To say it has been a crazy year, is an understatement, and as we slowly return to hopefully a better future than past, there are some things to consider when looking to travel. First, you need to know the destinations that are open. Second, you need to know the current protocols. Finally, you need to connect with a travel agent to help you through all of this.
The decision of when to travel is purely up to you. You have to gauge your own comfortable level. Are you comfortable with the new protocols in place? How will this impact your family or job when you return? Make sure you are looking at the broad picture and definitely plan ahead. It is not just a matter of book a flight and go!
With that being said, for those of you ready to go, the Caribbean, is probably one of your best options to find an escape.
Most of the Caribbean is open to the U.S. traveler. The list of destinations welcoming the United States is growing, but remains fluid. I am providing the most recent options as of Sept 13, 2020. I will try to update as conditions change.
While this list is geared for our Caribbean lovers, please note places such as Tahiti that we’ve been sharing, Tanzania, and Croatia are some further overseas options welcoming the U.S. traveler. Please feel free to contact us with your destination of interest and we will be happy to work with you.
Caribbean Destinations Open to the U.S. Traveler
- Antigua and Barbuda-Negative Covid-19 test result within 7 days
- Aruba-Negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours
- Barbados-Negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours
- Bermuda-Negative Covid-19 test result within 5 days + $75
- Dominica-Negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours
- Dominican Republic-Negative Covid-19 test result within five days
- Grenada-Negative Covid-19 rapid result test result on arrival
- Haiti-Mandatory 14 day quarantine
- Jamaica-Negative Covid-19 test result less than 10 days old
- St. Barts-Negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours
- St. Lucia-Negative Covid-19 test result within 7 days
- St. Maarten-Negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours
- St. Vincent and Grenadines-Negative Covid-19 test on arrival, additional test on arrival
- Turks and Caicos-Negative Covid-19 test result within 5 days
*In addition to testing, some of the countries also require a health form to be filled out prior to boarding.
Note: Mexico, while not technically the Caribbean, is open without any current restrictions or requirements regarding testing.
As you can see, pretty much no matter where you go, you will need to provide a negative test result. This cannot be the home test either. These test have to be performed at medical facility. You will find that some destinations will do additional testing upon arrival or after a period of days while in country. Depending on which state you live in, travel outside the U.S. or even outside of your own state could require a 14-day quarantine period upon your return or additional Covid-19 testing. All the destinations are practicing new health protocols with additional cleanliness, hand sanitizer stations, and staff in mask and gloves. You will also be required to wear masks in areas where 6ft social distancing cannot be maintained. Be aware that not following the current Covid-19 protocols could result in fines or worse.
I should note, that many of the hotel partners I have in the Caribbean, are now offering incredible cancellation policies and deals we will not likely see next year.
Several chains are offering no penalties on cancellation and/or booking changes up to 24-hours prior to the check-in. Now really is the time to get that vacation booked, whether you fit an escape in before the close of 2020 or prepare for that much needed one in 2021 and beyond. Given the constant fluidity of this situation, please consult your travel advisor for the most up to date policies with the destination, resorts, and airlines.
Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI.
She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds. Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind. She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember. With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.
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