As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.
This is Shakeemah Smith's story, as told to Charmin Michelle.
As an avid solo female traveler, I absolutely cannot wait for my next adventure. And I'm sure that most would agree.
The Rona has us at her mercy, and the entire world is under quarantine until...well, I guess at this point, “further notice". Travel influencers and cabin fever-sufferers alike, are holding their breath, waiting on word that borders have reopened, making room for us all to make a mad dash for customs. Even people with little or no travel experience, will likely follow suit, as I predict that they'll suffer a “quarantine-induced epiphany", alluding them to the fact that they've taken travel for granted until now.
But when borders open, where is everyone headed to?
I wanna know, let's talk about it.
My name is Shakeemah Smith, affectionately known as The Passport Abuser, or your Expert Globetrotter. I've visited over 50 countries as a female solo traveler—which all evolved from the hundreds of times I grew frustrated with waiting on friends to travel with me.
I'm also Founder of "Travel Like A Bawse", an online course that focuses on teaching women the art of mastering solo world travel with confidence, safely, and without draining your bank account.
And with this being said, since the pandemic, I'm often asked to advise on what countries would be best to travel to when the world opens back up, so I decided to create a list of my personally approved places where we can vacation with ease.
When compiling this list, (and sitting around daydreaming of getting my next passport stamp), I considered the following three things:
- COVID cases in each country. I instead researched which countries/territories had the least amount of cases, yet were still open to tourism.
- Flight Prices. Because, of course.
- And how far away from home I wanted to travel once borders open. Extremely international travel is not something I would recommend, at least not for a while. There's too much uncertainty in place at the time, and I predict that that uncertainty is likely to hover for the remainder of the year. If you can't stay local, stay close.
And with considering all of the above, I focused my post-Rona travels list on the Caribbean. I mean, the weather is heavenly, the beaches are divine. The Caribbean would be a naturally perfect fit. What's even more amazing, when doing my research, data shows that COVID did not have a huge surge of cases at all in the region. And these countries are all also under five hours flying time from NYC.
So, pack those bags, sis! Here are the best, and safest, places to travel once allowed:
Aruba is the first country in the Caribbean to announce its reopening, and plans to open between June 15th and July 1st. Flights to Aruba from NYC can be purchased for the first week of June for as little as $175. The country has also only had a mere 101 confirmed cases of COVID in the entire country.
Belize was the last country in all of the Americas to receive its first confirmed case of coronavirus. To date, Belize has only had 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the entire country, and is set to reopen its borders on July 1.
Surprisingly, despite the pandemic, Nicaragua's borders have remained open since the onset of the first confirmed case of COVID in the country. Despite not closing its borders, Nicaragua only has 25 confirmed COVID cases to date, and tickets can be purchased for as little as $90 for the second week in July.
Puerto Rico and Hawaii
If you're ready to cure your cabin fever, but you're not ready to risk international travel, tropical paradise still awaits in Hawaii, or the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Starting June 1st, Hawaii will reopen its borders to out-of-state residents, and Puerto Rico, will lift their 14-day quarantine requirement for tourists on May 25th.
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