Travel is just a shot (or two) away!
In the U.S., around 46.4% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. After a long wait, masks are finally coming off and travel is, once again, becoming a possibility. After a year of travel bans, restrictions imposed on American travelers are now being lifted in various countries.
While there are still entry requirements for travelers to navigate, those who are fully vaccinated against COVID are finding the world increasingly opening up to them. So if you’ve already received both of your COVID shots (or the one jab from Johnson & Johnson), then check out this list of beautiful destinations that are just a flight away.
INSIDER TIPCountries have different criteria for unvaccinated travelers or those who have recently recovered from COVID. Make sure to check a country’s travel requirements before booking a trip.
Top Picks for You
This European nation’s gothic architecture, classical music, and untouched scenery are straight out of a fairytale. Austria is now open to vaccinated travelers from the United States, and the best part is that you don’t need a pre-arrival COVID test or self-isolation. The advisory states: “You are considered “vaccinated” starting on the 22nd day after your first dose, lasting for three months from the vaccination date. After the second dose, the validity extends for another six months (i.e., the vaccination is valid for nine months total from the first vaccination date). Vaccines that only require one dose are valid from the 22nd day after that dose and for nine months from the vaccination date.” You can find more details here.
Ready for a tropical adventure? The Bahamas‘ white-sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, and exciting nightlife are the perfect antidote to a year spent indoors. Luckily, the islands are now exempting fully vaccinated travelers from testing requirements for entry and inter-state travel. But, you still need to apply for a travel health visa and get health insurance that covers your stay (including a travel health visa application fee). Learn more about visiting the Bahamas here.
The British Virgin Islands
Bulgaria is a gorgeous country brimming with places to explore, from the Black Sea coastline to historic cities and untouched landscapes. The country gets less attention than other European hotspots—such as France and Italy—but Bulgaria remains a hidden gem to discover, whether you’re staying in Sofia or Varna. Now that the country is allowing vaccinated travelers from the U.S. to enter without restriction, it’s a great time to visit Bulgaria’s museums, monuments, churches, and fortresses, as well as enjoy its luxurious beachside resorts. Find more details for your next trip here.
The calm Adriatic Coast of Croatia is dotted with idyllic beaches. Swimming, sailing, or snorkeling in Croatia’s turquoise waters is something that should top every traveler’s bucket list. But beyond the country’s natural beauty, there is the city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as being the primary filming location for the hit show, Game of Thrones.
Thankfully, this Mediterranean gem is welcoming travelers from the U.S. again. All you need to experience this country is proof of being fully vaccinated and evidence of accommodations paid in advance. You can fill out this form ahead of your travels for quick access at the border control. All other information you will need is here.
Sitting in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is a sun-kissed destination where beaches range from quiet and serene to wild and adventurous. The island is divided between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, so you will get to see complex cultures and histories when you cross over.
You won’t need to provide a negative COVID test or quarantine when you travel to Cyprus, provided you can offer proof of vaccination and fill out the Cyprus Flight Pass ahead of time. Find more information on Croatia’s requirements here.
Denmark is a front-runner when it comes to happiness and good quality of life. It’s big on design and architecture, and you can’t help but be impressed with the lifestyle here: progressive, inclusive, simple. Hygge is intrinsic to the Danish culture because Danes believe it’s essential to enjoy life with those you love.
Go beyond Copenhagen to see Denmark’s quaint towns, including Skagen, Faaborg, and Ribe. Introduce yourself to the Nordic cuisine and don’t forget to visit the newly opened H.C. Andersens House, a museum dedicated to the writer Hans Christian Andersen, whose fairytales defined a generation. Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. are exempted from testing and quarantine, but Greenland and the Faroe Islands (which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark) have different entry requirements.
If you haven’t been yet, chances are you’ll fall in love with France. From its sidewalk cafes and patisseries serving delicate confections to its lush vineyards, excellent wines, the sparkling riviera, and the majestic castles—what’s not to love?
Last year, the closest travelers came to getting their “France fix” was binge-watching the hit Netflix show, Emily in Paris, but after the ups and downs of 2020, the country is now open to visitors. If you are fully vaccinated, you can treat yourself to a French vacation. France’s entry requirements say you’ll still need a negative COVID test and a sworn statement that you don’t have symptoms and haven’t been in contact with anyone who has COVID.
This archipelago in the South Pacific is synonymous with a laidback lifestyle. Honeymooners flock to Bora Bora and Tahiti, but French Polynesia has so many other unexplored attractions, like the limestone caves of Rurutu and the discreet island of Maupiti. Vaccinated travelers don’t need to quarantine, but they do need to fill out an application on the ETIS platform (30-60 days before departure), get an RT-PCR test done, and carry their proof of vaccination with them.
When you think of Greece, the mind conjures images of ancient Greek ruins, sun-kissed beaches, clear blue waters, and dreamy white-washed hotels and resorts. This country has so much history and drama that it’ll keep you on your toes as you venture from Athens to Delphi to Meteora, and eventually dive into the island life of Mykonos and Santorini. Vaccinated travelers don’t need a negative COVID test to enter Greece, but they do have to complete the Passenger Location Form at least 24 hours before traveling. If going to Greece, you’ll find more details regarding entry restrictions here.
Iceland is a country that takes your breath away. From the black sand beach of Reynisfjara to the arresting Skógafoss waterfall and the dramatic volcanic craters of Kerid and Askja—this is a country with wild natural beauty and rich culture. If you can provide a vaccination certificate, Iceland won’t ask you for a COVID test or impose quarantine rules. The country has also stopped on-arrival COVID tests for those who have been fully vaccinated. Iceland’s rules of entry are further explained here.
An Irish sojourn will take you to famous pubs, impeccable beaches, Norman castles, and rolling hills, all the while giving you an experience of the drama of its landscapes and the friendliness of its people. Must-visit places in Ireland include Dublin, Cork, the Causeway Coast, and Galway. Ireland has relaxed its quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers from the US. If not vaccinated, travelers will need to provide a negative COVID test result and will have to quarantine for 14 days. For the latest on Ireland’s entry requirements, follow their updates here. This means that once again, wandering eyes will be able to capture the stunning sceneries of Ireland.
Last year, Italy was devastated by the coronavirus, but the good news is the country is slowly coming back to life as restaurants, beaches, museums, and shops open (with some restrictions). A Roman holiday is now possible without quarantining if you have the white vaccination card issued by the CDC. All travelers also have to complete the Passenger Locator Form before departure. Get more information here.
To enter Spain, you won’t need a negative COVID test or quarantine. You don’t even need to carry your proof of vaccination! If you’re fully vaccinated, go to the Spain Travel Health Portal and fill out the form. This will generate a QR code that you will need to enter Spain (full details are here). Filling out the online form is not a big ask considering a Spanish holiday awaits complete with tapas, wines, medieval castles, Roman architecture, and postcard cities paused in time.
The Swiss Alps are waiting! This cheese and chocolate-loving nation is unbelievably gorgeous. Quaint mountain towns, scenic train rides, pristine lakes, chic cities, and a charming countryside will satisfy your soul. Switzerland has something for every kind of traveler, whether you prefer luxury hotels, decadent dishes, world-class shopping, art museums, or the great outdoors. As of June 28th, the European nation has opened its borders to Americans if they can provide proof of COVID vaccination. No tests or quarantine are required to enter the country, but a form must be filled out before your trip (learn more here).