With vaccines becoming more available around the world, the chances of international travel are perking up. Even if you’re not ready to fly across the globe yet, we compiled a list of post-Covid-19 travel spots that you can safely road trip to. Travel is going to look different from now on, but that might be a good thing. Overcrowding will be a thing of the past, and you can actually enjoy the destinations you travel to. We added a mix of bustling spots and quiet nature escapes – take your pick!
1. The Rocky Mountains
After all the stress that this and last year have brought us, all we want to do is unplug and escape into the wilderness. The best place to do that is the Rocky Mountains, which can be explored through Colorado and Utah. In 2021, a glass-domed train ride called the Rocky Mountaineer will be providing dreamy and scenic views through western Canada, launching its first US route in August. Two days of wine, three-course meals, and canyons? Yes, please.
2. Napa & Sonoma California
When we’re stressed, we drink wine, but what’s even better is a trip to wine country itself. Napa and Sonoma aren’t just famous for being wine country – it’s lush and green while embodying luxury. They recently opened the solar-powered Montage Hotel bungalows, or Four Seasons Napa Valley, which is the first resort in Napa to be opened on a working winery. Plus, it feels good to support the area after its recovering from devastating wildfires.
Thanks to this country’s fast response to closing borders and enforcing an initial lockdown throughout the entire nation, Botswana hasn’t been too affected by the pandemic. This will make it a hot destination spot for travelers who have worries about crossing the border for health reasons. Explore exotic locales in the Kalahari Desert or the Okavango Delta, which are both lodges with isolated locations and fully provided meals and accommodation.
Hawaii might be known for its beaches, and while you’re visiting you should definitely take advantage of the extraordinary black and green sand, but if you venture outside the popular spots, you can unearth some truly breathtaking gems. For instance, the Hawaii Volcanoes National park on the Island of Hawaii, as well as the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, will turn the laziest travelers into passionate hikers.
5. New Mexico
The untamed desert of New Mexico is a surreal setting that captivates even the most jaded tourist. Santa Fe, along with other parts of New Mexico, is a must for art and nature lovers. Santa Fe has been dubbed a City of Design, as well as a UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art. Local inns are filled with adobe architecture and will inspire creativity in your mind. The perfect place to have your own Eat, Pray, Love experience.
6. Santorini, Greece
Greece has stolen the hearts of many travelers, and for good reasons. With its dreamy blue waters, powdery sand, and all-white architecture, contrasting beautifully against the blue sky and sea. Santorini is one of the hottest Greek Islands, and we included it on our roundup because they announced they will be one of the first tourist spots in Europe to re-open for tourists. We’re not sure exactly when, but keep an eye out for affordable specials when they open up.
7. New York City
No travel roundup would be complete without the Big Apple. Sure, it’s changed post-pandemic, but it’s kind of nice to have the city slow down a little bit without all that chaotic energy and noise running through it. If you’re already in the states, you can road trip there right now. By the summer and fall, it’ll probably be back to full liveliness, if the hustle and bustle is what piques your interest.
8. Alberta, Canada
Canada has lots of striking scenic areas, but nothing compares to the jaw-dropping mountain expanses and views of the lake. While Alberta is equally breathtaking in the summertime, it also makes for an adventurous winter vacation, so consider spending your Christmas there ice skating and skiing or snowboarding on the slopes.
Unfortunately, Italy started off our pandemic with a bang, as the world’s epicenter of COVID. But after controlling rates better than our American friends, people will find that this gorgeous country will be prime for exploring in 2021. Since the country was hit by over-tourism before the pandemic, visitor numbers going down isn’t the worst. And when you can visit, it’ll offer a chance to see historical attractions like never before.
Bermuda has a history of British colonization since the 1600s, but today, this island celebrates the culture of Diaspora in Bermuda instead, with a focus on welcoming Black travelers. Soak in the turquoise waters while you eat sandwiches from Art Mels Spicy Dicy and walk the African Diaspora Heritage Trail. They’re also opening a St. Regis Bermuda in St. George’s, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
11. Kyoto, Japan
Japan really took a hit during the pandemic when they were forced to postpone their 2020 Olympics. Tourism numbers dropped drastically – the government thought 40 million visitors would soon be perusing its islands. It means that magnificent new hotels and train routes are waiting for you in pristine condition when it’s safe for you to travel again. Kyoto is the country’s historic capital, and a chic, minimalist Ace Hotel just opened up there.
12. Provence, France
Sure, Paris is stylish and cool, but there’s nothing like the French countryside for unwinding and reflecting. Provence is filled with dozens of small, adorable towns, fields of lavender, and moments that will make you feel as though you’re in the movie Chocolat. Basically, this place is filled with all things photogenic that make you feel as though you’re in a time machine.
13. Alaska’s Coast
Due to coronavirus, many Alaskan cruises were canceled. But now that things are resuming, you can see the monstrous glaciers, humpback whales, and Native art scenes that have been inaccessible for non-Alaskans over the past year. National parks such as Kenai Fjords and Glacier Bay can be reached by boat, but there are also luxurious adventure services such as the Seabourn experience.
14. Coastal England
When London is too crowded with people and pubs, look to Coastal England, which is filled with picturesque cliffs, port towns with personality, and beaches filled with fossils. It’s a more wild, raw version of England that we don’t often see, and the view along the coast will make you swoon. Lots of new hotels are popping up along the coast, with a crowd favorite being Clifftops near Dorset.