The travel world has been flipped upside down and inside out the past 8 months.  Because of the many travel restrictions that have been imposed by various countries, we have been very limited in where we can go.  If you are like me, you are starved for travel and want to start planning a trip, maybe for the holidays, or maybe in 2021, and are wondering where can you easily book now?

My role as a travel advisor is to makes sure you understand where you can go and any travel requirements and restrictions.  Here are 5 countries you can book and visit right now with minimal requirements.

Laguna de Oviedo, Jaragua National Park

Laguna de Oviedo, Jaragua National Park

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

With over 6 million visitors a year, the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s most popular destination.  In addition to having fantastic all-inclusive resorts, it is probably one of the Caribbean’s most geographically diverse islands, making it a beach and nature lover’s dream. The warmth of the people and the rich culture make it a must-do Caribbean vacation.

THINGS TO DO

✈Splash around the Dolphin Island Park

✈Experience Carnaval de la Vega

✈Take a safari into the interior of the island

✈Zipline in the Monkey Jungle

✈Trek through Jaragua National Park

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Travelers to the DR no longer have to show a negative PCR Covid-19 test upon arrival.  Authorities will give breath tests to no more than 10% of random passengers (so be prepared to be chosen) plus anyone showing symptoms.  You will have to fill out a health affidavit.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

CROATIA

Croatia, a gem of a country on the Dalmatian Coast, has chosen to ignore the EU ban on Americans traveling to Europe and began welcoming guests from the US in July.  It has over 1,000 miles of coastline and 1,200 islands and inlets which are ideal for sailing and beach lovers.  As predicted by Anthony Bourdain, it has become a foodie paradise. Croatia is affordable and has become a year-round destination with something a little bit different each season.

THINGS TO DO

✈Take a Game of Thrones tour through Dubrovnik, the site for King’s Landing on the show.

✈Visit the Marjan Forest Park, a hillside park with botanical garden and hiking trails

✈Experience a food tour through the market in Zagreb

✈Explore the ruins of Kils Fortress near Split

✈Go on a donkey safari on Korcula Island

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

To enter the country, travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 48 hours (from the time of taking the test until arrival at the border crossing).

MEXICO

Chicen Itza, Merida, Mexico

Chicen Itza, Merida, Mexico

Chicen Itza, Merida, Mexico

Mexico is an incredibly diverse country with amazing cultural experiences, dramatic landscapes, and a storied history.  It has marine life, history, jungle, beaches – all of which are easy to get to.  With over 230 resorts in the Yucatan peninsula alone you are sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and budget.

THINGS TO DO

✈Go back in time with a visit to the Mayan ruins of Tulum or Chichen Itza

✈Swim with whale sharks in Isla Holbox

✈Snorkel the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef

✈Cruise the jungle in Yaxchilan

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

No testing is required, but you should expect temperature checks and other screenings upon arrival.

BELIZE

Belize's Blue Hole

Belize’s Blue Hole

This tiny country between Mexico and Guatemala has gained in popularity over the years, largely in part due to the rise in ecotourism – it’s one of the most popular ecotourism spots in Central America.  It sits on the second largest barrier reef in the world which makes it a haven for divers.  But, adventure lovers will have more than enough fun exploring the rainforests and Mayan ruins.

THINGS TO DO

✈Dive the Great Blue Hole to see the ancient stalactites

✈Visit Altun Ha, Mayan ruins dating back to 250-900 CE

✈See the jaguars at the Cocksocomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

✈Spend the day at Ambergris Caye for beaches, snorkeling, and diving

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Visitors must download the Belize Health App and have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within three days of arrival.  You can also be tested upon arrival for $50.

TURKS AND CAICOS

Tranquil beach in Turks and Caicos

Tranquil beach in Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos has been largely unspoiled by tourism and is the perfect destination for travelers who want gorgeous beaches and quiet evenings.  It’s 230 miles of white sand beaches and amazing coral reefs are irresistible.  The best part is that it’s only 90 minutes from Miami and just 3 hours from New York City.

THINGS TO DO

✈Take a Potcake puppy up for adoption to the beach

✈Take a tour to Iguana Island to see 2,000 rock iguanas

✈Explore the ruins of the old salt plantations

✈Go horseback riding on the beach

✈Dance and dine at the weekly fish fry in Bight Settlement

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Travelers must provide a negative Covid-19 test result for a test that was taken within 5 days of arrival.  Children 9 and younger are exempt.  Guests also must complete an online health questionnaire and carry travel medical insurance to cover any Covid-19 related costs.

Please note:  I do not advocate traveling if you do not feel safe or comfortable and I certainly do NOT advocate that you try to circumvent any country’s requirements, or break any state laws regarding quarantine upon your return.  If you wish to travel now and are subject to any sort of local laws and/or quarantine restriction when you get home, either plan to adhere to them or just wait to take that vacation.

Requirements can change so it’s important to monitor them daily.