The current situation has put a strain on a lot of things. One thing taking a lot of strain at the moment is the world economy, so there a lot of countries that need your visit when borders reopen. With whole countries in lockdown and strict limitations on global import and export a lot of countries are struggling economically and will continue to do so into the future.
If you’re anything like us, then you can’t wait for everything to be safe and open again so you can get back to seeing the world. If that’s the case then you might already be thinking about where you want to go next, when it is safe to do so. We’ve compiled a list of the countries in need of your visit as they are the worst affected by recent events.
Countries In Need of Your Visit
Due to its increasing dependence on the tourism trade as well as its stakes as one of the largest exporters in Southeast Asia, not to mention its close proximity to China, Vietnam is one of the worst affected countries of the current situation. However these things are all excellent reasons to visit Vietnam when you are able to.
Vietnam has been making a name for itself as a tourist-friendly destination as it has seen more and more tourists travelling to this small Asian island. Tourism is now one of the country’s main sources of income, so it needs tourists to start going back. This means that Vietnam has been making efforts to make the country more tourist friendly, so English is spoken well in most major cities and restaurants and cafes in the main tourist zones all provide English menus. They also have a visa waiver system in place that covers travellers from some European countries in place until 2021, so it’s a great time to visit.
The food in Vietnam is particularly amazing too. There are plenty of expensive Vietnamese restaurants in major cities around the world but real Vietnamese food is incredibly fresh and incredibly cheap. If you want to know how to travel the world via food whilst you’re stuck at home you can read all about it here. A nice meal for two at a restaurant in Vietnam will rarely cost more than £8 ($10) and you can easily find street food for as little as £1 ($1.50). Everything else in Vietnam is pretty cheap too. Staying in a hotel doesn’t have to cost more than £5 ($6) a night and activities and shopping won’t set you back much either. If you like clothes then a visit to Hoi An, the tailoring capital of Southeast Asia, is well worth it, to get a tailored suit or dress for as little as £60 ($75)!
Your budget will be able to stretch a long way if you visit Vietnam and there’s plenty for all kinds of travellers to take in. Despite its small size, Vietnam has almost every kind of natural landscape within it. You’ve got mountains and desserts, beaches and forests, all within a travelable distance of one another. And if nature is your thing then Phu Quoc is definitely worth a visit. A collection of small islands, most of which are uninhabited, Phu Quoc boasts miles of unspoilt beaches, clear waters and stunning natural parks. There’s a range of flora and fauna, including monkeys, for you to spot on your trip too.
If history is more your cup of tea, then Vietnam has a lot to offer too. Steeped in history, Vietnam offers a range of cultural and historical sites from its long past. There are ancient shrines and temples from the Cham people as well as more modern monuments from the Vietnam War. The Cu Chi tunnels are a great attraction if you are interested in the Vietnam War as you can see where the Viet Cong would have travelled and you can even fire an AK47 if you want.
More adventurous types might enjoy sand dune sledding or windsurfing, or maybe snorkelling in the clear tropical waters along the coast. There are also lots of areas to trek and hike and a range of tours that offer the option to motorbike or cycle across the entire country.
Vietnam serves as a gateway country to a number of other countries, like China, Cambodia and Laos (also countries in need of tourism), and because of its budget friendly nature, it can be great way to tick off a few countries in Southeast Asia all in one go.
Singapore is known for its appeal to millionaires and those who want to live in the lap of luxury so you wouldn’t think it would suffer greatly during the current climate. However, Singapore relies heavily on outside investment and imports so is one of the countries most in need. All those millionaire businessmen are actually really needed in Singapore! Its position as a business hub however is one of the many reasons that Singapore is worth a visit.
Because of the many international flights coming and going through Singapore every day (if you would like to know what to do in Singapore during a long layover read our post here), the country itself is massively culturally diverse. Singapore has 4 national languages and one of them is English so you won’t have much difficulty finding places to stay, eat and relax where people speak English. It also means there’s a real melting pot of cultural centres within the city, such as Little India. Singapore is a real international country, especially when it comes to food. You’ll be able to find something from everywhere to try in Singapore.
One reason for this is the prevalence of Hawker centres, which are like giant food halls offering a range of fresh meals, often prepared right in front of you. You can pick and choose from all the different stalls if you like and you can try so many different foods all in one place. These centres are also relatively cheap compared to the rest of Singapore.
Singapore is not the cheapest place to visit in the world but there are still a few benefits to visiting Singapore even on a budget. Just talking a walk down the street is a real pleasure in Singapore as there are strict laws against spitting, chewing gum and littering which means that Singapore is one of the cleanest places to visit in the world. To some people this almost clinical cleanliness can be a bit off putting but we think it’s a great idea (especially now!).
There are also some fantastic architectural sights in Singapore. The city is known for its futuristic design and it really is a beautiful place to visit. Just being able to take in the amazingly modern buildings nestled in amongst the ancient, traditional buildings is something to behold. Amongst these streets you will be able to find numerous bars, many of which are among the top Asian bars. Due to the near constant arrivals and departures into Singapore, the night life in Singapore is always in full swing, so you’ll be able to find somewhere that suits your fancy pretty much all times of the day.
Even if you’re only visiting Singapore for a layover and you don’t even have time to leave the airport, that’s ok – because Changi Airport is known as the most luxurious airport in the world. Like everything in Singapore, Changi Airport knows how to provide for its guests. There is a hotel inside the airport, as well as a spa, pool and cinema, and is even home to the largest indoor waterfall in the world known as the Rain Vortex. So if you have a long stopover but not long enough to leave, you’ll still have everything you could possibly need – just by being in the airport!
Luxembourg is a tiny little county in the heart of Europe. The capital city (also named Luxembourg) has a mere 110,000 people population and a lot of people who work in Luxembourg commute from neighbouring countries, such as Germany or Belgium. Because of this, a lot of the country’s revenue comes from outside the country – which hasn’t been possible with the current border lockdowns. So this tiny country is in need of a visit when borders reopen.
Due to its size, Luxembourg is a great country to visit if you only have a few days because all the major sites and attractions are within a short distance of one another. Also, due to the incredible public transport system (I talk more about this in my Luxembourg post here) you can easily travel across the whole country very cheaply. Its land-locked nature means it’s also easy to get to if you’re already in continental Europe or if you’re on your way somewhere else.
Even if it’s just for a few days on your way elsewhere, Luxembourg is worth a visit as it is the last Grand Duchy in the world (meaning there is a grand duke as the head of state – his name is Henri). Aside from this cool fact, Luxembourg is full of history. The entire Old Town of Luxembourg is a UNESCO heritage site and there are a huge number of museums to see despite the country’s tiny size. Luxembourg is also home to some incredible castles in a range of styles. From medieval to fairy-tale, you’ll be sure to find your dream castle in Luxembourg.
Malta is a small Mediterranean island that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, as well as frequently being used as a set for television and movies. The effects of social distancing has caused this all to shut down on Malta so when borders reopen, Malta really is a country in need and is also a great place to go. Not only is the weather amazing, the people are too.
The Maltese people are known for being very friendly and hospitable, often going out of their way to help visitors be as happy and comfortable as they can be. English is also taught in schools alongside Maltese and it is the country’s second official language, which means a large proportion of the locals speak impeccable English. They also have what is known as Feast Season which runs mostly from May to October. Maltese people love to celebrate their religious days and patron saints so they will have huge village feasts (or festa) to celebrate. This is a great time to mix with the locals and take in some real Maltese culture.
If you’re looking for a little bit more peace and quiet on your holiday then Malta has a small sister island called Gozo which is just a short boat ride away. Gozo is more rural and picturesque and is supposedly what Malta was like many years ago. It’s a small quiet island that makes a nice day trip from Malta, when you can enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and unspoilt countryside in peach and quiet.
Or, you could visit the village of Mdina. Known as the Silent City, Mdina is a fortified town that was originally used as the capital of Malta during its invasion. Now it is a sought-after property location with cobbled streets and original architecture, however most of the houses are handed down from generation to generation so it’s tough to get a place. It’s a beautiful part of Malta to have a stroll through though, with picturesque boutique shops and cafes.
To cool off from all the Mediterranean heat, Malta is also a wonderful location for scuba diving. The clear Mediterranean waters and calm currents around the island make it an ideal place for beginners and the experienced alike. The use of Malta in WW2 also makes for some interesting things to discover below the waves. So if you’re in need of a little sun, sea and relaxation, Malta is one of the countries in need of you.
Ireland (Republic and Northerm)
Largely rural, Ireland utilises a large amount of import and exports. With the closing of borders, Ireland has struggled financially. It has also suffered from the political policies laid down by the Brexit government in England. Trade negotiations have become a back-burner issue during the current situation, which could result in Ireland losing out in the future.
However, despite all this, Ireland is a fantastic country to visit. It was actually one of our very first trips without our parents and you can read about our first time here. There is plenty to see and do in Ireland and its rural nature means there is an abundance of beautiful natural landscapes around the country. From beaches to mountains to rolling fields, there are outstanding areas of natural beauty all around Ireland. This makes it a fantastic country for a road trip, too, as there are plenty of scenic routes around the country that take in many of these hotspots. The country is so beautiful that HBO decided to film a large portion of Game of Thrones there, and you can visit the places where it was filmed.
As you go around the country, or as you explore the county you’re in, you’ll be sure to find plenty of castles to look around. Ireland has a rich history and there are a number of incredible, and famous, castles dotted around the landscape. There are plenty of medieval sites around the country but if you’re more interested in modern history, Ireland has a rich supply of that too. Ireland has a turbulent recent past and there are many sights and attractions where you can witness this first-hand. Visit Spike Island, also known as the Irish Alcatraz, or Kilmainham Gaol to see where Irish revolutionaries were held and even executed.
If you’d prefer a happier tone to your trip, then there’s one thing I’d certainly recommend: Guinness! Ireland is known for it’s famous black ale and if you visit Dublin you can go to the Guinness factory where you can see the beer being made, sample it and even pour yourself a pint. Irish pubs are also a wonderful place to visit to get a real sense of the culture, so make sure you have at least one pint with the locals.
Since the Irish have become a far-flung group, it’s also quite likely that you’ll have a bit of Irish in you somewhere. There are areas in most countries where there is a high proportion of Irish heritage and it’s usually fairly far reaching. So much so that in 2013 Ireland held The Gathering, which aimed at bringing people of Irish decent back to the motherland.
Festivals like this are common in Ireland and they hold a number throughout the year. These can be music festivals or arts festivals or any number of thing but they are also filled with an incredible atmosphere and you will make some unforgettable memories. Festivals are also a great place for the Irish to show off their love of storytelling, which is deeply ingrained in their culture. There are even storytelling museums to visit! Let Ireland whisk you away to a world of wonder, something we’re all a little in need of at the moment.
A large import and exporter, Hungary has had to deal with a large loss of revenue during the current lockdown situation. In terms of countries in need, it is one that people would think of less and it’s not a particularly well-known tourist destination. But we are of the opinion that it’s a great choice for your post-lockdown travels.
Hungary is one of the most affordable countries in Europe to travel to, especially if you go to one of the smaller cities outside of Budapest. Budapest is the most well-known of the Hungarian cities and with good reason. There is a lot to see and do in Budapest with fantastic architecture and a rich cultural heritage. If you do go to Budapest, and you think yourself a bit of a writer, make sure you check out the Anonymous Statue. This statue, of a robed figure holding a pen, is famed to bring good writing luck to those who stroke his pen. So, even inside Budapest you’ll find plenty to do and eat and places to stay that won’t break the bank but the country gets cheaper, and less densely populated with tourists, the further you go from the capital.
One great place to check out is Lake Balaton. This is Europe’s largest lake and is known as Hungary’s ocean. There are various towns around the lake, with some catering more towards families and others where the night life is great. No matter what you are going for, you’ll find somewhere near Lake Balaton that fits all of your needs. Regardless of where you go on the lake there are plenty of water sports available, so whether you want to go wind surfing with your kids or kayaking with your hen party, there’s something for everyone.
Not far from Lake Balaton is Hungary’s wine region. You might not know this, but Hungary is famed for its incredible wines. They offer a range of wines that are all delicious, but the many wine tours and tastings will give you a better idea about what you prefer. The wine here is also much cheaper than comparable wine regions in other countries.
If you’re looking to do some relaxing or perhaps rejuvenate your health, then Hungary’s thermal baths are for you. Dotted all over the country, these thermal baths are amongst the clearest in the world and offer a whole host of medicinal properties. Some have been turned into luxury spas and they are a real treat if you are wanting to relieve your aches and pains, and have a relaxing trip too.