These destinations are hot, hot, hot right now. And not just in temperature. As the pandemic seems to be winding down in most areas of the USA, many Americans are starting to make their summer travel plans. After having such a restricted year of limited-to-no travel last year, people are ready to make up for time lost. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with the top 10 summer destinations to visit in 2021.
Yes, it’s hot in the summer – and we’d recommend visiting in September/October – but after the year we just had, you can make do in Hawaii. The islands have been welcoming back visitors for several months now. This state’s economy highly depends on tourism, so the locals are more than happy to see everyone come back to their little slice of heaven.
Whether you stay on the big island of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, or Oahu, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic vacation. Hawaii is excellent in the summer with plenty of sunshine, hikes to explore, great restaurants, shopping, and beaches. Just make sure to book soon because this seems to be everyone’s go-to this summer!
Note that Hawaii requires a negative COVID test before departing for Hawaii to bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine at the time of this writing. Your negative PCR test will need to be from an approved health lab.
2. Tulum, Mexico
Mexico has opened its borders to tourists with no need for quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test. Although, keep in mind that you will need a negative test to return to the States.
Tulum is the perfect summer destination. You’re far away from the resort towns like Cancun and Cabo, so you get a more authentic experience. Tulum is affordable, friendly, and full of fun activities. You’ll want to spend every day on the beach enjoying the heat and the clear blue waters. In the evenings, you can make reservations at the many fine-dining restaurants Tulum has to offer.
A trip to Aruba can really make up for a year of missed travel. This island’s moniker is “One Happy Island,” and it’s easy to see why. If you’re looking for a relaxing summer vacation, book a resort in Aruba. This destination has some of the best beaches in the world. In fact, Aruba’s Eagle Beach won the 3rd Best Beach in the World 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.
If you’re up for leaving the sandy beaches, you can explore Aruba’s sand dunes, deep caves, and the stunning Ariikik National Park. Aruba is also the Caribbean’s shipwreck capital, so make sure to get a diving excursion in!
Americans traveling to Aruba will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before departure.
Spain has everything you want this summer – hot weather, beautiful beaches, delicious food and drinks, and cultural activities. There’s so much to do and see in Spain, you can be in the country for two weeks, and you’d still have to come back. We highly recommend buying tickets for popular activities ahead of time, as Spain will be one of the most popular escapes this summer.
As of June 7, 2021, Spain has opened its borders to tourists from most countries without a mandatory quarantine. Americans will need to prove that they’re fully vaccinated for entry to the country.
5. Puerto Rico
Feeling like you’re not totally ready to go abroad but still want a beach escape? Puerto Rico is the perfect middle ground. Puerto Rico has always been a top destination mainly because the people are so friendly and there’s so much to do. Stay in the colorful city of San Juan, explore the rainforest, take zipline adventures, and visit the beaches.
Currently, vaccinated Americans flying in on a domestic flight only need to upload their vaccination record to enter Puerto Rico. Non-vaccinated travelers will need to show a negative test before arrival.
Iceland was one of the first countries to reopen its borders to travelers in 2021, welcoming everyone back with open arms. This was mainly due to the country’s excellent record of containing its COVID-19 cases and eliminating widespread infections.
Iceland may not seem like a typical summer destination, but we cannot recommend it enough. If you love nature and exploring, Iceland is the place for you. Make an itinerary and hit up all the popular sightseeing spots in Iceland, like the Blue Lagoon, Gullfoss waterfalls, and Jökulsárlón glacier lake.
Travelers can show their vaccination records or will need to show a negative test result prior to boarding a plane for Iceland.
Some people this summer aren’t looking for beaches – they want the party and the nightlife. In that case, book yourself a trip to Vegas. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you arrive – Vegas has made a full recovery and looks almost the same as ever. Spend your days going to the pool (although most will require a reservation), gambling, eating, going to shows, and partying all night.
As of June 1, 2021, Vegas has reverted to pre-pandemic guidelines. This includes lifting capacity limits, no longer requiring masks, and lifting social distancing rules. However, each hotel has different rules for COVID-19 protocols, so make sure to call ahead before booking.
8. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of those places where when someone goes once, they tend to come back again and again. So, this summer 2021, book a flight to Costa Rica and see what all the hype is about.
It may seem small, but there’s an abundance of things for tourists to do in Costa Rica. You can explore the national parks, go to Arenal – one of the world’s most active volcanoes, find hot springs and waterfalls, walk through rainforests, go ziplining, and more.
Currently, Costa Rica has no COVID-19 travel regulations in place to enter the country. Instead, tourists still have to get a visa (if applicable for their country), complete the Health Pass, and acquire medical insurance.
Just recently, in June 2021, France opened its borders and welcomed back tourists. This is excellent news for everyone as France is a classic summer destination. Whether you choose to visit Paris or the South of France, you’re going to have a fantastic time. A vacation in France is all about three things – cultural attractions, drinking, and great food.
Currently, vaccinated travelers from the United States will need to show a negative test before airline departure to France. Unvaccinated travelers from the US cannot enter without an essential reason at this time.
Every summer, people flock to Miami, and the summer of 2021 will be no different. Miami has something for everyone. When you’re not relaxing on the iconic Miami Beach, take some time to explore Jungle Island, visit the Miami Zoo, or walk through the swamplands of Everglades National Park where you’ll see alligators, crocodiles, and birds. Make sure to stop in Little Havana and have a Cubano sandwich.
So, where will you go this summer 2021?