Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, which is more plausible than it might usually be, you’ve probably seen that American’s won’t be welcomed in Europe any time soon. The European Union issued a list of countries where travel will once again be possible, and the USA is still noticeably absent. Travel with the blue passport just isn’t what it used to be…
But that doesn’t necessarily mean an American traveler can’t set foot on the European continent, nearby areas, The Caribbean, Africa or even Asia this summer. In fact, more than handful of countries are still theoretically possible for Americans this summer, albeit not without some rules.
Hot tip: all the information below is accurate as of the time of writing, but if you’re planning a trip, don’t miss out on the best ways to check current, updated travel information and requirements.
Ireland offers a nearly identical setup to the UK, where Americans are welcome to join the fun, but only after 14 days of strictly enforced quarantine. In other words, the Emerald Isles are all yours to explore, dine, pub and enjoy in full, but only after 14 days of steadfast lockdown in quarantine.
Full details on entry requirements can be found on the US Embassy website, and note little details like passenger locator forms, no need for a recent covid-19 test and other measures.
Colombia is opening to international visitors once again on September 21st, and unlike many country reopening announcements, Americans are first up!
A variety of airlines are restarting direct flights from US gateways to Bogota, Medellin and Cali. All travelers will be required to provide a negative covid-19 test taken within 96 hours of departure, as well as a health card.
Serbia is currently open to visitors, even from outside of Europe. Americans are welcome, and really, it’s an underrated country to visit. Though things are always subject to change, there are no current covid-19 testing requirements to enter.
How does an American get to Serbia? Fairly easily, actually. Most countries, even those in Europe currently banning American visitors still allow for transit through their respective airports. In other words, even though the Netherlands won’t be letting Americans into the country, a traveler could fly KLM, so long as they don’t leave the airport en route to Serbia. The same goes for most European airlines.
Turkey is technically a Eurasian country, with borders bordering Europe, Middle East and Asia. As one of the most sought after summer travel destinations, with incredible seaside spots along its 8,000km of coastline, this is a top pick for anyone, not just those with few other options.
Destinations like Dalaman, Marmaris, Bodrum, Alanya, and Antalya are all superb, blending natural beauty, culture, delicious food and more. And yes, amazing beaches. Americans do need a visa in advance of travel to Turkey, but with Turkish rebooting flights, and plenty of airlines allowing one stop access from the USA, this is as good as it gets right now.
Ukraine is quickly becoming a fan favorite destination, but current restrictions for AMericans It may not sound like much of a holiday. Nonetheless, Ukraine will accept American visitors. US visitors are currently deemed to be entering from a “red zone” country, and are required to isolate for 14 days, and must also provide (expensive) medical coverage for all things related to covid-19.
Red zone countries are re-evaluated every 3 days by the Ukranian Government, but current rates of infection in the United States mean it could be quite some time until the country is added to the “green”, quarantine free list. Still, it’s an option…
Croatia, despite initial appearances, is actually open for US visitors. There’s just a couple things you’ll need first, now including a negative covid-19 test within 48 hours of arrival. The country will allow Americans, and you can even transit through a European country en route, making getting there much easier.
Before you rush out, you’ll need a confirmed reservation, you’ll need to state the purpose of your trip is tourism and you’ll need to send an email or two, and print out a couple letters stating that Croatia is accepting tourists from America, in addition to your test. Here’s a good run down.
The bad news: you’ll need to stay in one place for 14 days. The good news: there are so many places in the UK where you’ll never want to leave, anyway. The UK never closed their border during covid-19, instead introducing 14 day quarantine measures to curb interest in travel. This is certainly not very appealing, but factually it’s a place Americans can still visit.
Anyone flying from the USA would need to quarantine for 14 days in one location, but there are so many cottages, castles and seaside estates where that wouldn’t be all that bad, and with things like UberEats you’re never too isolated. Intriguingly, airlines are urging governments to create a quarantine free travel corridor for New Yorkers.
The Maldives is always a bucket list destination, and as one of the few places in the world without any entry restrictions other than a covid-19 test, it may be climbing up quite a few “to do” lists. All private island resorts, which is realistically where most visitors would end up are now open, and there are no quarantine requirements.
With demand far lower than normal, it’s possible to uncover some fantastic rates, use points or enjoy extra attentive service in this atoll paradise, and there are a few airlines who never really stopped flying there, including Qatar Airways and Emirates.
Caribbean For The Win
For Americans, options are slim in Europe, but there are still some fantastic prospects for travel in the Caribbean. Aruba, Bermuda, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are all in play for summer travel.
The Bahamas recently closed its doors to American visitors, shuttering all direct flights between the USA and Bahamas, with the exception of private jet flights, and also limiting beach activities on a few islands…
Some destinations, such as St. Lucia, Antigua and others will require a negative covid-19 test before travel and won’t have all facilities open for visitors, while others will. Barbados will allow US visitors, but requires a quarantine period.
Antigua will require a negative covid-19 test before departure, but once in country, things are fairly business as normal. Travelers may use hotel beaches, and some restaurants are once again open for dine in meals, with the option of take-out as well.
But, Should You Travel Right Now?
There’s a fine balancing act going on right now, as countries look to manage health concerns while also providing economic opportunity vital to keeping the world going.
Tourism accounts for roughly 10% of the world GDP, and over 300 million jobs, livelihoods and even more businesses depend on visitors. At the same time, the world is facing an unprecedented pandemic, which continues to plague regions including the USA.
Travel isn’t without risk or responsibility and will undoubtedly require: wearing a mask on a plane, being subject to additional screening and perhaps having to miss out on popular landmarks or large gatherings at the destination.
For those who feel up to travel and believe they can do so safely for themselves and those around them, this is an incredible opportunity, perhaps of a lifetime, where cities and destinations which would usually be chock full of people will be all but empty. Basically, it’s all up to you.