30 Best Places to Travel During COVID

Published:

by Rina Bernardo

Aerial view of villas in the Maldives, one of the best places to travel during COVID
Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

It’s no secret that everyone is looking to step outside and travel again. The coronavirus pandemic has put to halt most of our plans starting last year, including local and international travel plans. For several months or even years, we had to put on hold our dream Caribbean getaway or that multi-day tour of the French countryside. However, countries have started lifting travel restrictions and opening their borders to U.S. vaccinated travelers. That said, there’s the question in every traveler’s mind: What are the best places to travel during COVID?

 

Fortunately, some countries now allow U.S. passport holders to explore and rediscover their well-loved attractions. If you’re looking for vacations to go, here are some of the best places to visit even during the pandemic.

1. Hungary

Aerial view of Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Hungary

Photo by Gabor Koszegi on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Hungary offers stunning architecture and streets studded with Medieval landmarks. It is also famous for its thermal baths and the imposing Buda Castle perched atop a hill. Find a medley of historic, natural, and cultural sites that show the European country’s tumultuous history. Outside Budapest, Hungary has thriving wine regions and lakeside towns perfect for a weekend getaway. There are also open-air museums for safe yet interesting things to do in Hungary.

 

Make sure to check the latest COVID-related updates on Hungary for entry and exit requirements, travel advisory, and more.

2. Madeira

Christmas decorations around Funchal in Madeira

Photo by Paul Stephenson on Flickr

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Madeira in Portugal is one of the best places to travel during COVID and spend Christmas in Europe. During the season, find colorful holiday illuminations around the city along with joyful Christmas carols. While festivals and events have been adjusted to make way for safety protocols, you can still feel the island’s holiday spirit. Discover local traditions like the Misa de Gallo and novenas, shop at Christmas markets, and enjoy seasonal food and drinks.

 

Check the latest COVID-related travel advisory on Madeira (Portugal) for quarantine requirements and additional safety measures.

3. Cayman Islands

The beaches in Cayman Islands are one of the best places to visit during COVID

Photo by koolkisses07 on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes (All visitors 10 years old and above need to undergo a pre-arrival PCR test)

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Located in the Western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands are famed for their scuba diving and snorkeling sites. This is also perfect if you want to discover the island’s rich marine life and see fascinating sites like the Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto. Back on land, find miles of hiking trails and white-sand beaches. Then, lace up your shoes and explore the swamps of the Mastic Trail. On a clear summer day, head to Seven Mile Beach, arguably one of the best Caribbean beaches.

 

Don’t forget to check all COVID-related updates on the Cayman Islands for more details on the pre-arrival PCR test and other information.

3. Poland

Colorful houses along Rynek Main Square in Wroclaw, Poland

Photo by Bianca Fazacas on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: No

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Poland is a country that offers breathtaking natural and man-made sites that attract history and architecture buffs. From the Historic Centre of Kraków to the daunting concentration camps, Poland has some of the most significant historical sites. Looking for natural scenery? Then head to the fascinating Crooked Forest or visit the shaded forests and deep blue lakes of Morskie Oko Lake.

 

Always check COVID-related updates in Poland for entry and exit requirements and other related information.

5. Ireland

One of the best places to visit during COVID are the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Photo by NakNakNak on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Ireland is one of the countries in Europe that offer charming countryside views, historical sites, and bustling city life. The friendly locals and relaxed atmosphere also make it a favorite tourist destination. Whether you want to see its natural wonders or explore Dublin, there are many things to do in Ireland. See the majestic Cliffs of Moher or admire the coastal landscape as you drive through the Wild Atlantic Way.

 

For additional information on entry and exit requirements and more, always check the latest COVID-related updates on Ireland.

6. Italy

Boats and gondolas going around Venice in Italy

Photo by Dan Novac on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Depending on the situation (Check COVID-related updates for more information.)

 

Despite being an epicenter of the pandemic in 2020, Italy is now one of the best places to travel during COVID. You can now live la dolce vita and enjoy authentic Italian staples like pizza, pasta, and gelato. If you want to avoid tourist hotspots like Rome and Milan, there are several off-the-beaten-path destinations worth discovering. In the southern end of the country, Puglia is a region in the Italian countryside that has whitewashed buildings and a scenic Mediterranean coastline.

 

For the latest travel advisories, don’t forget to check COVID-related updates on Italy.

7. Czech Republic

Bridges along Prague, one of the best places to travel during COVID

Photo by MurderousPass on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Czech Republic’s swoon-worthy sites and tourist attractions make it a popular destination before and during the pandemic. Its capital city, Prague, is teeming with well-preserved buildings, romantic cityscapes, and cobblestone streets. You can also visit its castles and cathedrals and go back in time as you learn more about its history. Also consider adding Karlovy Vary and Český Krumlov to your bucket list if you want to venture outside Prague.

 

Before your trip, make sure to read the latest COVID-related updates on the Czech Republic.

8. New Zealand

Well-marked footpaths along the Hooker Valley Trail in New Zealand

Photo by Roell de Ram on Unplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

With its stellar response to the pandemic, New Zealand is one of the best places to travel during COVID. The island country features snow-frosted peaks, sprawling meadows, rainforests, and unique geothermal areas. Additionally, this is one of the best places to find the elusive yet mystical glow worms! It is also a paradise for adrenaline junkies, offering opportunities for white water rafting, skydiving, and bungee jumping. Since most of its highlights are natural sites, it is perfect for a safe and socially distanced vacation.

 

Before your trip, check the quarantine information and other COVID-related updates on New Zealand.

9. Scotland

Dunrobin Castle & Gardens in Scotland

Photo by fotshot on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

If you’re seeking old-world charm-meets-natural landscapes, Scotland is the best place to visit during COVID. It also has an abundance of secluded beaches, historic castles, and lakeside towns. Top that with the good food and helpful locals, you’re in for a vacation to remember! More than its scenic sights, there are numerous things to do in Scotland from exploring museums to whiskey tasting.

 

Before flying out, make sure you’re updated with the latest COVID-related news in Scotland.

10. Egypt

Camels traveling in the desert in Egypt

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Depending on the situation (Check COVID-related updates for more information.)

 

Worried about staying indoors for a long time on your vacation? Egypt has plenty of outdoor sights and open-air museums, including the iconic Pyramids of Giza. Besides the world-famous pyramids, there are also other things to do in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. Check out the temples, cruise along the Nile River, and dive on the Red Sea. If you’re looking for a vacation where you can stay outdoors most of the time, Egypt is one of the best places to travel during COVID.

 

To know more about the quarantine requirements and other necessary details, check the COVID-related information on Egypt.

11. Sweden

Colorful buildings in Gamla Stan in Sweden

Photo by ykaiavu on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Located in the Scandinavian Peninsula, Sweden offers plenty of inland lakes, islands, boreal forests, and glacier-covered peaks. The Nordic country also boasts the world’s oldest open-air museum and zoo, Skansen. Head out for a safe yet memorable sightseeing experience as you explore the cobblestone streets and brightly colored buildings in Gamla Stan. With this in mind, if you plan on visiting Sweden, make sure to present a negative PCR test.

 

For the latest news on entry information, don’t forget to check COVID-related updates on Sweden before your trip.

12. Mexico

Cliffside beach in Tulum, Mexico

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: No

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Mexico is one of the countries that first welcomed its doors to tourism. But if you’re hesitant about visiting since it’s a popular tourist hotspot, it’s actually one of the safe places to travel during COVID. There are many other cities you can visit if you wish to avoid mainstream places like Cancun and Tulum. Riviera Nayarit in particular has pristine beaches, jungle-covered mountain peaks, and small towns perfect for a crowd-less getaway.

 

Always check the latest COVID-related news on Mexico for updates on travel advisories and more.

13. Taiwan

Tourists in Raohe Night Market in Taiwan, one of the Asian places to travel during COVID

Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

When the pandemic started, Taiwan was one of the countries that implemented strict safety measures and travel bans. Today, it is one of the best and safest places to travel during COVID. The country strikes a balance between modern and traditional attractions along with natural sites scattered around the cities of Taiwan. Whether you’re a foodie who wants to visit its night markets, a hiker looking for the next trail, or simply a curious traveler, you can find all these in Taiwan.

 

Before your vacation, make sure to be informed of the latest COVID-related updates on Taiwan.

14. The British Virgin Islands

Blue waters in The British Islands, one of the best places to travel during COVID

Photo by Nick Rickert on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

For your island getaway, the British Virgin Islands has four main islands and plenty of smaller, unspoiled ones. It is the perfect destination for beachgoers, sailing enthusiasts, divers, and anyone who loves the outdoors. Join sailing, yachting, and island hopping tours and discover the untapped beauty of the islands. Otherwise, take a dip in its crystal-clear beaches or check out the hidden coves and sea pools of The Baths. For a land-based activity, explore the hiking trails of Sage Mountain National Park.

 

Stay updated with COVID-related information on the British Virgin Islands for entry and exit requirements.

15. Denmark

Buildings and boats lined on the harbor in Denmark, one of the European places to travel during COVID

Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Depending on vaccination status

Quarantine required upon entry: Depending on vaccination status

 

Find dreamy castles, picturesque towns, and friendly locals in Denmark. Aside from its postcard-worthy sites, Danish food is also a must-try. But if you’re not sure where to go or what activities to try, Copenhagen is a good starting point! It has an abundance of indoor and open-air museums as well as outdoor gardens and plazas for those iffy about staying indoors.

 

For more information regarding the pre-entry COVID test and quarantine, check the latest COVID-related updates on Denmark.

16. Maldives

Pathway leading to villas at a resort in the Maldives

Photo by SuzyT on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

The Maldives is a dream destination for beach bums and honeymooners alike. It boasts miles of dramatic coastline, romantic boutique hotels, and islands begging to be discovered. Moreover, the Maldives is your best choice if you’re looking for a place to relax and go sunbathing or indulge in a luxury spa treatment. You can also go island hopping, surfing, and enjoy other fun things to do in the Maldives.

 

Stay updated with the latest COVID-related news on the Maldives before your trip.

17. Canary Islands

Surfing at a beach in Fuerteventura in Canary Islands

Photo by dronepicr on flickr

COVID test required for entry: No

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Off the coast of Western Sahara, the Canary Islands offer black-sand beaches, bathing pools, and miles of rugged scenery. It has eight islands, each with its distinct charm and things to do. At Gran Canaria Island, go back in time as you explore the city of Teror or see the Los Gigantes cliffs at Tenerife. Meanwhile, La Gomera Island boasts plenty of hiking trails that will delight hikers of all skill levels.

 

Stay updated with COVID-related information on Canary Islands (Spain) for vaccine advisories, restrictions, and more.

18. Hong Kong

Nighttime harbor view of Hong Kong

Photo by Daniam Chou on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Although a small nation, Hong Kong packs plenty of sights to see and places to discover. From eating your heart out at night markets, viewing the skyline from Victoria Peak, and reliving your childhood at Disneyland, there are many things to do in Hong Kong. Outside its busy metropolitan streets, Hong Kong also has quaint fishing villages, hiking trails, and other natural sites.

 

For more information on entry and quarantine requirements, check the latest COVID-related updates on Hong Kong.

19. Turks and Caicos

Beaches in Turks and Caicos are one of the best places to travel during COVID

Photo by Romello Williams on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Is Turks and Caicos safe? Yes, and it is also one of the best places to travel during COVID. Since reopening, the islands have welcomed tourists and even A-list celebrities. Past its well-known pristine beaches, Turks and Caicos offer other sightseeing opportunities. You can go whale watching, explore the Conch Bar Cave, and see the captivating Cottage Pond. Furthermore, the islands also have their fair share of historical sites, including the Grand Turk Lighthouse and Wade’s Green Plantation.

 

Make sure to read other COVID-related updates on Turks and Caicos for more information on entry and testing requirements.

20. Singapore

Aerial views of Marina Bay Sands at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore

Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Singapore has consistently ranked as one of the safest places to travel pre-pandemic. That said, it’s a no-brainer that they are also one of the safe places to travel during COVID. Looking for tasty Singaporean food? Try any of the hawker centers and savor fresh and delicious local delicacies. Are you a nature enthusiast? Then check out the picture-perfect exhibits at Gardens by the Bay, Cloud Forest, and Singapore River Safari. It may be a small country, but there are lots of things to do in Singapore.

 

Be informed of COVID-related news in Singapore and check for the latest announcements before your trip.

21. Tunisia

Whitewashed houses along the sea in Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia

Photo by Noelle Guirola on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Depending on vaccination status

 

Picturesque and diverse, Tunisia is a sight to behold. You’ll find ancient ruins, lively souks, and otherworldly desert landscapes. It is also a melting pot of different cultures, mainly Roman, Islamic, and the Mediterranean. As you explore cities like Djerba and Carthage, you’ll see the three cultures blending in harmony, giving Tunisia its distinct charm. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path place that is rich in history, culture, Tunisia is a great option.

 

Don’t forget to check COVID-related information in Tunisia for more details regarding quarantine procedures.

22. South Korea

Palace complex in South Korea surrounded by trees and buildings

Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

South Korea effortlessly combines new and old. From hanok (traditional Korean house) villages and majestic palaces to towering skyscrapers, enjoy the best of both worlds in the country! It is also a foodie’s paradise thanks to the variety of Korean food and snacks readily available at street stalls and local restaurants. No matter which city you visit, be it Seoul, Daegu, or Incheon, you’re bound for a feast for the eyes and senses.

 

Prior to your trip, check the latest COVID-related updates on South Korea to ensure that you comply with the country’s safety measures.

23. Malta

Marsaxlokk is one of the best places to travel during COVID in Malta

Photo by CALIN STAN on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: No

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Malta is one of the smallest countries located between Sicily in Italy and the North African Coast. Because of that, it has a unique European-African vibe to it. Find numerous fortresses scattered around its hilltop towns, old fishing villages, and natural attractions. Valletta is a testament to its grand history with its breathtaking harbor. Otherwise, if you want to go somewhere laid-back, head to the small island of Gozo. Malta is also one of the countries that don’t require a negative test result in order to enter (as long as the traveler has an accepted vaccination certificate).

 

Always check COVID-related updates in Malta for the latest information on movement restrictions and more.

24. Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in Australia

Photo by Caleb Russell on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

Like New Zealand, Australia’s handling of the pandemic makes it one of the best places to travel during COVID. It boasts thousands of natural sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, and Fraser Island. Moreover, it is also the perfect destination for those looking for socially distanced things to do since most activities here are held outdoors.

 

Check COVID-related updates in Australia for more information on security measures and more.

25. Dominican Republic

Old buildings at Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic

Photo by falco on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: No

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes, if tested positive for COVID-19

 

The Dominican Republic is another must-visit country in the Caribbean. It boasts five-star luxury resorts, endless beaches, and well-preserved towns. Its diverse terrain ranges from lush rainforests to desert-like fields, giving tourists plenty of things to do. Learn a bit of history and admire the colonial vibe of Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo before hitting up the beaches in Cabarete. Meanwhile, the remote towns on the Samaná Peninsula are a welcome respite for those who want fewer crowds.

 

Be updated with the COVID-related news on the Dominican Republic for quarantine requirements and other relevant information.

26. Aruba

The beaches of Aruba are one of the best places to travel during COVID

Photo by Carlos Delgado on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: Yes

 

The white-sand beaches of Aruba are one of the best places to travel during COVID. Before the pandemic, Aruba was already a favorite among tourists for its safety. It also has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, a small island charm, and land and water-based activities. Whether you want to go sunbathing at Eagle Beach or hang out with the flamingos, you’ll never run out of things to do in Aruba.

 

Prior to your vacation, make sure to stay updated on the latest COVID-related information on Aruba.

27. Greece

Santorini's blue and white houses with seaside views

Photo by Michelle_Raponi on Pixabay

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No, unless tested positive for COVID-19

 

From the historic city of Athens to the whitewashed houses of Santorini, Greece is one of the best places to travel during COVID. But if you want to go beyond the touristy destinations, visit the small town of Assos in Kefalonia! One of its charms is its colorful houses reminiscent of those in the Italian Riviera. But beyond that, the fishing village is also teeming with gorgeous beaches, natural wonders, and fresh seafood.

 

For more information on entry and exit requirements, stay tuned for the latest COVID-related updates on Greece.

28. Costa Rica

Volcan Irazu National Park in Costa Rica is one of the best places to travel during COVID for nature lovers

Photo by Alex Ip on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: No

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

With its rich natural attractions, Costa Rica is one of the best places to travel during COVID in Central America. The country offers rainforests, lush wildlife reserves, and plenty of Costa Rica beaches. Adventure lovers can indulge in canopy ziplining, whale watching, river rafting, and more. Meanwhile, for those wanting a relaxing staycation, there are luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and jungle villas with breathtaking views. Without a doubt, Costa Rica is a place that offers both a slice of the Caribbean and Pacific paradise.

 

Before traveling, make sure to check the latest travel advisory and other COVID-related updates on Costa Rica.

29. Georgia

The 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church perched atop a hill in Georgia

Photo by Iman Gozal on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No (with exceptions)

 

Offering unparalleled mountain views and beautiful architecture, Georgia is an underrated destination. Its capital, Tbilisi, draws in tourists for its diverse architecture, affordable luxury, and its balance between old and new. Outside Tbilisi, visit Gudauri if you’re looking for winter sports action or head to Lake Ritsa to see its sparkling waters surrounded by thick forests. Take note that Georgia is one of the countries that require a negative test conducted 72 hours or less before arrival.

 

For more details on quarantine and entry requirements, don’t forget to check the COVID-related updates in Georgia.

30. Turkey

Hot air balloons flying over the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia in Turkey

Photo by Mar Cerdeira on Unsplash

COVID test required for entry: Yes

Quarantine required upon entry: No

 

Turkey is a country teeming with ancient monuments and awe-inspiring natural attractions. While Turkey is famous for its fairy chimneys and Cappadocia hot air balloon rides, it has plenty more to offer. That said, visit the travertine terraces at Pamukkale, the giant Roman theater at Aspendos, and the Greco-Roman ruins at Pergamum. You can also cruise along the Mediterranean and enjoy the panoramic coastal views from your boat.

 

Make sure to check the latest COVID-related news in Turkey for more information on entry requirements and testing details.

Additional Safety Tips When Traveling

Travel essentials laid over a map

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Besides wearing face masks and practicing proper social distancing, here are a few reminders for a fun and safe travel:

  • Always be updated on possible additional requirements and health measures set by local government units. Some countries require additional self quarantine or a negative antigen test upon arrival. Take note that this also varies in each country.

  • Consider getting travel insurance for unforeseen circumstances. You can also open a travel rewards credit card that includes travel insurance.
  • When deciding on your accommodation, choose a place where you can open windows. You may also opt for a room with a balcony or terrace so the air can flow naturally.
  • As much as possible, avoid ride-sharing and carpooling. This minimizes the risk that comes with being in close contact with a stranger.
  • Traveling by car is one of the safest methods of going around. So having an International Driver’s License is particularly handy right now. Moreover, only go for public transportation if needed to avoid being in close contact with strangers. 
  • Go for outdoor activities like bike rides and hiking where the risk of transmission is low. You’ll also be surprised at the untapped beauty nature holds!

Enjoy Safe Travels During COVID

More than a year after the pandemic struck, some countries started reopening their doors to tourists. Depending on which country you’re going to, you’ll have to comply with strict precautions and safety measures. This also guarantees that you’ll have a memorable vacation without compromising your health and that of the people around you.

 

That said, if you’re ready to resume your jet-setting life, pack your bags, book your flight, and enjoy your vacation at the best places to travel during COVID!