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Sunlight at the end of the tunnel? Places we might be able to travel this summer

I’m sure you, like me, have spent a large portion of lockdown fantasising about missed holidays- that slightly too sterile smell of an aeroplane or that immediate wave of heat on your skin when you step off one. The agonising Snapchat memories of festivals in Spain and weekends in Amsterdam leaves my heart aching for a grotty shared shower (who’d have thought?). 

Now that Boris has drawn up a roadmap out of lockdown, the possibilities once again seem endless… a city break in Berlin? A beach holiday in Barbados? Backpacking across Brazil? Upon reflection, the options maybe aren’t that endless. There is a high likelihood that coronavirus will still be kicking about. Read on to discover the most likely holiday destinations for summer 2021.

Greece seems like the most realistic destination with the tourism minister Haris Theoharis welcoming British travellers this summer, vaccine or not. Many Greek islands have vaccinated their entire population so living out your Mamma Mia dreams is a genuine possibility. Whether you’re looking to soak up culture on Syros, eat as many pieces of calamari as is physically possible on Sifnos or just get some enviable photos for your Insta on Santorini, the Greek islands offer it all. 

A row of pastel coloured cafes with chairs outside on the Greek island of Karpathos.
image: analogicus via Pixabay

Similarly, Spain, which hopes to have 70% of adults vaccinated by the end of summer, may introduce a ‘green corridor’ for vaccinated British travellers this summer. Considering the fact that UK holidaymakers spent £18 billion in the country in 2019 it’s not surprising that the Spanish Government is willing to welcome back the drunken, sunburnt masses. If Barcelona is too basic, perhaps Valencia- the birthplace of paella- or Madrid, which is a Picasso-lovers paradise, are more appealing. 

The shaded streets of a Spanish town, lined with wrought-iron balconies.
image: Stephan Rosner via Pixabay

Moreover, earlier today, both the Cypriot and Portuguese governments announced that they hope to welcome vaccinated British tourists from May. Portugal is currently on the red list, so this message brings with it the hope of foreign sun in the months to come. 

However, in a year in which perusing the cheese aisle in the big Sainsburys was as close as you could get to a French farmer’s market, maybe we should reconsider what a holiday has to involve. Maybe this summer is a chance to explore what’s on our doorstep (don’t worry, I do NOT mean revisiting the same loop of the neighbourhood you did every day of lockdown 1). With the impacts of air travel on the environment well-known, should we prioritise the ‘staycation’? The UK, although admittedly falling short in providing reliably good weather, boasts some amazing travel destinations. For a start, the Scottish Highlands should be on every Edinburgh students’ bucket list.

The Scottish Highlands glistening under dappled sunlight.
image: Frank Winkler via Pixabay

Moreover, the Cornish beaches could easily be mistaken for those of Corfu, couldn’t they? But why even overlook our lovely Edinburgh? I for one, am simply looking forward to wearing less than six layers whilst drinking Tennents in the Meadows, something that I missed out on last year. 

Whether the first trip you make will be to Portobello beach or Porto, I hope all of those holiday fantasies are fulfilled. And if not, I guess there’s always camping in the back garden…

image: Jan Vasek via Pixabay