Five Countries Indians can travel to - despite Covid-19!

Is travel opening up? As the second wave in India shows constant decline, are we Indians ready to fly and explore the world again? We will look through some of the countries which allow Indian travellers right now. More countries are getting added to the list as I type this, so this list might not be comprehensive.

Also guidelines on travel are constantly evolving and restrictions to international flights to India still remain in place. One needs to really look at the most updated guidelines and make travel plans. Better still, make plans right now but travel later when travelling is safer again - for now staying where you are and keeping safe should be the highest priority.

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Countries Indians can travel to 

Watch the video version!

If you prefer to watch a video, you can also do it here on my YouTube channel. The channel has been around for ages but it's only now that I have restarted making and uploading videos there - hope you'll enjoy them just as you've enjoyed the blog!

Here's the link to my channel.


Background to Tourism and Covid-19

The tourism industry across the world took the worst possible hit when Covid-19 started to destroy the world as we knew it. Countries implemented lockdowns, often suspended local and international travel, and with that the tourism industry took a major hit. It is estimated that the industry took a loss in excess of $4.6 trillion.

Just as the industry had started to revive in 2021 in India, the second wave hit and we are now back to score one, or maybe even negative one. In contrast to us in India, the West has done better - driven primarily due to high vaccination rate there. In Europe people are getting ready for the summer break - it’s a really big thing there, and similarly in US many restrictions have already been eased, including masks if you are fully vaccinated.

So where does this leave us Indians? Can we travel anywhere at all right now? Well, as it turns out, there are a few countries which welcome tourists from India. There are more countries that you can fly to especially to countries with whom India as an air-bubble arrangement for flights, but those are for essential travel and necessarily for tourism purpose. 

But the big question is - should you fly outside India at all right now? My answer to that would be absolutely NO in capital letters. However, if you do not want to follow my advice, this video is exactly for you.

Countries Indians can travel to right now!

1. Russia

The land of tsars, Lenin and Putin, is waiting for us Indians with open arm. Of course, Russia is so much more than these three power figures, and for me Russia is actually a very special place and I am quite surprised that I haven't been there as yet. Did you read about the news about how some travel agencies were selling Russia travel deals bundled with Sputnik V jabs?

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Russia

Fun fact - back in the Soviet era when India and Soviet Union were besties, we used to get this Russian magazine called Sputnik in India. I loved that magazine and I think that's when my love affair with the country also started. My first (and last) pen pal was also a Russian girl - but I never got to meet her and our love story never really started. Moving on…

2. Turkey

The next in the list is Turkey - located at the confluence of Asia and Europe. 

Now Turkey is special because this is the first country I visited outside India. Well, apart from Nepal - but I didn’t need visa to go to Nepal (I still don’t), heck not even a passport. So yes, Turkey was the first one. 

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Turkey

No COVID vaccine shots there, but the country is so beautiful and their coffee is yum too. Some of the Instagram influencers from India have gone there too - seems like the world didn’t change at all there. Or maybe it’s the curated (fake) world of Instagram celebrities. We would never know.

3. Nepal

The next in the list is Nepal. Oops - I guess, I will have to now accept that the first country I ever visited (about a 100 times) was Nepal. I grew up along the India-Nepal border in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and this meant that I we went to Nepal very very often - family trips, school picnics, shopping for nice pencil boxes and erasers and even Coca-cola - it used to be banned in India back then.

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Nepal

However, Nepal is currently going through very difficult times with respect to a Covid resurgence, and I think it would be rather inappropriate to make a travel trip there. 

Would you do that?

4. Egypt

The next one is Egypt - again a country I’ve never ever been to. Back in the good old travel blogging days, I almost visited the country with a bunch of other bloggers, or so I thought at least. I think it was a scam. At least I didn’t lose any money!!

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Egypt

I would love to go to Egypt once all this is over, and that might take a while. Maybe next year, maybe the year after that - I am ready to wait. Travel can wait.

5. South Africa

And the final country in the list is South Africa - another country I've never been to. Fun fact - the first Bollywood movie to be shot there was Prem Granth which starred Madhuri Dixit and Rishi Kapoor. The movie was based on the issue of rape and how the entire society blames the woman and how much she suffers. The movie was extremely sad.

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South Africa

I am not sure how this video got so dark. 

On an even darker note, I think it would be disastrous if the Delta variant from India and Beta variant come together to make something even worse. Maybe that’s a good reason to not travel right now?

Still planning to travel?

So are you still thinking of traveling? Please don’t be a douchebag and travel. By all means make travel plans, but for now stay at home and stay safe. 

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