We are all sick and tired of dealing with COVID-19. I don’t know about you, but the restrictions we have endured have been putting a damper on my ability to travel, and I am not happy! Not only has COVID-19 caused travel to come to a halt, but it has reeked havoc on vacation destinations around the world. Hopefully, this holiday we will be able to explore countries more easily and travel will return to normal again!
I always looked forward to spring when I could enjoy the outdoors and travel. Spring reveals many great options of travel worldwide, from beach escapes to world-class festivals and some of the year’s best travel deals. This spring may be a little different and the options might not be as plentiful as in years past. However, I encourage you to make a plan, book the trip, and get excited about travel.
Know this, that no matter the destination, these places will book fast once restrictions are lifted.
COVID-19: The Nasty Word!
Yes, COVID-19 has placed so many restrictions on how we travel that it is time to rethink the destination, packing for the trip, and many other things needed to prepare for the trip.
Without spending too much time talking about the virus, planning a future trip will require you to adjust. Check travel restrictions for the destination you are hoping to visit and consider warnings from your country’s Foreign and Health Ministries or Center for Disease Control. It would help if you took the precautions to keep everyone safe. Don’t be a naysayer because this can land you with a fine and send you home!
Always pack several masks, hand sanitizer wipes, and purchase travel insurance that will cover COVID-19 (especially when traveling abroad). I also recommend that if you have a medical condition or take medications to bring all your information with you just in case you need it.
If you happen to get sick in another country, you need to understand your options in getting treatment. Check with local tourism departments to determine the best way to handle this type of situation. Also note, that if you get COVID-19 while traveling, you most likely will have to quarantine in that country until you have a negative test result or the medical staff release you to travel home.
I wrote a blog about “Where Can You Travel During COVD-19?” which is a good read about traveling in airports and planes during this pandemic.
FAVORITE PLACES TO TRAVEL
With its deep turquoise waters, long beaches lined with restaurants, cafes, and bars, Antalya is one of the top-rated vacation spots in the world. Antalya is often referred to as the Turkish Riviera, and it is being discovered worldwide, and more travelers are visiting to enjoy a fabulous vacation experience. Antalya is a beach town and offers historical sightseeing, great shopping, and fun-filled nightly entertainment. Antalya is the perfect spot to stay in Turkey because you will find something fun and exciting to do while visiting, no matter which direction you go. You will rarely spend time indoors as many restaurants, bars, and cafes are designed with open-air seating.
There is a treasure trove of things to see and do in Porto. Cais da Riberia is known for being the riverside quarter to stroll along and experience a romantic evening with a glass of wine. Here you will find a plethora of cafes and restaurants. One of my favorite aspects of the city is the blue mosaic tiles used in the architecture of churches and the buildings’ walls. The Gothic architecture and long history have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. As you cross the Douro River, the Dom Luis I Bridge is one of the most iconic sights. Once across the bridge, visit the many wine distilleries for free samples.
Malaga is a charming historic city brimming with beautiful architecture and artistic attractions as well as turquoise beaches. Malaga is vibrant, colorful, and eclectic, with fantastic food and a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean. Known for the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and Antonio Bandera, you will find streets filled with artists of all types. Although Malaga is one of Europe’s popular summer vacation destinations, it is a city that is beautiful year-round.
Cuenca is known as the “Athens of Ecuador,” located in the heart of Andean Mountain. Tomebamba River runs through the city, creating a lovely atmosphere for parks and walking trails. Cuenca’s major attractions are the Cajas National Park and Ingapirca Ruins. Beautiful whitewash 16th-century churches along with republican-style buildings line the cobble-stoned streets. Cuenca’s historic center was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999 as one of the most charming cities in Ecuador, rich in history, architecture, and culture.
The soul of Mexico’s Colonial heartland lies in Guanajuato, Mexico. Frog statues, cobblestone streets, intersecting tunnels, colored houses, callejoneadas makes up one of Mexico’s gems. Most people don’t think of Guanajuato when considering travel to Mexico. Still, with the striking architecture and unusual attractions, this magical place has caused this city to jump to the top of cities’ list to visit in Mexico. Many cafes, bars, street food stalls, markets, and art galleries make it a walkable city to explore.
This Italian coastal town has everything you could wish for and more. Portofino is a combination of romanticism, softness, and endless charm, nestled in the Liguria’s very core, one of Italy’s smallest regions. The region is known as the Italian Riviera. Portofino is a fishing village transformed into an exclusive holiday destination for lovers of both simplicity and luxury. It’s an excellent destination for anyone looking for a sense of wilderness, balanced out by traditional Italian dishes and romantic alleyways.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
With lush green mountains, colorful homes, heaps of culture, and great food, Puerto Rico is an excellent vacation place. Even though most of us recall the terrible hurricane that struck the island, it would be fair to say that you don’t see the destruction from the storm. Get lost in the colorful streets in Old San Juan filled with tons of history. The only tropical rainforest in the United States is in El Yunque National Forest, where you can hike the Angelito trail. Explore the scenic route of Ponce with tropical beaches and nostalgic landmarks. The island is small enough that you can drive the complete perimeter in one vacation.
I hope that I have sparked your interest in one of these exciting destinations. If traveling abroad is not on your radar, I am sure you can find interesting places nearby. During these changing times, start making plans for your next destination to visit. I am sure once things open back up and life gets close to being normal again, hot spots to travel will book up quickly.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.
Inshallah (God willing!)