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The Top 5 Destinations on American Bucket Lists in 2021

2020 was wild in many ways, just not in the travel department. That’s why Americans are planning to make the most of 2021 from the get-go. With the promise of the Pfizer vaccine making travel possible again in the coming year, many Americans have breathed a deep sigh of relief and begun to (tentatively) make a few travel plans to look forward to in the coming year.

Whilst we can’t just pack our bags and head to the airport without a solid plan in place, plenty of Americans have been hunting for the perfect 2021 destination to get this year off to a flying start, and we’re here to let you know the current most popular destinations on American bucket lists in 2021.

There’s a broad spectrum of hotspots here, so there’s certainly something for everyone. Let’s get stuck in and discover the top 5 destinations on American bucket lists in 2021.

#1 – Cancun, Mexico

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Jake Grella – Unsplash

One of the most popular vacation destinations in Mexico, Cancun is high on everyone’s lists for a 2021 getaway. And, with its stunning supply of beaches, hot nightlife, and unbeatable cuisine, we’re not surprised.

A well-known Spring Break getaway for students, Cancun is the perfect spot to let loose and forget the worries that 2020 brought. And, it’s easy to get there too, with flights departing from every US state daily, so if you’re looking for that all-inclusive relaxing break, Cancun should be top of your list.

Throughout the mess of 2020, Cancun’s resorts flourished thanks to the influx of travelers who still made it their mission to live their best life in spite of the chaos. This tourism mecca created solely for the purpose of bringing in the crowds managed to stay afloat where others faltered last year, and they plan to keep momentum in 2021 too.

Peak season falls between December and April, so plan your getaway to Cancun between those months to get the best weather. Do beware though – peak season is obviously the most popular season for tourists, making it busier during these times.

Don’t forget to check out the rules and regulations associated with the resorts to make sure you can head t0 Cancun safely. 

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Dayana Brooke – Unsplash

#2 Oranjestad, Aruba

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Shandell Venegas – Unsplash

There’s certainly a theme forming already, with beach destinations clearly being hot on everyone’s minds. Oranjestad, the capital city of Aruba is our second pick for destinations on American bucket lists in 2021.

Imagine the Caribbean sea lapping at your feet, cocktail in hand and you’ll certainly get an insight as to why most Americans are dying to get to Aruba ASAP. Who doesn’t want to disconnect and take the time to fully relax in such a beautiful spot?

To head to this beauty spot, you’ll need to present a negative Corona test 72 hours prior to your flight, helping to keep the island as free from infection as possible. That’s not a tough ask when you imagine what you’ll get in return.

Oranjestad is a picturesque harbor city bustling with life. With luxurious dining and shopping experiences on every street, and a vast array of beaches to unwind on after a long day of exploring, what’s not to love about this island?

Take in the history of this colorful island or kick back and fully switch off. The choice is yours. With stunning weather year round, it’s always the perfect time to head to Aruba.

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Katalin Hoczane-Melich – Unsplash

#3 French Polynesia

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Bob Bradley – Unsplash

Ok, if you’re looking for jaw-dropping beauty and a luxurious vacation to kick off 2021 in style, you’ll probably be forking out your life savings and heading to French Polynesia, another top destination on American’s bucket lists this year.

Vivid turquoise pools of water, mossy green mountaintops and that laid back island living await you in French Polynesia. Begin your day swimming alongside rays and turtles, or hit the beach and lie against the silky yellow sands and drink in the view. There’s plenty of nothing to do here – maximizing your chances of complete relaxation.

Fancy something a little more lively? Dance with the locals or take on some water sports – this island paradise could be yours for the taking.

French Polynesia have had their borders open to international travelers since July 2020, and all you’ll need is a clean bill of health and a negative test result 72 hours prior to your flight, so it’s time to take your pick of the islands and hop on over on the next flight.

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Gabor Koszegi – Unsplash

#4 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Kamil Kalbarczyk – Unsplash

Number 4 on our list is Punta Cana, a resort town that sits on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic.

La Costa del Coco, or the Coconut Coast is a prime resort spot with 32km of golden sandy beaches and luxurious beach hotels. It’s also relatively cheap (especially after French Polynesia…).


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Gerson Repreza – Unsplash.

Whether you want to take a dive into the deep water caves, sail along the coast and snorkel in the crystal clear waters, or go on safari, Punta Cana allows it all. Take your time and relax, or go full-throttle and take in some high-adrenaline activities that’ll be sealed in your memory for years to come – the Dominican Republic is the place to be.

When it comes to Covid restrictions, you must take a test and get a negative result 72 hours before your planned departure to gain entry into the Dominican Republic. Additionally, there’s currently a strict curfew between the hours of 7pm & 5am throughout the country. Be sure to take these restrictions into consideration before you travel, and stick to the rules if you do decide to visit Punta Cana.

#5 Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Kevin Sanon – Unsplash

Our final spot on today’s list of the top 5 destinations on American bucket lists is Montego Bay, a stunning city on the northern coast of Jamaica. This harbor city is a popular stop spot for cruise ships, which brings the crowds year in year out.

Whether you’re looking to snorkel amongst the colorful coral reefs, or sip from a coconut whilst lounging around in a hammock, the daily life in Jamaica is something out of a story book. A paradise on earth, with shops, attractions, and plenty of nature to boot, you can’t go wrong here.

After a week or so breathing in the fresh, warm, salty air of Montego Bay, and living the laid back lifestyle with the locals, you’ll never want to leave. It’s the perfect spot to catch your breath and recalibrate after a tough 2020.

Entry into the country demands a negative Corona test 72 hours before travel – standard procedure throughout each of the countries we’ve seen today.

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Josh Eaton – Unsplash

Have any of these top spots made it to your bucket lists? It’s finally time to live a little and let ourselves fully relax – something we all need after the year we’ve just had. 

If you plan on traveling at all this 2021, make sure you stick to all the rules and regulations of the country you hope to travel to and help stop the spread of Covid-19. 

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