Where can I travel internationally, responsibly, and have fun?
October 3, 2021 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I am vaccinated and will get a booster when allowed to (US citizen). So I'm less worried about travel now than when it was more likely I would bring COVID to some other part of the world. But where can I travel that is okay with me coming, it would be fine to go, and not TOO risky?

A big breakup and some other life changes have made me antsy for a trip. I had planned on Mexico in 2020 but the low vaccination rates and trying to speak/understand Spanish through a mask have made me push that off. (Feel free to tell me it's actually pretty safe in big cities because I want to go šŸ˜­)

Basically I'm thinking about:
-somewhere where restrictions wouldn't be strict enough that it wouldn't be fun (like if all the museums or sights are closed, I am fine with masking constantly)
-somewhere with high vaccination rates (or comparable to urban US???)
-somewhere where they are okay with me coming of course
-?? After all of this is this even socially acceptable yet? Am I being irresponsible/endangering folks by traveling to their countries? Since I'm vaccinated I don't think so but feel free to tell me if this is a bad plan(???) My ex was super paranoid about covid and I think they would frown on travel so I think that's messing with my ability to judge risk here. I would follow entry guidelines, test, etc for the tourist country and the US on return. First idea was maybe Germany as an easy to navigate, highly vaccinated country.

posted by clarinet to Travel & Transportation (18 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, this would probably also be this spring or summer. So things might change. But as of now ish what do you think?
posted by clarinet at 3:14 PM on October 3, 2021

Best answer: Portugal?
posted by Pantalaimon at 3:31 PM on October 3, 2021

Best answer: My parents - fully vaxxed with a top off booster - are spending a month in Paris as we speak and have are having a grand time. Restaurants are open as are museums. They have encountered no hostility as Americans traveling there and are doing fine.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 3:32 PM on October 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Iceland is amazing, and a lot of the sights are outdoors anyway.
posted by praemunire at 3:45 PM on October 3, 2021 [9 favorites]

2nding Iceland. A friend was there recently and sent back astounding, breathtaking photos.
posted by Dolley at 4:13 PM on October 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Aruba has a high vaccination rate and is the most non-touristy island in the Caribbean that is still great to visit (in my opinion). They speak English, have universal healthcare, want visitors, and are mostly outdoors.

10/10 recommended!
posted by bbqturtle at 4:17 PM on October 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Even vaccinated people can transmit Covid. I would be most concerned with transmitting to children as most are not vaccinated yet. Traveling puts you at greater risk for picking it up yourself and then transmitting to whatever kids you happen to be around on the plane, the airport, wherever you're traveling, etc.
posted by Anonymous at 4:25 PM on October 3, 2021

Response by poster: See, exactly why I asked! I don't see kids day to day and forget that lots of kids can't be vaccinated yet. At home I am mostly sticking to store trips. Happy to hear other cautions.
posted by clarinet at 4:50 PM on October 3, 2021

Best answer: If you mean spring/summer of 2022, with any luck most kids 5-12 will be vaccinated. TCMMV (Their country's mileage....) An excellent point though shroedinger, and one I probably wouldn't have though of either, clarinet, as I'm not around littles very often either.
posted by kate4914 at 5:08 PM on October 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Yeah, spring/summer 2022. Glad that it looks like more kids will have their vaccines by then, and I know it'll vary wildly by country, but great thing to add to my list of checks. Happy for more places to go too. I will stop thread-sitting!
posted by clarinet at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2021

We're visiting Germany in December (from the USA) and are hoping it's a happy trip that feels sane, unlike here.
posted by erattacorrige at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2021

Israel? An incredible destination for all its mixed cultural histories and artifacts, and very highly vaxed. Also, unbelievable ambiance and food!
posted by citygirl at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

This site (Our World in Data) tracks covid statistics, so you can check things like which countries are most vaccinated and have the lowest rates at any given time.
posted by trig at 10:19 PM on October 3, 2021

If you are thinking about Europe, this map put out every Thursday by Europe's CDC gives an overview of the risk not just by country but by regions within that country.

But also important is that each country can set policy as to whether it allows Americans so you need to keep track of this too. Norway and Sweden for example are closed to Americans.

My friend's mother, in her 70's, flew out from the US to Paris a few weeks ago. We went to go see her there too and all of us had a great time.
posted by vacapinta at 1:08 AM on October 4, 2021 [3 favorites]

Chile has high vaccination rates, very low cases and everybody wears a mask. Children are getting vaccinated, my 14yo has both doses already.
Most of the interesting bits are outdoors: deserts, glaciers, Rapa Nui, ChiloƩ and the streets of Valparaiso.
We started letting visitors in recently, but there's a 5 day quarantine.
posted by signal at 6:10 AM on October 4, 2021

In terms of "are you causing extra risk" - this is obviously a difficult question to answer.

First, how much risk are you causing at home? Are you going to bars, spending time with large groups indoors, etc?

Second, how will you behave while travelling? Will you be outdoors, or indoors?

Overall, as a vaccinated person, your total impact should be reduced. Vaccinated people can still get infected and spread things, but the chances of infection are lower. If you did spread it, it's more likely that you catch it and spread it IN the host country than spreading it from home.

hope this helps!
posted by bbqturtle at 7:22 AM on October 4, 2021

You'll want to revisit any possibilities as the date gets closer, of course. Things can change a lot per country, per city, per region. Vaccinations rates will all be different by then (hopefully!).

One item to add to your list of bullet points: how stable/reliable is air transportation to your destination? Are there multiple alternatives? Has there been a history during the pandemic of flights being cancelled? This is tough to gauge, but worth throwing in as a factor.

I'll put in a good word for Armenia -- light restrictions on entry, relatively reliable air service to get there, great country with a walkable capital city and lots of outdoor attractions, many of which are easy day trips from Yerevan. Only downside in your list of concerns is that the vaccination rate at the moment isn't high, you'd want to monitor that between now and next spring/summer.
posted by gimonca at 8:03 AM on October 4, 2021

A point in favor of the Caribbean is that you can (if desirable) be outdoors for just about the entire trip; the island(s) likely will have an abundance of restaurants with tables outside, and most activities will be outdoors too. Got to go to TCI this summer; wouldn't have felt comfortable eating indoors.
posted by troywestfield at 7:40 AM on October 7, 2021

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