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How to Pick Your Next Destination: Smart Pandemic Travel Choices for the Next Quarter

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Kirkjufellsfoss and Mt Kirkjufell in Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss and Mt Kirkjufell in Iceland

At Zicasso, travelers often ask how to pick the right destination for this time of travel, particularly if they want to travel in the next 2-3 months.

We find that many want to travel internationally if it’s safe and if they can be confident of a quality trip. Changing rules, restrictions, seasonality, and different country logistics have caused massive confusion about where you can easily travel.

With helpful information and advice, five criteria to consider when you choose your destination, and a list of countries we currently recommend, you can travel with ease and explore the world confidently and safely.

Five Criteria for Choosing Your Best Destination

Christmas season at St Peter's Square, Vatican, Rome

Rome, Italy

We have been carefully analyzing how to make the smartest travel decisions in determining where and when to travel. In following and analyzing Covid data in various countries, and receiving input on the travel experience from our expert local travel specialists at each destination, we have created this set of criteria to select the best international destinations.

Our travelers see the most success when they opt for a destination that meets the following criteria:

  • Open to American travelers with reasonable entry requirements
  • Sensible safety guidelines to allow the enjoyment of attractions, restaurants, and hotel properties
  • Low Covid case rates and at least four consecutive weeks of declining cases
  • Excellent infrastructure for luxury travel, and where our travel specialists can provide a spectacular experience
  • Good season for travel in the next 2-3 months

When a country meets these five criteria, logistics are less likely to shift, entry requirements are less likely to change, and itinerary plans tend to stay as initially, and perfectly, designed by your travel specialist.

Where to Go Now: Our Highest Recommendations

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu PIcchu, Peru

To have a place on this list of recommended destinations, a country must meet these five criteria.

While you can confidently travel to many countries currently open to American travelers, for travel in the next 2-3 months, this list of countries have our highest recommendation for safety, ease, and an ideal travel experience.

Spain

Autumn foliage at Crystal Palace of El Retiro Park, Madrid, Spain

El Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain

Why You Should Go: Spain is an iconic European destination, and within the next three months, the already-light crowds will have thinned, the temperatures will have cooled, and the landscape shimmers with vibrant autumn colors. Whether looking for cathedrals off the beaten path or eager to explore the famous courtyards of the Alhambra, visiting Spain soon ensures a higher level of safety and comfort due to the smaller crowds and limited capacities inside the captivating attractions.

Learn more: Spain Tours & Vacations

Iceland

Tourist looking at Godafoss waterfall in Iceland

Godafoss in Iceland

Why You Should Go: Travel to Iceland within the next three months can unveil a rainbow of autumnal colors or a bleached winter wonderland accentuated by fewer crowds and serene nature. The nights linger longer across the island nation, making it much easier to hunt the Northern Lights. Fewer visitors means you can discover the natural splendor at your pace in complete comfort absent any others around you, from viewing erupting geysers to thundering waterfalls and volcanoes bubbling with magma.

Learn more: Iceland Tours & Vacations 

France

Morning at Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

Why You Should Go: From the grape harvest to the changing colors of the alpine pastures, France from October to December celebrates natural beauty and the little pleasures of joie de vivre for which French culture is known. Limited indoor capacities mean you can revel in the intimate ambiance or renowned galleries without the typical crowds for insightful, unique, and unforgettable experiences in the Louvre to St. Michael’s Mount, Versailles, to the Eiffel Tower to Chateau de Chambord safely.

Learn more: France Tours & Vacations 

Portugal

Autumn vineyards in Alentejo, Portugal

Alentejo, Portugal

Why You Should Go: Ancient towns, gorgeous coastline, fairytale castles, and mouthwatering gastronomy add to Portugal’s allure, and the thin crowds of autumn and winter make it much easier to explore at your comfort level. Limited capacity at cultural facilities, restaurants, and bars, ensures a more casual and comfortable experience for visitors, especially as fall and winter already consist of the low travel season across the country. The temperate climate and ability to travel away from the famous cities into lesser-visited vineyards or villages make Portugal endlessly enticing.

Learn more: Portugal Tours & Vacations 

Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Why You Should Go: Italy is a wonder to visit and a delight to discover with timeless romance, inspiring artwork, and classic ancient ruins. With the typical travel season ended, fall and winter provide a new perspective of Italy while cultural centers, cafes, and restaurants accommodate for safer logistics with limited capacities. Visit the unspoiled countryside of Umbria as the fields turn to gold, explore the Colosseum with a private guide, or sample local cuisine with a private chef to enjoy the attention to detail, safety, culture, and history without the crowds.

Learn more: Italy Tours & Vacations 

Ecuador and Galapagos

Cactuses in Plaza Sur Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

Plaza Sur Island, Galapagos

Why You Should Go: From October to December in Ecuador, there are so many possibilities amid the shifting landscapes and ecosystems. With excellent safety protocols and the best guides available, travelers can experience the best season to travel and enjoy it all with confidence. The remote scenery adds to the comfortable safety of traveling and discovering during a tour of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Learn more: Ecuador Tours & Vacations 

Peru

Intihuatana pyramid at Machu Picchu, Peru

Intihuatana pyramid at Machu Picchu, Peru

Why You Should Go: Peru is a riveting collection of natural beauty and cultural grandeur with limited capacity set in place in famous sites like Machu Picchu and other renowned cultural attractions to create a comfortable environment with the added benefit of a more personal travel experience. Great weather along the coastline and in the Andes adds to the benefit of visiting from October to December as the Southern Hemisphere’s summer creeps in.

Learn more: Peru Tours & Vacations 

Colombia

Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia

Why You Should Go: From October to December, the drier season sets in to provide warmer and typically drier weather across the country so you can enjoy the eternal spring of Medellin, the Colonial architecture of Bogota, or the white-sand beaches of Cartagena at your pace. Experience a warm welcome with the best guides and properties to choose from.

Learn more: Colombia Tours & Vacations

Brazil

Lagoinha do Leste Beach, Brazil

Lagoinha do Leste Beach, Brazil

Why You Should Go: Brazil is a country that has everything, from breathtaking beaches to modernist architecture, Afro-Brazilian culture to Amazonian wildlife. Visiting Brazil from October to December falls in the typical low season for travelers while also edging into the Southern Hemisphere summer when life across the country moves outdoors.

Learn more: Brazil Tours & Vacations 

Morocco

Souvenirs on display at the Jamaa el-Fna market in old medina quarter of Marrakesh, Morocco

Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco

Why You Should Go: October to December are cool, comfortable, and exciting in Morocco in any year, but with limited capacities, you can travel even more intimately. Safety measures with guides, transportation, and at cultural sites create a cradle of comfort for travelers that highlight the wonders of colorful souks, the majesty of uncovered Roman ruins, and the delights of the rolling Sahara sand dunes.

Learn more: Morocco Tours & Vacations 

South Africa

Lion in Kruger National Park, South Afrcia

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Why You Should Go: Lively cities, delicious wine country, and the renowned Big Five, South Africa is a dream destination that can connect inland natural grandeur with the surprises of the stunning coastline brought together with distinctive cultural diversity. Great beaches, stunning cities, and dynamic weather across the country from October to December, with beauty further accentuated by remote lodges and secluded safari destinations, can make a South Africa trip safe and comfortable to create unforgettable memories.

Learn more: South Africa Safaris & Vacations 

Kenya

Elephants in Maasai Mara, Kenya

Maasai Mara, Kenya

Why You Should Go: With the temperate weather and slow increase of warmer days stretching from October to December, Kenya is a captivating destination to visit as the landscape offers excellent game viewing opportunities. From timeless safaris to enticing beaches, Kenya’s secluded wilderness, luxurious accommodations, and diverse possibilities can take you from Massai Mara to Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru to Malindi Marine Park for a trip that is safe, comfortable, and unforgettable.

Learn more:  Kenya Safaris & Vacations

Ready to Plan Your Trip?

Camp's Bay in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Whether looking for a tropical beach getaway, a breathtaking safari, or the spirited colors of a Christmas market, by following certain logistics when looking at where to travel, you can plan and experience your next trip before the end of the year. Plan a family vacation, a couple’s getaway, a cultural discovery, or a scenic adventure the way you prefer to travel. Start your planning with a travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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