It’s the question on everyone’s mind. Now that the CDC has said vaccinated people can travel safely, where can US citizens actually travel right now? And what countries will likely open up to Americans by this summer or fall?
Here’s what you need to know.
Where Americans can travel right now (late spring to summer)
A couple of countries are already open to American travelers without any requirements for testing, quarantine, or vaccination (though remember, currently you’ll need a negative test to get back in the US).
Here are the countries that have no entry restrictions at all:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Mexico (entry via air only, land borders remain closed)
- North Macedonia
A few more countries have also announced that Americans who have been fully vaccinated can visit today without (or bypassing) any testing or quarantine requirements. Generally children under two are exempt but older children may have the same requirements as adults.
In some cases, it’s an either/or situation (you can show proof of vaccination or a negative test)
Here are the countries that allow vaccinated travelers to bypass other requirements:
- Armenia (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Belize (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Croatia (proof of vaccination, negative test, or proof of prior infection and recovery)
- Cyprus (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Denmark (proof of vaccination)
- Ecuador proof of vaccination, negative test, or proof of prior infection and recovery)
- Greece (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Guatemala (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Iceland (proof of vaccination and a free test upon arrival; without proof of vaccination, additional testing and quarantine is required)
- Italy (proof of vaccination and must take a special Covid-tested flight)
- Lebanon (proof of vaccination or prior infection and negative test; without proof of vaccination or proof of prior infection, quarantine is required)
- Montenegro (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Nepal (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Republic of Georgia (proof of vaccination or negative test)
- Spain (proof of vaccination)
Other countries are allowing US citizens to visit with proof of a negative test taken shortly before arrival (usually 48-96 hours, but rules vary). CNN has done a great job of keeping their list accurate, so double check there and be sure to visit the country’s embassy page for all the fine print, as some spots require second tests upon arrival, others have specific pre-registration details, and others require proof of insurance.
Here are the countries that do not require a quarantine with a negative test:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Sint Maarten
- South Africa
- St. Lucia
- Turks and Caicos
- UAE (only applies to Dubai; visitors to Abu Dhabi have to quarantine)
What countries will be opening to Americans soon (by summer)?
Some countries have announced specific dates they’re targeting for the resumption of international travel, and we expect that more will soon. So far those that have announced plans to reopen by summer include:
- France (announced planned reopening mid-June)
- Israel (will begin welcoming vaccinated travelers who are part of tour groups starting by the end of May; individual travelers could be allowed by July)
- Ireland (has announced mid-June as planned date)
- The UK (has suggested international tourism could restart by June but has offered no additional details)
EU officials have also suggested that a vaccinate passport program may be in place to open up the whole EU for international tourism by summer, though there’s nothing definite yet.
What countries will be open to Americans by the fall?
As we near the end of 2021, most of the holdout countries will begin to reopen—though it remains to be seen what kind of requirements or restrictions will be in place.
So far we know that parts of Thailand like Koh Samui are targeting a reopening date of October 1 for vaccinated traveler and Australia is currently looking at a reopening date of October 31. Other spots like New Zealand and Japan have not announced any plans as of yet.
For countries not open right now, we're making sure to send deals for far in advance, like like a recent deal for $229 roundtrip to Japan for travel dates through March 2022.
How to plan for uncertainty this year
Remember, just because you can enter a country for tourism doesn't mean you should—or that you'll have an enjoyable time. Many countries have not caught up to the US in terms of vaccine distribution and as a result, many tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops remain closed or have limited operation. Others have curfews in place or significant restrictions on travel within the country. Be sure to check each country's status before you go.
If you're looking to make future plans and hoping that the country you want to visit will be ready for visitors by the time of your trip, remember that most airlines are still waiving change fees for fares above economy class. If the country you want to visit isn’t open come trip time, you can push your flights back without paying an egregious change fee (though if the new flight is more you’ll pay a fare difference).
Plus, don’t forget that if the airline cancels or significantly changes your flight, you can get a refund or you can ask to be put on a different flight at the same price you originally paid.