How to Get the COVID Vaccine as a US Citizen Living Abroad (Vaccine Tourism)

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If you’re an American living in a place where COVID vaccines aren’t readily available (and you want to get the vaccine now), then this article is for you. This is a how-to article for scheduling a vaccine appointment in the U.S. and flying back to get vaccinated.

Note: if you’re someone who wants to travel in 2021/2022, it’s important to know that it may be difficult to travel without being vaccinated because many places (like Europe) plan to only let vaccinated travelers in.

How To Book Your Vaccine Trip

A) Use Google Flights to find the cheapest direct flight from your location to a major city in the U.S.

B) Google search “STATE vaccinations for non-residents” to figure out whether you’re eligible to get vaccinated in the state that you plan to fly to if you’re a non-resident.

In early April, many states were only vaccinating state residents but it now appears that lots of states have lifted this requirement (including Florida, California, and Texas) and anyone is now eligible to get vaccinated.

But before booking a vaccination trip, you should make sure to google search “STATE vaccinations for non-residents” and figure out whether you’re eligible to get vaccinated in that state.

C) Go to to find available vaccine appointments in the city of your choosing. 

You can usually only book vaccine appointments within a week but if vaccine appointments are widely available in the area where you’re looking, then it’s likely safe to book flights and then schedule your vaccine appointment a week before you fly (this is what I did).

If you run into any issues finding an appointment, try googling “federal vaccine site in CITY” because many cities have one massive vaccine site with close to unlimited vaccine doses available (including Fair Park in Dallas).

D) Some quick thoughts on vaccine choices

If you only want to do one trip to the U.S. then J&J is your best bet because it’s a one-shot vaccine whereas the other options all require a second dose a few weeks after the first. J&J is slightly less effective but it’s a lot more convenient if you’re flying to get the vaccine.

E) Book flights and a hotel using your preferred website

In the U.S. you can find great hotel deals on Hotwire and Priceline but any site will do!

Other Thoughts Based On My Experience

You can turn this into a vacation or a quick trip to get the shot and leave. My girlfriend and I booked a very short trip from Cabo to Dallas where we’ll spend less than 16 hours in Dallas before flying back.

You can watch the full video here!

All in all, getting vaccinated is pretty easy if you don’t mind flying to get the shot! 🤙

Cam Woodsum
I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.