For most of 2020, tourists have been persona non-grata in most of the world. And for those people for whom travel is a passion, that reality is one of the most difficult side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with 2021 right around the corner and a steady stream of good news about potential vaccines coming along, it may be a situation that’s about to change.
But that doesn’t mean anxious travelers can resume their globe-hopping ways just yet. There are still bound to be travel restrictions and other hurdles to get over to visit many of the world’s most popular destinations. The good news, however, is that there are already some amazing travel destinations you could be lining up for the new year – all of which will be more than happy to see tourists return. Here are four of the best – and safest – places to travel to in 2021.
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1. Costa Rica
One of the prerequisites that make a destination an attractive option for a vacation in the coming months is safety. And in the current climate, that means you’d want to go somewhere with plenty of outdoor activities and that has a good handle on the coronavirus within its borders. And there’s one place in particular that satisfies both conditions: Costa Rica.
Since November 1st, Costa Rica has reopened to tourists, and it has been roundly praised for its handling of the pandemic. And there are so many outdoor activities available that it’s easy to avoid indoor settings except to sleep – which you can even avoid if you opt to go to one of the country’s numerous high-end glamping locations.
2. The Galapagos Islands
Another great destination to visit in 2021 offers many of the same advantages as Costa Rica, but with a one-of-a-kind twist. In the Galapagos Islands, you can simultaneously get away from it all while experiencing a pristine natural environment unlike any other in the world. As of mid-July, Ecuador’s been allowing international flights, and all you’d need to visit is a negative COVID-19 PCR test within ten days of your arrival.
According to experts in the region from Voyagers Travel, there’s never been a better time to visit. If you do, you’ll get to see as many as 27 animal species that only exist in the islands and nowhere else on earth. And you’ll get to do it without the usual jam-packed crowds that typically come to visit. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a natural landscape unspoiled by man and to do it in relative peace and tranquility.
For those who love to mix historical studies with their travels, 2021 will present a great opportunity to visit history-rich destinations like Egypt. At the moment, tourism’s being limited to resorts within three of the country’s coastal provinces, but that’s no reason not to jump at the chance to visit the center of the cradle of civilization.
And despite the pandemic, Egypt’s a place that’s still yielding countless discoveries related to its ancient roots. Just this October, more than 100 sarcophagi were unearthed in one of the largest discoveries of its type on record. And if ancient history isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to see and do. You can scuba dive in the red sea, go for a cruise along the Nile, or check out cosmopolitan Alexandria. And best of all, Egypt’s climate makes it a perfect landing spot year-round, so you can plan your journey whenever it suits your schedule best.
Seasoned travelers know that some of the best vacation destinations are found in and around the Mediterranean Sea. The reason is that it offers some of the most stunning landscapes and friendliest climates anywhere in the world. And nowhere is that truer than in the history-rich nation of Greece.
Greece was among the first tourism-friendly places to reopen to foreign travelers, and it makes a perfect getaway spot. There are mountains, white sand beaches, lakeside hideaways, and thriving forests – and some of the best food you’ll ever be fortunate enough to eat. All it takes is a quick stop in Athens for a savory tyropita or other traditional fare and you’ll never want to go home again.
Ready to Take Flight
Any of the above four destinations would make a great first stop in your 2021 itinerary. They’re all beautiful, unforgettable locations that are safe and welcoming to tourists. So, start planning now. With some luck, you’ll be able to shake the 2020 blues with some mind-blowing vacations in 2021. And after this year, I think everyone’s earned it.
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