While nowhere near the 180 countries U.S. passport holders could visit before the pandemic, there are currently 11 nations that want Americans to visit.
Technically speaking, there are more than three dozen countries that are open to Americans now, even in a pandemic. But the vast majority of those come with potential trip-cancellation measures, like 14-day quarantines or negative COVID tests within 48 hours of arrival, and, for most people, that’s all but impossible to gamble an international trip on. That said, there are several countries that are welcoming Americans now with few, if any, restrictions beyond random temperature checks and simple health declarations.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t follow pandemic precautions when visiting the below, especially since the State Department advises against travel during quarantine. But if you’re willing to accept the risk, the easier entry makes the following countries a more viable option for itchy-footed Americans.
We’ve got a rundown of each and why their open borders might be worth crossing right now—everything subject to change, of course.
America’s favorite foreign vacation spot is still open to U.S. passport holders. Although the border is currently closed due to coronavirus, there are no quarantines or required testing to enter the country through any of its airports.
Like the U.S., some areas of Mexico mandate facemasks while others do not, so restrictions are limited at best. But popular destinations such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo are reportedly seeing a strong return in visitors. Highlights include beaches and resort towns that rival Hawaii, Chichen Itza (North America’s only “Wonder of the World”), and the food.
Although negative test results and 14-day quarantines were previously required to enter the Dominican Republic, as of September, all Americans are freely allowed in with no restrictions or visa requirements. That said, the State Department still advises “do not travel” warnings for the Dominican Republic after a spike of infections over the summer. But, according to the latest figures, infections have recently fallen to levels either on par or even below some areas of the United States.
Although you should know the risks before visiting, the county’s popular all-inclusive resorts, white sandy beaches, kitesurfing, and Caribbean breezes are all open for business.
Like both the Dominican Republic and the United States, Brazil saw high levels of coronavirus infections this year before recently stabilizing. In light of that, the country recently dropped all of its COVID entry requirements and only asks for proof of health insurance now. Better yet, as of last year, South America’s largest country no longer requires Americans to obtain a costly and time-consuming visa as it did before.
For those who venture there, you’ll be treated to one of South America’s most culturally rich nations—not to mention the only one that speaks Portuguese. Highlights include Rio de Janeiro (arguably the most beautiful city in the world), Iguazu Falls (another “Wonder of the World”), and the Amazon, along with so much more.
Turkey was one of the first nations to open this summer and has since become a trendy tourist spot to visit in quarantine, especially since so many other nations have kept their borders closed or extremely restricted.
Visas can be easily obtained online for $20 or upon arrival at the airport for $30. Highlights include incredible Istanbul (which resides in both Europe and Asia), the Blue Mosque, Cappadocia, and the visible melding of both European and Middle-Eastern cultures.
Located in the middle of the Mediterranean just below Sicily (which itself is just below Italy’s boot), Malta has long been a notable island of interest for European visitors. It also holds the distinction of being one of the only official English-speaking countries in mainland Europe. That makes it especially easy for Americans to visit, as does the lack of visa requirements and pandemic-related restrictions upon entry. Highlights include the capital of Valletta, the citadel of Mdina, and scuba diving the Blue Lagoon.
Many Americans may not be able to point out this landlocked Eastern European country on a map. Nevertheless, this former Soviet outpost is currently welcoming them in with open arms and zero visas. As for coronavirus restrictions, the only entry requirement is a simple fever check upon arrival at the airport. For those who pass, popular highlights include the once communist capital of Minsk, the surreal Brest Fortress war memorial, and the fairy-tale looks of Mir Castle.
The first of several Balkan countries that are open to Americans now, Serbia requires no testing or quarantine mandates to enter. As one of the few countries in mainland Europe to do so, however, the open border has reportedly caused a small surge in both tourism and infections. If you venture to Serbia though, highlights include the capital of Belgrade, endless fields of sunflowers, and Djavolja Varos (Devil’s Town).
Like Belarus, the only current requirement needed to enter Albania is a simple temperature check at any of its ports of entry. No visas are required for Americans staying less than a year. Have a temperature of 100 or less and you’re in.
Also like Belarus, few Americans could locate Albania on a map. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. Highlights include the dreamy Albanian Alps, the beautiful Ionian Coast, and the bustling city of Tirana.
The country that’s formerly known as “Macedonia” has reopened for tourism and is accepting American travelers with no quarantine requirements, no negative coronavirus tests, and not even a temperature check upon entrance. What’s more, Americans visiting for less than three months can freely enter without a visa. Highlights include Ohrid’s graceful domes, the vine-covered hillsides of Tikves, and Samuel’s Fortress.
INSIDER TIPAlthough neighboring Kosovo is also freely open to Americans, the country is currently undergoing a concerning amount of political and civil unrest, and several reports caution against travel there.
Two African nations are easily accessed by American tourists, Zambia being one of them, and what a place it is! Although a visa is required to enter, they can be easily acquired online before visiting or even upon arrival at the airport for $50 (cash only). Highlights of the southern African country include countless “Big 5” safaris, the massive Victoria Falls (yet another “Wonder of the World”), and the Devil’s Pool.
Like Zambia, Tanzania is the only other African country open to Americans without the need of satisfying any COVID restrictions or quarantines to enter. Also like Zambia, you’ll need a visa to get in, but U.S. citizens can quickly obtain a tourist visa online or upon arrival at the airport at a cost of $100. Highlights include the truly amazing “Great Migration” of wildebeests across the croc-infested Grumeti River, the sky-high peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the eternal turquoise waters of Zanzibar.