Where to (and not to) travel this summer


Skylar Penland

A view from the Cinque Terre Trail in Italy 2019.

With vaccines finally being mass distributed and COVID-19 numbers dropping, traveling for leisure is starting to come back into reality. Here are some of the best and worst places to go this summer. 


This year is unique when looking at the best travel destinations because there are a few more factors to consider. Today, I will be looking at the “best” in terms of both affordability and COVID-19 safety. 

1. Sicily, Italy

Italy’s economy relies heavily on tourism and has been struggling ever since the start of the pandemic. Not only is this a beautiful location, but Sicily is offering to cover 50% of visitors’ airfare and one free night at a hotel. 

2. Cancún, Mexico

Similar to Italy, Cancún has been almost empty due to the pandemic. Cancún is now offering a free night to anyone who stays for two. However, this must be weighed with the COVID-19 safety issues that Mexico is having right now. 

3. Las Vegas, Nevada 

Las Vegas has also been relatively slow during the pandemic. One hotel CEO is offering up to 1,000 free flights to Las Vegas. Yours could be one of them. With Nevada’s COVID-19 numbers dropping more and more, it might not be too bad on an idea.

In terms of Covid Safety:

1. Canada

Canada was rated as the safest place to travel in terms of COVID-19 safety in a survey done by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. However, Canada is still closed to Americans until May 21, 2021, and may be extended on a month-by-month basis depending on COVID-19 numbers. However, with the COVID-19 crisis currently happening in Canada, you might have to wait. 

2. Thailand

Thailand has recently moved to Level 1 travel advisory meaning exercise normal precautions for a low level of COVID-19. It is currently one of the safest destinations on the planet and a great place to travel this summer.

3. Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are one of the most accessible places for Americans to travel and have made it clear that pandemic protocols are being taken seriously. It’s another great option. 

Overall Best: Italy

Italy has recovered quite well from the pandemic and is quite affordable due to its desperate need for tourism. Not to mention how beautiful and rich of history and architecture it is. There is something to do for everyone. 

A view from the Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy 2019. (Skylar Penland)


1. India

“India is in a real tough spot right now,” said Mr. Daniel Otahal, social studies teacher. “I think international travel is just really hard to plan for because…each country is in a really different place… if COVID-19 numbers here are doing well they’re surging in India or Europe or vice versa so I think that makes international travel really hard to plan for.”

According to CNN, India has suspended vaccines for 18-44 year olds due to a shortage and their numbers seem to be getting worse and worse. Due to the pandemic, India would not be a good place to travel this summer, or at least until their COVID-19 cases slow down.

2. Israel

“The violence that is escalating in Israel and Palestine right now would make it a real tough place to visit,” Otahal said. “That’s a pretty big tourist place for a lot of different groups.”

Where Hinsdale Central students are traveling:

Most Central students that I’ve talked to are staying in the United States this summer. This is probably a safe call given unknown variables regarding international travel. 

A primary reason for travel this summer is college visits. Both juniors and seniors are visiting schools they wish to apply to or are attending in the fall. Many 2021 seniors haven’t even seen their campus in person yet so this will be a great opportunity for them. 

“I will be visiting Atlanta,” said Grace Clopton, senior. “I’ll be staying for a few days to meet up with my roommate and see more parts of the city that I wasn’t able to when I first went.”

Other students are beginning to travel for fun after a long year at home. 

“I’m going to Hawaii,” said Emma Kavuliak, senior. “We’re going to Kauai and we chose that because it’s my parents’ favorite island.” 

Travel this summer will finally be almost back to normal in certain places. Travel is exciting, but remember to stay safe and follow COVID-19 precautions wherever you go. Have a great summer!