***Remember: Even when travelling to socially distant destinations or smaller destinations, locals still live there and will interact with you in some way. Be responsible and ensure you have a negative COVID test or the vaccine and follow all the destination’s rules and regulations for safety protocols. You must be a responsible traveller and help protect smaller communities you’re visiting. Also make sure it’s safe for you to travel to any destination before booking a trip.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wish you could actually escape Earth for a bit? Yup, me too! Not much says socially distant destinations more than being in the middle of a vast desert. Just sand, the big open sky and a few mountains around you. The Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan is where you’ll actually feel like you’re not even on this planet anymore. Hence why so many space movies like Star Wars and The Martian have been filmed here. Booking a stay with a small camping or glamping company keeps numbers low and you can have a private driver who has completed COVID tests. But just because you’re in the middle of nothing but sand and sky, doesn’t mean it’s light on adventure. Sand duning in a jeep, stargazing at night and sipping Arabic tea in canyons will be the perfect mix of keeping busy and relaxing that you need.
Ashford Castle, Ireland
Socially distant destinations can include massive properties like the famed Ashford Castle in Ireland. Its vast grounds means it’s easy to move around, take part in activities and just relax without bumping into other guests. The size of the hotel also gives comfort in knowing you’ll be well spaced out from any other guests. And it is literally a castle… so imagine feeling like you’re the only ones there. It’s like a taste of royalty, minus all the responsibility.
Yellowstone National Park
National Parks in general are your socially distant travel BFFs. Why? They’re vast, you can easily space out and be on your own, they’re beautiful and if you’re looking for a little dose of history, they come with that, too. Yellowstone is on this list mainly because it’s so iconic when it comes to American parks. Its canyons and valleys are what nature lovers flock to, and this is the time to visit.
Easter Island, Chile
Let’s just say that most islands fit the bill when it comes to socially distant destinations. They may be a bit harder to get to, but if you can swing it, they’re worth it. Easter Island is one of those spots. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, isolated in the Pacific Ocean–a 5 to 5 and ½ hour flight from either Chile or Tahiti. The main town has under 6,000 people in it, and they regulate how many visitors come onto the island (roughly 100,000 per year).
One of the best things about a tropical destination is that you will want to be outside as much as possible. Endless stretches of beaches, jungles to explore and zip line, remote villas and cottages to lounge in. And that makes them perfectly suited as socially distant destinations. Belize has all of that in spades. Book an ocean-front villa or room at a resort following strict COVID protocols and you’ll be able to enjoy your beach vacation like there is no pandemic at all.
The Faroe Islands have long been on my travel list, and it just so happens to be an ideal socially distant destination, too. The islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean between Scotland and Iceland, have the rugged beauty of Ireland mixed with the out-of-this-world vibe of Iceland. There are lots of seaside towns and villages, but your best bet is to pack up a car and drive around the islands as much as possible. You’ll likely come across more sheep than people, will have breathtaking views and endless opportunities to hike and breath in the salt air.
Road Trip Canada
Canada’s size makes it ideal for an epic road trip. With loads of small towns, great camping locations, remote National Parks and great coastlines. Packing up your own car is a great way to explore more of Canada and see all of its natural beauty–and it just so happens to be one of the best ways to be socially distant. Book roadside motels along the way for a safe overnight option if you’re not into camping.