Travel was essentially shut down for a good part of this year – and things will remain the same for what’s left of 2020. Many countries maintain travel restrictions, lockdowns, and have similar measures in place. But, things are starting to look better for 2021 already, with vaccinations underway in several countries. With promising developments like this filling the news, this seems like the best time to start planning next year’s trips. Here are a few destinations that you may want to consider visiting in 2021.
Venice is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, especially in the Carnival season. But it may not stay like that forever – it is under threat by the waters. Scientists predict that this unique city may totally submerge in less than 100 years if the effects of global warming are not curbed. But there are more imminent threats to the many sights to see in the city – this December, an unusually high tide has flooded the city after its emergency flood barriers were not raised due to an inaccurate prediction. The water flooded the narthex of St Mark’s Basilica and covered the famous St Mark’s Square in water.
Venice has countless sights to see with one that could be especially appealing to gamblers after so much time with little more than online casino games: the Casinó di Venezia, hosted by the oldest and perhaps the most beautiful casino buildings in the world. Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, the winter home of the Venice Casino, is a beautiful example of Venetian architecture built in the early 16th century, offering its visitors not only the most unique environment to gamble in but also access to the museum honouring the memory of the famous compositor Richard Wagner.
The vast open spaces of the Great Hungarian Plain is the perfect destination for social distancing. The largest remaining native grassland in Europe is home to people with many amazing traditions unique to this area – with little agricultural activity, the land was roamed by massive herds of cattle at a time, and the traditions formed back then are practised to this day by the area’s inhabitants. They are, if you like, among the last remaining European “cowboys” still very skilled in riding, performing stunts that will leave the viewers speechless.
Nature-lovers will have the chance to encounter hundreds of bird species and one of the only population of wild horses in Europe. While they do live in a reserve that’s not open for the public, a safari-style ride at the Hortobágy Wild Animal Park takes you pretty close to them.
Gabon’s 13 national parks cover more than 10% of the country’s surface area, making it deserving of its name – Africa’s last Eden. Visiting this country gives travellers a chance to see the critically endangered western lowland gorillas roaming the premises of the Loango National Park but they are not the only sight to see – the park covers a variety of landscapes from beaches to forests, filled with exotic species to see and learn about.
Minkébé National Park is another destination worth considering – the 7,000 square kilometre park is the largest of Gabon’s many such locations and the greatest refuge for elephants in the Congo Basin.
Gabon might not be the first destination you think of but it has developed a great deal recently, and is expected to continue to do so in the near future, becoming a truly exceptional destination for eco-tourists.
What to keep in mind for travel in 2021
2020 was definitely not the year we hoped for when it comes to travel – and 2021 is unlikely to be back to normal either. Depending on how the global pandemic evolves, there might be lockdowns, travel restrictions, and similar measures in place that you’ll have to keep in mind before leaving for your well-deserved vacation. Make sure to regularly check with your travel operators, hotels, and similar service providers about the restrictions and public health measures in place to avoid any unpleasant surprises while on the road.
While many would think otherwise, the arrival of the vaccine doesn’t automatically mean the end of the pandemic. Some countries have just started vaccinating their populations – and those most exposed to the virus, and those most vulnerable to its effects are the ones receiving the vaccines first. It will still take months before the vaccine becomes widely available, and vaccinations widespread enough to ensure true herd immunity.
Until then, the measures we’ve gotten used to this year will likely remain in place. This includes social distancing, restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels working at a fraction of their normal capacity, and mask mandates are likely to remain in force all over the world.
When will things be back to normal, you may ask? Well, according to specialists, these measures may last until the end of 2021 or perhaps even until 2022 or 2023 in some areas. Until then, we have to be extra vigilant, obey the rules, and hope for the best vacation experience possible in the coming year.