Where Can You Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Where Can You Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Travel has become an increasingly difficult feat, filled with anxiety over testing, social distancing and mandatory mask requirements.

Nevertheless, Americans have expressed their desire to travel. While the CDC recommends staying home to reduce the chance of spread of the coronavirus, they provide helpful guidelines on best practices to follow if you decide to travel — such as wearing masks and social distancing, and checking local ordinances before traveling.

If you’re looking for a safe and socially distanced getaway, here’s a list of where you can and can’t travel to within the United States. The following list does not account for any other travel restrictions besides alerts related to the pandemic at hand.

States you can travel to: A-G

The following states currently do not have coronavirus-related travel restrictions for intrastate travelers (these are subject to change):

  1. Alabama: Home to national civil rights sites such as the Freedom Riders National Monument and the cities of Selma and Montgomery. This fall and winter, you can arrange a self-guided tour through the state of Alabama this fall and winter.
    • Most entertainment venues (including tourist attractions), restaurants and bars are open at limited capacity, so be sure to check specific rules at your given destination.

      Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
      Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, courtesy of Getty Images.
  2. Arizona: As temperatures start to drop, it’s the perfect time to cross some major bucket list items off your list – including (but not limited to) the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead.
    • "Visit Arizona", Arizona’s official tourism website, has an updated list of open and closed attractions across the state.
  3. Arkansas: Plan your next outdoor adventure for Hot Springs National Park or Buffalo National River, offering an impressive number of hiking trails and water activities.
    • A list of coronavirus-related travel resources for Arkansas can be found here.
  4. California: Enjoy fewer crowds at popular destinations during the upcoming offseason. Whether you want to taste wine at Napa Valley or head up to Yosemite National Park, California awaits you.
    • Check California’s travel alerts related to the coronavirus here.
  5. Colorado: Known for its national parks, trails and monuments, Mesa Verde and Rocky Mountain are just some of the destinations worth putting on your bucket list.
    • Nonessential travel is not recommended. Click here for coronavirus-related travel updates.

      Cape Henlopen in Delaware
      Cape Henlopen in Delaware, courtesy of Getty Images.
  6. Delaware: As the summer traffic slows down, this small coastal state remains charming in the fall and winter. From Rehoboth to Dewey Beach, plan your postcard-worthy getaway.
    • For the most updated travel information and coronavirus updates, click here.
  7. Florida: It's no wonder that the Sunshine State is a popular destination in the winter — come find your beach escape here.
    • For the most updated travel information and coronavirus updates, click here.
  8. Georgia: From Savannah to Jekyll Island, Georgia should be on your mind. With mild temperatures in fall and winter, it’s the ideal time for your next vacation.
    • Any COVID-19 resources and travel updates can be found here.

States you can travel to: I-M

  1. Indiana: For family camping fun, visit the Indiana Dunes National Park to walk or bike over 50 miles of trails.
    • Check county-level coronavirus alerts here for any travel advisories.
  2. Iowa: Experience a kaleidoscope of colors on a trail ride at the Jester Park Equestrian Center or on a hike through Lewis & Clark State Park.
    • Businesses have started to reopen with limited capacity, but will depend on the country. For coronavirus traveler information, click here.
  3. Kansas: Kansas isn’t as flat as you might expect, with must-see Flint Hills and 12 byways with stunning drives. Plus, the state has many civil rights landmarks.
    • The reopening of businesses is contingent on local orders, but find state-wide coronavirus updates and restrictions here.

      Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky
      Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky, courtesy of Getty Images.
  4. Kentucky: If caves are your thing, check out Mammoth Cave to learn about thousands of years of human history. Or, visit Cumberland Falls State Park for breathtaking waterfalls, otherwise known as the "Niagara of the South".
    • While not required, a 14-day quarantine is recommended for those visiting states with a positive coronavirus rate equal to or greater than 15% – to check these states or any other updates, click here.
  5. Louisiana: Visit the Bayou country and check out Louisiana’s paddle trails. Indulge in the Cajun culture and cuisine, the latter is at true foodie’s paradise.
    • For a holistic list of coronavirus information and updates, visit this site.
  6. Maryland: Nestled by the Chesapeake Bay, the Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail is a must. With crab season wrapping up and at the start of oyster season, visiting during the fall and winter is a no-brainer.
    • The reopening of businesses is under guidance by local jurisdiction. Be sure to confirm with your exact destination before visiting, and click here for any coronavirus-related travel information.

      Houghton County in Michigan
      Houghton County in Michigan, courtesy of Getty Images.
  7. Michigan: Nothing beats Michigan’s iconic Great Lakes, and the fall is still a great time to visit. With peak foliage in September and October, gear up for your socially distanced adventure.
    • For travel guidelines and coronavirus restrictions, click here.
  8. Minnesota: Stargaze in the Northern Lights at Voyageurs National Park or canoe at Boundary Waters for an outdoor experience of a lifetime.
    • For updated information on Minnesota’s coronavirus reopening plan, click here.
  9. Mississippi: Discover music and history with the Mississippi Blues or Country Music trails and tons of jazz museums.
    • All 13 state welcome centers are open. Click here for updated COVID-19 travel information.
  10. Missouri: Get a taste of the Midwest this fall. Drive through Route 66 and take a visit to the Ozark Mountains for top-notch outdoor recreation.
    • For the most updated coronavirus travel information, click here.

      Glacier National Park in Montana
      Glacier National Park in Montana, courtesy of Getty Images.
  11. Montana: In all of its untamed beauty, visit all nine of Montana’s legendary national parks, from Glacier National Park to Bighorn Canyon.
    • Some sites may not be open yet, so it’s important to check their respective websites. For updated COVID-19 travel alerts, visit this page.

States you can travel to: N-S

  1. Nebraska: If you didn’t know, Nebraska’s slogan is "Honestly, It’s Not For Everyone." But don’t sleep on Scotts Bluff National Monument and Niobrara National Scenic River for your next fall adventure.
    • For coronavirus traveler recommendations, click here.
  2. Nevada: Besides the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Nevada has no shortage of outdoor activities. Visit the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe, or the Great Basin National Park for a beautiful fall camping trip.
    • For coronavirus-related tourism updates, check here.

      Asheville, North Carolina
      Asheville, North Carolina, courtesy of Getty Images.
  3. North Carolina: From driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway to hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, relish in the cool weather and mesmerizing fall foliage. Nearby, check out the Biltmore Estate and Asheville for breweries and good eats.
    • Visitors are advised to check local guidance for the most accurate information. Click here for coronavirus travel resources.
  4. North Dakota: Camp at dozens of national and state parks where social distancing is no problem. Where history and wildlife intersect, you’ll adore the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
    • Most attractions are open to the public with limited service, but many events have been canceled. Check this updated list of coronavirus-related closures.
  5. Oklahoma: Defined by its Western and American Indian heritage, drive through the Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway to get to the Wichita Mountains and Lake Lawtonka.
    • For coronavirus travel information, click here.
  6. Oregon: An underrated West Coast destination, Oregon has outdoor activities and craft breweries galore. Visit Crater Lake National Park for hiking, water activities and spectacular views, or bike down the Oregon Coast to appreciate both mountains and sea.
    • For any and all travel alerts in Oregon, click here.

      Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania
      Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, courtesy of Getty Images.
  7. Pennsylvania: History buffs can explore from Gettysburg to Valley Forge National Historical Park and beyond. With the longest fall foliage season than any other state in the United States, Pennsylvania is a must-see destination for its autumn leaf-changing colors.
    • For travel guidance and resources during coronavirus, click here.
  8. South Carolina: Enjoy views and crisp fall weather from the Cherokee National Foothills Scenic Highway all the way down to Charleston.
    • For more COVID-19 travel information, visit this page.
  9. South Dakota: Known for Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and its wide array of national parks, make a point to visit South Dakota this fall for the road less traveled.
    • For more COVID-19 travel information, check out this page.

States you can travel to: T-W

  1. Tennessee: Take a much-deserved mountain trip and explore Gatlinburg to the Tuckaleechee Caverns, and bask in shades of red, yellow and amber.
    • For COVID-19 travel safety resources and updates, visit this page.

      Big Bend National Park in Texas
      Big Bend National Park in Texas, courtesy of Getty Images.
  2. Texas: Everything’s bigger in Texas: Discover the trails in Big Bend National Park or the Texas Panhandle.
    • Travelers should monitor this page upon visiting.
  3. Utah: With its world-renowned ski resorts, book a mountain lodge to enjoy a winter sports getaway. An hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, you can access 10 world-class ski destinations, from Park City to Powder Mountain.
    • The list of coronavirus guidelines for national and state parks, public lands, cities and ski resorts is updated daily and can be found here.
  4. Virginia: Experience autumn in all its glory cozying up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to Shenandoah National Park.
    • Nonessential travel is not recommended. For a comprehensive list of coronavirus-related updates, click here.

      Seattle and Mount Rainier in Washington
      Seattle and Mount Rainier in Washington, courtesy of Getty Images.
  5. Washington: Autumn in the Pacific Northwest is truly one of a kind. Beyond Seattle, adventure through the alpine regions of Mount Rainier and the North Cascades for a trip of a lifetime.
    • A list of coronavirus-related travel guidelines can be found here.
  6. Wisconsin: Head to the Apostle Islands off of Lake Superior for a scenic, adventure-filled trip. From caves to lighthouses, this is a fantastic Midwest destination.
    • For information on traveling during the coronavirus, click here.
  7. Wyoming: Explore Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument for some serious hiking and wildlife adventuring.
    • National parks and monuments remain open to the public with some limitations, and any travel updates can be found here.

States with travel restrictions

  1. Alaska: Travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to departure (or proof of pending test results within this timeframe). Alternatively, testing is available upon arrival for $250. And if you remain in the state for more than seven days, "a second test should be taken 7 to 14 days after arrival." For more information, click here.
  2. Connecticut: Visitors from states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or with a 10% positivity rate or higher over a seven-day rolling average, must quarantine for a 14-day period. The list of states is updated every Tuesday and can be found here, along with more details.
  3. Hawaii: All visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This is expected to change Oct. 15, 2020, where travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours upon arrival. Otherwise, travelers will still be subject to the 14-day quarantine. For more information, click here.
  4. Idaho: Travelers to Ada County from a substantial community spread or case rates higher than Idaho are advised to quarantine for 14 days. Other information about COVID-19 travel information can be found here.
  5. Illinois: While there are no statewide travel restrictions, the city of Chicago issues a 14-day quarantine requirement for all travelers (including Chicago residents) traveling to designated states with high rates of coronavirus infections. The exact list can be found here, and click here for other pertinent travel information for the state of Illinois.
  6. Maine: All travelers (including Maine residents) must show negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours upon arrival or quarantine for 14 days. If you’re awaiting test results after you arrive, you must quarantine until they arrive. States exempt from this requirement include New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and Travel Guidance | IDPH New York. For further information, visit this page.
  7. Massachusetts: All visitors (including Massachusetts residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours upon arrival or quarantine for 14 days. If you are awaiting your test results, you must quarantine until you receive a negative test result. However, travelers from lower-risk states are exempt. Click here to view this list and other details.
  8. New Hampshire: All travelers (including New Hampshire residents) are required to quarantine for 14 days, however this requirement is lifted for visitors from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. For more information, click here.
  9. New Jersey: Individuals entering New Jersey from high-risk states (10% positivity test or case rate higher over a seven-day rolling average) are asked to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. While not officially required, the website states, "The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected." Visitors who are in the state for less than 24 hours are exempt from this advisory. A list of these states can be found here, as well as other travel information for the state of New Jersey.
  10. New Mexico: For travelers coming from high-risk states, you must show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival or quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from low-risk states are exempt from this requirement. For a detailed list of these restrictions, visit this page.
  11. New York: A 14-day quarantine is required for visitors coming from states with more than 10% positive coronavirus tests, or more than 10 positive cases per 100,000 residents. Click here for more information.
  12. Ohio: Visitors from states with 15% or higher positive COVID-19 cases (based on a seven-day rolling average) are advised to quarantine for 14 days. The list of states and other travel information can be found here.
  13. Rhode Island: All travelers (including Rhode Island residents) entering from a state with a coronavirus positivity rate greater than 5% must quarantine for 14 days and schedule an asymptomatic test. For more information, visit this page.
  14. Vermont: Travelers arriving to Vermont via public transportation (plane, train or bus) must complete a 14-day quarantine or a seven-day quarantine followed by a negative COVID-19 test. Residents visiting from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia may bypass these restrictions, only if arriving by personal car. For more detailed information, click here.

Why you should get a travel rewards card before traveling

During a time where traveling isn't as rampant, you may wonder if it's still worth applying for a travel rewards credit card. Many credit card issuers have adapted their rewards rates and benefits to fit the stay-at-home lifestyles, offering grocery store bonuses to dining credits. You can even use your points and miles for more valuable redemptions, such as cash back or to cover other charges.

It's also worth noting that many credit cards come with complimentary travel protections that come in handy. Even if you're not flying to your destination, some cards even offer rental car coverage — perfect for your upcoming road trips. And, you'll be able to earn rewards on your everyday purchases to redeem for any travel expenses, from flights, hotels to rental cars.

Below, we've outlined our favorite travel rewards cards from issuers that have adapted well to the pandemic:

Card
Annual fee
Welcome offer
New coronavirus offers
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card$550Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.Until June 30, 2021, use your $300 annual travel credit to cover gas station and grocery store purchases.

Until Dec. 31, 2021, get up to $120 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership.

Until April 30, 2021, your points are worth 50% more when using the Pay Yourself Back tool to offset grocery, dining, home improvement store purchases and to eligible charities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card$95Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn a $50 statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.Until April 30, 2021, earn 2X points on grocery store purchases. And, your points are worth 25% more when using the Pay Yourself Back tool to offset grocery, dining, home improvement store purchases and to eligible charities.

Until Dec. 31, 2021, get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership.
The Platinum Card® from American Express$550 See rates and feesEarn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.Until June 30, 2021, receive up to $30 monthly statement credits for PayPal.
American Express® Gold Card$250 See rates and feesEarn 60,000 Membership Rewards®; Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.Earn $10 monthly statement credits (for a total of $120 annually) when you dine at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed and participating Shake Shack locations. Earn up to $10 Uber Cash (for a total of up to $120 annually) for Uber rides and Uber Eats. Your American Express® Gold Card needs to be added to your Uber app in order to receive this monthly Uber Cash benefit.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card$95Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 monthsUntil April 30, 2021, you can redeem your miles for eligible takeout and streaming purchases at the same rate of 1 cent each.
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Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).