By Amelia Cooper

Overpack your carry on or overstuff your car to escape for a long weekend or an entire month! After months of quarantine, everyone is anxious to travel, but finding the right balance of safety, relaxation, and comfort is vital. From the historical European towns to tropical Caribbean islands, this list suggests some fantastic places to go on vacation. Whether you want to acclimate back into society or get back in tune with nature, this list helps you with the right destinations to do all that, but please respect your fellow travellers and the locals. These eight destinations are also social distancing holiday compliant.

1. Preveza, Greece

Preveza, Greece | Photo by Alex Blăjan

When you think of a luxurious Mediterranean vacation, you think of Preveza. Located on the northwestern coast of Greece between the Ionian Sea and Ambracian Gulf, Preveza juxtaposes history with modernism and land attractions mirrored with waterfront views. Enjoy an authentic Greek experience with delicious seafood while consuming the arts and music scene of this gorgeous getaway town. For a more glamorous Greek adventure, spend a night out a yacht soaking in the beautiful ocean views or take a dip for a moonlit swim. Coronavirus did not impact Greece as severely as other European nations, making it a safe place to travel.

2. Azores Islands, Portugal

For a genuinely secluded island escape, the Azores Islands, an archipelago of 9 islands located in the Atlantic, provides a haven for nature lovers. Completely immerse yourself into the local culture and experience food tastings, hiking, and whale watching.  Take a step back to relax and refocus at this beautiful island getaway.  At the Azores Islands, turn off technology and succumb to nature.  You can rent private apartments and villas to take advantage of social distancing guidelines. Portugal reported low cases of coronavirus and therefore is one of the safest places to travel post lockdown.

3. Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, located in northern Poland on the Baltic Sea, connects old city European charm with a quaint coastal town. The combination of 1000 years of history with a modern metropolis and beautiful beaches creates a truly unique travel experience. You can spend time walking along cobblestone streets, laying out at the beach, or enjoying a romantic dinner on the waterfront.  Poland swiftly responded to COVID-19, and they enacted critical lockdown and sanitation methods. As they reopen for tourism, they assure guests that the safest and most practical measures will continue, so visitors enjoy the vibrancy and beauty of this city.

4. The Finnish Lapland

If you crave a vacation but need to take small steps to reenter into a society, then the Finnish Lapland is the perfect place for you. The Finnish Lapland provides a reset back to nature, but also a place to release any lingering cabin fever. Rent a car and pack your bags on top of your roof top tent and explore what they call the last wilderness in Europe. Most importantly, you must experience an arctic adventure at the Northern Lights. As of right now, Finland opens its borders to only nearby countries, however as restrictions lift, this should be on your travel list.

5. Kotor, Montenegro

With limestone cliffs, vast mountain ranges, and seafront views, the port city of Kotor, Montenegro, located on the Adriatic Sea, encapsulates the meaning of a Mediterranean coastal town. Kotor brings history enthusiasts, nature adventurers, and food lovers together. Kotor houses beautiful ornate cathedrals and churches for fans of art and architecture. During the day, visitors relax on private pebble beaches, and at night, they enjoy lively music. COVID-19 did not impact Kotor, Montenegro, as critically as other European cities, and they reported very few cases as of early July.

6. Negril, Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica | Photo by Adam Dillon

Negril is famous for its elongated stretch of sandy beaches that give the best views of Jamaican sunsets. You can relax at Seven Mile Beach with a cocktail or immerse yourself in Jamaican culture through local cuisine and reggae music. Explore the island through its different terrains such as caves or take a boat tour and go underwater snorkelling. Negril is a popular trip destination, especially for Honeymoons and Spring Break, so try to go once it is not peak season to take advantage of privacy. The Caribbean roars back to life post lockdown with critical health and safety measures to enjoy vacationing under this new normal.

7. Nassau, Bahamas

Another Caribbean gem is Nassau, Bahamas, one of the most in-demand locations for a post lockdown retreat. Everything about the Bahamas oozes liveliness, for you come to the Bahamas to unwind on their gorgeous sandy beaches. However, the island offers a rich cultural experience. If you want to seclude yourself in the tropics, visit Rose Island, a private island reached by speedboat, accompanied with a beach bar and snorkelling experiences. The Bahamas is taking severe measures to ensure the safety of its guest, with mask mandates in certain areas and following strict social distancing guidelines.

8. The Maldives

A celebrity hotspot located in the Indian Ocean, this southeast Asian nation of almost 2000 tiny islands provides the perfect tropical escape. At the beginning of their reopening, the Maldives welcomed guests one island and one resort at a time. Their strategy brings visitors back to their beautiful archipelago but also keeps in mind the safety and health of their citizens and tourists.   However, you can still experience the Maldives as intended. Stay in a luxurious resort and or social distance in your very own guesthouse, learn to cook like a local, and enjoy a coconut drink on the beach. Whatever you choose to do, the Maldives is the perfect island getaway.

Conclusion

As travel begins after COVID-19 quarantines, you can create news experiences despite the new normal. When landing at our vacation destinations, let’s remember to build this post-lockdown world together.  Please make sure you check the safety protocols of your vacation destinations and comply with them. Lastly, whether you drive, fly, or get to your vacation spot via boat, remember to enjoy every moment and celebrate with your fellow travellers, from a safe distance, of course!

 

 

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