More than a year of being grounded, Americans are eagerly planning their escape for spring and summer vacations. Seeing that the U.S. recently issued more than 115 “do not travel” advisories, reciprocated with international travel restrictions, and not to mention, the requisite of testing upon return, the best bet right now appears to be domestic travel.
As per the latest guidance from the CDC, traveling within the country indicates minimal risk for fully vaccinated individuals. While the agency still advises against non-essential travel, millions of Americans continue to pass through TSA checkpoints each day; Airports are abuzz, car rentals are selling out, and travel sites are reporting a rise in search queries. As more than 50% of U.S.adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, the reassurance in travel continues to climb.
The world’s largest travel platform Tripadvisor has released a report of the 25 most popular U.S. destinations in 2021. The site also recently conducted a survey, according to which, 50% of respondents say they plan to vacation this spring season. Here are the top 25 ‘Traveler’s Choice’ destinations for 2021.
- New York City, New York
With a whirlwind of attractions, activities, and historical sites, it’s no wonder Americans gravitate to this great city. A trip to NYC could entail watching a broadway show, strolling through central park, or exploring the Guggenheim. Many of these popular sites are within walking distance or a short ride away, making the city an ideal destination for sightseers.
The state has been seeing a steady decline in cases over the past month, leading to eased restrictions on social practices. Meanwhile, New York City is facilitating a rapid flow of vaccination, recently enabling walk-in appointments at all 35 city-run vaccination sites. “You can just walk up and get vaccinated,” said Mayor de Blasio at a press briefing Friday. “We’re quite confident we can accommodate a much higher volume of walk-ins so we’re going to make that universal at all the city-run sites.”
Entering the state does not necessitate quarantine; however, all travelers, with limited exceptions, must continue to fill out the state’s Traveler Health Form.
- Maui, Hawaii
The second-largest island in Hawaii, Maui is adored for its natural beauty, captivating Lao Valley, and rich aquatic life.
Hawaii has reopened to tourists from all other states, contingent on a negative COVID-19 test result which allows them to bypass quarantine. All visitors must complete a Safe Travels Hawaii form and may see a health screening upon arrival.
In addition, tourists from the mainland will be subject to mandatory contact tracing to enter Maui. They will have to downtown the AlohaSafe Alert app or a similar exposure notification app on their smartphone, otherwise face a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Some airlines, including United, Southwest, Hawaiian, and Alaska, offer preclearance programs that allow passengers to present their test results before departure and therefore bypass the airport document screening procedure in Hawaii.
The state is launching a vaccine passport program as early as next month, enabling vaccinated visitors to bypass both testing and quarantine. Hawaii has relatively low COVID-19 cases in comparison to other states. Parks and beaches are open, gatherings are capped at five people, and the mask mandate is currently in place statewide.
- Las Vegas, Nevada
Internationally renowned for its entertainment and nightlife, it’s no surprise that Las Vegas ranks high on the list. The city recently made headlines for its blaring resurgence of tourism following vaccine rollout and tentative reopenings. Currently operating at 50% capacity, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are scheduled to reopen entirely by summer. Meanwhile, tourism and hotel occupancy rates are already reaching pre-pandemic levels.
The state is looking to ease restrictions by May 1st, removing social distance mandates; however, the mask-wearing requirement will remain.
- New Orleans, Louisiana
Also known for its vibrant nightlife, New Orleans is popular among tourists for several reasons, from live jazz music to festive carnivals. The city offers its tourists a range of fun outdoor activities.
New Orleans is making a steady recovery as the city safely reopens public spaces. Restaurants, bars, music halls, malls, museums, casinos, theaters, and event venues are open between 50-70 percent capacity. Attractions and leisure facilities are all available under social distancing rules.
Inter-state travelers to Louisana are not subject to testing or quarantine.
- Key West, Florida
The island city in Florida is famous for its marine life and water activities. Sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, and parasailing are all part of the adventure in Key West. Mangrove creeks with shallow waters offer tourists a personal experience in the coastal waters. The turquoise waters and clear skies make the city an ideal destination for a spring or summer vacation.
While the city is maintaining the spread of the virus, precautions are in effect, including physical distancing and face mask requirements in accordance with state regulations. There are currently no travel restrictions in place in Florida.
- Oahu, Hawaii
- Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
- San Diego, California
- Savannah, Georgia
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Sedona, Arizona
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Orlando, Florida
- Chicago, Illinois
- Branson, Missouri
- Asheville, North Carolina
- Miami Beach, Florida
- Washington, D.C.
- Austin, Texas
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Los Angeles, California
- Denver, Colorado
- Boston, Massachusetts
To view inter-state travel guidelines, click here.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories