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With travel restrictions easing in lots of regions of the world, coming back to our “normal” travel habits is finally (finally!) coming. But that doesn't mean we're going to an overall total summer vacation free-for-all – nope, not even if you are fully vaccinated. Here's what you should bear in mind before booking a summer trip along with the smartest destinations to increase your chances of staying safe.

Before you book-

First, the good news: If you're fully vaccinated, you can officially travel within the continental Usa without needing to get a COVID test or self-quarantine, per the most recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But remember, even if you're vaccinated, COVID still poses a slight risk. So, we asked doctors things to weigh when you're making your departure date come july 1st.

  1. Check local travel guidelines.

If you're heading out of the country, you'll need to carefully take a look at destination’s travel restrictions. You will need evidence of vaccine, an adverse COVID test before departure or upon arrival (or both), and might still have to quarantine.

  1. Check local case rates and safety mandates.

Some areas are handling COVID cases better than others. “If you are coming from or going somewhere which has high levels of case rates, then you may potentially transmit herpes and also bring it back and give it to a loved one who's at severe chance of illness,” says Dr. Abisola Olulade, a board-certified family medicine physician affiliated with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, California. “You also needs to keep in mind that if you are going somewhere with high cases of coronavirus then there may be limited resources to deal with you should you choose get severely ill in your trip.”

  1. Travel as directly as you possibly can.

Fewer major travel hubs, mean less exposure. “Try getting on direct flights and then try to minimize how long spent in airports and high traffic areas or mass transportation,” says Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D., a physician in New York. Maybe you journey instead of fly, or rent a car rather than rely on riding on the bus once you arrive.

  1. Take precautions.

“At this time in the vaccination stage, it's reasonable to think that some part of adults in a venue are vaccinated plus some aren't, and to proceed accordingly,” says Dr. Sachin Nagrani, M.D., Medical Director of Heal. That includes airports and virtually any other transit hub you go through. “I would plan post-vaccine travel in the same way you'd have planned pre-vaccine travel. Wear your mask, have back-up masks available, practice social distancing, carry hand sanitizer, or wash your hands where possible,” says Dr. Vivek Cherian, M.D., an interior medicine physician affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical System.

Where to head

Ultimately, this may not be the summer for that marathon, country-hopping trip you've been planning ages. “Knowing exactly what the status of the destination is should help you decide if the trip is worth it at this time,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Sometimes waiting will keep more people safe also it might be here we are at all of us to place our fellow travelers and individuals generally ahead of ourselves.” However, you can still have a much-needed stress-relieving vacation. Here are four of the safest places to visit right now.

The British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are one of the most postcard-perfect destinations within the Caribbean. Cerulean waters, gorgeous resorts and spas, and world-famous cocktails – the hawaiian islands are basically an ideal spot to relax after a year of quarantine anxiety. Additionally they are actually one of the few countries around the CDC's low-risk international travel list. Borders are presently open (though vaccinated travelers will still need to follow guidelines).

Wyoming

Throughout the pandemic, nature saw a large spike in travel – no surprise given the relative safety of being outdoors and ample opportunities to cash in on the stress-reducing benefits of forest bathing. Wyoming is home to Yellowstone National Park where one can do everything from hike to horseback ride, to take a photography workshop. Despite lacking a statewide mask mandate, Wyoming has maintained low COVID rates since February.

Iceland

Iceland, with its epically beautiful otherworldly landscapes, has turned into a top travel destination in recent years because of more and more direct flights to Reykjavik. The country has maintained a minimal number of instances and deaths throughout the pandemic and they have just reopened their borders to completely vaccinated U.S. travelers.

Rhode Island

If you're aching for any carefree seaside New England summer, Rhode Island (a great journey destination) is maintaining low case rates, and nearly 40 % of their human population is already fully vaccinated, per the New York Times. Check out Newport, with a perfect mix of upscale resorts and beachy Airbnbs.

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