10 Top Destinations Americans Can Visit
October 29, 2020 / Emma Knock
The US Department of State (DOS) lifted the blanket Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory, which has been in place since March, at the beginning of August. The DOS is once again determining its advisory levels on a country-by-country basis, but most international destinations currently carry a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory. Whether it’s advisable to travel internationally is up to you, but protecting yourself and others—and preventing the spread of COVID-19—should be your highest priority.
- Read advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the DOS, the World Health Organization (WHO), and any local authorities in the locations you’re visiting and departing from.
- Check if the country you're visiting or the state you're returning to requires a mandatory quarantine.
- Consider getting valid travel insurance that covers COVID-19 for the duration of your trip.
- Upon returning to the US, follow CDC guidelines, which at the time of writing include social distancing, frequent hand hygiene, and mask-wearing.
- With daily case rates still rising in many countries, including the US, rules and regulations can change at any time, and possibly without notice.
Top destinations Americans can travel to right now
Mexico never technically closed to US travelers, so although the Mexico–United States land border remains locked down through late November, Americans can fly into the country. Hotels, beaches, and attractions—including the Maya ruins of Tulum and Coba in Quintana Roo, Teotihuacan just outside of Mexico City, and Chichen Itza in Yucatan—are ready to welcome travelers, albeit with restrictions in place. But not all Mexican states are open for leisure travel, so be sure to check before you start shopping for a new beach wardrobe.
Requirements: Health declaration form submitted online along with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 12–72 hours before flying. US travelers from states that aren’t considered to be high-risk can instead choose to take a test at Oranjestad airport, but must then quarantine for up to 24 hours while awaiting results. All US travelers must purchase Aruba COVID Coverage insurance (~US$15 per day).
The palm-fringed boulevards, candy-painted buildings, beaches, and shopping malls of Oranjestad, Aruba’s charming capital and main cruise port, reopened to US travelers back in July. Those traveling to Aruba can feel confident the island is taking extra measures to keep visitors and locals safe: Entry regulations are more extensive than some other destinations included on this list, and the newly implemented "Aruba Health & Happiness Code" aims to ensure businesses are creating safe environments for employees and travelers.
3. COSTA RICA
Requirements: Health Pass form submitted online, and travel insurance purchased through approved Costa Rica providers or any provider that meets certain criteria (effective for trip duration, COVID-19 medical coverage to the value of US$50,000, lodging expenses coverage up to US$2.000)
Eco-tourism haven Costa Rica is opening its beaches and rain forests to all Americans as of November 1. (Until now only residents from select US states were eligible to visit.) The mandatory quarantine and negative PCR test requirements have also recently been dropped, which means the pura vida (pure life) lifestyle is once again within easy reach. The country's natural highlights, including the so-called Golden Triangle—Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio, and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve—offer all the space and fresh air you're probably craving after months of sheltering-in-place.
4. US VIRGIN ISLANDS
Requirements: Proof of a COVID-19 test taken no more than five days prior to arrival, and an online form completed via the USVI Travel Screening Portal. All travelers able to wear a mask or facial covering must do so upon disembarkment.
After reopening in June and shutting back down in August, America’s Caribbean paradise, the US Virgin Islands, is once again welcoming travelers to its shores. Tighter restrictions are in place this time around, with restaurants capping capacity, bars and nightclubs remaining closed, and beaches shutting down overnight. Private tours make it possible to explore the islands while limiting interaction with others, which means you can add kayaking through a mangrove lagoon and snorkeling near sea turtles to your itinerary.
5. DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Requirements: Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 96 hours prior to arrival (digital copies will not be accepted), proof of travel insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment, and a health declaration form completed before departure. Travelers must also register their details using the COVID-19 DXB app on arrival.
Dubai opened its borders to travelers, including those from the US, back in July. The desert metropolis’ resorts, beaches, skyscrapers, and shopping malls are all operational, with extra safety measures in place. For more remote socially distanced adventures, options include private and small-group hot-air balloon rides, dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel safaris in the surrounding Arabian desert. It’s worth noting, travelers hoping to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi or other northern emirates won’t be able to do so without a 14-day quarantine.
Requirements: Travel authorization granted based on a pre-travel authorization application form and proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 10 days prior to arrival. Be sure to carefully read the instructions provided on Jamaica’s tourism board website to ensure your test is valid.
Jamaica’s as famous for its laid-back living as it is its waterfalls, Red Stripe beer, and Bob Marley. But the country’s 119-page guide on health and safety protocols proves it’s anything but relaxed when it comes to COVID-19. US travelers willing to adhere to the very specific requirements — which include mask-wearing and social distancing—can once again relax on the white-sand beaches of Montego Bay, rum cocktail in hand.
Requirements: Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival (digital copies will not be accepted) a serological test (48-hour time limit does not apply), and mandatory mask-wearing in flight, as well as a reservation with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency, or a business invitation from a Moroccan company.
Morocco has reopened its borders after lifting its state of emergency back in September. Travelers tempted by desert camel treks and hot-air balloon rides over craggy mountain ranges will want to bump this North Africa country up their list. Two things to bear in mind: Curfews are in place in some cities, and domestic travel is prohibited to and from several cities including tourist hubs Marrakech, Casablanca, and Fez. Travelers wanting to move around Morocco once there, however, can apply for a travel authorization letter (a hotel reservation is considered sufficient reason to obtain the letter).
Requirements: Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival, confirmation of accommodation, and a completed EnterCroatia form submitted online via the Croatian National Tourist Board website.
While the rest of the European Union (EU) closed its doors indefinitely to the US and non-EU travelers early on in the Coronavirus pandemic, Croatia went against the grain and reopened to the world back in July. Many hotels, eateries, beaches, and attractions are fully operational, including ferry boats to Croatian islands, Dubrovnik Old Town, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Split’s Diocletian's Palace.
Requirements: None, but expect temperature checks upon arrival.
Traveling to Albania, a once-unvisitable country cast out in the Adriatic Sea (it was closed to the outside world during the Communist era), is now surprisingly simple. Visitors are free to explore national parks, tumbledown fortresses, and Mediterranean beaches with only so much as a temperature check upon arrival. Don’t forget to pack your reusable masks though; as of October 15, masks and face covering are mandatory pretty much everywhere — outdoor spaces included.
Requirements: Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 96 hours prior to arrival (digital copies will not be accepted), and proof of health insurance.
Egypt’s seaside resorts, including diving hotspot Sharm el Sheikh, opened up to international tourists—including Americans—in July. Now, as of September, Luxor and Aswan have reopened, which means travelers can once again visit the Valley of the Kings and countless other cultural and archaeological sites in the governorates. Expect increased health and safety protocols, from temperature checks and luggage sanitization to crowd restrictions.
Where else can Americans travel to right now?
Here’s a list of countries that US citizens can travel to without a 14-day quarantine.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- El Salvador
- French Polynesia (Tahiti and Bora Bora)
- North Macedonia
- St. Barthelemy (St. Barths)
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Turks and Caicos
- US Virgin Islands