Explorations From Home: Aruba and the Bahamas

Join AAA Travel as we learn more about AAA members' two favorite destinations- Aruba and the Bahamas. Learn the need to know information about the islands, as you prepare for your next trip. Special Guests: include the Aruba Tourism Board and the Islands of the Bahamas, plus AAA Travel advisors will be in the session to answer any questions you have on exclusive member benefits and options while planning your warm-weather escape! This session is hosted on GoToWebinar, and attending is easy.


Five international destinations to visit in 2020.

Yes, there are countries you CAN visit before the end of the year. While regulations and restrictions have fluctuated throughout the year, AAA Travel has rounded up our top destinations welcoming Americans looking to capture an escape. While we may feel limited, there are still some great options available to venture beyond American borders. Plus, these destinations offer plenty of outdoor, socially-distanced sightseeing opportunities once you’re there, and some have direct flights available from major US hubs.

Aruba

Prior to entry, you’ll be required to complete the online Embarkation / Disembarkation process by providing basic information including your duration of stay, a personal health assessment, uploading a negative PCR COVID-19 test result within the most recent 72 hours, and confirming proof of travel insurance. But it is worth it. Aruba asks you to follow protocols like wearing a mask in the airport and practicing social distancing.  Visitors will find many restaurants and attractions open with safety guidelines in place. Though you can certainly make the most of your Aruba experience without too much close contact with others. Aruba continues to be a popular destination with AAA members, and there are packages available through AAA.

Bermuda

Much like Aruba, Bermuda is another popular AAA member destination here in the North East. Easily accessible from the East Coast, Bermuda is a short flight, quick cruise island welcoming Americans. If you plan to travel here, you will need to complete the travel authorization process online, at a $75 cost (for children nine and under this is only $30). You must also prove that you tested negative for COVID-19. You will still be tested upon arrival even if your pre-departure result is negative, and must quarantine in your accommodation until the results of the test come back—which they estimate as only six to eight hours. The island’s natural beauty will help you forget about the paperwork and tests. Kayaking, snorkeling, catamaran tours., or just a stroll along the shores will offer you a welcomed break from mainland life. AAA members can receive various member perks when booking a Bermuda vacation package with AAA.

Cambodia

While the restrictions and financial commitments are the strongest on this list, Cambodia's culture and accommodations offset the burdens. Connecting flights will be needed, and you more than likely will need to start your journey out of New York—with a stop at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. In addition, Cambodia requires travelers to pay a $3,000 deposit to cover any potential coronavirus-related costs that could occur during your visit. If you test negative for COVID-19 during the mandatory test upon arrival at the airport, you’ll only be on the hook for $160. More information can be found at TourismCambodia.com. From the iconic temples at Angkor Wat to the street food of Siem Reap, Cambodia is a bucket list destination for many AAA members. Trafalgar and others offer some great vacation options. In fact, there are several packages available through AAA.

Croatia

Croatia is not part of the EU’s borderless Schengen Zone, allowing them to bypass the union's travel restrictions on global tourism. If Croatia has been on your radar, now may be a perfect time. Travelers will need to prove a negative PCR coronavirus test result and complete an online travel form. While there ae no direct flights from the US, there are connecting flights through European airports, which is acceptable as the EU’s travel ban includes an exception for travelers in transit. You will not be able to hop to other European countries once in Croatia, but you will have that European flare through the region's beaches, vineyards, historic cities, and parks. Club Adventures offers small group tours that will feed your wanderlust.

Turkey

Visitors are currently only subject to medical screenings upon arrival. Nonstop flights are currently bookable to Istanbul, from New York City. Istanbul is known for its many historic areas with incredible mosques and palaces, as well as the remarkable Grand Bazaar market. Rich in history, and deep in culinary flavors, Turkey feeds all your senses. AAA members will find a variety of vacation packages to Turkey, each with their own flare.

AAA Travel understands that now may not be the right time for everyone to adventure out into the world. We also understand that for some of us, our wanderlust speaks louder than ever. For those ready to explore, we are here to help you find safe yet exciting destinations. AAA travel advisors are studying destinations, updating themselves on guidelines and restrictions, and building vacations that feed travelers' souls. To speak to a AAA travel advisor, please call 1-800-222-7448.


Bahamas Postpone Welcoming Americans

The Bahamas will continue their ban on American travelers amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States.

The Caribbean nation started opening up to tourism be welcoming yachts and private planes on June 15, followed by commercial airlines on July 1. On July 22, commercial flights and vessels from Canada, the UK, and the European Union will be welcomed, but US travelers will need to wait longer.

“While there are countries that continue to make progress, such progress can be reversed because of what is happening in neighboring and other countries,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in a statement. “We are in a marathon, not a sprint… Like other nations that responded well at the outset of the pandemic, the Bahamas is working through the same balancing act. We are trying to get Bahamians back to work and to promote economic activity, while also limiting the spread of the virus.”

In addition, Bahamasair will cease outgoing flights to the United States effective immediately. Private international flights and yachts from the U.S., however, will continue to be allowed, but all visitors will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 10 days before traveling.
The Bahamas are not immune to the outbreak, having seen a spike in cases as the islands reopened to tourism, This includes 31 new cases in two weeks on Grand Bahama after being COVID-19-free for just over two months. A nightly curfew has been implemented for that island.

“I understand the frustration and the disappointment of many Bahamians and residents that may ensue as we re-implement certain restrictions. But as a country we have to do what is right and necessary,” Minnis said. “If we do not take these measures now, we will pay a higher and deadlier price later.”

In total, the Bahamas has reported 153 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Minnis noted, 49 of which have been recorded since the borders reopened on July 1.

Not all of the Caribbean is closed to US residents. Islands are handling their restrictions on an individual basis. AAA members are invited to participate in our upcoming deep dive into travel options to the Caribbean. Learn about our favorite Caribbean islands, such as Aruba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas as we welcome representatives for each island to our one-hour broadcast highlighting why these island treasures are a great place to plan your NEXT great adventure.


Countries Welcoming American Travelers

Not all hope is lost for those looking to travel in 2020. Travel Pulse recently compiled 17 countries opening their borders to Americans this summer. There are conditions that must be met to visit. Here is a breakdown of locations and requirements.