is slowly but surely expanding. But it’s not as simple as booking a plane ticket and showing up. Good thing for you, you have a travel advisor who is constantly staying on top of the latest opening and requirements.
Most openings are in the Caribbean, and pretty much all the islands have testing and health declaration requirements. You might also be subject to additional screening on arrival. Anguilla actually requires hopeful travelers to apply for a spot. The island is COVID-free and would like to keep it that way. Should you be approved for your dates, you’ll need a negative test taken three to five days before travel. Antigua requires a negative test taken within 48 hours. Anguilla is also requiring a donation of $1,000 for individuals or $1,500 for families of up to four, with an additional $250 for each family member beyond four. Aruba’s testing window is 72 hours, though it only applies to residents of certain hotspot states. Barbados’ is also 72 hours, or you can take a test on arrival and quarantine until results are back. Bermuda requires a negative test taken within seven days, and the health declaration comes with a $75 fee. Dominica’s test window is 24-72 hours before travel, and the Dominican Republic’s is five days. To go to Jamaica, you’ll need a negative test and application approval if you live in one of a few hotspot states; otherwise, Americans have a temperature check on arrival. Turks & Caicos and St. Vincent & the Grenadines require a negative test taken within five days, while St. Lucia’s window is seven days and St. Maarten/St. Martin’s is 72 hours.
Expanding our net a bit into Latin America, Costa Rica will open Sept. 1 to residents of New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut who have a valid driver’s license from one of those states and a negative test taken within 48 hours of arrival. While the land border with Mexico remains closed for at least another month, the main tourist areas are open with no entry requirements; resorts are capped at 50% capacity. In South America, Ecuador requires a negative test taken within 10 days (rules differ for the Galapagos, where Silversea’s 100-passenger Silver Origin will begin sailing in September). Brazil requires travelers to present proof of health insurance but no test or quarantine.
If you have safari on your mind, Kenya is open to those who have a negative test taken within seven days of arrival, and Tanzania has no testing requirement but a health declaration to fill out before landing. Rwanda’s testing window is five days, and arriving travelers will quarantine for 24 hours before taking a second test. Egypt requires a negative test within 72 hours along with a visa and health insurance.
Despite European Union rules, some European countries are accepting Americans. Croatia doesn’t require a quarantine for travelers presenting a negative test taken within 48 hours of arrival, though it does require proof of accommodation. Albania has no test or quarantine requirements, nor does Serbia—unless you’re entering Serbia from neighbors Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia or Romania, in which case you’ll need a negative test taken within 48 hours. North Macedonia has a screening on arrival but no test requirement. Visitors to Ukraine will take a test on arrival and quarantine for 24 hours while awaiting the results.
In Asia, Turkey has no testing requirements. The UAE allows visitors to enter Dubai with a negative test taken within four days of arrival and travel insurance, or to Ras Al Khaimah with those same protocols plus proof of accommodation. Cambodia requires a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival, travel insurance with at least $50,000 of coverage and a $3,000 deposit in case you’re hospitalized.
French Polynesia is once again welcoming visitors, provided they present a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival and travel insurance. The Maldives require proof of accommodation and a health declaration.
Technically you can travel to the Bahamas, St. Barths, Ireland, the UK and Ethiopia, but they all require 14-day quarantines so you’d better have a lot of time. No matter where you’re going, be sure to bring your mask because it’s required in public spaces almost everywhere.
Confirm specific requirements for your destination with Stefany Di Manno Ceccato, she can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and or email@example.com.
Are you longing for a fun-in-the-sun getaway? If so, you will want to watch this video to learn more about these amazing properties in the Caribbean!
Here I am with Karen Bull, Founder of Island Luxe Resorts and otherwise known as the “Queen of the Caribbean!” She tells us why and we go over many of the fabulous properties with personalities and the awards they have received that she represents such as; Bucuti &Tara in Aruba, The Tryall Club in Jamaica, Secret Bay in Dominica, Jade Mountain, Anse Chastanet and Cap Maison in St. Lucia, Baoase in Curacao, Blue Waters in Antigua, The Reefs in Bermuda and Nisbet in Nevis. We also share why we loved our stay at Rock Cottage at Blue Waters Resort and Spa.
As destinations worldwide begin to reopen regionally at first, our plans to travel to Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America have to be put on hold for a bit. This gives us the opportunity to rediscover America and travel domestically. But we can also this summer take advantage of the good luck that we’re in the same region as the wonderful islands of the Caribbean.
These islands are largely dependent on tourism, and they were still on their way to full recovery from the devastating 2017 hurricane season when the novel coronavirus hit. Fortunately, most of them have managed to avoid large-scale medical damage from COVID-19, but the lack of visitors has certainly hurt their economies.
Being careful to protect their people from potential infection, many Caribbean destinations are getting ready to reopen to tourism in time for the summer season.
Antigua and St. Lucia began welcoming visitors last week, requiring proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of boarding a plane to either island. The U.S. Virgin Islands have reopened to tourism, but safer at home orders remain in effect, limiting bar and restaurant capacity to 50% and gatherings to 10 people. Jamaica will open to tourists June 15, with facemasks required in airports, taxis and hotels and travelers screened on arrival. Aruba plans to reopen between June 15 and July 1, with entry requirements still to be announced. The Bahamas have reopened all airports, and tourism will resume July 1. Turks & Caicos plans to reopen to visitors July 22.
Grenada hopes to welcome visitors starting June 30, but plans are not firm. St. Maarten, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the hardest hit Caribbean nation with more than 500 deaths, anticipate July reopenings. The Cayman Islands will not open before Sept. 1, and several other islands have not yet announced reopening dates.
As always, we ask our travelers to be respectful of the places and people they are visiting and follow any face covering and social distancing rules in place. We at DMC Travel Tailor will be happy to provide more specific information about individual islands and resorts. It’s been a tough few months, and we can’t freely roam everywhere in the world just yet, but we’re thrilled that some of the most beautiful islands you could ever hope to see are welcoming us back, and we’re thrilled to support them.
We just got to fall, but if you’re planning on a spring break trip, it’s not too early to start planning. In fact, if you want to secure enough space for the whole family at these premium resorts, you ought to book early. With a limited window of time and high demand, these family friendly places will fill up faster than you think.
Water sports are a hit at Anse Chastanet on the island’s west coast. The snorkeling and SCUBA diving are excellent, and easy to use kayaks are complimentary in the water sports center. For more experienced kayakers, prijon kayaks with rudders and carbon fiber paddles are also available. In the shadow of the pitons, Sugar Beach is a great base for hikers, and two kids clubs ensure no matter their age, your kids will have a great time. The sugar club is for 4- to 12-year-olds, while the spice club caters to tweens and teens. There’s even babysitting for babies and toddlers.
With two beaches, there’s one dedicated to activity and one for quiet solitude at Curtain Bluff. Bay Beach is buzzing, with a cafe and bar, and a barbecue every Wednesday afternoon. At the back of the beach, there’s a pool, basketball court, bocce ball and shuffleboard. Surf Beach features hammocks and little else, so parents can escape while the kids play. There’s a shaded sandbox and jungle gym for little kids and a game room full of movies, video games and board games.
Turks & Caicos
With a water park, 10 pools and pristine Grace Bay Beach, you can spend all day in the water and never run out of things to do at Beaches. There is plenty else to do, though, with beach volleyball, tennis, table tennis, croquet and basketball available, just to name a few. There are Sesame Street characters, a club for teens and entertainment all day and night. Kids of all ages can take a break from all that sun in the XBox lounge. The resort is all-inclusive, and no one will go hungry with more than 20 eateries to choose from.
Atlantis is a mecca of family fun, and there is literally something for everyone. There are many options for accommodations, with villas and penthouses to pack the whole family in. There’s an adults only pool for guests of the adults only Cove if part of the family wants some alone time. There’s Dolphin Cay. There’s a water slide through a shark tank. There’s even a kids concierge. Once the kids are off to bed, there’s a casino and sports book. There’s a restaurant for every taste. Simply put, Atlantis is a one-stop vacation paradise. Fitting that it’s on Paradise Island.
It’s a relatively quiet island as far as the Caribbean goes, playing little sister to St. Kitts. But the Four Seasons Resort Nevis makes the island a perfect destination for families. The Sea Turtle Conservancy offers educational activities as part of the Kids For All Seasons program for children ages 3-9. Sand castle molds makes it easy to have a friendly competition to see who can build the most regal castle, with a gelato bike making the rounds to make sure everyone has all the fuel they need.
It’s a big world out there, and while every country has something unique to offer, political situations or natural disasters can put destinations out of commission for a while. Fortunately, these wonderful places are making a comeback.
The land of the pharaohs was not safe for several years in the wake of the political upheaval of the 2011 Arab Spring. Thankfully, major tour operators have returned, bringing travelers to such world treasures as the pyramids of Giza, the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and cruising the Nile. Egypt tourism surged more than 40 percent in the first half of this year, signaling that a place so full of history the Romans considered it ancient, is retaking its rightful place on the world stage.
Fears of ISIL presence near Turkey’s southern border coupled with a bombing at the Istanbul airport and coup attempt in the summer of 2016 made Turkey a no-go. Things have settled down, and now travelers are safe to take in the beauty of the Bosporus and the Hagia Sophia in the Turkish capital, as well as explore the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Istanbul served as the capital of three empires and contains an immense amount of cultural heritage.
Travel to Cuba was all the rage in 2015 when the Obama administration thawed relations with and eased restrictions on the island just 90 miles off the tip of Florida. Things changed when the Trump administration reversed some of those policies and when the State Department issued a travel advisory concerning alleged attacks on embassy personnel. This year, however, Cuba travel is up 40 percent over 2017 as uncertainty has dissipated.
After the devastation of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria last year, several islands that had their lifeblood industry, tourism, decimated are back open for business. Many resorts in Puerto Rico have reopened, as have some in the British Virgin Islands and St Barth’s.
St. Martin’s top resorts will be open in time for the holidays, as will Anguilla’s. As word trickles out slowly, there are great deals to be had at places that are normally filled months in advance. The region needs travelers to help in its recovery, so it’s a win-win situation.
It’s not quite the same as Christmas in July, but you can give yourself the gift of peace of mind by booking your festive season travel now. If you have a specific resort or destination in mind, you might be surprised to find how tight space is already for the period around Christmas and New Year’s. You can’t exactly go on vacation and leave a couple of your kids behind because you couldn’t get another room. So do yourself a favor and start planning as soon as possible.
People who stayed at resorts over the festive season last winter got first dibs on booking that space for the upcoming season. Perhaps they had such a good time, they invited more of their family members to join them this year and have already had their rooms secured for months. If the winters are cold in your neck of the woods, you can rest assured that your neighbors will be flocking in droves to sunny resorts in Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
If your crew still can’t get its act together for a few months, your travel advisor will be up to date on which resorts have last-minute space. But don’t leave things up to chance! You’ll be much happier and less stressed if you take the initiative now. If you’re waiting until the weather turns, you could find yourself left out in the cold.
If you’re out of luck on land or prefer hitting the high seas, a cruise could be your answer. Again, though, you need to act quickly, especially if you’re bringing the whole family and need multiple cabins. Virtuoso-preferred partners offer some great itineraries to celebrate in style.
If all else fails, think outside the box. There’s a whole other hemisphere where it’s warm when we’re cold. South America, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, they all have nice weather as one year turns into the next.
It’s not especially warm in Europe’s heartland, though the jet stream does keep things milder than many parts of the U.S., but a river cruise can let you catch the end of the beautiful Christmas markets along the Rhine and Danube. If you haven’t seen a European Christmas market before, they are a sight to behold. Plus, there’s plenty of mulled wine to help you keep warm, there are great Christmas dinners served on the river and you can ring in the new year a few hours ahead of your friends.
No matter what you end up picking, don’t wait until it’s too late and you no longer have your choice of options. There will be plenty of scrambling trying to track down those last-minute gifts. Getting started with your holiday travel plans now could end up as the best gift you and family receive.