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a pool with palm trees and a building

Post Pandemic Plan – Six Places To Go First

by Kyle Stewart

Some day the pandemic will be over. You should start planning your next trips now; here are the six places to go first when the world re-opens.

This Will All Be Over, Someday

It’s been a terrible year. I’m not solely talking about COVID-19 and the global lockdown but a hotly contested US election, Brexit, a year of staggering natural disasters from Australia to the Caribbean – it’s been rough for just about everyone, everywhere.

While 2021 won’t naturally replace the difficulty and heartache we have all experienced in 2020, it has to get better, right? At some point, hopefully, in the near future, this will all be over and we can resume our lives – changed, certainly – with a semblance of normalcy.

The Six Places to Go First

Flipping through my photos from the past and looking at what the world will look like in the future, I, like many of our readers, am planning my return now. And oh how glorious it will be. Here’s my list of six places to visit:

Bali, Indonesia

Life is simpler in Bali and that’s the way I like it. Great food, a tropical climate, and a carefree approach to life are just what I need. Leaked documents suggest Bali could re-open to tourism as soon as December 1st.

a building with a pool and trees
The Hyatt Regency Bali priced rooms at just over $100/nt pre-COVID-19, now they should be even cheaper!

New York City, USA

It’s not just COVID-19 protocols keeping me out of the Big Apple these days. Everything is shut down and there is little to do. The current state of things are tense, and the worst may not be over yet. But when it is, I can’t wait to get back to the city that never sleeps, have a proper bagel and stand in awe of a city that exemplifies so much of American achievement.

a city skyline with tall buildings
Wikicommons: Manhattan skyline

Manchester, United Kingdom

Manchester might seem like an odd inclusion in this list. The city receives 300 days of rainfall annually, it’s home to a temperate climate and exactly one week of summer per year – though you never know when that is until you’re halfway through it. As a former resident of the city, I can guarantee any visitor will struggle to find a more vibrant city full of restaurants and nightlife.

Take, for example, Dusk til Pawn, a speakeasy bar so well-disguised as a pawnshop that punters bring in old guitars weekly only to find a bar instead. I’d argue that the city is far more welcoming to outsiders than the capital. There is also a pair of world-class football clubs if that’s your thing. I fancy a match.

a girl sitting on a sidewalk
Outside Dusk Til Pawn, not allowed inside for at least a decade.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

I’ve not been to Tanzania yet but I can’t wait to head to Zanzibar. Mostly, that comes down to the Park Hyatt Zanzibar which has me drooling every time they come up in my social media feed. Beautiful beaches, a secluded resort, amazing food and souqs have me drawn to the east African island.

a hallway with a chandelier and a plant
Courtesy: Park Hyatt Zanzibar on Facebook

Tokyo, Japan

Admittedly, Tokyo is one of the great cities of the world that I haven’t properly seen. I have spent more time in the city’s pair of airports (Haneda and Narita) than I have in the city (just 20 hours.) That’s a tragedy, it’s shameful honestly, but I hope to rectify that when the world re-opens. The Olympics in 2021 may again beckon the travelers from all over the world, but it’s eating the best sushi in the world that has me packing my bags and my chopsticks.

a sushi on a plate
Genuine Japanese sushi, sadly taken inside of Narita International Airport.

Cartagena, Colombia

My family loves Cartagena, Colombia. An original gold export port for the Spanish, an original walled city dates back to the 1500s still standing tall on the water’s edge replete with disarmed iron canons. It’s sunny and warm virtually year-round, just a three-hour flight from South Florida or Houston, inexpensive, and friendly.

An expensive dinner for our family of three came to $45 with appetizer, entree, shared dessert, gratuity. For those interested in going now, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result is required 96 hours prior to arrival.

a street with colorful buildings
Colonial streets of Cartagena inside the walled city.

BONUS: Willemstad, Curaçao

My daughter’s first trip (at just eight weeks old) was to Curaçao and we haven’t been back in many years. Part of the “ABC Islands”, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao are all former Dutch colonies that blend their European heritage with Caribbean roots. Beautifully colorful row houses line the pier set against the backdrop of a blue Caribbean Sea.

a boat on the water
Willemstad, Curaçao

Things to Consider, and Avoid

It’s not just COVID-19 to worry about, it will also be the limitations of your experience at your destination. Try to get a feel for what will be open, and what restrictions may be in place when you return to the world. Not every country faced the same challenges in the crisis, and not every country responded the same way – for better or worse.

There will be restaurants, hotels, and attractions that will re-open with caution (Disney for example.) Some, unfortunately, may never re-open. Many restaurants and hotels simply won’t be able to outlast the lockdowns and won’t return when travelers do – at least not in their current form.


This long and difficult season will be over eventually. When it is, I will have my passport out and so should you. It’s time to get out and see all the things we have longed for in our great captivity, and taken for granted no longer.

What do you think? Where are you headed first when borders are re-opened?

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Christian November 15, 2020 - 11:51 am

My wife and I are looking at Bali next October. Good weather, less crowds, and hopefully enough time for vaccines to be available for the Balinese.


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