Nothing hits better than a vacation in the peak of summer. But for those who have been paying attention to the news, the pandemic has been heavily restricting travel. So where can you actually travel during these trying times? Today, we’ll be starting our weekly series detailing some choice vacation locals for you to blow off steam.
As things change fast due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the information provided below is subject to change at a moment’s notice. Be sure to check the country’s embassy before booking tickets or planning a trip. Links to resources are provided under each country’s entry.
A classic summer destination, you probably know about the Bahamas because of its beautiful beaches and weather. Or perhaps you are a fan of swimming with pigs down in Exuma, one of the Bahamas many islands. No matter what brings you to the Bahamas, there will always be something exciting to do. The destination is also constantly circulating cruise ships, which are now touring again. This would be a great locale to visit on your first post-lockdown cruise!
Visitors 11 and older must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result no more than five days old before arrival. Once you have the negative result, you can apply for a Bahamas travel health visa (link below). Fully vaccinated travelers must upload proof of vaccination and are exempt from testing starting May 1. All travelers must opt-in to Covid-19 health insurance; the cost is included in the health visa fee.
Belize is a beautiful, yet relatively unknown, country in central america. Despites not being as well known as other central american rivals such as Costa Rica or Panama, Belize has similar sights and amenities.
Make sure to download the Belize Health App and input your travel information no more than 72 hours before arriving in Belize. You must also bring your official CDC vaccination card to prove inculcation no more than two weeks before arrival. Otherwise, have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 96 hours of arrival or a rapid test within 48 hours of arrival. Or you can be tested upon arrival at a cost of $50. All travelers must have proof they’ve booked a room in a gold standard hotel.
This small country in the Atlantic is typically swarming with tourists. Luckily, in large part due to the pandemic lockdowns, Iceland is more spacious than ever! While going north for the summer might sound weird, Iceland is jam packed with sights to see and activities for solo travelers as well as couples and families. Most notably, the hot springs that dot Iceland are a popular destination for travelers. Thanks to the island geothermal activity there are many to visit, so book a reservation now before they all fill up!
Starting April 6, US travelers who have proof of being fully vaccinated or those with proof of contracting Covid-19 but are now recovered may enter Iceland. This exempts US visitors from testing and quarantine requirements.
More info: US Embassy.
With its recent cultural export of k-pop blasting through the earbuds of every teen in America, it’s unlikely that you are unaware of South Korea. This technologically advanced country is a great place to visit if you haven’t dipped your toes in travel across the pacific. Boasting modernized public transportation, and beautiful natural landscapes, South Korea is really something to behold. Not only that, but their barbeque is nothing to scoff at either.
US visitors to South Korea must provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure. US travelers must also quarantine for 14 days upon arrival even with a negative test or full vaccination. You must also submit to health screenings and download a self-diagnosis app with daily reports.
More info: US Embassy.
Greece is often thought of as the birthplace of democracy. This mediterranean nation has been culturally emulated even here in the USA. Greece has recently reopened its borders, meaning you can enjoy visiting its many historical and ancient sites. You can also partake in the high quality mediterranean cuisine! Greece is also known for its islands which have gorgeous beaches, definitely worth visiting this summer!
Greece is now open to US travelers who are either fully vaccinated or those with a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test that’s no more than 72 hours old upon arrival. You must fill out an online passenger locator form. Would-be tourists should be aware Greece is still under a lockdown and curfew.
More info: US Embassy.
An iconic vacation spot that isn’t too far off the shores of Florida. The spanish half of the island of Hispaniola boasts scenic beaches and great cuisine, as well as a great party scene. For those who want to go off the beaten path and perhaps try somewhere other than the US’s own Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic makes a great first choice for your adventures outside of the USA.
UPDATE: All arriving and departing passengers must fill out an electronic entry and exit form; it can only be in digital form. Covid-19 tests aren’t required, but Dominican Republic authorities will give breath tests to a small percentage of random passengers plus anyone showing symptoms.
The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism now offers free viral antigen testing to all international visitors staying in hotels. The US Embassy says PCR test results have been reliably available within 72 hours but could be affected by increased demand.
Expedited Passport Services
You’ll need a passport to visit any of these beautiful countries, but getting one right now can be a challenge. The current wait time for a passport processed through normal means is 12-18 weeks. That might mean postponing your late summer vacation until winter! So much for blowing off steam.
Luckily, there are other options for obtaining a passport in a shorter period of time. If you’ve got proof of travel within 14 days, you can apply through the US Department of State, if you can get an appointment you can expect your passport back the same day! Unfortunately, like with many things during the pandemic, the wait times are prohibitively long, and their hours might cut into your work week.
We provide expedited passport renewal services as well! When you work with us, you get The Passport Office guarantee. We can process a passport application in as little as one week, and we have availability throughout the week so you’ll be sure to get an appointment. If you can’t come in person, you can also apply online and send in your application. So what are you waiting for? Book your vacation today, and get started with your passport application process!