Let’s Plan A Vacation


It looks like we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccination numbers are up, weekly case numbers are down… if we all play this right, we just might have a semi-normal 2022.

And we’re starting to see an end to winter, too. While tomorrow is technically the first day of spring, we’ve already seen some of the early signs. We’ve had a few warm days here and there and flower buds are poking out of the ground. Birds are already starting to migrate, too! Just this week, I saw a family of songbirds move from the pet food section of Walmart to the housewares section of Walmart.

Regardless of summer plans or 2022 plans, a lot of us are antsy now! We’re tired of the house and we want to get up and go somewhere that isn’t the U.S. We could grab a new car and go for a drive, but Canada is still practically closed, the CDC and political pundits highly discourage traveling to Mexico, and quality cars are hard to find. We could buy an RV and give camping a try, but it’s a seller’s market for RVs right now so you’ll pay top dollar. And good luck finding a reservation now. Cruise? Not until June 2021 at the earliest.

If you can’t fly there, you’re not going anywhere outside the U.S. right now. So, where can you go? The CDC has provided information to the state department for a special travel.gov portal available here outlining which nations have the greatest COVID-19 risks. Suffice it to say, most of the fun places are chock full of COVID-19, and travel there is not recommended. But surely there has to be somewhere sunny we can go where COVID is low, right?

  • Anguilla – Travel to the British Outpost Territory/Caribbean island chain is limited, but possible. You’ll need a negative test before you leave, one when you arrive, and you’ll need to quarantine for 14 days once you’re there. So… prepare for a longer stay.
  • British Virgin Islands – Another British outpost, another string of pre-tests, arrival tests, and quarantines. But here, the quarantine period is only four days.
  • Grenada – Travel here requires a negative test, a week+ reservation at an approved resort, and visitors must quarantine for a week with an additional test performed on day five.
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis – While located in the Lesser Antilles, the COVID restrictions are as high as they come while still allowing travel. Negative testing, a good bureaucratic runaround involving forms, letters, and approvals, and a series of testing and fees across 14 days before you can freely move about the islands.

With this list being limited to 1) sunny places 2) that Americans can currently travel to, of course caveats abound. Can you travel to other countries with higher COVID risks? Sure. This New York Times article lists everywhere Americans can currently travel, and the hoops you’ll have to jump through to get into each locale. But they will have higher COVID levels, and they may not be all that pleasant to visit as far as weather is concerned. Are there other sunny places? Yes, but as Americans we may be prohibited from entering. Australia and New Zealand come to mind.

For me, if I want sand between my toes, I have a gritty campsite in the Pine Barrens with all the sugar sand anybody could want. And if I want sunshine and tropical drinks, the Chinese restaurant down the street from my house has a tiki bar and one of those glass pictures of a beach that lights up if the pull-chain works that day. And there’s no testing, quarantine, or fee required.

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