With COVID numbers surging throughout much of the US and in spots around the globe, the winter may not be the ideal time to travel. However, some destinations are still available options and are relatively “safer” than others when it comes to case counts. While most of us are not heading anywhere this winter, we are starting to plan ahead for the spring and looking at current destination statuses to help guide our trip planning. For our money, these are the tropical spots to look at if you are thinking of getting away over the next few months.
1. Aruba. This topical island 18 miles north of Venezuela is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is roughly 20 miles long and 6 miles across. Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, Aruba has a fairly dry climate and is sunny and warm year-round without much of a rainy season. With a population of ~100K, it is fairly densely populated for its size but still not bustling. Aruba makes the list because as of this post, it has had roughly 200 total cases, most of which brought in the early days of the pandemic. They also have an extensive testing requirement for tourists (much show a negative test result within 72 hours of entry OR receive a test upon entry).
2. St. Maarten/St. Martin. With 7 total cases at time of publication, St. Maarten seems to have gotten through the worst of the pandemic and is accepting tourists again. Similar to Aruba, tourists must show proof of a negative COVID test upon entry. St. Maarten is the roughly 40% Dutch side of the island while the other 60% is made up of the norther French portion of the island. Located roughly 200 miles east of Puerto Rico, the island has a population of ~100K residents over its 34 square miles. The island does have a rainy season from August to December so come the new year, it is game on. A gorgeous island where English is spoken and the USD is widely accepted, another one that makes the COVID checklist for 2021.
3. Barbados. 0 cases at time of posting and less than 300 cases since the start of the pandemic, Barbados is another “safe” destination to consider. Common theme here, Barbados also requires a negative COVID test prior to entry. A 167 square mile island in the Southeastern Caribbean, Barbados does have a wet season that lasts from June through December. Barbados is absolutely one of the more populated locations as it has roughly 300K residents. Amazing beaches, tasty food and a very low crime rate make this an excellent destination. Barbados does have its own currency but everywhere does accept USD. Another one high on our list for 2021.
And there you go. 3 destinations but by no means the ONLY destinations to consider during these strange times. While other locations like Mexico are high on our standard lists, their struggles during the pandemic and their current rising cases kept them off this list. Nothing is risk free but if you are determined to leave the country, these are a few great options. Otherwise, book an AirBNB on the beach or in the mountains and hunker down for some R&R.