We all love to go on vacation, but do we hate more than anything, while taking a walk on that lovely boardwalk with wind blowing through our hair? Mosquitos! Do you want to go on a summer vacation and not worry about being attacked by these little pests? Controversy has struck with the latest epidemic… the Zika Virus. We’ve all heard the name, but what is it actually? Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. The infection causes no symptoms. Concern is focused on women who become infected while pregnant and those who develop a temporary form of paralysis after exposure to the virus. Experts believe that the vast majority of Zika infections are transmitted by mosquitoes, not through sex. As of early March, however, more than a dozen instances of transmission through sex have been reported. There is no vaccine against the Zika virus. Efforts to make one have just begun, and creating and testing a vaccine takes years and costs millions of dollars.

Well now you must be thinking how can I go on a vacation? There are still many beachy destinations for us to hit this summer with no worries about Zika.

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Cape May | Want to stay local to NYC? Cape May is a perfect destination. Cape May is a city at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula in Cape May County, New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It includes fine wines, outstanding restaurants, and classic jazz festivals. Instead of nightclubs and tanning parlors, you’ll find Victorian mansions and a famous lighthouse. Once primarily a summer destination, the county is quickly becoming more and more of a year-round resort.

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BelizeBelize is a country on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is a culturally diverse and mixed race country. World class attractions include exploring the lush jungles with exotic plants and animals, deep sea fishing, swimming, snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean sea with its attractive reefs, and visiting the Mayan ruins. The Belize people and culture make you feel beyond welcome and comfortable, like nowhere you’ve ever visited.      

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Turks and Caicos | This country, made up of seven main islands and 40 smaller isles and cays, boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, including Grace Bay Beach, which consistently ranks in the top ten beaches in the world. Scuba-diving sites include a 14-mile barrier reef on Provo’s north shore and a dramatic 2,134m underwater wall off Grand Turk island. For everyone who has ever dreamed of getting away from it all and finding a tropical hideaway far removed from all the hustle, bustle, fuss and muss of modern life — Turks & Caicos is that rarest of discoveries, a true island escape.

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Hawaii | Perfect beaches, lush green valleys, and volcanic landscapes, as well as its historic villages, top-notch water sports, and stellar restaurants and resorts, have made it an international favorite. Award-winning Wailea Beach is no exception, with its poolside cabanas, beautiful courtyards, and special luxuries. There are eight major islands, six of which are open to tourism. The island of Oahu, the most popular and home to the state capital and largest city of Honolulu, is great for people who wish to experience the islands and still keep the conveniences of a large city. Rainforests and hiking trails are located just minutes from Waikiki Beach, one of the world’s best tourist destinations.

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Miami | Miami, at Florida’s southeastern tip, is a vibrant city. Miami Beach, on barrier islands across the waters of Biscayne Bay, is home to glamorous South Beach, known for its colorful art deco buildings, white sand, surfside hotels and trendsetting nightclubs. Miami is one of the state’s – and the world’s – most popular vacation spots. Head north on Ocean Drive and stroll past the super tanned reality TV stars and scenesters in the sidewalk cafés, designer boutiques, lounge bars and dusk-till-dawn clubs.

Kareshma Singh