Editor’s Note — CNN Travel updates this article periodically. It was last updated in its entirety on January 3, 2022.
The only constant has been change. But compared with the choices in the spring and summer of 2020, the choices now are plentiful — even as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps the world.
The health risks are obvious if you’re not fully vaccinated. Many venues and events of interest to travelers are imposing restrictions or canceling outright because of the most recent Covid-19 surge. Nations might change their rules with little notice after you’ve made plans or you’re already on your trip. You might have to adhere to stricter curfews and mask mandates than you’re used to in the United States. Violations could involve big fines and even jail time.
What to find out before you go
What follows is a curated list of countries and territories, alphabetically organized by continent or region, where US passport holders are allowed entry for leisure travel.
Click the links by each destination for crucial information on:
• Whether you’re required to be fully vaccinated to enter. Some countries on this list accept only fully vaccinated Americans.
• Possible exemptions from various rules for the fully vaccinated, people recovered from a recent case of Covid-19 or children.
• Presenting negative results from Covid-19 tests to enter, including time limits to take the test, types of tests allowed and additional tests upon arrival.
• Possible quarantines and durations as well as health screenings upon arrival.
• Health insurance requirements, curfews and lockdowns.
• Different rules if you’re arriving from a third country vs. the United States as well as rules for land and sea entry, which might differ from air arrivals.
• What safety rating the CDC gives the destination
The links to various government and tourism sites next to each country will help you gather the most current information for your journey.
In East Africa, Kenya is popular for safaris, where you can spot giraffes and other wild animals.
TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images
Africa offers a huge variety of travel options — outdoor adventures in just about any climate and a wide array of cultures and urban experiences. There are 54 countries on the continent — each with its own response to the pandemic. The nations of northern Africa can be found in the Middle East and North Africa grouping further below.
In Thailand, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple sits atop Doi Suthep Mountain and offers exceptional views of the city of Chiang Mai below.
Generally, Asian destinations have been much slower to reopen to international tourism than the rest of world. Tourism giants such as Japan and China are still closed to US leisure travelers. However, some places have opened their doors to Americans on vacation.
Australia / Pacific Islands
Surfing is popular at Tahiti, the largest island of French Polynesia.
Brian Bielmann/AFP/Getty Images
Americans wanting to get their vacation fix of Australia and nearby New Zealand will have to remain patient. Like Asia, this region has been taking a very cautious approach. Still, there are a few Pacific island groups now allowing US tourists to visit.
Pedestrians cross Westminster Bridge over the River Thames with the Houses of Parliament in the background in central London.
Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
In early January 2022, much of Europe remained in the grips of the latest Covid-19 wave. US tourists are still allowed to visit most destinations there, although full vaccinations are required in many of the countries.
Middle East / North Africa
For over two millennia, the ancient city of Petra has towered majestically over the Jordanian desert.
KHALIL MAZRAAWI/afp/AFP via Getty Images
Rich in culture and history, destinations in the Middle East and North Africa are also trying to deal with a modern pandemic just like the rest of the world. While some places are inaccessible because of the coronavirus or for other reasons, some favorites are open to US visitors.
North America / Caribbean
Mazatlan is a historic city on Central Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
North America and the Caribbean now give US leisure travelers plenty of travel options with a relatively short plane ride. Be sure to check disembarking rules if you take a Caribbean cruise.
South American’s unusual wildlife is a top draw for the continent, including this Amazon River dolphin near Iquitos, Peru.
South America’s pandemic journey has mirrored the rest of the world in terms of mixed responses. Brazil has been wide open for the long haul while Argentina just recently opened to US travelers.
Recently removed from open list
There are destinations that have recently closed their borders to either US travelers specifically or to all tourists. These might be temporary actions, and they could reopen before the next update of this article, so click on the links to see their current status.
This is a curated list and not a complete catalog of every single destination open to visitors from the United States.
CNN Travel has omitted certain countries if they: had very limited numbers of American travelers before the pandemic; are very isolated or have little to no tourism infrastructure; have ongoing or recent armed conflicts, terrorism or rampant crime and unrest; have a current credible threat of warfare; have antagonistic relations with the US government; or have entry requirements so extensive and complicated that they put the country out of reach of almost all US citizens.