Overseas and Overjoyed

With some planning, explore the world again

By Krisha Chachra

Many people are itching to fly overseas after more than a year of being careful and staying close to home. Guidelines are constantly changing, though, and you will need some preparation to ensure a safe, smooth journey.

As of press time, countries like Switzerland, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Dominican Republic and Mexico do not administer any testing or have quarantine requirements for American tourists who feel comfortable traveling. If you have a vaccination card as well, some corners of the world will welcome you without asking you to quarantine.

Here are a few places in Europe and the Caribbean where clearing customs in a pandemic world is easy. They also offer breathtaking outdoor experiences and lots of open-air dining options.

Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica

No testing or quarantine is required to live the “pura vida” during your visit to Costa Rica. The locals, who often call themselves “Ticos” and “Ticas,” welcome vaccinated visitors who are willing to respect their natural beaches, lush landscapes and pristine trails.

Costa Rica prides itself as the hub of ecotourism and boasts environmental beauty. No trip there would be complete without visiting the impressive Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You can walk through the thick interior, where the canopy is so dense hardly any light shines through from above. Don’t miss the famous zip lining tour over the rainforest and through the sky.

After zip lining, head to Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa. There you can jump from hot spring to hot spring with the giant active volcano, Arenal, bubbling in the background (at a safe distance). If you’re lucky enough to see a river of red lava flowing down one side of Arenal, notice how it illuminates the wilderness and deep forest all around you. Pura magic!