Travel ideas that are socially distanced without even trying to be


An upsurge in Covid-19 cases is hampering travel to most of the world’s most popular tourist destinations – but less famous, more remote retreats are enjoying a resurgence.

There are plenty of ways to escape the crowds and have a socially distanced holiday either at home or abroad.

Walk Japan’s wild paths

With the country still largely off-limits to international visitors, now is a good time for local holidaymakers in Japan to explore their own backyard without the typical crowds. Hikers can opt to get off the beaten track among the beautiful temples and hot springs of Kunisaki in the south, or explore Nakasendo’s hidden highway from Kyoto to Tokyo, with a selection of seven weeklong tours spanning the breadth of the country.In July, Japan launched its Go To travel campaign to encourage domestic tourism in the country with subsidies on hotels and travel for local residents

Roam the U.S. RV routes

Holidaymakers can immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring nature of Colorado National Monument, complete with its red rock spires and deep-cut canyons. Alternately, travelers can try a trip to the expansive vineyards of Napa Valley. For a truly socially distanced trip, vacationers can visit the mountains, deserts and dunes of Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Hike Italy’s hilltop homesteads

Months after the virus wracked Italy, that country’s remote villages have positioned themselves as rural retreats for travelers in need of some peace and quiet.

Cycle France’s secret stretches

Holidaymakers looking for a socially distanced getaway can choose from rural routes across the country via guided or self-guided routes. Operators including Discover France and Tour Radar allow cyclists to experience the dramatic mountains of the Pyrenees, the historic chateaus of the Loire Valley, or the open fields of Provence. France is under a second national lockdown, with domestic and international tourism off-limits until at least the end of November.

Drive Scotland’s remote roads

Scotland’s expansive highlands and islands can make for some of the most scenic and socially distanced getaways for last-minute holidaymakers. Roadtrippers can take their pick of the country’s most remote routes, whether with a drive through the Isle of Skye’s rugged mountain range or a journey to the Highlands’ Knoydart peninsula (topped off with a pint in the U.K. mainland’s most remote pub).

Sail Singapore’s shoreline

This month, Singapore residents will once again enjoy a taste of overseas travel. But locals hoping for a more socially distanced excursion may do well to opt for a private boat hire, which has all the fun of the open seas without the crowds. Boat rental platforms including GetMyBoat, which saw a 3,900% surge in demand between April and October, offer daily rates for budget and luxury charter from around $188 per day.