Where to Travel During COVID

One of the ques­tions we hear most often is “Where is it safe to trav­el dur­ing the COVID-19 pandemic?” 

While the pan­dem­ic cer­tain­ly pos­es a num­ber of chal­lenges and safe­ty con­cerns when it comes to trav­el, there are still many des­ti­na­tions you can enjoy while lim­it­ing your risk. And in our opin­ion there is no greater place to be dur­ing a pan­dem­ic than the great outdoors!

And while the des­ti­na­tion itself is an impor­tant fac­tor, how you trav­el is just as impor­tant. That’s why we rec­om­mend small group trav­el as a great way to help lim­it your risk. Instead of being exposed to count­less peo­ple dur­ing a mul­ti-day trip, small group trav­el helps lim­it your expo­sure to just the peo­ple in your group. And you can fur­ther decrease your chances of expo­sure by trav­el­ing with your own close cir­cle of fam­i­ly or friends. At The Clymb Adven­tures, we part­ner with expe­ri­enced trav­el guides around the world that have designed small group trips with your safe­ty in mind.

To help you decide where to trav­el dur­ing COVID, we’ve put togeth­er a list of our top picks for great out­door des­ti­na­tions to trav­el to dur­ing COVID-19:

Domes­tic Trips

The most pop­u­lar choice of where to trav­el dur­ing COVID is, of course, domes­tic trips. A road­trip is arguably the eas­i­est way to escape poten­tial­ly crowd­ed air­ports and still get the thrill of adven­ture. Take off in your own vehi­cle or rent a camper van and explore parts of the coun­try you’ve nev­er seen before. Avoid crowd­ed cities, and instead use this time to explore the small towns and open land­scapes that make up such an amaz­ing part of this coun­try. While you’re out there, here are some of the great spots we rec­om­mend across the U.S.:

  1. Nation­al Parks. What bet­ter time to explore moth­er nature than dur­ing a pan­dem­ic. Escape to the fresh air and open wilder­ness of some of the most beau­ti­ful spots the US has to offer. The great out­doors can also be the per­fect way to avoid crowds. At The Clymb Adven­tures, we’ve done all the hard work of plan­ning your next trip to a Nation­al Park for you. We’ve cre­at­ed amaz­ing 4 to 5 day, pro­fes­sion­al­ly-guid­ed escapes at some of the most diverse Nation­al Parks like Yosemite, Yel­low­stone, and Death Val­ley.
  2. Moab, Utah — Find you next escape on two wheels by cycling the famous White Rim Trail. This clas­sic four-day moun­tain bike tour is a must for any cyclist vis­it­ing Utah’s canyon coun­try, offer­ing a per­fect com­bi­na­tion of great rid­ing and spec­tac­u­lar scenery. The White Rim Trail, locat­ed in the Island in the Sky dis­trict of Canyon­lands Nation­al Park, is tru­ly a spe­cial place. You’ll ride along the White Rim lay­er of sand­stone with dra­mat­ic canyons below and majes­tic red rock cliffs above. The trail mean­ders through arch­es, tow­ers, and oth­er fan­tas­tic rock for­ma­tions. Your guides will lead you on bike and on foot to explore the hid­den trea­sures that the White Rim offers. Vis­it an ancient Indi­an dwelling or per­haps trek into a slot canyon dis­ap­pear­ing into the desert sandstone.
  3. The San Juan Islands — What bet­ter way to flee the crowds than by hop­ping on a kayak and explor­ing Orca whale ter­ri­to­ry in the Pacif­ic North­west? After spend­ing your day catch­ing glimpses of bald eagles, osprey, Cal­i­for­nia Sea Lions, and Har­bor Seals, you’ll be treat­ed to local craft beers from local Wash­ing­ton brew­eries. This Clymb Adven­ture for begin­ners and expe­ri­enced kayak­ers alike, keeps you out of the hotels and away from packed camp­sites. Instead, you’ll have access to seclud­ed boat-in camp­sites which are ful­ly equipped with fire pits, pic­nic tables, run­ning water, and out­hous­es for a com­fort­able expe­ri­ence. Here, your guides will pre­pare meals made with local­ly-sourced, organ­ic foods, includ­ing plen­ty of fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles, paired with great craft beer.
  4. Ida­ho’s Main Salmon Riv­er — Anoth­er great option of where to trav­el dur­ing COVID is Ida­ho’s Main Salmon Riv­er. Escape the city and retreat to the Main Salmon Riv­er on this five-day raft­ing trip. Dis­con­nect from real­i­ty in the heart of the Salmon Chal­lis Nation­al For­est in the Frank Church Riv­er of No Return Wilder­ness.  The end­less rugged moun­tains, exten­sive canyons, and pris­tine riv­er waters will leave you want­i­ng more! With its unspoiled waters, white sand beach­es, and jagged moun­tain peaks, the Main Salmon Riv­er makes for the per­fect sum­mer get­away. The Main Salmon Riv­er is ide­al for a fam­i­ly vaca­tion with breath­tak­ing scenery, safe but excit­ing rapids, and spec­tac­u­lar weath­er in the sum­mer months.
  5. New Hamp­shire — While New Hamp­shire is also cur­rent­ly among the states with the low­est num­ber of COVID-19 cas­es, we are real­ly rec­om­mend­ing this great state because of the beau­ti­ful White Moun­tains. Home to Mt. Wash­ing­ton, New Eng­land’s tallest moun­tain, the White Moun­tains are a per­fect get­away for any­one look­ing to build the moun­taineer­ing skills. That’s why The Clymb has helped craft a two day trip for you to learn the essen­tial fun­da­men­tals of alpine moun­taineer­ing, and then put your skills to the test by sum­mit­ing Mount Washington
  6. Kauai, Hawaii- What if there was a hid­den Hawaii, beyond the usu­al tiki torch­es, luau din­ners, and Mai Tai’s, only seen by the tru­ly adven­tur­ous? On this four-day adven­ture you’ll jour­ney through the remote wilder­ness areas of the Waimea Canyon State Park, known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacif­ic.” An overnight back­pack­ing trip is the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to escape the crowds and to expe­ri­ence the green-and-pink stri­at­ed cliffs of Waimea Canyon like few oth­ers ever do. The remain­ing days will be spent cool­ing off in hid­den swim­ming holes, camp­ing beneath the Milky Way, and snor­kel­ing in the turquoise waters of the Pacif­ic Ocean. With the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of adven­ture and relax­ation, this trip is an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty for those that have nev­er back­packed or are inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about the activity.

Inter­na­tion­al Trips

Look­ing to trav­el inter­na­tion­al­ly dur­ing COVID? While a trip to a dif­fer­ent coun­try right now can be a bit tricky, there are still a few des­ti­na­tions around the globe that are accept­ing U.S. trav­el­ers. Among oth­er health safe­ty pre­cau­tions, we also rec­om­mend that you pro­tect your wal­let by book­ing trips with flex­i­ble depar­tures. Flex­i­ble Depar­ture trips give you the flex­i­bil­i­ty to book your vaca­tion now but decide when you want to trav­el lat­er, whether that’s next month or next year. Since the COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion is chang­ing so rapid­ly, these flex­i­ble depar­tures are a great way to ensure that you don’t get stuck book­ing a trip you can’t actu­al­ly use. Here is our short list of where to trav­el dur­ing covid out­side of the US:

  1. Croa­t­ia — One of the only Euro­pean coun­tries accept­ing US cit­i­zens right now, Croa­t­ia offers exquis­ite waters, rich cul­ture, and a mul­ti­tude of out­door recre­ation. Spend 8 days explor­ing Croa­t­i­a’s Elaphi­ti Islands via land and sea. Less than an hour sail­ing time from Dubrovnik, this arch­i­pel­ago includes 13 lush islands with sandy and rocky beach­es. Unspoiled by mass tourism, the islands are ide­al for relax­ation and out­door recre­ation. In fact, many of the islands have no per­ma­nent inhab­i­tants, and cars are not allowed on Kolo­cep and Lop­ud Islands, allow­ing for a tru­ly peace­ful expe­ri­ence with nat­ur­al surroundings.
  2. Ecuador — On August 6, 2020 the U.S. Depart­ment of State removed the Glob­al Health Advi­so­ry Lev­el 4. While all trav­el­ers over 18 years of age arriv­ing in Ecuador need to pro­vide proof of a neg­a­tive COVID PCR test, as long as the trav­el­er does not present symp­toms of COVID, the trav­el­er does not need to per­form manda­to­ry pre­ven­tive quar­an­tine. So, if you’re healthy, it might be time for you to embark on a trekking adven­ture through some of South Amer­i­ca’s most icon­ic ter­rain. We rec­om­mend quick­ly get­ting off the beat­en path and trekking remote, unspoiled trails through the heart of the Ecuado­ri­an high­lands. With The Clymb Adven­tures, you’ll trek through the mighty Andes of Ecuador on an epic 8‑day adven­ture. Dis­cov­er an incred­i­ble world of stun­ning moun­tain land­scapes, mas­sive vol­ca­noes, hid­den rur­al vil­lages, and rich indige­nous cul­tures. All of this beau­ty comes togeth­er to shape the famous Avenue of the Vol­ca­noes in the Ecuado­ri­an high­lands. This trekking adven­ture will trans­port you into the heart of the Andean cul­ture to expe­ri­ence the local way of liv­ing as you hike nar­row, pris­tine trails used by the local moun­tain people.
  3. The Gala­pa­gos — If you’re already in Ecuador, you can’t miss your chance to see the Gala­pa­gos Islands. While it may only take hours to get there, you’ll quick­ly begin to feel you’ve been trans­port­ed back in time as you become sur­round­ed by the unspoiled flo­ra and fau­na of the Gala­pa­gos Islands. The arch­i­pel­ago forms a nat­ur­al sanc­tu­ary, pre­serv­ing species and allow­ing them to evolve over count­less mil­len­nia. Hike to the top of Sier­ra Negra Vol­cano on Isabela Island and explore the cir­cum­fer­ence of the mas­sive, lava-filled crater. Snorkel through lava for­ma­tions with sea tur­tles, pen­guins, sea hors­es, and more at the Lava Tun­nels, and bask on the pris­tine white sand beach­es of San­ta Cruz Island. This trip includes all accom­mo­da­tions, as well as pro­fes­sion­al guides and naturalists.
  4. Mt. Kil­i­man­jaro, Tan­za­nia — As of June 2020, Tan­za­nia is open to tourists from all coun­tries. So, if you’re ready for one of the most epic moun­tain climbs in the world, look no fur­ther that Mt. Kil­i­man­jaro, the world’s high­est free­stand­ing moun­tain. We rec­om­mend hik­ing along the Ron­gai route­to the top of Mount Kil­i­man­jaro. As the only trek start­ing at the North side of the moun­tain, this unique approach moves through conif­er­ous for­est, offer­ing mes­mer­iz­ing views. While fair­ly chal­leng­ing over­all, the Ron­gai route pro­vides a mod­er­ate acclima­ti­za­tion expe­ri­ence and remains friend­ly to beginners.

As always, we rec­om­mend you vis­it the local gov­ern­ment web­sites where you plan to trav­el and review the required doc­u­men­ta­tion for entry, cur­rent restric­tions, and gen­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions for trav­el with­in the area. We encour­age you to also vis­it your home coun­try’s embassy web­site if you are trav­el­ing to a for­eign coun­try. Require­ments can change rapid­ly. Please be sure you stay abreast of the require­ments and restric­tions for any­where you plan to vis­it. You can also enroll in the U.S. government’s Smart Trav­el­er Enroll­ment Pro­gram (STEP) and you will be sent updates if the sit­u­a­tion in your des­ti­na­tion changes. You can find the pro­gram link at https://step.state.gov/.

Also, please be sure to take all nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions to lim­it your expo­sure and the expo­sure of oth­ers. We high­ly rec­om­mend that you take pre­cau­tions while you trav­el like wear­ing a face mask, thor­ough­ly wash­ing your hands reg­u­lar­ly, dis­in­fect­ing sur­faces you touch, avoid touch­ing your face, and bring­ing along per­son­al hand san­i­tiz­er dur­ing your trav­el. We also rec­om­mend con­sult­ing with your health care provider before traveling.

 

Look­ing for more out­door adven­ture tips? Check out The Clymb Sto­ries Tips section!