Like London buses after a very, very long wait, two bits of positive travel news have now arrived in next to no time. As announced on September 17th, many of the countries coming off the UK’s Red List from October 4th, such as Turkey, Egypt, Oman, Kenya, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, are awesome in autumn or surefire winter sun winners. Aside from the Red List revisions, fully vaccinated travellers and those under 18 will also no longer need to take the tedious test before returning to the UK, and - from later in October - can take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test when back in the UK. And then, almost out of the blue, yesterday the US government announced that travel between the UK and the US of A will be back in play from November for fully vaccinated travellers. In short, it feels increasingly like travel’s back, and we couldn’t be more excited! Read on for a roundup of our favourite winter escapes for 2021 and beyond...
Now Turkey is finally off the Red List, head to the Aegean Coast for a last blast of October heat – the perfect weather for days spent swimming in gin-clear waters and sailing between bays on a gulet cruise.If you’re dreaming of winter escapes with youngsters in tow, look no further than fellow Red List escapee Oman, a half term haven where adventurous families can spot dolphins, take 4x4s trips into the mountains and explore desert dunes by camel. Or try: Eastern Canada.
Escape the grey weather with an exotic trip away combining magical Marrakech and the nearby Atlas Mountains in Morocco, or in East Africa, Kenya - the ultimate bush and beach destination - is finally back in business meaning you can finally plan that safari holiday you’ve been dreaming about. In the States, this is the time to combine southern California, Vegas and Death Valley. Or try: Jordan, or Guatemala.
Old favourite Sri Lanka is now off the Red List and it's one of the best winter escapes if you’re dreaming of a whale-watching, beachfront and cultural Christmas and New Year. There’s even availability; for now. The Maldives, meanwhile, is pretty full for the festive season, but you could sneak in a pre-school holidays break spent lazing on power-white sand and snorkelling with tropical fish without another person in sight. Also try: Mauritius.
Thinking further ahead, Egypt has also come off the Red List, and while the wonderful Steam Ship Sudan is full to the brim in 2021, why not plan a trip down the Nile for 2022, the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb? Also try: somewhere else from your bucket list.