Fun Small Towns in the USA

Sometimes you want to hit the hot spots, and sometimes the quainter attractions are on your mind. The USA hosts an enormous number of small towns that pack a punch way above their weight, and there are plenty of choices that offer a long list of things to do and places to see, all without being in the crowds of big cities. When planning your travel itinerary, consider these sparkling gems of activity where good times are waiting.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s scenic beauty and exhilarating activities earned the city Tripadvisor’s designation as Best of the Best in 2021 as a trending destination. This small USA town bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a popular travel destination where you can stay in cozy, fully equipped luxury Gatlinburg cabins surrounded by mountain views as your base of operations regardless of the season or weather. Along with hiking and ziplining in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg offers a variety of attractions including Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium, the Gatlinburg Space Needle and Anakeesta adventure park, to name just a few. Find the perfect souvenir while exploring Tennessee’s arts and crafts community with a visit to the 8-mile loop of workshops, studios, and galleries with more than 100 artisans showcasing their crafts. 

Stowe, Vermont

Adventure seekers, art enthusiasts, photographers and those who enjoy fine dining will find all that, and more, at Stowe, Vermont located in the northern region of the state. Stowe has a loaded menu of things to do, from skiing snow-covered mountains at area ski resorts and showing off ice skating techniques, to ziplining across colorful landscapes or enjoying live performing arts events under the stars. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, snowmobiling, and hot air ballooning are just a few of the activities Stowe has in store for visitors throughout the year. While enjoying your daily itinerary of activities, take time to fuel up with an exceptional meal at one of Stowe’s top-notch restaurants. Enjoy a variety of palate-pleasing goodness ranging from savory wood-smoked burgers, sizzling steaks and creamy biscuits and gravy, to sushi, oven-baked pizza and cheddar and maple donuts.

Captiva Island, Florida

The Sunshine State is all about fun in the sun and that is what visitors to Captiva Island, Florida can count on when visiting this small town located off the Gulf Coast. Enjoy walks on the beach gathering colorful shells, go sailing or fishing, rent a wave-runner and explore nearby Sanibel Island, experience parasailing, go snorkeling or scuba diving along artificial reefs, and enjoy bird watching, kayaking, hiking, and biking at Ding Darling Nature Preserve. At the end of the day, savor the flavor of some of Florida’s best seafood selections at local restaurants. 

Kanab, Utah

For those planning a getaway filled with outdoor adventures, Kanab, Utah has plenty to offer from mountain vistas to well-defined canyons. Experienced hikers and backpackers can take on the challenge of Buckskin Gulch, with its reputation as one of the deepest and longest canyons in the world. A scenic drive is always relaxing, and the 47-mile Cottonwood Canyon Road is no exception as you wind your way through Paria River Valley. Open for public tours, hands-on interaction, and delicious lunches, the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is one of Kanab’s best ways to spend the day. Cool off with water activities at Lake Powell with a rental stand-up paddleboard, sea kayak or boat to skim over the lake amid towering canyon cliffs.

Seaside, Florida

Here’s a town designed to be small and for walking around in. With a beach of sugar-white sand no more than 1 or 2 blocks away, and the teal green waters of the Gulf of Mexico beyond that, Seaside offers a destination to park the car and not start it again until you leave. With no tall buildings or hotels in the town, accommodations are largely quaint, private homes. And with gourmet eateries to graze from, strolling, or simply sitting and watching others stroll, is the order of the day. Time slows down and eclectic adventure is found simply from walking around. It’s a unique little town along Florida’s Emerald Coast, an area that’s has become a hot investment for Americans forming holding companies to bring more property into their retirement portfolio or looking to buy a vacation home. 

Taos, New Mexico

Experience the Native American culture and history of Taos, New Mexico listed as a National Historic Landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historical small town formally established in 1796 does not have a skyscraper skyline, instead, visitors walk along brick-paved streets amid Pueblo architecture exploring the many shops in the downtown Taos Historic District. Taos Plaza is a gathering point where live concerts, galleries, and shops offer entertainment year-round – don’t be surprised to see the occasional movie star. Other points of interest include the Kit Carson Home and Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum, and the Harwood Museum of Art.

Port Townsend, Washington

With a little over 10,000 residents calling Port Townsend, Washington home, visitors can enjoy much of this Victorian town’s historical atmosphere without the crowds. Nestled along the Olympic Peninsula, the historic seaport city offers an array of activities such as camping and hiking at Fort Worden Historical State Park and at Fort Flagler Historical State Park, built in 1897. Take a photo or two of the 1879 Point Wilson Lighthouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or step back in time at Jefferson Museum of Art and History. For a taste of the grape, plan a relaxing visit to Port Townsend Vineyards.

Whether your vacation plans include indoor activities, outdoor adventures, sunning on the beach, hiking a desert trail, ziplining through the mountains, or skiing snow-powdered slopes, small town USA destinations have something for everyone of all ages to experience

Tips for a Perfect Cycling Tour

There’s no better way to enjoy the spring season than taking part in cycling. If you’re a cycling enthusiast who likes to enjoy the free environment, then wait for a spring season before you start hitting the road. However, you can find it difficult to jump directly to cycling after the long winter season. You have to prepare yourself well before embarking on your cycling journey. Here are some of the tips that will help you, whether you’re riding for a charity or fun.

Ensue You Organize Your Trip

As you prepare to take part in cycling tours around Australia during summer, start preparing your trip a few weeks before embarking on the cycling date. Make a list of everything that you will need during your trip. As you organize your cycling items, consider factors such as the expected weather conditions, destination, and route you will be taking.

When choosing what gear to pack, ensure you find a good balance between comfort and convenience. You don’t need to carry unnecessary clothes that you won’t be wearing more often on your cycling tour. Ensure you carry the lightest items possible so that you don’t drag behind when cycling.

Set a Target Destination

You don’t need to cycle for long kilometers to enjoy your ride. You can cycle for a long distance and end up hurting yourself. On the contrary, you can also travel a distance that can make your adventure boring. Make sure you set a destination according to your capabilities. Enjoy the cycling experience by riding at your own comfortable pace.

Choose the Right for You

Your chosen bike should suit all the needs of your trip. The most important feature you need to consider when choosing your bike is the crotch and the tube connecting the handlebars to the seat. Ensure there’s an allowance of one to two inches of clearance between your crotch and the tube. Other features you need to pay attention to include the height of the handlebar, both angle and positioning of your seat, and lastly, the tire pressure.

After selecting your best fit bike, check it more often to ensure that you are comfortable with the speed. Monitor your bicycle more often as you maintain its condition to ensure it’s safe and can last long. Replacement and some repairing tools will work well with your trip.

Put on the Right Gear

Injuries from cycling can be life-threatening. Make sure you wear proper clothing and safety equipment to keep you safe throughout your trip. Putting on appropriate equipment also enhances your performance and prevents possible injuries. Cycling safety equipment includes padding, bike reflectors, eye protection, proper shoes, and gloves. You can also wear sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from powerful sun rays.

Ensure You Eat Healthy and Hydrated Throughout Your Cycling

You need to be healthy and hydrated more often because your body is the motor of your bike. Some of the foods you need to eat before, during, and after cycling include carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and vitamins. You also need to drink a lot of water to prevent cramps while riding. Cycling is a strenuous athletic activity that your body needs to be well-prepared.

Final say

Cycling provides a great workout to your body, but only if you follow the right procedure of cycling. By cycling, you can connect with the world around you. Professional cycling tours around Australia make cycling looks easy, which isn’t the case. You have to respect safety procedures and precautions to enjoy this fun activity.

 

10 Essential Items When Planning To Travel

For many individuals traveling the world is a lifelong dream, and they’ve worked years to put themselves in the position to do so. Unfortunately, many travel restrictions during the testing coronavirus pandemic caused havoc for holidays globally. Individuals were stuck at home and couldn’t fulfill their travel needs. Unfortunately, many industries took a big knock and especially tourism industries in all countries. Now is the perfect time for a magnificent getaway, and you’ll be supporting local tourism sectors as well. Let’s discuss ten essential items which are usually underestimated when planning holiday trips.

Reliable Suitcase

Having a reliable suitcase to keep all your belongings safe is something many people often forget. Don’t just use any suitcase for your holiday needs; can you imagine your zip stripping just before you’re leaving for your next destination. Something like this might sound unorthodox, but it happens and can ruin your trip, or you’ll have to use valuable spending money to replace it. This can ruin your trip, which is most definitely not something you want to regret afterward. On top of everything, your suitcase will be much heavier on your way back compared to when your trip started, so ensure you use a quality and reliable suitcase to keep your belongings safe. 

Playlist and Headsets  

Having a playlist ready for long journeys on trains, taxis, or even airplanes might make your trip somewhat better. People use listening to music to capture memories, and songs you heard ages ago might still remind you of something or someone special. Remember to pair your playlist with some quality headphones as the rest of the passengers won’t appreciate your songs on loud in the cabin. Listening to your favorite music at your destination might also be one of the more pleasurable moments on your holiday. 

Passport and Visa 

One of the worst things that can happen to someone is when they realize they forgot their passport standing in line at the airport, ready to go on their long-awaited holiday. This is something that can spoil an entire holiday, whether it was planned for months or not. Ensure you have a file that holds all your most crucial documentation, including passports, visas, flight bookings, and accommodation booking confirmation. This will ensure you are aware of the whereabouts of your documents at all times. This will be of great use to you as losing something like a passport in a foreign country will be a nightmare. You’ll have to communicate with your country’s embassy at the holiday destination to stand a chance to get back. 

Itinerary 

When you plan on going abroad, make sure to thoroughly research your destinations and what you can do to pass the time. Find out where the best restaurants are for some delightful meals at night after a long day. Ensure you know about all the history and landmarks of the area that you visit and ensure you get there and experience history like never before. Make sure to find out what the region is most known for; in France, you can attend classes to learn how to bake their iconic french baguettes. In Italy, a wine tasting may be a great experience as the world’s best wines are produced in this country. 

Accommodation 

When planning your holiday, your accommodation is one of the most critical aspects of the entire trip; your research concerning your accommodation should also be thorough. Make sure it’s close to other amenities; make sure it’s in a safe district, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the country you’re visiting. Do yourself a favor and read at least ten reviews from their review list to ensure this venue will accommodate all your needs and requirements. Also, check on a few different booking sites for the best location, and you can even use a promotional code from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk to ensure you pay the best price possible for your accommodation. Saving money on your accommodation means that you’ll have plenty of extra spending money on your long-awaited trip. 

Flight Bookings 

The early bird gets the worm; remember to book your flights way in advance to ensure you also get the best possible rate. Keep your flight tickets safe in your document file and ensure you arrive at the airport on time and ready for departure. You can even be a few hours early and get something to eat while you’re waiting at the airport. The earlier, the better. 

Medicine 

One thing many individuals never consider is taking medication for unplanned events. Flying to another country for first-time travelers might be a stressful experience; if you understand your physical behavior, you’ll know that most people’s bodies respond differently to stress and jet lag. Have some medicine ready for when you arrive, and you’re feeling under the weather. You should also ensure that you have a specific treatment for when you’re going to regions that may be prone to diseases like malaria. This is common, and you can quickly combat the disease with the right medicine. If you’re someone who uses chronic medication, it’s a must that you remember your pills because getting them in another country might be costly and, in some instances, even impossible. 

Camera 

The most memorable way to capture and keep the precious memories you make on your trip is utilizing a camera. Whether you like taking pictures or not, it’s essential to have a keepsake of the experiences and memorable times you spent on your trip. If you’re someone who likes the art of photography and videography, maybe capture content and make a highlight video you can share with friends and family afterward. Having beautiful pictures and short video clips of your beautiful destination and pleasurable times is something that will last a lifetime. 

Traveling is one of the most adrenaline-filled experiences you can have, even though it might be intimidating at first. When you have everything you need, the only thing left to do is enjoy every moment and take lots of photos and videos. 

All the Countries Americans are Allowed to Travel in Right Now

This post is shared via Smart Travel.

With the seventh most powerful passport in the world, Americans are used to the privilege of access to almost any country on demand. Before the pandemic, Americans could travel to 185 of the world’s 195 countries visa-free, or with a visa on arrival. But due to the high coronavirus rates in the U.S., dozens of destinations (including the European Union) have deemed the U.S. ‘high risk’ and closed their doors to Americans. So what countries can Americans visit right now?

Some countries have slowly begun to re-accept U.S. passport holders, providing they agree to specific regulations such as PCR testing for COVID-19 or mandatory quarantines. You’ll also now need to show a negative PCR test result (taken up to three days before your flight) in order to board any aircraft returning to the U.S. from overseas. (Alternatively, you can show medical documents if you had COVID-19 in the past 90 days.) The situation is still in flux and each country has different requirements. All the changes have left many travelers confused about which countries Americans can visit now. If you’re thinking of heading overseas, here’s what you need to know about where you can go and what the requirements are for American visitors.

The rules and mandates below are subject to sudden change so we’re updating this page weekly with relevant information sourced from the State Department and tourist boards. Airlines may have additional requirements. We recommend you also check details on your destination’s immigration website and purchase travel insurance covering flight changes/cancellations, unplanned quarantine, coronavirus treatment, etc. The State Department or your home state’s government may also have conditions for returning to the U.S. from certain locations.  

All the Countries Americans Can Visit Right Now

Albania

Set alongside the sparkling Adriatic Sea, this southeastern European destination is more under-the-radar than its popular neighbor, Greece. U.S. passport holders can enter without a PCR test but masks are mandatory and there is a curfew from 8 p.m. -6 a.m. However, a number of airlines have cancelled or reduced their flights to and from Albania. Expect health screening at the airport (no-touch thermometers and medical staff looking out for anyone exhibiting coronavirus symptoms). There are restrictions on which countries you can pass through on your return to the U.S.A.

Anguilla

This tempting slice of eastern Caribbean paradise is successfully keeping its coronavirus rates low by requiring all visitors – including Americans – to apply for pre-travel authorization then, on arrival, present a negative PCR test (taken three to five days before they travel). You must take a second PCR test on arrival, a third on day 10 or 14 and one more on departure. Masks are required on vessels and in any place where it’s not possible to remain at least three feet from everyone else. U.S. residents must quarantine in a government-approved facility for up to 14 days. The country is trying to encourage long-stay visitors during the pandemic with new visas including family and digital nomad visas, but it’s also possible to book short stays of five days or less.

Antigua and Barbuda

American visitors are welcome to come to these sun-soaked islands provided they have a negative PCR test (taken up to seven days before flying there). All arrivals must complete a health declaration form and wear a mask in all public areas. You also have to register with the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment by providing information here or by calling 1-268-462-2675. There is a ‘recommended’ quarantine period of 14 days and the health authority may require further PCR tests. It’s ‘recommended’ because if you test negative on the second test you may be released from quarantine. There’s a curfew from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until April 15.

Armenia

Straddled between Asia and Europe, this landlocked nation is allowing Americans to visit providing they have taken a PCR test within the past 72 hours or agree to take on one arrival ($40). Arrivals testing negative are exempt from quarantine. Face masks are required in public spaces.

Aruba

These Dutch Caribbean islands are back open for business. Americans can visit Aruba’s sandy shores providing they complete an online immigration card and purchase Covid-19 health insurance before arrival. The immigration card must be submitted along with a negative PCR test, taken at least 72 hours before arrival. An alternative option is taking a PCR test on arrival then self-isolating at your hotel until you get the results. There’s a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The tourist board made this handy video on their COVID-19 protocols.

The Bahamas

A Travel Health Visa ($40-60) and negative PCR test (taken up to five days before arrival) is required for entry to these picture-perfect islands, which lie just a stone’s throw from Miami. Visitors must present the confirmed Travel Health Visa and PCR test result to airline crew before they board their flight and show it again on arrival to immigration officials. You’ll need to opt-in for Covid-19 travel insurance on your visa application. You also have to take a rapid antigen test on day five, but results come through within an hour. Face masks are required in public spaces and everyone must self-report their condition via a daily health questionnaire for up to 14 days, or for the duration of their stay if under two weeks. There’s a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on many of the islands (starting at 8pm on some islands), and traveling inter-island requires an online health application and possibly another PCR test too.

Bahrain

This sovereign state in the Persian Gulf is offering Americans visas on arrival, but you must take a PCR test at your own expense upon landing. You will be required to complete a health questionnaire, download the BeAwareBahrain health app and will have to take a second and third PCR test on days five and 10, also at your own expense ($95 for all three tests). However, you only need to self-isolate until the results of the first test are in.

Bangladesh

Set on the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is among the more offbeat destinations on this list. Bangladesh requires all U.S. citizens to present a negative PCR test from a government-authorized facility, taken up to 72 hours before arrival. On arrival you’ll need to fill in health information cards and there’s temperature screening at the airports. You then need to quarantine at your hotel or other accommodation for 14 days. Masks are required in public. Certain areas of the country are subject to localized restrictions – check with the Directorate General of Health Services.

Barbados

American visitors to this tropical paradise must complete a PCR test from an accredited facility up to 72 hours before arrival and online immigration forms 24 hours in advance. The test will be screened for validity on arrival, and you will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival too. The U.S. is still deemed a ‘high-risk country’ by Barbados, so you’ll need to quarantine at a designated holding hotel or approved villa for five days. During this time you’ll also have to report your temperature and give health updates daily to the public health team who will check in by call or text, so bring your own thermometer.  You’ll also have to wear an electronic tracking bracelet. Another PCR test is required on day five, and if the result is negative again then your quarantine is over. Everybody has to agree to abide by ‘Barbados House Rules’ which include mandatory masks in public and abiding by the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

Belize

Belize is framed by the Caribbean Sea on one side and dense jungle on the other. This lush Central American country is asking Americans to present a negative PCR test taken 96 hours prior to travel, an antigen test taken 48 hours in advance or take a rapid test on arrival in Belize ($50). If you can present a certificate of vaccination against COVID-19, you don’t need to take any tests to enter Belize. This must be full immunization, completed at least two weeks before arrival in Belize. Everyone is asked to download the Belize Health app and complete the questionnaire, (which includes booking a ‘Gold Standard hotel’ in advance) then take a screenshot of your QR code/ID to show immigration officials at the airport. Masks are mandatory in public. Tourists can move around freely but are recommended to stick to the Gold Standard amenities, sites and restaurants in the Tourism Safe Corridor. There’s a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Bermuda

The country that gave the world Bermuda shorts is also famed for its stunning pink sand beaches. This North Atlantic island requires travel authorization one to three days before arrival plus a negative COVID-19 test for all arrivals. It must be taken up to five days before travel. Then you’ll need to take a second PCR test on arrival and quarantine until you receive a negative result (usually within 24 hours). For the first 14 days you also need to wear a $30 ‘Traveler Wristband’ (pretty strict repercussions for removal). Further tests are required on days four, eight, and 14. Alternatively, you’re allowed to avoid all the testing and the wristband by legally agreeing to quarantine for 14 days. The Bermuda Travel Authorization is $75 and all arrivals have to report their temperature twice daily online (so bring your own thermometer). Masks are required in all public spaces. You also must take a taxi (not public transport) from the airport and give the driver your contact details for contact tracing purposes. Indoor bars and nightclubs are closed.

Bhutan

This breathtaking Buddhist kingdom has always strictly limited the number of tourists allowed into the country under its ‘high value, low impact’ policy aimed at protecting its unique culture and environment. That means most nationalities wanting to visit have to apply for a visa in advance through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator and pay a daily fee of $200-250 if accepted. The Tourism Council of Bhutan tells us that Americans can still visit now using the normal system, but they must agree to 21 days of quarantine.

Bolivia

From the Andes and the Atacama Desert to the Amazon, Bolivia has a lot to offer adventure travelers. Currently, Americans can visit Bolivia if they provide a negative PCR test taken within 10 days of their flight. Masks are required everywhere in public and there’s health screening at the airports. As with most destinations, changes can be put into effect with no notice but you can keep an eye on things here.

Bonaire

You’re allowed to enter this Dutch Caribbean island as long as you also comply with Bonaire’s entry requirements. It involves downloading a health declaration form before travel and then presenting to immigration authorities on arrival. You also need two tests – a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before you travel  and a negative rapid antigen test four hours before boarding. Alternatively, Bonaire accepts a negative NAAT test, taken up to 24 hours before departure. There’s a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Located on the Balkan peninsula, this southern European spot only requires Americans take a PCR test 48 hours before arrival. Assuming it’s negative, you’re free to explore this history-rich nation with few restrictions, except for face masks in indoor and outdoor public places. There’s a curfew in place, but the duration varies by area, so check locally

Botswana

You’ve probably seen Botswana’s Kalahari Game Reserve in nature documentaries. The fossilized river valleys and epic grasslands populated by giraffes and cheetahs are iconic. If you’re hoping to go, you’ll need a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before your flight. Masks are required and there are some domestic travel restrictions. Permits are needed for travel between the nine geographical zones but tourism is regarded as essential travel for economic reasons, so these permits will usually be approved. In the capital, Gaborone, there’s a curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. There are reports that travelers should expect inconsistent application of COVID rules and sudden unexplained changes in enforcement in Botswana, so please bear this in mind.

Brazil

It’s worth noting that the State Department has slapped a ‘do not travel’ warning on Brazil right now due to high numbers of coronavirus cases. However, Brazil is still allowing U.S. passport holders to enter for stays of up to 90 days, providing they arrive by air. You’ll need to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before arrival and fill in a Traveler’s Health Declaration, whereby you also agree to ‘sanitary measures’ (social distancing, hand-washing etc) during your trip. The form will be distributed prior to boarding or you can find it here. There is also health screening at the airports. Several states and local governments in Brazil have issued mask mandates and movement restrictions so check locally to avoid fines or possible arrest.

British Virgin Islands

All 60 of these glittering reef-lined islands and cays reopened during the first week of December after nine months of closure. While its borders were shut, the government of this luxury Caribbean destination devised a very extensive COVID-prevention program. Visitors need proof of travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage and a negative PCR test taken up to five days prior to arrival. You also need to apply for travel authorization and submit your PCR test results via the BVI Gateway App – more info here. On arrival, there’s another  test, and you’ll have to activate a contact tracing app on your phone and put on a government-issued wristband monitoring device. For the first four days you must quarantine at your hotel, then take a PCR test on day four (using approved transportation to and from the testing site). If you’re still COVID-free when the results come back, you can go explore, providing you stay 6ft from others, wash your hands often and wear a mask during travel and at the airport. The PCR tests, wristband and app are provided at your own expense ($175). Arrivals by sea are subject to four days of quarantine plus PCR testing.

Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)

This collection of volcanic islands, bursting with Creole and African culture and surrounded by turquoise waters, is popular among European travelers but less well known by Americans. However, visitors from the U.S. are welcome to visit as long as they can show a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to travel. On arrival, your temperature will be taken and you’ll need to fill in a health questionnaire then wear a face mask in public while you’re there. There are currently restrictions on São Vicente which affect restaurants, beach access and public gatherings due to an uptick in localized COVID cases. For inter-island travel, you’ll need to fill out a Health Surveillance Survey.

Cayman Islands

Under the first stage of its reopening plans, only limited categories of travelers can enter the Cayman Islands (such as for special events) and they need to be approved by Travel Cayman. But if you’re among the highest-earning digital nomads (or just working remotely this year, with a high salary), you’re one of the lucky few that can enter. The Global Citizen Concierge Scheme is aimed at long-stay travelers, who can remain there for up to two years. If you meet the criteria (which includes making at least $100,000 annually) and are approved, you can enter this tropical paradise with a negative PCR test from an accredited lab taken up to 72 hours before your flight. Then there’s a 14-day quarantine period just to ensure you’re definitely not infected. Masks are required at airports and on public transport. If you want to travel between islands there, you’ll need advance authorization and may have to take a PCR test too.

Chile

This long strip of land between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean recently featured in Ewan McGregor’s motorcycle travelogue, Long Way Up. If that whet your appetite to visit you’re in luck because Chile is allowing American visitors in — with a few conditions of course. You’ll need to complete an affidavit within 48 hours before you leave for Chile. You also need to show a PCR test on arrival taken up to 72 hours in advance (the clock starts ticking when it’s taken, not when you get the results) and show proof of insurance covering COVID-19. There’s a 10 day quarantine, and you spend the first five days of it in a transit hotel, where you take another PCR test. If the result is negative, you can proceed to your hotel and complete the remaining five days of quarantine there, while reporting your health condition daily to the health ministry. You also need to apply for a ‘health passport’ to travel around within Chile (it’s only allowed in certain regions, depending on their COVID-19 infection rates).There’s a 11p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew (more restrictive in some areas) and masks are mandatory in all urban areas.

Colombia

Famous for its coffee, rich culture and friendliness, Colombia is requiring visitors to take a PCR test up to 96 hours before flying there. Alternatively, if you sign a document claiming you were unable to get tested within that time frame, you can take one on arrival then quarantine for as long as the country’s health department instructs (up to 14 days).  Travelers are expected to quarantine for 7-10 days, and take another PCR test between days three and five. You also must fill out a form before departure and agree to contact tracing while in Colombia. All travelers are subject to health screening at the airports. Some cities have implemented curfews. Restrictions such as masks and social distancing vary greatly by city and department, click here for more details.

Costa Rica

Americans wanting a taste of the slow life in Costa Rica must provide proof of health insurance covering COVID-19 with expenses of up to $50,000, plus $2,000 worth of coverage for coronavirus-related quarantine. Immigration officials in Costa Rica have discretionary powers to decide the duration of your stay and are currently limiting it to correspond to your insurance coverage dates. You need to fill in an online Health Pass 48 hours before you travel. Face masks are required. Find more details here.

Cuba

As long as you don’t stay in a government hotel, Americans can travel to this northern Caribbean spot. You’ll need to take a PCR test 72 hours or less in advance of your arrival. You will need to take another one on arrival then self-isolate for five days. On day five there’s a third PCR test, but if it’s negative you’re free to look around, as long as you wear a mask. There are some restrictions on interstate travel and you must have non-U.S. medical insurance, which is usually included in airline prices for flights originating from the U.S., according to the State Department.

Curaçao

If you want to visit Curaçao’s turquoise bays,  you must complete an online immigration card, Health Department Passenger Locator Card, and purchase insurance. You also need to take a PCR test in the 72-hour window before you leave home. There’s a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. More details available here. Under the current lockdown orders, beaches are closed, vehicles can only be used for ‘essential purposes’ and there’s a ‘stay at home order’ for Sundays.

Djibouti

Under the radar? Yes. Open to Americans? Also yes. Djibouti has picturesque beaches on the Gulf of Aden, amazing volcanic and mineral formations, salt lakes and world-class diving. This destination on the Horn of Africa requires travelers to obtain approval for an eVisa and take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure (not more than 120 hours before arrival). All passengers take a minimally-invasive saliva test for COVID-19 on arrival ($30). If a high number of passengers on your flight test positive you may have to take a PR test too. Masks are required at airports and you must carry hand sanitizer with you during your trip and observe social distancing.

Dominica

This sunny eastern Caribbean enclave is allowing Americans to visit providing they show a negative PCR test taken 24-72 hours prior to arrival and agree to a Rapid Diagnostic Test on arrival too. You’ll need to submit a health questionnaire online 24 hours before arrival. All visitors must also agree to scheduled and unscheduled health checks (by phone or in person) during their stay. You also must quarantine at a COVID-certified hotel and take a PCR test on day five. If the test is negative the quarantine is over. You also need to wear a mask in public.

Dominican Republic

This tropical paradise requires all visitors to fill out an E-Ticket for entry and exit. Until then, you need to fill in a health declaration form to attest to not having had any symptoms within the past 72 hours and provide details of where you’ll be staying for the next 30 days. Rapid tests are carried out randomly on 3-10 percent of arrivals and there may be temperature checks at airports. You must wear a mask in public places, and there is a nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m during the week and from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekends. Amazingly, all arrivals get a free temporary health coverage plan, although medical care is limited so you’ll probably still need private insurance which covers medical evacuation.

Ecuador

This environmentally diverse nation slicing through the equator is open to all Americans who can present a negative PCR test taken up to 3 days before they fly or show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You may also have to take another rapid test on arrival in Ecuador. There are special additional requirements if you’re heading to the Galapagos Islands. You need to take a second PCR test no more than 96 hours before you get to the Galapagos Islands. That’s unless you get there within 96 hours of arriving in Ecuador, in which case you can use the same one as you used to get into Ecuador. You also need a ‘salvoconducto’ (safe conduct) pass from your tour operator to enter Galapagos. There’s a curfew in some areas; hours vary by province or municipality.

Egypt

Whether you want to see the pyramids or go diving in the Red Sea, you’ll need to show a paper copy of a PCR test taken up to 96 hours before your arrival in Egypt if you’re traveling from the USA. The State Department has heard anecdotal reports of passengers with tests taken over 72 hours before boarding being turned away. There could be some confusion because most other countries are only given a 72-hour window. You also need to show proof of health insurance. If you’re traveling directly to the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, you can fly without a PCR test, take one on arrival then quarantine at your hotel until the results come through. Masks must be worn in public.

El Salvador

If you want to explore the lush landscape, beaches and archaeology of El Salvador, you can, providing you can show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your outbound travel. Masks must be worn at all times and there’s health screening at the airports. There are also some restrictions on domestic travel.

Equatorial Guinea

If you’re heading to this Central African nation for gorilla-spotting, volcanic islands or Spanish colonial architecture, you need a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of your flight out there. All arrivals are also given a Rapid Test and must quarantine for five days. On the fifth day, you take another PCR test ($200) and if it’s negative, the quarantine is over. Nightclubs and beaches are closed and there are some restrictions on inter-district travel, so check and plan before you go. Masks are required in public and there’s a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Gabon

Located on the Atlantic coast of central Africa, Gabon has plenty to tempt adventurous travelers, from its beaches and fishing villages to the Crystal Mountains. You’ll need to take a PCR test up to five days before you fly and another on arrival ($37), then quarantine until you get the results. These test results allow you to move between cities in Gabon too. Masks are required in public. There’s a curfew in the capital, Libreville, from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The Gambia

With rich wildlife and golden beaches, The Gambia has been slowly growing in popularity among travelers from outside the region as a ‘new’ destination to explore. Americans can visit as long as they can provide a PCR test taken up to 72 hours before travel. Due to the new strain of coronavirus being detected in the US, you now also have to take a second test on arrival. Masks are mandatory in public and you can see the latest updates here.

Georgia

Whether you dreamed of checking out the Black Sea beaches, mountain villages or joining the growing digital nomad hubs, Georgia has opened its borders for visitors once again this year. Travelers of all nationalities can enter if they can present a COVID-19 vaccine certificate confirming they’ve received two full doses of the vaccine. Otherwise, you can fill in this application form and present a PCR test taken up to 72 hours before you fly there, then self-isolate until after you’ve taken another PCR test on day three (but vaccinated travelers don’t need to take any PCR tests for entry, nor during their stay). There’s a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.Face masks must be worn in enclosed public spaces, in taxis and on other public transport.

Ghana

With forests, beaches, rich history and sustainable tourism, Ghana is a very diverse destination. Ghana is welcoming Americans with negative PCR tests taken up to 72 hours before arrival. On arrival, there’s a $150 COVID-19 test at the airport, which you have to pay for before departure here. (You have to present proof of this payment to the airline before you board). Tests come back within about 30 minutes and if negative, there’s no requirement to quarantine. Face masks are mandatory in public.

Grenada

If you want to visit the ‘Spice Isle’ you’ll need to apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate before you fly. A PCR test taken up to three days before travel is also required, then you must quarantine for seven days at an approved location, then self-monitor and self-report for seven days after quarantine ends. Grenada is only allowing visitors booking at least seven days to stay there. On the fourth or fifth day of your stay you must take another PCR test ($150) and after you get the green light (within 48 hours) then you’re free to explore, providing you continue to monitor your health for symptoms and self-report for the next two days, follow social distancing protocols and wear a mask on public transport. There’s a curfew from midnight to 4 a.m.

Guatemala

These rainforests and ancient Mayan sites are yours to explore providing you show a negative PCR test on arrival. It has to have been taken 72 hours prior to arrival and you also must complete the Health Pass before you arrive. If you were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks prior to travel, or recovered from COVID within the past three months, you can show medical documentation instead of taking a PCR test. Masks are required in all public areas.

Haiti

The Dominican Republic’s next-door neighbor is still allowing visitors from the U.S. to enter, providing you can show a negative PCR test result, taken no more than 72 hours before boarding. Alternatively, you can skip the requirement for a test if you can show medical documents confirming you recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days. You’ll be asked to fill out a health declaration form with contact details at your hotel and will be subject to health screening at the airport. Masks are required in public and you may get a check-in from an official at the Ministry of Health during your stay.

Honduras

While the country is still recovering from Hurricane Eta, Honduras is still keeping its borders open for tourists including American arrivals. You’ll need to complete this health declaration and bring a printed copy of it as well as show a negative PCR test on arrival. Face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing is mandatory. There are restrictions on inter-state travel. There is also a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Ireland

While you can still visit Ireland, the Irish Government is urging people only to go for essential purposes and the country is now in full lockdown. This means nobody can travel more than 5 miles from their residence, shopping is only allowed for essential items and bars, cafes and restaurants are closed (food can only be ordered to go). All arrivals must present a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival, fill in a Passenger Locator form, self-isolate for 14 days, and agree to restricting movement. Face masks must be worn on public transport and are recommended in any crowded outdoor areas too.

Iceland

Iceland is now allowing anybody who is fully vaccinated to explore this land of raw dramatic scenery. You need to fill in a pre-registration form before you travel and submit a negative PCR test along with it, taken up to 72 hours before your flight. Until April 6, Americans also have to undergo two COVID tests on arrival and on day five (and quarantine between the results), but the testing and quarantine requirements are being phased out soon for all nationalities. The tests are free of charge. Click here for more information.

Jamaica

The tropical island of Jamaica is allowing American travelers in, but with certain restrictions. You’ll need to apply for travel authorization online in advance, including a negative PCR test from an accredited lab taken up to three days before your departure date. Then you will have to quarantine for up to 14 days at a selected hotel upon arrival. The tourist board has a very informative website explaining requirements. There’s a curfew and some restrictions on inter-state travel.

Jordan

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of posing like Indiana Jones in front of the rock temple at Petra. Here’s the good news – it’s still possible. Americans must complete a health declaration form including a negative PCR test up to 72 hours before they leave home, then take a $46 PCR test on arrival. They must also prove they have adequate health insurance. There’s a weekly curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. As with most places, masks and social distancing are required.

Kenya

Most famous for its savanna safaris, this beautiful country is open to Americans who can present a negative PCR test taken up to 96 hours before arrival. The test will shortly need to be verified via the Trusted Travel initiative.. You’ll have to apply for an e-visa before boarding your flight. There’s health screening at the airport, masks are mandatory in public, and there’s a curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Kiribati

This off-the-beaten track collection of central Pacific islands requires all American visitors to quarantine for 14 days in another country outside of the U.S. before they can enter. It has to be a third country which isn’t on their restricted list (which is quite long and can be found here). But if you can do that, and also show medical clearance stating you’re free of COVID-19, then you’re good to go. Kiribati has no confirmed COVID-19 cases, so there are no additional restrictions.

Kosovo

While Kosovo hasn’t blocked Americans from vacationing there, both Kosovo and the U.S. State Department are urging Americans not to visit. If you do, Kosovo doesn’t require  a negative PCR but some airlines do (or may cause delays if you don’t have one). Restaurants and bars close at 10 p.m. Masks are required in public, with hefty fines and prison sentences for those caught violating the mandate.

Lebanon

Americans can visit if they fill in a health declaration form and show a negative PCR test taken up to 96 hours before their arrival. You must then take a PCR test on arrival and then another PCR test within 72 hours ($50) and quarantine for up to 72 hours at a designated pre-paid hotel (until you receive a negative result). During this time you also have to use an app to demonstrate your compliance. There are fines for anyone not wearing a mask in public.

Malawi

This land of diverse landscapes and wildlife is a great destination for nature-loving adventurers. Malawi is accepting all visitors who can present a negative PCR test taken up to 10 days before arrival. Just before you land, or at the airport, you’ll be given a Travel Surveillance Form to fill in. Despite its somewhat austere title, it’s just another health/contact tracing form that you’ll need to hand over to health officials at the airport. You may also be tested on arrival at your own expense (results within 24 hours). As long as the results are negative, you then only need to self-monitor for COVID symptoms for the next 14 days. During this time, health officials might check up on you and you’ll need to wear a mask in public for the duration of your stay. There’s a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The Maldives

These Indian Ocean islands are still a popular destination for luxury travelers. The tropical archipelago is open to U.S. passport holders. You’ll need to present a negative PCR test taken up to 96 hours before arrival. Some resorts may require one or more PCR tests to be taken during your stay. The resorts doing this normally allow guests to be mask-free after the additional tests. Each resort is on a private island of its own (separated from the general public) which means they’re all in their own ‘safety bubbles’. But each of the 130-plus resorts have a slightly different position on masks. However, masks are universally required during transit and at airports. There’s health screening at the airports too. Guesthouses are open again but for these non-resort islands where the local community lives there’s exit screening if you want to move to another inhabited island and you need to take a PCR test up to 72 hours before departure. The latest updates are here and here.

Mexico

From the cliffs of Cabo San Lucas to the sun-kissed shorelines of the Mexican Caribbean, Mexico is still open to its American neighbors. There’s health screening at airports but when it comes to rules on masks and curfews, they are highly regionalized. Some states, such as Quintana Roo (known for the tourist playgrounds of Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen), are enforcing mask wearing in public, limiting how many people can enter shops and installing hand sanitizer stations. Details state by state are available on this page. Unfortunately, infections are on the rise and the government is poised to take ‘extraordinary’ measures to curb the virus spread, so be prepared for sudden changes.

Montenegro

Lapped by the sparkling Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is one of the less well-known southern European retreats. American travelers can enter with a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival, or with a positive result for IgG antibodies (verified by a registered lab no more than 30 days before travel, or if you can provide evidence of having been fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine at least seven days prior to arrival there’s no need for a test. There’s a nightly curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and all cafes, bars and restaurants close at 8 p.m. Face masks must be worn in all public areas. There are also restrictions on inter-city travel including a total ban at weekends and travel from certain municipalities is restricted.

Mozambique

You can still see Mozambique’s blissful beaches and coral islands, it’s just currently a little harder to get to than before. Visas are available once again on arrival at the airport, providing you have a return ticket and a hotel booking. (However, some arrivals have been turned away so it’s less risky to get a visa in advance from the Mozambican Embassy in Washington D.C.) You’ll need to present a negative PCR test on arrival, taken no more than 72 hours earlier. Masks or face shields are required.

Namibia

All visitors to this spectacular southwest African nation will have to show a negative PCR test taken within seven days of travel. Airports are conducting health screenings and masks are mandatory in public. There is a curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and alcohol can only be purchased up until 8 p.m. to consume on site at bars, casinos etc. No alcohol is for sale on Sundays and public holidays.

Nicaragua

This beautiful country, noted for its lakes, volcanoes and beaches, is less-touristy than its neighbor, Costa Rica. A negative PCR test and/or serology test is required for entry to Nicaragua. There is health screening at the airports and people are encouraged to wear masks, but very few other restrictions are in place presently.

North Macedonia

Tucked away just north of Greece, New Macedonia is a landlocked enclave that’s allowing tourists to enter with no restrictions or testing requirements. There’s health screening at the airport and you’ll have to wear a face mask in public and stay 6ft away from people in accordance with the country’s social distancing requirements. Bars, cafes and restaurants stop serving customers at 9 p.m and there’s a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Oman

Arabian Sea beaches, watersports, desert sand dunes and souks are just some of the highlights of the sultanate, which has recently reopened to visitors. If you’re itching to explore, first you have to buy travel insurance, download the Tarassud+ app, fill in the health forms and pre-pay for a PCR test you’ll take on arrival. Then you’ll need to take a PCR test at home 72 hours before your flight and to carry a copy with you to show airline staff and immigration officials. You’ll need to quarantine in a government facility and wear a tracking bracelet ($13) for the first week then take another PCR test ($65) on day eight. If the test is negative, quarantine is over. Masks must be worn in public. All beaches and public parks are closed and there’s a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Panama

The Panama Canal is a sight to behold, and if you can present a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before you fly you’ll be allowed into Panama to see it. Alternatively, you can take one on arrival for $50. All visitors must sign a sworn affidavit regarding their health, then will receive a QR code to show to immigration officers on arrival. There’s a national curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m and some additional travel restrictions and curfews in several regions of Panama.. Everyone must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth in public or they’re subject to a fine or detention.

Paraguay

The ‘heart of South America’ is welcoming all nationalities including Americans as long as you fill in a health card 24 hours before travel and can show a PCR test taken within 72 hours of your flight. You’ll need to print out the health form, which contains a QR code that will be scanned before you board and again when you get off the plane. You’ll need to show proof of a travel insurance policy that covers COVID-19. Masks are required in public and there’s a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Peru

This fascinating country is allowing American visitors in if you can present a negative PCR test, antigen test or a medical certificate epidemiological discharge conducted with 72 hours of departure and fill in a health declaration form first. When you arrive you will need to quarantine for up to 14 days (you can’t visit for less than 14 days) but if you take an antigen test on day one and it’s negative, you won’t have to stay in quarantine. Masks must be worn in public but  there’s a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m, and all-day Sundays.  Face shields are required in addition to masks when traveling interstate.

Rwanda

If you want to visit this beautiful country you’ll have to comply with quite a lot of conditions. You’ll need to take a RT-PCR test up to 72 hours before you fly there, then send a copy of it along with your online passenger locator form to Immigration. Upon arrival, you must show a print-out of your PCR test to immigration officials. There’s mandatory COVID-testing at the airport ($60, at your own expense) and you’ll have to quarantine for 24 hours at a designated transit hotel. After you get the results, you then need to self-quarantine for seven days at a designated quarantine hotel. At the end of this period, you’ll receive a text message inviting you to attend a designated test site for a final test (free). If it’s negative, quarantine is over. . If you’re visiting a national park, you’re exempt from the seven-day quarantine (but need to show proof of your plans and your PCR test result). Or if you’re visiting a national park after completing quarantine in the city, you’ll need to show a recent PCR test. There are some restrictions on inter-state travel. There’s a 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew nationwide.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

If you’re heading to these stunning islands you must submit a travel form before you depart and download the SKN COVID-19 mobile tracing app. You’ll also need a PCR test taken 48 to 72 hours before your flight from an approved lab. Quarantine is required at approved hotels, with slightly different levels of freedom depending upon the duration of your vacation. If you’re staying up to seven days, you can move around the hotel, interact with guests and take part in hotel activities. If you’re staying longer than that, then on day eight you have to take a PCR test ($100) and if negative, you’ll be able to book select excursions going outside of the hotel. On day 14, you pay for another $100 PCR test but then you’re free to roam everywhere, providing you wear a mask in public.

Saint Lucia

Americans are welcome to come to this beautiful island if they fill in two special forms and present a PCR test taken up to five days before they travel. Bring print-outs of the test results, auto-response email and travel authorization letter. Travelers from outside the CARICOM Bubble must stay at an approved hotel for the duration of their stay, unless they’re transferring to another approved hotel or taking part in hotel activities. After 14 days of quarantine at their hotel they’re free to explore. Face masks are required in public and there’s a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. (7 p.m. to 4 a.m. during Easter weekend).

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

As with many of the other Caribbean islands open to U.S. travelers right now, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines requires you to complete a pre-arrival form and take a PCR test. This must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. You’ll need to prove you have a reservation at an approved quarantine hotel, may have to take another PCR test on arrival, then will have to quarantine at an approved hotel for 14 days, where you’ll be re-tested for COVID-19 between days four and day seven.

São Tomé and Príncipe

This lush tropical African island nation is paradise for hikers and beach-lovers. Americans can currently enter with a PCR test taken up to three days before departure. There’s another PCR test required on arrival ($37), you’ll need to self-quarantine until you get the results, and everybody must wear a mask in public areas. Clubs are closed. On Príncipe there are now restrictions including a curfew from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. To travel between Príncipe and São Tomé you need to submit a COVID-19 rapid test within 24 hours of departure. 

Senegal

From diverse wildlife parks to its shimmering beaches, Senegal has a lot to offer and is a model for stability in the region. Many English-speaking tourists aren’t so familiar with this destination but French travelers have been going for years. Americans are able to visit if they can provide a negative PCR test on arrival taken at an approved laboratory no more than five days prior. You’ll have to complete a passenger location form and wear a mask in public.

 Serbia

This is another country in the Balkans that’s accepting American visitors, providing you’ve taken a PCR test or antigen test up to 48 hours before you travel. During your visit you’ll have to wear a mask indoors and outdoors. All non-essential businesses including bars and restaurants (except for essential services like gas stations) are closed.

Seychelles

This beautiful tropical island paradise is welcoming any traveler of any nationality (including Americans) who’ve had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. You have to apply here and submit a certificate from your national health authority confirming you’ve had both doses. You’ll also need to submit a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before travel. When you’re in the island nation, you’ll need to wear a mask in public. There’s a curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin (Dutch/French)

Whether you’re going to the French-side or the Dutch-side of this popular Caribbean destination, you’ll need to complete an online immigration card and present a FDA-approved rapid antigen test, taken up to 48 hours before your flight, or a negative PCR test, taken up to 72 hours before your flight. This includes antigen tests with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) but excludes home tests.In addition, you’ll have to sign a statement saying you have no coronavirus symptoms and haven’t been in contact with anyone who had COVID-19 within 14 days of your flight. You also have to monitor your temperature and look out for symptoms for 14 days. Health insurance is another requirement for entry – the St Maarten Protection Plan covers any COVID-related costs for travelers if they test positive while on the island. Masks are required in public and there are temperature scans and officials watching for people who might be displaying coronavirus symptoms at the airport. The tourist board posts updates here (Dutch side) and here (French side).

South Africa

South Africa reopened its borders late in November to everyone, and Americans can visit providing you can show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your flight. However, this one might be better saved as a ‘dream now, travel later’ destination – restrictions could change fast due to concerns over a new coronavirus strain here. If you haven’t taken a PCR test, you can stay in quarantine at your own expense. There is health screening at the airport and all arrivals are asked to download a health app. The curfew is from midnight to 4 a.m. Face masks are required in public.

South Korea

To visit South Korea, Americans must take a PCR test up to 72 hours before arrival then quarantine for 14 days in government-designated facilities at their own expense ($100-150 per night). There’s health screening at the airports and you may have to take a PCR test on arrival. You also won’t be able to take any domestic flights until the 14-day quarantine period is over. All visitors are required to download a health app and respond to questions daily. Face masks covering both your nose and mouth are compulsory in public places and there are hefty fines for non-compliance with health protection requirements like breaking quarantine or refusing to take a PCR test.

Sri Lanka

This large tropical island of jungles, mountains, tea plantations and temples has just reopened to the world. Under its new safety protocols, you’ll need to apply for a visa online first via the new app. During the process, you prepay for two PCR tests ($40 each) that you’ll take on arrival and between days five and seven during your stay. If you’re staying over seven days you’ll also need to buy a third one too. You need to opt in for COVID-19 insurance cover ($12) which has you covered for a month or you can snap up this mandatory policy when you book your hotel or flight.

Next up – hotels! Sri Lanka now has a list of approved ‘Safe and Secure’ hotels which you must choose from. There’s no mandatory minimum stay, the people dealing with your application just need to see a booking of up to 14 days (although you can stay longer). Once you’ve applied and been approved, you take a negative PCR test from an accredited lab within 96 hours of your flight. This is submitted along with a Health Declaration Form before you board, on board or on arrival.

While you’re in Sri Lanka, you can switch from your hotel to another ‘Level 1 Safe and Secure hotel’ (traveling in a ‘bio-security bubble) and visit up to 14 approved sites. After 14 days (if you tested negative the whole time) you’re able to leave and mix with the community.

Tanzania

Famed for its national parks and the glittering tropical islands of Zanzibar, tourism is still important business for Tanzania. The country is leaving requirements for PCR tests up to the airline you fly with. There’s health screening at the airports and you may be required to take a test on arrival. On the plane there you’ll be asked to fill in a health questionnaire. Face mask requirements may vary by city and region but be prepared to use one.

Thailand

The ‘Land of Smiles’ has recently reopened to travelers of all nationalities, including Americans, and is one of the few countries that’s been praised for its exemplary handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, life is ‘near normal’ for Thais now and the CDC rates it as one of the lowest-risk countries to visit.

To keep things that way, they’re requiring visitors to apply here for entry (even if you’re a traveler from a visa-exempt country like the U.S.A.) This one-stop portal is where you apply for a Certificate of Entry (approvals takes three days), then you must book an Alternative State Quarantine (including luxury hotels) through the same portal within 15 days of visa approval. For this, you also need to upload a scan of your passport and your travel insurance policy (which must cover COVID-19, minimum coverage of $100,000 USD). This part takes three days to process and you can check progress online.

You then get a Certificate of Entry which you’ll need to print out then show to airline and immigration officials along with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours and a Fit to Travel medical certificate. There’s a PCR test on arrival and face masks are compulsory in public. Quarantine is for 15 days but Thailand is perfect for long-stay travelers and digital nomads.

Tunisia

Tunisia is a country of breathtaking desert scenery where the original Star Wars was filmed. And right now it’s another ‘yes and no’ country when it comes to travel. While the country is technically allowing all nationalities including Americans to visit, immigration officials have the discretion to turn away travelers on arrival. If you’re going, you need to present a PCR test taken within 72 hours of your flight and agree to quarantine at selected hotels. After 48 hours in quarantine you can choose to take another PCR test ($7) and if the result is negative you’re free to leave quarantine. Some arrivals may be asked to take a rapid test. Face masks are mandatory in public. There’s a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5.a.m.

Turkey

The bridge between East and West has been a travel hub for millennia and isn’t showing any signs of changing now. If you’re paying a visit, you must have filled in this form and taken a PCR test up to 72 hours before your flight . You can submit documents showing you’ve recovered from COVID-19 instead, if that applies to you. There’s health screening at the airports and symptomatic arrivals may be transported to a hospital for further checks. You’ll be asked to fill in an information form and if anyone on your flight is found to have COVID-19, you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days. There is a curfew but it doesn’t apply to tourists and dining venues are open for foreigners. Masks are required on public transport.

Turks and Caicos

Americans can visit these pretty coral islands as long as they obtain pre-authorization. That involves submitting a negative PCR test from an accredited lab via the country’s special web portal (it has to be taken up to five days before travel) as well as a health questionnaire. You need travel insurance from an approved insurer. On arrival, there are health checks like temperature screening at the airport. Some visitors may be required to undergo another PCR test or a blood sample. Masks are required in public and there’s a curfew (hours vary by island).

Uganda

From chimpanzees and gorillas to rare birds and hippos, Uganda is a nature-lover’s heaven. The East African destination is allowing Americans to visit as long as they take precautions including a negative PCR test taken up to 120 hours before departure. The test must come from a US government-accredited lab. You’ll need to present the test to your airline to receive confirmation of your booking. There’s health screening on arrival, masks are required in public and there is a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Ukraine

Known for its Orthodox churches and Black Sea coastline, Ukraine is still welcoming tourists. Anyone coming from America or other ‘red zone’ countries must self-quarantine or take a PCR test on arrival. Alternatively, if you choose to take a PCR test 48 hours before you arrive you won’t need to take a second test or be in quarantine. You do need to demonstrate you have adequate travel insurance and wearing a face mask that covers both your nose and mouth is mandatory in public spaces.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Americans can get visas on arrival in the UAE if they present a negative PCR test taken with 96 hours of travel. Many arrivals are also being tested when they land in the UAE. You need to demonstrate you have health insurance and while quarantine requirements vary by emirate, be prepared to quarantine for 10 days, with follow-up PCR tests. If you’re arriving in Dubai, there’s no quarantine, unless you’re asked to take a PCR test on arrival. But those visiting Abu Dhabi from the US are required to wear a GPS bracelet for 10 days then take PCR tests on days three and seven. Everyone is required to wear a mask in public across the UAE.

United Kingdom

Several countries have imposed sudden travel restrictions on flights to and from the United Kingdom. You now need to take a PCR test  up to three days before you fly to the UK, plus sign a passenger attestation stating you received a negative result. England and Scotland are now in nationwide lockdown so you won’t be able to leave your hotel if you visit at the moment, unless you’re transiting to Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you’re planning on visiting either of the other countries within the United Kingdom that aren’t locked down, you’ll still have to quarantine for 14 days. All visitors must also provide their contact details and itinerary before they travel and there’s a huge fine for self-isolation violations (over $1,300). The UK has introduced a new three-tier local COVID-19 restrictions system which is subject to flux depending on regional infection numbers. These restrictions can affect your domestic travel plans as they can involve local lockdowns.

Uzbekistan

If you’ve always wanted to see the Silk Road, you can currently still visit Uzbekistan. Americans must apply for a visa and take a PCR test up to 72 hours before arrival. Arrivals also have to take a $9 rapid antigen test and wait for the results before they leave the airport.Entertainment and cultural facilities are only open for tourists. Masks are required.

Zambia

Bordering Zimbabwe, this land of rugged terrain and safari areas was pretty popular among tourists until the pandemic hit. Americans must present a negative PCR test, taken up to 14 days before your journey. There’s health screening including thermo-scanners at the airports and a health/itinerary questionnaire to complete. Americans arriving in Zambia are required to quarantine for 14 days, during which time there’s further testing ($100-150) and health monitoring. Masks are required in public.

Omissions: War-torn countries and those with extremely high risk of violent crime against tourists have been excluded from this list. Countries allowing only U.S. medical personnel, diplomats, work permit holders, or those only giving exemptions for family emergencies have also been excluded.

What Are The Various UK Visas For Those Looking To Move Or Travel?

There really is an entire range of visas you’re able to make an application for if you want to come to Great Britain, no matter whether on a short-term or long-term basis. 

It is imperative that you research this carefully prior to your travels. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in legal trouble because you enter the United Kingdom without the right visa. 

Regardless of what visa you put in your application for, you’re going to need to make use of the assistance of an immigration solicitor to ensure you have the best possibility of having your application accepted.

So, what sort of visas are there for those looking to enter the UK?

There are such a wide variety of visas you may apply for, and so we will explain a few of the most popular ones that immigration solicitors can help you with. 

Visitor Visas 

A Visitor Visa is among the most applied for varieties of visas, as this allows approved individuals the ability to remain in Britain for a maximum of half a year. 

You will find four distinct kinds of visitor visas. These are as follows – Business Visitor Visa, Prospective Entrepreneur Visa, Permitted Paid Engagement Visa, which is suited to the likes of entertainment and arts professionals, and General Visitor Visa, which is for individuals who would like to see their family members and friends in the United Kingdom. 

If you are not sure what visitor visa is going to be right for you, it is vital to get in touch with an immigration expert who can help you to understand what you should be applying for.

Marriage Visas

A marriage visa in the UK is certainly among the most popular visas. This is when a person makes an application to remain in the United Kingdom due to the fact that they’ve forged a connection with a person who’s a British citizen or is permitted to live in the United Kingdom forever with no immigration constraints. 

You may also be able to apply for a fiance visa if you then want to get married when you arrive in the UK. Again, you need to make sure you consult with an expert to determine whether or not this is the right choice for you.

Working Visas 

In addition, there are various sorts of Working Visas. The Skilled Worker Visa is for people that have been offered employment in the country. 

A Temporary Worker Visa is for individuals who have a sponsorship from a business in Britain. 

Lastly, High-Value Migrants is for entrepreneurs, highly skilled workers, or talented individuals. 

So there you have it: an insight into some of the different visas that are available for those who wish to move to the United Kingdom. If you do decide to make a visa application, we highly recommend that you do not do so on your own. Mistakes can lead to a visa refusal, so it is really not worth the risk. 

3 Ways to Make Friends in a Hostel When Traveling Solo

One way to save money when traveling to China is to opt for cheap accommodation facilities. And hostels are one of these affordable places to stay.

But if you are traveling alone you may be afraid to stay in a hostel. It could be that you have never been good at interacting with strangers and are thus afraid you won’t make friends. However, making friends is a skill that you can learn if you are willing.

Here are three ways to make friends in a hostel when traveling solo to China:

 

  • Sign Up For Some Social Events

 

Hostels that cater to travelers in China have their programs. But it is safe to assume that the hostel will take the time to organize some social events. And those that don’t may offer a hostel notice board for its residents to organize such events on their own.

You should not feel obligated to sign up for all social events. But if you see social events that interest you, sign up for one or two even if you are scared. Chances are that there will be other introverts just as scared of interaction as you are. But you are all likely to bond over mutual interests.

Some of the social events you could sign up for include a group hike to a popular Chinese destination, a bar crawl, a reading session with a famous author, etc. 

If you can’t find out something that you wanted, be a little bit adventurous. And choose something that looks interesting that you can at least attempt. The goal is to put yourself in a social situation where you have to interact with others.

 

  • Get To Know the Hostel Employees

 

No rule says that you must only make friends with hostel guests, is there? So, you don’t have to. 

Hostel employees, on the other hand, may be more of what you are looking for when interacting with people. Most of them will probably know China more than you do, even if they are not Chinese. You can take the time to chat with them and ask for advice.

The local knowledge of the staff of the hotel in which you stay can prove to be very invaluable. They have probably experienced it all. They can tell you the best places to go and what attractions in China you should prioritize if budget and time are an issue. Some may even offer to act as your guide during their free time.

You may discover that you have more in common with the hostel staff than you do with the guests. And that’s okay. By showing them respect and listening to their advice, you may end up forging valuable friendships that last long beyond your Chinese tourist trip.

 

  • Take the First Step and Reach Out to Your Roommates

 

Roommates are always part and parcel of living in a hostel. And so they should form your first social circle since you will be spending several hours each day with them.

It helps to reach out to your roommates. Say hi and ask how they are. That first step breaks the ice and makes most people feel comfortable. It can also draw out the shy ones. And you are more likely to make friends if you take the initiative. People tend to gravitate towards those that are friendly and approachable. 

Don’t be afraid to stay in a hostel to save money because you have no idea of what awaits you. So long as you choose a reputable Chinese hostel you should be fine. Making friends afterward will be up to you. 

But first, you need to get to China. And a tourist Chinese visa is the way to go. And that’s where we come in to help you: https://visaexpress.com/visa-for-china-from-us/

 

Are You Looking to Travel To The Places Where Edibles Are Legal? Here’s a list of some places

Edible weed is beverages and food infused with weed. It can take any shape or form like pizza sauce, potato chips, candy, brownies, and so on. The food edible foundation is some type of fat that has been infused with THC. It has been noticed that THC binds to various fats and which ultimately look like coconut oil, butter, or other identical fatty substances, that can be used to cook and bake. This is how it becomes edible and they are legal in many places. 

Cannabis-infused foods can take virtually any shape or form, from brownies and cookies to pizza sauce, to candy, to potato chips, and so on. If this is exciting you and an urge to fly to the places where they are available in knocking your mind exists, then below is a list of the places where it’s legal. 

  1. Portugal

Adjacent Spain this country was basically the first one in the world to legitimize drugs. So, it’s not just weed that you can enjoy freely in Portugal but any drug. You will be amazed to know that after legalizing it the country has noticed a no increase in cannabis utilization among the residents of the country.   

  1. Canada

Do we even need to mention Canada? This is the most famous country with legal weed, you can travel anywhere in this country with weed in your bag. Surprisingly you are under the legal rights to do so in Canada and not only this but in this country you get all sorts of edible weed online, that’s legal too. You can consume it in public, buy it at a dispensary, travel it with you — it’s all fine in Canada.

  1. Uruguay

In 2013, legalization of pot was done in this South American country for everyone who are above the age of 18. And you will find the most relaxed law related to weed and cannabis. Commercially in Uruguay every citizen can now buy weed and while visiting this country, you can check out the marijuana clubs.

  1. South Africa

South Africa’s courts decided to legalize cannabis in September of 2018. That means for private use possess marijuana is allowed. In South Africa, even growing weed is legal. So plan a visit to Cape Town and pop an edible, when you are there. Everything related to weed, marijuana and cannabis is legal in South Africa. 

Final Words

There are plenty of countries where cannabis edible is legal and if you are planning to visit anyone of them that are mentioned above then make sure to experience aspects of countries, from landscape to edibles and local markets. Make sure you know beforehand how weed is consumed and consult your medical representative without consuming it in any country. 

 

 

Must-visit places in America for sports fans

America is known for many things: technological innovation, fast food, and a lively sports scene. Most of the major sports originate or were popularized within America and it’s in every sports fan to watch a game or visit an iconic locale within the country. 

What’s even better is that the local sports betting laws have started loosening up. At least 22 states in the country, with Maryland being the latest to legalize sports betting, have sports betting action.

Every sports team creates its own set of culture that brings together different elements of society. There’s the financial and technical aspect within the sports betting realm, the arts and entertainment portion with team design, and traveling and tourism with sports venues. 

America is the place to visit for sports tourism with each state, city, or venue offering a piece of history and culture. Looking everything up will require a textbook, but we put together a small list of where to begin.

Places every diehard sports fan must visit in America

Lambeau Field (Green Bay, WI)

Pic via MilwaukeeINSIDER

 

This tops the list of any football fan’s bucket list. The iconic Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operating NFL stadium and has an extensive list of historic football events from being dubbed “Titletown, USA” in the early 60’s to the Frozen Tundra of 1967. 

The stadium is home to the NFL’s most beloved franchise, the Green Bay Packers and together, they are the only team and stadium to be completely owned by the fans. For its immense history and football tradition, Lambeau Field is one to visit for fans looking for the authentic American football experience.

New York City, NY

New York City boasts a record TEN major league sports teams: two for each pro league from the NFL to MLS. Collectively, NYC has won 50 championships including the Yankees’ 27.

Speaking of the Yankees, arguably the most popular sports team in the world, visiting Yankee Stadium is a no-brainer. Madison Square Garden is also just as iconic as the Yankees hosting not just the Knicks and Rangers but a slew of historic sporting events like the “Fight of the Century” between boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Boston, MA

Boston has transformed itself into the “City of Champions” in recent years with all of its “Big Four” teams winning a championship in the last decade. 

Of course, Boston’s sports tourism goes beyond just having four amazing teams. The historic Fenway Park is the oldest active ballpark in the majors and the Boston Celtics are eponymous to the NBA representing the state where basketball was invented. 

Camden Yards (Baltimore, ML)

Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park may be more recognized, but Camden Yards is the pinnacle among American ballparks.

The Orioles’ home turf popularized the concept of “retro” major league ballparks and has often been copied. Several parks like the PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Oracle Park in San Francisco, two must-visit ballparks in their own right, were both inspired by Camden Yards.

San Francisco, CA

“Bay Bridge – San Francisco” by KP Tripathi (kps-photo.com) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

When it comes to representing the sports scene in the West Coast, San Francisco edges out Los Angeles by way of being more scenic. 

The Bay Area is home to a plethora of quality sports teams like the Giants in baseball, the 49ers in football, and the Warriors in the NBA. The Giants play in Oracle Park, arguably the best sports venue for sports tourists. Its picturesque view is one to behold.  

Las Vegas, NV

Sin City is not only the “Gambling Capital of the World” but also offers a unique sports scene on its own. Previously barren of any major league teams, Vegas has since acquired a hockey team (Vegas Golden Knights) and a football team (Las Vegas Raiders).

But that’s only for starters. Vegas is also the “Fight Capital” and constantly features UFC and major boxing events. Several motorsports, golf, and even rodeo are featured.

More places to visit in America for sports fans

With all the sports history in America, it was all but impossible to fit everything. But here are a few more places sports fans should put on their checklist:

  • Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, TX)
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta, GA)
  • Chicago, IL
  • Los Angeles, CA

Visiting these places isn’t just about taking in the sports scene, but basking in the different character each state or city has. And that’s the beauty in a place like America. There is something for everyone and that includes even the most eclectic sports fan.