The 8 Easiest Countries to Visit Right Now, Say Experts
With fewer restrictions, you can easily travel to these attractive destinations.
If like you've been bit by the travel bug recently, you're not alone. After a long winter (and an even longer pandemic), many people are itching to get away. The good news is, as more and more countries have dropped some of their entry requirements, travel around the world is becoming easier than it's been in years—particularly for the vaccinated.
Although these restrictions vary quite a bit from country to country, many are eliminating certain requirements for testing, quarantining upon arrival, and vaccination, or getting rid of all of them altogether as COVID and vaccination rates improve. That means fewer steps for you to take as you prepare for take-off, which translates to a far less stressful experience all around.
Remember: if you decide to travel to one of these countries, it's important to always evaluate your own personal health condition as well as risk tolerance, and take any recommended safety precautions. Also, be aware that travel guidelines are continually changing, so you'll want to monitor your destination's official tourism website for up-to-date info as you get closer to your trip, and the U.S. State Department website before returning.
So, ready to bust out the passport and start packing your suitcase? Here are some of the least restrictive destinations you can visit right now. And for more, don't miss these 10 U.S. Islands to Add to Your Bucket List.
With crystal-clear waters, unparalleled hospitality, and crave-worthy cuisine, a trip to Greece is bound to help you shake off those pandemic blues. Luckily, all travelers, regardless of their country of origin, can enter Greece without having to provide proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival, according to Danielle Riddle, co-founder and CEO of Inspired Travel Group in Vancouver.
"With COVID restrictions well in the rear-view, there aren't many better options to satisfy your inner wanderlust with rich culture, idyllic beaches, amazing historical sites, and sumptuous food," she says.
Riddle recommends doing some island hopping, as well as exploring the cultural and historical wonders of Athens, for a perfectly balanced vacation.
Dreaming of a tropical escape this spring or summer? Aruba dropped all COVID-19-related travel restrictions on March 19, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing island getaway.
"Previously, tourists were allowed to enter only with a negative coronavirus test, proof of full vaccination, or proof of recovery," says Gary Prado, resident travel expert and VP at the Florida-based timeshare marketplace RedWeek.
While proof of vaccination and negative test results are no longer required for entry, Prado notes that all travelers are still required to get Aruba Visitors Insurance and complete Aruba's Embarkation/Disembarkation Card before arrival, which is the country's digitized customs and immigration process.
Mexico's COVID regulations are relatively relaxed compared to most other international destinations, says Prado. Passengers may be subject to health screenings, including temperature checks, and those showing symptoms may be subject to additional health screening and/or quarantine, according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico. Other than that, though, there are no vaccination, COVID-19 testing, or quarantine requirements for entry.
"I recommend Mexico because there are many hotels and resorts that offer free Covid testing and quarantine reassurance," says Anh Le, owner and author at Luxury under Budget travel blog. "That means that if you test positive for COVID-19 at the end of your stay, the hotel will provide you with free accommodations for a 14-day quarantine."
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Argentina may have had a strict lockdown for the first year of the pandemic, but things are a lot more relaxed now—in fact, there are no vaccine or test requirements to enter the country.
And for extra peace of mind, this country had had continuous days with zero COVID deaths and 90% of the country is fully vaccinated, says Ande Wanderer, the owner and editor of the travel and culture site Wander Argentina. It's also one of the most affordable countries in the world to visit right now thanks to the parallel currency that enables visitors to get double the pesos for their dollars.
"Snowboarders and skiers can head to Las Leñas in Mendoza or Bariloche for some of the best skiing in the Americas at Latin American prices," adds Wanderer. "In coastal Patagonian around Puerto Madryn, visitors can see whales, elephant seals, sea lions, the cone-headed Commerson's dolphins. Even just a week in Buenos Aires is a worthwhile, promising excellent steak and malbec dinners, never-ending cultural events, and even dancing in the street—especially on Argentina's Independence Day, July 9."
While you're there, Wanderer recommends hopping over to Uruguay, which also has no testing requirement for visitors. Those who aren't vaccinated just need to present a negative test taken within 72 hours of entry.
The U.K. dropped all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions in March. Not only is England's weather ideal during the summer, but Alex Tiffany — a travel planner and the founder of the blog Just Go Exploring—notes that this country comes alive in the summertime, with loads of festivals, outdoor pub gardens, and cultural and sporting events to scope out.
Sarah-Leigh Shenton—Marketing Director at the England-based luxury travel company Red Savannah—cites the Glyndebourne, Garsington, and The Grange oper festivals as well as the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed and Wimbledon as worthy reasons to visit. Best of all, Shenton notes that every one of these events can easily be accessed from London.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated Jamaica's advisory status to Level 1 due to the low number of COVID-19 cases. In addition to declining case numbers, Jamaica also dropped all requirements for a negative test result, proof of vaccination, or quarantine upon arrival. That makes this island a perfect place to visit if you're concerned about your health and safety but also want to avoid any travel-related hassles, says Victoria Polansky, an account executive at the travel and lifestyle agency Lou Hammond Group in South Carolina.
"International visitors to Jamaica are no longer required to obtain travel authorization to enter the island," says Polansky. "But all other public health measures remain in place, including the requirement for public establishments to provide handwashing stations or hand sanitizing equipment for anyone entering the premises."
As an added bonus, Polansky notes that there are a ton of fun festivals on the island during summer, including the Jamaica Rum Festival in June, Jamaica Carnival in July, and Reggae Sumfest in July.
Denmark dropped all remaining COVID-19 entry restrictions at the end of March. But that's not the only reason to visit this charming Scandinavian country.
"Denmark is rich in history that dates all the way back to the Vikings in the 8th century," say Josefine Kraemer and Dominik Kropacek, co-founders and owners of the travel blog Red White Adventures. "Visit the beautiful capital of Copenhagen, make a trip to Bornholm island, and check out UNESCO biosphere Møns Klint."
Astrid Thornton, the founder of the travel guide site Seek Scandinavia, adds that June, July, August, and September are the best months to visit Denmark because the days are longer and the temperatures are a bit higher. That means you'll get to cycle around the picturesque towns, savor an outdoor Scandinavian meal, and enjoy even more of what Denmark has to offer.
Visiting Iceland couldn't possibly be easier right now, since there are no COVID-related restrictions in place as of Feb. 25, 2022.
As an added bonus, Thornton says the longer days during summer will allow you to fully appreciate Iceland's breathtaking landscapes. In fact, it stays light outside as late as 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. during this season. That means you'll have plenty of daylight for exploring as well as ample photo ops. And since the average summertime temps hover around the mid-50s, you'll never overheat while hiking the trails around Reykjavik.
For more travel tips, don't miss The 10 Best U.S. Cities Every Traveler Should See.