UAE: Has a high vaccination rate, low positive case #s, and great healthcare should it be needed. They also have a fairly straightforward Covid policy. Most activities are also outside, and large venues - like the Atlantis Waterpark - are still only at 70% capacity which means not only “Covid safety” but also less lines! - Heidi Bloomer, Kaanect Travel Coach
Iceland: Before traveling to Iceland this fall, I thought it would be packed with tourists. I felt like everyone I know had been or was planning to go to Iceland, since they also are open to US citizens (with a relatively easy to navigate Covid policy). Boy was I wrong! In most places there was only a handful of people. We were never in a crowded situation except for later in the evening at a restaurant and on a food tour (all by choice). It was also just astonishingly beautiful. - Heidi Bloomer, Kaanect Travel Coach
Disney World, Florida: with Disney’s 50th anniversary celebration occurring - the magic will be extra special! - Heidi Bloomer, Kaanect Travel Coach
Wine Country - Willamette, Napa, Sonoma: most wineries and tasting rooms are open but have a reservation only policy, or still limit the # of guests in the space. This not only creates peace of mind, but also provides a very individualized tasting experience for those wanting to stay in the US! - Heidi Bloomer, Kaanect Travel Coach
Thailand and Cambodia: While Thailand officially opened November 2021, we really see early 2022 as the optimum time to visit! By then they will be truly opened with services available, but the crowds won't have come back en-mass. Cambodia is opening this month and the idea of seeing Angkor Wat without the crowds is amazing. I will say, we also want to get travelers back to Southeast Asia to help the drivers, guides and communities on the ground. Both these countries are heavily reliant on tourism and there are very few support systems so many are struggling with the lack of income in the last two years. We can't wait to get travelers back, both to enjoy these countries without the crowds, but also to be a positive part of their regrowth and recovery! - Andrea Ross, Kaanect Travel Coach
Puerto Rico Islands: While the main island of Puerto Rico is lovely (and a quick and cheap flight from Atlanta) if you want a more undeveloped destination the island of Vieques, off the Eastern shore of Puerto Rico is the perfect escape. Accessible by small plane or ferry it's as remote as easy-to-get-to can be! Horseback riding along the beach, diving on gorgeous coral reefs, kayaking through the world's largest bioluminescent bay...you get the remote feeling of a tropical paradise with the ease of domestic travel. I visited here with the kids this October and we just loved this sweet little island! - Andrea Ross, Kaanect Travel Coach
Belize: My first international trip post covid was to Belize and it did not disappoint. They have had strict covid mandates so vaccination numbers are high and hotels, drivers and guides are all diligent in their safety measures as mandated by the government. We spent time in the interior jumping off waterfalls and hiking through gorgeous scenery to Mayan ruins and then headed to the coast for some of the best diving in the world. Prices are reduced and tourist numbers are still low and it's a great entree back into travel with easy flights from the US, including new flights with Alaska Airlines opening up this fall. - Andrea Ross, Kaanet Travel Coach
Nicaragua: Old world Costa Rica. Untouched beauty, inexpensive and amazing places to explore jungle, beach and colonial city. A negative PCR test to enter, no masks were needed when around town, resorts etc. - Michelle Schomp, Kaanect Travel Coach
Yucatán Mexico: Easy to rent a car and explore various towns, whether it’s upscale Tulum, laid back Bacalar, cultural Valladolid, incredible ruins, cenotes and of course, delicious food. No entry requirements and easy testing available when it's time to come home. - Michelle Schomp, Kaanect Travel Coach
Masa Mara, Kenya: In four days we only saw one other vehicle! This is unheard of this time of year. Travelers have an amazing opportunity to get out there and see the animals and environment without the tourist crowds. Safari camps are embracing covid protocol and the open air atmosphere of most camps lends itself well to safety standards. This is an incredible time to visit this area, support the return of tourism and have a unique experience! - April Cole, Kaanect Travel Coach
As a note for all international travel, “Covid travel” takes diligent & frequent research + documentation - sometimes upwards of a couple of hours of prep time if having to do tests, fill out numerous forms, download apps, for many people in a family. You also always have to check the layover / transit countries - as they can frequently have different rules than the departure or arrival countries.
As a note for domestic travel, due to car rental shortages, as well as supply chain shortages, you may need to plan ahead when renting cars and booking restaurants, more so than pre-pandemic. In Hawaii, Hawaii this March - we really felt this.
Travel Philosophy: To inspire your "well way of life, lifelong."
Travel Specialty: Wellness
About Canyon Ranch:
Canyon Ranch is a collection of Wellness Resorts & Retreat with customized programming to prevent and overcome medical professional burnout and inspire guests to pursue their “Well Way of Life”. At Canyon Ranch we meet our guests where they are and help them optimize their individual performance with evidence based wellness programing in areas of: Health & Performance, Mind & Spirit, Nutrition & Food, Fitness & Movement and Spa & Beauty. You will learn tools to continue life wellbeing. Choose your destination: All-inclusive Canyon Ranch health resorts in Tucson, Arizona and Lenox, Massachusetts offer a full-immersion experience of our world-class integrative health and wellness services. In fall 2019, Canyon Ranch debuts its first wellness retreat in Woodside, California. Three- and four-day holistic retreats for like-minded individuals or groups are guided by Canyon Ranch philosophies. Canyon Ranch aims to inspire people to make a commitment to healthy living, turning hopes and intentions into the highest enjoyment of life through fun and unique activities, wellness presentations and wellness services.
Learn More About Canyon Ranch - Blog:
Absolute Belize is a luxury tailor-made travel company and the country’s leading DMC for luxury travel, and we couldn’t curate high-end itineraries without their expertise. Being on the ground allows them to take care of all the logistical details – accommodations, activities and adventures, domestic flights, meals, spa treatments, transfers, and even ‘wow’ experiences – with perfect planning precision. Best of all, they won’t charge you a single penny for their services!
Some of the industry’s most coveted and influential leisure travel publications have even recognized their expertise and unrivaled first-hand knowledge, including:
Absolute Belize recommends keeping these tips in mind to take advantage of everything Belize has to offer:
For those of you looking for the perfect pandemic getaway, sail off into the sunset with their sister company Belize Sailing Vacations. BSV offers crewed all-inclusive luxury yacht charters throughout the country and beyond into Guatemala’s Rio Dulce, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Talk about social distancing done the right way!
Every traveler has a goal: To cross something off their bucket list, experience something new, or relax. Absolute Belize will help you craft authentic, once-in-a-lifetime, and truly immersive experience-based vacations that leave a lasting impression long after the trip, which is why we highly recommend them.
We encourage all travelers contemplating journeys to Belize to consider the immense value of having a trusted travel expert such as they design your trip.
Confession time: I have always found traveling stressful. That’s right, from that first solo trip to Australia at 7 years old to a quick flight to LA to speak at a conference at 41, I have never been a relaxed traveler. I think this is partly why I’m a good travel coach…I haven’t sailed through life, breezily boarding flights while laughing about the ones I’ve missed, heck no, I go over packing lists, I arrive at the airport way earlier than necessary and I sit at the gate doggedly waiting for boarding to start, refusing to let my kids leave to get a snack in case they aren’t back in time! When I coach people with travel fears and worries I can relate! Just because I’ve done it a lot, doesn’t mean It's smooth emotional sailing!
Over the years I have learned not to change my behavior completely, but at least to laugh at myself and rein it in a bit. Then COVID! Entry requirements, tests needed, full flights with not even 6 inches of distance let alone the 6 feet we’ve become used to.
The first time we travelled was to Hawaii after Christmas for a week break in a villa on the beach. All eight of us! Eight flights that kept changing based on updated schedules and what worked with testing, eight required negative COVID tests done 48 hours before we traveled, eight people packed and wearing masks and eight people to keep safe and entertained AND masked for an entire flight. A week before we left I had gone over my mental checklist and prep list so many times it had become a mantra and I called my sister to tell her it wasn’t worth it. This was too much. My directive as a mother was to keep my kids safe, yet here I was jumping through burning rings of fire in an attempt to possibly put them in harms way. She laughed and told me she would see me there…she is not an anxious traveler. And she was right. We got eight flights booked, we got eight negative COVID tests and we got eight people fed, entertained and masked to Hawaii. Then we picked up the rented minivan, got to our villa and remembered how fun family and pools and vacations and travel all are!
Today my two older kids and I arrived in Belize. While Hawaii was during the pandemic this trip is post (I feel that word is being used loosely) pandemic. Less anxiety right? Heck no! Masks are still required and while I’m vaccinated my youngest isn’t and every cough on the full planes find my eyes on him, making sure his mask is up. While three was definitely easier than eight, we still had to get negative tests and proof of vaccination and packed and entertained and masked.
But then we arrived and like every trip I’ve ever taken in my life, it was worth it! To be out exploring again, to be adventuring! To be living in the world!
So I did the mental checklists, I jumped through the hoops and we made it! But as a travel coach I feel the collective anxiety of my fellow American travelers and the fear of the post pandemic world. We’ve spent a year sheltering, protecting ourselves and our loved ones and then it seemed as if overnight the world opened back up and we are encouraged to skip back out into it. And we should…guides, drivers, hotel staff, they all desperately need us to get back out there. And I encourage you to go, but I also want to recognize the anxiety of it, the added stresses of the testing and masking and no six feeting! This is an anxious time, we are all struggling to come to terms with what we’ve lost, what we’ve gained and what the next year will look like. It’s okay to admit that travel is scary and it’s okay to feel that anxiety. If now isn’t the time for you and your family that’s okay, if it is the time, that’s okay too. I’m owning my anxiety, I’m declaring it worth it and I am giving myself grace to return to the world and myself. But what's a coach without some tips for getting through it.