Updated: Nov 23, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has ruined the vacation plans for many would-be travelers. If you have a desire to go somewhere but are now stuck at home because of the massive shutdowns of flights and hotels, you can still start thinking about where you want to travel now so that you’ll be able to make definite plans after quarantine and social distancing orders have been lifted. By now, we all realized that traveling is such an important part of our lives that we simply cannot live without it. A walk in the local park or a curbside pick-up from a local restaurant just won’t cut it. Sure they’re nice but we need to go beyond our hometowns for fresh air and to shake hands with strangers without giving a second thought. Of course, we don’t know when it’ll be safe to travel and I’m sure there will be certain long-term hygiene measures implemented by air carriers and hospitality industries.
Coronavirus has put the entire world under lockdown with the fear of contracting the disease, countries putting in serious bans and, restrictions on international and domestic travels. But when the curve is flattened and, the borders are opened everyone would want to take a long vacation. We’ve compiled a list of places to visit around the world that are COVID-friendly to travel to on a budget.
As it is often said, it is a journey, not a destination. Your traveling doesn’t have to be limited to just places around the U.S., and you can visit The Bahamas without having to go far outside the country. This archipelago lies just over 300 miles off the coast of the mainland U.S. and offers the perfect tropical escape from everyday life. Atlantis Paradise Island is a luxurious resort that includes high-class accommodations, several waterslides, and other fun aquatic activities. An area of The Bahamas that’s commonly referred to as Pig Beach is home to several feral pigs that can be visited by tourists. You won’t need a tourist visa to visit if you’re an American citizen, and you can learn about the latest travel advisories and any new laws that affect travel to the Bahamas by visiting the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Whatever your journey may be, when you stand on the citadel you’ll be glad you made it this far.
Kyoto is where you’ll find your inner peace you didn’t know you had. The city offers a blend of modern and traditional culture. The train station is extremely modern and resembles something out of an anime movie. Yet, you will also see women in Kimono in a narrow cobblestone alleyway. It is surreal as if people time traveled from different times.
There are many temples and shrines you can visit, where you can learn about their philosophy and find peace. My personal favorite is Kiyomizu-dera and Ryoanji. But find your favorite and take your time to enjoy it. The cherry blossom season is from the end of March to early April, whereas the fall foliage season is from the end of November to early December in Kyoto. So if you had enough of the year 2020, visit Kyoto and experience 2040 or 794.
Visiting Iceland is not a box-ticking exercise. No, as soon as you return home, you’ll be regretting why you didn’t stay longer or planning when you can return. There is no secret that Iceland has been a hot spot for globetrotters for the last few years. So if you have not made it yet, this could be your next trip.
I strongly recommend renting a comfortable car and driving around the island, stopping at numerous waterfalls, glaciers, and of course, hot springs (I recommend Secret Lagoon near Flúðir and, M’yvatn Natural Baths in Mývatn) The peak viewing season for northern lights is during the winter, but we saw some amazing light shows in April.
Iceland is a perfect place for crisp air and delicious water. Consider it as a post-pandemic therapy.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Nicknamed “Africa’s Singapore” Rwanda is poised to be Africa’s tech hub attracting foreign investments and fostering startups. As the country recovered and progressed from the 1994 genocide, the travelers started noticing “Land of thousand hills” as the top destination.
After spending a night in Kigali, many heads to Volcanoes National Park where you can go trekking to see mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. It is a truly remarkable experience. There are several hotels around the national park. My recommendation is Bisate Lodge with a sweeping view of Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes. Note; you will need to obtain a Rwanda Gorilla Permit to go gorilla tracking either through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or a travel agency. It currently costs US$1,500 per person. If you’ve lost faith in humanity during the pandemic, perhaps the encounter with gorillas will ease your pain.
Everest Base Camp, Nepal
You may think Everest is only for professional climbers and National Geographic crews. You’re wrong. Everest Base Camp (Known as EBC) is very reachable and even a 5 years old made it.
As you get off the rickety old plane at Lukla, you will be surrounded by fellow trekkers, sherpas and, yaks. It’s up to you if you want to hire a sherpa to assist you along the way. Even if you don’t need any assistance with the luggage, I recommend hiring one as you will learn a great deal about the mountains and the local culture. It takes about 12 days round trip to EBC. The basic accommodations known as Teahouse are found along the way. I recommend an optional hike to Kala Patthar to get a better view of Mt. Everest and an aerial view of EBC.
EBC is for those who want to justify that expensive at-home gym equipment purchased during the pandemic.
Tips for Travelling Safe during Coronavirus
Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the US has issued guidelines for travelers, for a safe trip during coronavirus outbreak. Don’t be afraid and most importantly, don’t believe the rumors blindly. Try to find out the reality and make a trip plan. CDC suggested not traveling by air unnecessarily, especially for children and the elderly as they can get easily infected.
Rethink over your plan once again and Book a refundable airline ticket. It is suggested to have travel insurance.
While boarding a plane, take these measures with you:
· On the way, greet others by saying ‘Hello’ instead of a handshake, to reduce the risk of infections.
· After touching surfaces, it may contain the virus that is transmitted to the body.
· Wash your hands properly, before eating at restaurants and roadside hawkers.
· Skip public transports possibly, apply the same hygienic habits if to travel on buses, trams, and cruise.
· Pay online instead of cash.
· Avoid crowded places, as it may lead to a severe infection.
Aviation companies are providing everything concerning safety of flyers. Take advantage during the trip and stay healthy.
Here are some travel items you may need: