The CDC Loosened Its Travel Rules

Now that the Texas heat seems to be reappearing, are you looking to escape swampy Houston for a bit? Go ahead, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there are a few caveats. 

On April 2, the CDC released updated travel guidelines for fully vaccinated people: Basically, congrats, you can resume travel (almost) like before the pandemic. You do not need to get tested before or after domestic travel, nor do you need to self-quarantine after the trip. 

If you travel internationally, you don’t need to get tested before your trip (unless required by your destination country), but you do have to get tested before you return to the U.S. and after you get back. You don’t have to self-quarantine when you return, though—just self-monitor for any symptoms. 

In all cases, you still have to wear a mask (It’s a federal mandate to wear a mask in transportation hubs, like airports.) and the CDC still recommends social distancing and frequent hand washing.

As a note, these guidelines are only for people who are fully vaccinated. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, or if you’re only partially vaccinated, here’s a brief overview of those domestic travel guidelines. 

  • Get tested one-to-three days before your trip. 
  • Get tested three-to-five days after your trip.
  • Self-quarantine for seven days when you return (or 10 days if you don’t get tested).
  • Wear a mask while traveling. 
  • Avoid people who are high risk for at least 14 days when you return. 

If all this time at home has got your mind racing on where in the world to go, here are just a few recommendations from us. 

The all-inclusive resort trip: Conrad Punta de Mita 

This beautiful new Hilton property in Mexico, just a 2.5-hour flight from Houston, has everything you need to melt away the stress of the pandemic, like beach-front views, a fabulous spa, work-from-the-beach packages, and in-house Covid-19 testing. Read more here.

The weekend road trip: Fredericksburg 

Hop on I-10 and head to the Hill Country for the weekend. Fredericksburg has so much to do, like Enchanted Rock, biking, and the National Museum of the Pacific War, you don’t even need to visit the wineries to have a good time. Of course, if you’re the “When in Rome” type, you should check out our wineries guide too. 

The “off-the-beaten-path” adventure trip: Uzbekistan 

In Tashkent, the nation’s capital, you can travel through time and the old U.S.S.R. just by riding on the city’s subway system. Try plov, Uzbekistan’s national dish, visit the Chorsu Bazaar, then venture outside the city to must-visit destinations like Samarkand, Bukhara, and Lake Charvak. 

The outdoorsy trip: Hot Springs, Arkansas 

Easy to travel by car or by plane, Hot Springs, by the Ouachita Mountains, should be on your bucket list. Explore the town’s historic bathhouses, explore the Garvan Woodland Gardens (with the famous Anthony Chapel), and hike around Hot Springs National Park. 

The “Embrace your inner Beach Boys” trip: Aruba 

No Kokomo isn’t actually a place, but you can enjoy the very-real Aruba. Hop on another 2.5-hour flight, and spend your days relaxing on the beaches and feeding flamingos. 

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