In today’s newsletter: the latest travel news, Stanley Tucci, and 1:1 sessions with me. This month, a portion of the profits from paid newsletter subscriptions will be donated to Womankind. Previous organizations we’ve supported include Girls Write Now, Women for Women, Heart of Dinner & Black Mamas Matter. If you’ve found your way here but are not yet subscribed, let me help you with that:
As you may notice, this Friday newsletter is arriving in your inbox on a Saturday afternoon. The reason for that is I have been processing the ever-shifting travel news coming through my news alerts. Between the CDC’s recent travel announcement and the opening of certain borders to fully vaccinated travelers, there has been a lot to unpack this week.
With my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine scheduled for this Wednesday, I have found myself absent-mindedly scrolling through Booking.com and day-dreaming about travel. Of course, dreaming of travel right now is easier than actually planning a trip. Even with a vaccination card in hand, the entry/exit requirements for travelers are constantly changing, as are the openings and closings of borders.
Some countries are still in lockdown, while others aren’t open to American travelers. Some countries will welcome you with open arms if you have proof of vaccine, while others still require COVID testing and quarantine despite it. During the best of times, travel planning can be a pain. But right now? Navigating the ever-shifting sands of travel policy seems impossible. In an effort to answer some of my own questions (and hopefully yours), here’s what you need to know:
Where can I travel if I’m fully vaccinated?
This past week, the CDC announced that fully-vaccinated people may travel domestically without needing to be tested or quarantine. Of course, travelers are expected to still wear masks and follow safety protocols. But what about international travel? Right now, the rules around international travel really come down to each individual country. Some places, like the Dominican Republic, have completely eliminated the need for proof of a negative COVID test. While other countries, like Guadeloupe has closed its borders to American travelers completely. All that said, the following countries are open to fully-vaccinated travelers: Belize, Guatemala, Ecuador, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Iceland, Montenegro, Poland, Seychelles, and Slovenia. In May, Greece is anticipated to open up to fully vaccinated travelers, as is Cyprus.
What’s the deal with vaccine passports?
Right now, tech companies are proposing digital vaccine passports, which would show a person’s COVID vaccine status. There is an ongoing debate around the ethics of implementing required vaccine passports. On the one hand, vaccine passports would allow for easy regulation of vaccinated people to travel, enter a baseball stadium, work out at gyms, go to concerts, etc. In short, it would offer a peace of mind knowing that everyone on board that plane or in attendance at that concert has been vaccinated against COVID. On the flip side of the debate, vaccine passports are seen as unethical because of the segregation it creates between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. The implementation of vaccine passports could block people from re-entering society who do not yet have access to the vaccine or have chosen not to get vaccinated.
Do I need a vaccine passport to travel?
While vaccine passports have been tested by private entities, such as technology and travel companies, it is unclear whether they will be accepted and rolled out globally. So far, Israel—the country with the highest vaccination rate in the world—released their version of a vaccine passport in late February. Recently, New York released the country’s first vaccine passport called the Excelsior Pass. The Excelsior Pass is a free app that allows New Yorkers to upload their vaccination card for easy validation at events, bars, restaurants, concerts, etc. All of this is to say that countries and states are testing their own versions of vaccine passports, but at the moment there is no requirement to download a digital vaccine passport in order to travel. If you’re fully vaccinated, just hold on to your vaccination card and follow the entry/exit requirements of the place you are visiting.
What about re-entering the United States?
As of now, all air passengers (including U.S. citizen above the age of two) must have a negative COVID test result taken three days before a U.S. bound flight. Yes, this even applies to those who are fully vaccinated. I know this doesn’t make the most sense, but a lot of the entry/exit requirements for various countries — including the United States — have yet to be updated in light of recent vaccination efforts.
So, when and where can I travel? Let’s break it down…
When and where you can travel really comes down to your personal preference right now. If you’re an American citizen, by far the easiest option for traveling now is domestic. As a fully-vaccinated person, you can travel between states without worrying about entry/exit requirements. If you’re set on going abroad and are fully-vaccinated, then consider these countries where COVID testing and quarantine requirements are waived for vaccinated travelers. If you’re not vaccinated, you should ideally wait to get vaccinated before you travel again. Otherwise, your best bet is to look up the individual entry/exit requirements for the country you’re hoping to visit. Just know that most places will require a negative COVID test upon arrival, while some places may still enforce a quarantine.
I’ll be answering all of your travel and travel writing questions!
Recently, I’ve partnered with Wanderful’s upcoming Women in Travel Summit to offer 1:1 mentorship sessions. When you book a virtual session with me, you’ll receive one hour of my undivided attention to answer all questions you have about travel and travel writing. Are you an aspiring travel writer? Are you trying to pitch a travel editor a story? Do you have dreams of launching a travel magazine? What about starting a travel blog? Whether you want feedback on a travel story or just want to wax poetic about travel memories, you can book a session with me here:
Thanks to the incredible paid subscribers for this newsletter, every month I am able to donate a portion of profits to a nonprofit organization. This month, we are supporting Womankind. Womankind works with survivors of gender-based violence to help them rise above the trauma and build a path to healing. Womankind and the 1882 Foundation announced a six-part series dedicated to examining anti-Asian violence, after recent attacks against the Asian community. Become a paid subscriber to this newsletter to unlock exciting perks and support nonprofits each month. For a limited time, we’re sending all of our subscribers a special package including a woman-made travel bracelet, a copy of our Feminist City Guidebook to NYC, a copy of Unearth Women magazine, and feminist stickers.
Stanley Tucci and one crazy story
Is there anything more joyous than stepping into Stanley Tucci’s world and watching him eat his way through Italy? While the globe seemingly claws its way out of the pandemic like sweatpants-clad zombies in an apocalyptic movie, Mr. Tucci is joyfully slurping down cacio e pepe in Rome and enjoying aged prosciutto in Parma. Color me envious, but watching Stanley Tucci’s new CNN show has me missing Italy—and travel, in general—more than I can possibly articulate. After watching back-to-back episodes of Tucci in Italia, I read this Vulture article about Water for Elephants, author Sara Gruen. Guys, I have read some crazy articles throughout this pandemic — everything from squatters to swingers to murderers — but this one takes the cake. How this New York Times best-selling author became obsessed with an inmate and managed to lose her money and career, is one hell of a story.