Top 5 unforgettable and safe destinations to visit in 2021

As Northeasterners transition into the warmer months, and hope is on the horizon with decreased COVID-19 case numbers and vaccine opportunities, people are ready to book travel again. Some are comfortable with an escape sooner, while others are looking to get away later in the year. No matter the time frame, there are incredible destinations calling all wanderlust now or in the future. 

Below are five getaways to consider for your next vacation: 

1. Aruba

Aruba has remained an acclaimed, tropical escape for many sunseekers. Beautiful beaches stretch along turquoise waters, colorful colonial architecture is featured in tourist hotspots, and there are plenty of nearby sights and food to indulge in. Aruba was one of the first Caribbean islands to reopen amid the pandemic, welcoming all kinds of travelers, from offering extended-stay remote-working programs to package deals for families at all-inclusive resorts. The country is also the first to integrate and accept the CommonPass digital health pass for entry when you fly with JetBlue. New York, Boston and Fort Lauderdale terminals currently offer this option. Current protocol to enter Aruba requires a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or arrival to the island.  

Aerial from Manchebo beach on Aruba island in the Caribbean.
Emerald water idyllic beach at Nassau, The Bahamas.

2. Bahamas

Whether you are looking to cruise to Nassau from a Northeast homeport, or fly-in with family and friends, the Bahamas is an unmatched, sun-kissed archipelago many travelers choose to visit. The trip cost can be relatively affordable, and there are many avenues for visitors and groups with different interests to engage with the culture. As one of the closest international destinations for Americans, the country is continuing to gain popularity in current and future bookings. Many properties have established well-being programs focused on cleanliness and safety. Currently, travelers are required to secure a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than five days prior to arrival and apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa.  

3. Bermuda

The famous pink sands of Elbow Beach, Bermuda.

Bermuda is a coveted Caribbean destination, renowned for its beautiful beaches and a fascinating culture. Amid the unprecedented and ongoing global health crisis, the country has pivoted and now re-emerged as a low-risk travel option and will open to air travelers starting on July 1. There is a five-stage process required of visitors including pre-departure, in-flight, upon arrival, on-island and returning home protocols. Currently a negative COVID-19 test is required 72 hours prior to arrival in order to freely move across the island during the vacation period. Activities on the island include catamaran boats, snorkeling, scuba diving and plenty of other inclusions featured at nearby resorts. This is the perfect getaway for couples in need of a retreat, or for families to reset and relax together.  

4. Hawaii

The turquoise waters along the Hawaiian coast.

The Hawaiian Islands resting in the Pacific Ocean, is the oasis of a lifetime to consider escaping to. In early March, nearly 30,000 visitors made their way to the islands in a three-day span. This air travel spike surely speaks to the increasing trend of the destination post-pandemic. This does not go without saying that many hotels and resorts are offering affordable options for families, paired with conscious health and safety protocols. The influx is also accredited to the state’s safe travels program and vaccine availability to those residing there. With appropriate documentation and negative testing pre-travel, vacationers can bypass a quarantine period advised by the state. From adventurous treks, to more leisurely by the beach cultural activities, Hawaii is sure to offer the perfect tropical vibes to look forward to in 2021. Learn more about Hawaii from our AAA Travel advisor.  

5. Jamaica

Lush landscape in Montego Bay, Jamaica

 In the past several months, Jamaica has rebounded amid the pandemic as an enticing destination to embark on in 2021. This Caribbean island is a beautiful escape for families, couples, and individuals alike in need of a vacation to remember. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Jamaica had been trending as a must-see place to visit for its delicious cuisine, vibrant culture, and endless activities to enjoy. As of now, all travelers 12 years or older must present a negative PCR test to check-in for a flight to Jamaica. This test must be conducted no more than three days prior to arrival and administered by an accredited medical laboratory. A travel authorization is also required to stay in Jamaica. Additionally, the island established “resilient corridors” for visitors along the northern coast in Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios to protect locals while sustaining the tourism industry. 

No matter the destination that catches your eye, allow a AAA Travel advisor to help you plan the tropical getaway you deserve, today. Visit and meet an agent in our AAA Northeast directory.