This year is a shit show.
We will no longer share our thoughts on travel in 2020, only 2021 moving forward.
Since COVID, the gods have hand-delivered devastating news in travel and continue to slap us in the face with it.
The big C brought the entire industry to its knees, we stayed close to home for months, planes were grounded, airports were empty, time was still, then RV sales skyrocketed, the great American road trip was back, national parks, things went quiet, we tried to fly, people got mad, then airlines introduced new tech, travelers had faith, then they didn’t, then they did, tests for COVID-19 became more widely available, destinations found ways to safely reopen without needing travelers to quarantine, then we had to, then we didn’t, then we could travel to Hawaii, then tests were unreliable, then news of a vaccine came on the horizon, then everyone and their cousin contracted the virus and travel turned bleak, states banned other states, more quarantines now in place…not just in the US, everywhere. Trying to make it to tomorrow.
We aren’t giving up, just looking ahead, a little further out. Next year, we must get back out there again. The road to your next vacation starts here.
11. The Maldives
“A serene chain of atolls in the Indian Ocean”, says Condé Nast Traveler. The island unlike most is open to travelers from any country, with a negative test taken 72 hours before departure. Emirates, Singapore, Qatar are a few of the international carriers ferrying U.S. fliers according to USA Today.
10. French Polynesia
Open to international tourists with a negative test taken within three days of arrival.
“Both Air Tahiti Nui and United Airlines have resumed flights to Tahiti out of Los Angeles. Fiji Airways has also launched a new private jet charter program out of LAX in partnership with private resort island Laucala (the jet plus an all-inclusive week for 20 guests on the island will set you back $450,000). Those hoping to fly commercial to Fiji, on the other hand, will have to wait for next year as the islands have halted standard airline arrivals until at least spring of 2021.” – Condé Nast Traveler
9. Los Cabos, Mexico
The top leisure market for US travelers is thriving in a post COVID world, as best they can. “The town, perched on the Baja California Peninsula, is full of top-notch hotels, and nearby San José del Cabo has plenty of vibrant restaurants and shops to explore. If you’re planning a Cabo trip next year, you’ll have plenty of transport options: Many U.S. airlines have been pivoting their route offerings to these types of sunny places and adding Cabo as a destination.” – Condé Nast Traveler
Domestic beach destinations like Miami are popular according to Expedia, while we enjoy Ft. Lauderdale more, Miami works. With everything going on, we hope by 2021 their dining and craft cocktail scene will pick back up. The white sandy beaches remain. “South Florida has always been a strong market for airlines like JetBlue and Southwest—the latter is doubling down by launching flights to Miami International Airport for the first time on November 15.” – Condé Nast Traveler
6. & 7. Maui and Oahu
With the lifting of its two-week quarantine for visitors who test negative for COVID-19, Hawaii is once again topping lists of travelers’ dream destinations. “Air carriers like Hawaiian Airlines and United are offering passengers an array of airport testing options, simplifying matters.” – Condé Nast Traveler
5. Punta Cana
“One of the most popular destinations in the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, is ranking high with potential travelers ready to park on the beach with a cold drink. Our recommendation? Check out Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Beach Club, one of Traveler readers’ favorite properties on the island.”- Condé Nast Traveler
To be honest, Punta Cana is one of the safest places in the Caribbean. Leaving what they call the ‘hotel zone’ is absolutely something one must do when visiting. Affordable all-inclusive resorts make for a great small getaway without breaking the bank.
Contrary to popular belief, Disney World is handling the pandemic well, rarely written about. The park “officially reopened as of July 11 after a four-month closure, Disney World is currently operating at a limited capacity and requiring online reservations for all guests, while seasonal festivities like Christmas celebrations also toned down this year to allow for social distancing.” – Condé Nast Traveler
3. Las Vegas
As resorts and casinos slowly reopen in Sin City, old and new (Circa) travelers are returning to Vegas now and into next year. “JetBlue, Delta, and Southwest have all brought back nonstop flights from numerous markets around the country, yet another signal that Las Vegas is an in-demand destination with U.S. travelers.” – Condé Nast Traveler
2. Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum
“One thing about 2021 is sure: Travelers want to be in Mexico.” The trio comes back claiming the oasis of the country once again. With the variety of hotels ranging from affordable all-inclusive to the small luxury boutique, there is something for everyone here.
“The majority of U.S. airlines—including United, Southwest, American, and JetBlue—are all adding flights to the city.” Cancun is naturally attracting all beach bum tourists, considering the accessibility and price point. In October 2020, the city’s airport surpassed 1 million monthly passengers for the first time since the pandemic began.