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Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom) at dawn in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews
Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom) at dawn in Istanbul, Turkey.
Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Even as COVID-19 infections reach record highs in the United States, a number of countries have opened their borders to American travelers carrying U.S. passports.

These include popular destinations like Croatia — one of the few European countries now open to U.S. travelers — Turkey, Mexico, and Costa Rica, although some come with major restrictions.

Several Caribbean countries — including Aruba, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Maarten — also welcome Americans and their dollars, all-important to their economies.

Please note that I’m not recommending international travel at this time, especially if you have any reason to believe you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, or — like many baby boomers — you fall into high-risk categories such as advanced age or underlying medical conditions.

Until the COVID threat passes, you’ll also be facing other kinds of risks — both by getting on airplanes and confronting the possibility that you’ll be turned away upon arrival if you have a fever or other possible symptoms. Some destinations also demand quarantines of differing lengths.

And there’s an ethical component as well — are you willing to possibly spread the virus to other countries? If you’ve pretty much spent the past nine months nor so in self-quarantine and just really need to get away, you’re probably OK to travel — again, at your own, and possibly others’, risk.

Thanks to Scott’s Cheap Flights for this (newly updated) list, keeping in mind that things are volatile and subject to change:

Where US citizens can visit with no testing or quarantine required

Note that though a test isn’t required, you may be tested upon arrival (randomly, or if you’re showing symptoms) and asked to isolate until you get your results. If you’re sick and do need to quarantine, it may be at your own expense.

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Brazil (health insurance covering Covid is required)
  • Cambodia ($3,000 deposit required)
  • Dominican Republic (passengers will be randomly selected for a breath test)
  • Kosovo
  • Maldives (confirmed hotel required)
  • Malta (only if you spend 14 days in an approved country first)
  • Mexico (travelers must arrive by plane)
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Tanzania (health screening may include a test on arrival)
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

🚦 Where US citizens can visit with a negative Covid test and no quarantine required

Testing rules are all over the place.

Some countries require a negative test from the last 72 hours while some allow tests that are five days old; some require a test before you board, and others test on arrival. In some countries, a single test is all that’s needed and in others, you may need to be tested again depending on the length of your stay.

Bottom line: check each country’s requirements carefully.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Armenia
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia (with proof of booked accommodation)
  • Dominica
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • French Polynesia
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya (travelers from California, Florida, and Texas must quarantine for 14 days)
  • Montenegro
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Barts
  • St. Maarten
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • South Africa
  • The Seychelles
  • Turks and Caicos

Unfortunately at this time, there’s no word on when other countries, including those in the EU, may begin welcoming Americans again. And of course, if you’re going to travel, do so responsibly. 

Note: Thanks again to Scott’s Cheap Flights for this list, which may expand or contract at any time. Please check the various countries’ websites for the latest info.

Next Up: Five Overseas Retirement Destinations Now Welcoming Americans

READER COMMENTS

From FRANK VIVIANO fviviano@gmail.com:

Restrictions in the EU are severely tightening these days, as the infection )(and death) numbers mount — especially in such popular destinations as Italy, France and Spain, which have been hit very hard by the pandemic’s resurgence. Travel of any sort in and out of those countries, and even within them from region to region, is effectively open only to those with proof of critical job- or health-related reasons. All operations on UK-Italy air routes (apart from a small number of Rome and Milan flights) have been suspended by British Airways, EasyJet and Alitalia, with RyanAir maintaining highly reduced services that tend to be cancelled without much warning. Refunds take months to secure. It’s highly unlikely that any of this will change before January, and then only if a reliable vaccine is available to the general public. Very tough times for the travel and tourism industry.

From Clark Norton:

Frank, thanks for the always frank and rather depressing view from inside the EU during these perilous times. Be safe.

From SteveA Sanzalone@edc.org:

Clark, thanks for keeping an eye on this and the words of caution.

From Clark Norton:

Thanks, Steve.

2 Responses to Where Can Americans Travel Now?

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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