As travelers, we long to participate in new cultures as explorers, as storytellers, as students, and as friends. Our vacations are precious to us for many reasons: for the limited time we have, for the budget, for the planning, for the feeling it leaves, for the experiences we yearn for, and ultimately, for the understanding of the world it gives us. After decades of stepping out into the world when we wanted, and how we wanted, this new chapter will require a new mindset.
As we consider post-pandemic travel, these destinations may be amongst those that can provide unique, personable, and personalized experiences in safe and comfortable environments. Whether you are stepping out on a first-time trip or returning to a long-beloved destination, these countries offer something away from the heavily trodden path with combinations of pristine natural wonders, remarkable history, and captivating cultural experiences. Even though they are not open yet, we recommend starting the planning process now due to the expected pent-up demand for 2021 travel.
Life and travel have unquestionably changed, but we can take comfort in Belize’s warm Caribbean waters as well as the remarkable cultural and natural treasures of the Central American jungle far from crowds and the worries of everyday life. “We do not do ‘mass tourism’ here...” Catarina, our Belize travel expert says. “We are a warm, tropical country where most of the attractions are outdoor wonders, and the resorts are all designed to immerse their guests in the natural environment, offering plenty of space from other people so that you can easily travel here and keep strict social distancing standards.”
Celebrated resorts are mostly locally owned boutique properties, and so much of Belize’s allure derives from nature, giving you plenty of fresh air while exploring the country’s highlights. Experiences in Belize plunge you into the nation’s natural wonders and cultural history. Catarina believes that overall, the experience of traveling in Belize will be largely the same as it once was. "We have a lot going for us that has helped keep us virtually COVID-free, making Belize an ideal choice for a vacation destination for those looking to travel somewhere tropical once the pandemic subsides," says Catarina.
Botswana is graced with wildlife spectacles that have made it one of the best safari destinations on Earth. “Travelers who are looking for a safe destination in Africa with a huge diversity of wildlife will gravitate toward the Okavango Delta, the Chobe/Linyanti region, the Central Kalahari, and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans,” says Zicasso African safari expert, Charles.
Botswana is a wonderland of wildlife and also possesses Africa’s highest concentration of elephants. Of all African nations, Botswana has experienced the lowest incidence of COVID-19. “The small population is able to control the virus easier than any other African country,” Charles says. The strong infrastructure has also provided a secure environment in which to handle the various impacts of the virus, making it easier for travelers looking for a safe destination to enjoy the huge diversity of wildlife.
Slovenia reaffirms its commitment to the sustainable, active, lush, and safe environment that has made the country a hidden gem for travelers as it keeps the pandemic under control within its borders. As our Slovenia travel specialist, Bernhard, explains, “In the short term, Slovenia will attract more European travelers, who are now able to leave their homes after almost three months of lockdown, due to its central location, pleasant countryside, and great food and wine.”
Slovenia and much of Central Europe implemented early and strict lockdowns, resulting in impressively low COVID numbers. The country remains relatively unknown to U.S. travelers because it is repeatedly overshadowed by neighboring Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia; however, the best surprises often come from the most unexpected places. Slovenia is poised to return to tourism before most and when navigating travel logistics, Bernhard says, “a travel specialist will be able to make the necessary arrangements.”
Traveling post-Covid is a new complexity we must navigate to find comfort in how we can experience natural beauty and cultural diversity around the world. Vietnam embodies the future where “local and private interactions will be more preferable,” according to our Vietnam travel expert, Dai. “Also, wearing masks will not be seen as something unusual anymore.”
Future travel in Vietnam will be more diverse, encouraging visitors to travel away from the famous megacities and into the captivating landscape known for hill tribes, terraced rice fields, and the floodplains of the Mekong. “Vietnam is focusing on improving the infrastructure to upgrade travel quality. There will be more off-the-beaten-track destinations introduced such as Phu Yen and Quy Nhon. Sustainable tourism and luxury travel are also our main focuses,” shares Dai.
As we look for new ways to take care of our travel experiences, we can find encouragement in how countries are rising to the occasion to make international travel safe for everyone once again. When returning to countries you know or when traveling someplace new, you can count on having help in your corner when logistics are a concern. “Should you encounter any travel disruptions while on your trip due to any outbreaks or illness, your travel specialist can serve as your personal advocate in your destination and will use their connections and expertise to get you the assistance you need as quickly as possible,” says Catarina.
Here at Zicasso, our travel specialists are ready to answer your questions as you consider your next trip. As the ways we travel continue to evolve, it is essential to have a destination expert in your corner. Your travel specialist will underscore the significance of human connection and will ensure personal support throughout your travel experience. Begin your plans with a Trip Request, or call us at 1-888-265-9707.