2020 has been unique with people stranded on their own little islands, their homes. Even going to work has been impossible, and so many organizations have been forced to have their employees work from home during these times. Travel has been obviously close to impossible, unless in an emergency situation. Governments all over the world have been focused on battling the pandemic this last year and half, and all that work is slowly paying off.
Many countries have come close to vaccinating at least 50% or more of their population. This has led to slowly opening up the economy and travel. Countries have opened up their borders and flights have re-started close to regular operations. With the summer approaching, domestic travel has for sure picked up, and some international travel as well.
Still, as people have traveled, they have realized things are not the same, they are not back to normal. We believe things have changed forever, and we will now live in a new normal, and so we can safely travel to a few destinations that have opened up for tourists, with required restrictions and safety protocols of course. That way, at least people do not feel forced to hunker down at home for this year's beautiful summer as well.
Cancun has been the most booked spot for vacation this year. If you sit and ponder over what you missed most last year, for most people, it is hanging out with others. In short- parties. A happening nightlife, a vigorous club scene are the best ways to unwind and enjoy. For all who enjoy a good party, Cancun is the place to be. The city wants you there, it has opened its doors and its beaches, and is providing incentives for travelers to return. Many local businesses in Cancun are offering hotel and activity vouchers, coupons and discounts, and gifts to visitors. Surf during the day, enjoy a lively night party, and soak in an inexpensive spa the next day. What a fantastic picture after the year we have had!
Another favorite this year are the islands of Hawaii. The Aloha state has opened its shores with health restrictions in place, but it clearly is welcoming visitors from all over the world. Honolulu, the capital city, is the most popular destination this summer. Honolulu has expanded its hotel scene. Queen Kapiolani resort with its 315 rooms across the world-famous Waikiki beach, debuted with a new look. The neighborhood of Kaimuki is quickly becoming the center of attraction for foodies, with the Japanese restaurant Miro, a French inspiration clearly visible in their menus.
Key West takes the spot of being one of the favorite summer spots this year. Many who desire a Carribean vacation, but do not want to leave the country, prefer to opt for the island. With much to explore at the Key West, try not to miss the astronomer-led walks, stargazing at Hawks Cay. Orlando has opened its doors to the famous Disney World. The gulf coast is another favorite with the purest white sand on its beaches, softly swaying palm trees, and clear turquoise blue waters. Try a road trip to make the most of all the scenic beauties along the coast. Miami is another option for party-lovers, and the city is attracting visitors with public exhibitions of art, free concerts, beautiful upgraded landscapes with its butterfly gardens, outdoor pavilions, gathering spaces, and more.
4. Puerto Rico
San Juan in Puerto Rico is another most coveted destination this year. If you are there, do not miss Castillo San Felipe del Morro. This cobblestoned city of Pina Coladas calls out to you. There are health restrictions that you will be bound by, and there is a curfew after 10pm. So, if you're interested in nightlife and parties, steer away.
Iceland is one of the first few countries to open its doors, and it is a favorite this year. Lots of Americans flock this year to Reykjavik, especially to relieve themselves from the hot summer. This year is less overwhelming for those traveling, with the number of tourists still on the low. Enjoy the cool waters all day long, especially between May 21 to July 21, when the sun refuses to set. Try booking the retreat at the Blue Lagoon, or take a snowmobile tour to the top of the Langjokull Ice Cap, or a helicopter ride to once-in-a-lifetime see Iceland's newest volcano, Geldingadalir. The volcano has been erupting and spewing ultra-hot lava with temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Dominican Republic
Lots of Americans have been traveling to the Dominican Republic this summer. The resort prices are significantly down, and are willing to provide an all-inclusive beachside vacation for their visitors. Punta Cana is a most desired location for its resorts and beaches. Note that the D.R enforces a curfew after 10pm, and so this is a vacation for relaxing. People who are looking for nightlife in their vacation can look at Miami, just 2 hr short flight away from Punta Cana.
Anchorage in Alaska is trending as one of the hottest summer destinations with completely booked flights and hotels. Tourism is the main income, and cruise lines as well as entry was closed for the last year due to the pandemic. 2021 promises the same tourist response to the thunderous glaciers, the flip-flying humpback whales, and the native art and craft scene in local towns. Cruises are unlikely to open for some time though. You can definitely take a boat to Glacier Bay, Kenai Fjords or Misty Fjords to watch the most active tidewater glaciers.
Cairo, Egypt is another summer destination trending this year. With a negative COVID-19 test result, you can easily visit in time to see the opening of the most awaited Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Greece opened its borders to Americans early this summer, and has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe. If you plan to visit, enjoy the party scene at Scorpios Beach club on Mykonos. Also, do not miss the mesmerizing sunsets from the scenic villages in Santorini. Another hot item to check out is the Santa Marina Resort. All of this is apart from the surreal beauty of the magical countryside, the mythical history, and the traditions that people tend to enjoy when visiting Greece.
Paris has not lost its appeal this summer, and since France moved the US to its green list, Americans are eager to once again take in the allure of Paris. People who are fully vaccinated can enter France without a test, and those that are not vaccinated need a negative test on entry. You can then obtain a special COVID pass, which will be needed for all activities, riding up the Eiffel Tower, or visiting French museums or theaters. This is a unique time to travel to Paris, a rare opportunity with smaller crowds, cheaper rates, and more relaxed atmosphere.
So, there you have it. This is a comprehensive list of locations allowing entry to access and enjoy the various tourist attractions they offer. Most require a negative test 72 hours before travel, so before making any reservations, please take the time to read up on any restrictions or safety measures that have been set in place. After a long year and half stranded inside homes due to the pandemic, people are ready to travel again, and many destinations are doing their best to make sure they can provide a safe environment for all.
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