Webster Dictionary recently added the term "Vaxication" to the dictionary to describe vaccinated people ready for summer travels. But whether or not you decide to get the coronavirus vaccine, one thing is for sure: we are all in need of a vacation. (Like yesterday.)
As the world slowly starts to reopen, it's time to start dreaming of what travels could become. Have you been dreaming of faraway places? I know I have been! There are so many places I haven't crossed off my travel bucket list, such as Cape Town, Bali, and Jamaica, to name a few. Besides these well-known places, there are some underrated destinations I can't wait to touch foot on.
With travel restrictions varying per country, it's essential to make sure you research the most up-to-date guidelines. Most places will require a negative COVID test before departure. Also, out of an abundance of respect and caution for the local population, wear a mask and practice social distancing guidelines.
But let's jump into the fun stuff. If your travel vision board is looking a little dry, spice it up with some of these new suggestions!
1. Instead of Nassau, try Eleuthera and Harbour Island.
Bahamas, Eleuthera Island, district of Governor's Harbour (Central Eleuthera).
Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images
Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas. It's beautiful and filled with resorts and beachfront restaurants. However, when I visited The Bahamas, my breath was taken away when I touched down in Eleuthera. Eleuthera is roughly a quick 30-minute flight from Nassau. Even though it's relatively close, I felt like I was in a different world. My group rarely ran into large groups of tourists when in Eleuthera, and it felt like a genuine and authentic experience.
When in Eleuthera, you can easily visit Harbour Island. The island isn't accessible by plane, so you have to take a quick ferry ride to get there, and it won't disappoint. Exploring Harbour Island is the best and most fun by golf cart. Also, once back in Eleuthera, I loved evenings driving down the winding coast. Pure bliss. If you're looking for a jaw-dropping place to stay, look no further than The Cove.
2. Instead of Tulum, try Oaxaca City.
Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Alberto Lama / 500px / Getty Images
When the pandemic first started, Americans quickly realized that Mexico was the only place that took them in, and it was packed. If your timeline was anything like mine, then you saw that everybody was in Tulum. In case you forgot, here's a funny reminder:
Tulum is gorgeous, of course, and you should visit if you desire. But let's not stop there! Have you heard of Oaxaca City? This place is steeped in history and Mayan culture. You'll be far from tourist crowds and will get a truly local experience. Some places to visit in Oaxaca are Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, and Zipolite.
The buzzing streets of Oaxaca are colorful and vibrant. You won't find too many chain restaurants or massive nightclubs. Unlike the busy beaches in Tulum, you won't find that here. The beaches are free from huge crowds year-round, and you can visit beaches in towns such as Zipolite, Mazunte, and San Agustinillo.
3. Instead of Rome, try Ravello.
Ellen van Bodegom / Getty Images
When in Rome, right? However, let's talk about when in Ravello! This Italian city is situated above the Amalfi Coast. The streets are lined with stunning architecture and piazzas. When I visited in 2016, it gave no tourist vibe at all. Ravello is a breathtaking place to venture off to for a deep and authentic Italian experience. I remember being greeted by locals every morning when I traveled there. If you're looking to go with a group as I did, they're a few Black travel groups planning. Another fun thing to do in Ravello is taking a boat ride to Capri and spend the day exploring the island!
4. Instead of Tokyo, try Kyoto.
Japanese woman walking in bamboo grove, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan.
Marco Bottigelli / Getty Images
Iconic art, futuristic vibes, beaming lights line the streets of Tokyo. I loved the time I spent in Tokyo, but I could not get over the days I spent strolling through Kyoto. Kyoto gave me a sense of traditional and historical Japan. While in Kyoto, there are a plethora of temples and shrines to visit. I loved partaking in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony that I booked through Airbnb Experience; it was truly memorable. You can also spend the day being entranced by the beauty of Bamboo Forests.
5. Instead of Joshua Tree, try the Lost Coast.
The sunset seen on the south of Lost Coast.
Cavan Images / Getty Images
If you're not ready to venture off abroad just yet, I had to add one domestic destination. California is jam-packed with wonders outside of visiting the Hollywood Sign. Have you heard of the Lost Coast? You may not have cell phone service while visiting, but you'll be entranced by the beauty of this rugged coastline that you won't mind. The Lost Coast is about 200 miles north of San Francisco in Humboldt County, California. It's an underdeveloped wilderness and provides a perfect backdrop for a spectacular scenic drive, hikes, and backpacking.
Are you ready to trek through these new destinations and discover the unknown? If heck yes, then grab your travel bae or girlfriends and start planning.
Featured image by Bob Thomas / Getty Images