If you don’t have a passport, you might be surprised to learn that there are still plenty of far-off destinations you can visit! And no, I’m not just talking about the opposite coast of the U.S. mainland!
But hey, if you don’t want to leave the U.S., you can still check out the most tropical beaches in Florida.
While I am a firm believer that every U.S. citizen should have their own passport, I have compiled a list of all the places abroad you can visit without one. Here are my top picks, no passport required!
Related: How To Get a Passport in a Pinch
Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, Americans do not need a passport to visit the Caribbean island. To visit, you only need a government-issued photo ID and a birth certificate. This applies to all flights coming from the U.S. mainland.
United States Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands are also located in the Caribbean, making this another popular hot spot for tropical getaways. You can fly here from the U.S. mainland without a passport, provided you bring a government-issued ID. That’s because it is another U.S. territory. You may also wish to bring a birth certificate to prove citizenship, too.
Take note, though, that if you are traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands without a passport, pay attention to your flight. You want to make sure it is a direct flight without a layover in another country. If your flight has a stop in, say, Mexico, you would need a passport to board the flight. It would count as international travel.
In case you haven’t noticed a trend, American citizens can visit U.S. territories without passports! It is treated the same as flying from Missouri to New York, or any other state within the country. American Samoa is an unincorporated territory in the South Pacific, consisting of seven islands and sitting just southeast of the independent state of Samoa.
Northern Mariana Islands
Officially known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, this is a string of fourteen islands and a designated territory of the U.S. This is the latest addition of territories that can be visited by U.S. citizens without a passport. It sits in the western Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines.
There are a few cruises that will take you to this tropical paradise, but you can also fly without a passport. Flights will stop through Guam, but you won’t need a passport there, either.
Speaking of Guam – no, you don’t need a passport to visit this tropical destination, either. It is another U.S. territory, sitting just south of the Northern Mariana Islands. You can travel here by cruise ship, or fly from the U.S., likely with a stop in Hawaii.
This might be a no-brainer to some, but I’m sure many don’t even think about it. You can cross the border into Mexico without a passport. To do this, you must be traveling by land, and not by air. If you hop on a plane, you will definitely need a passport.
To cross into Mexico, you will need to present some form of identification, such as a passport card, a Trusted Traveler card, or a state-issued enhanced driver’s license. Please note: while U.S. citizens used to be able to cross the border with a birth certificate and a driver’s license, this is no longer the case.
Like Mexico, our northern neighbor doesn’t necessarily require U.S. citizens to carry a passport, either. Canada only requires that you carry proof of citizenship and identity. Proof of citizenship can include a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or a certificate of Indian status. You will also need photo identification.
Similar to Mexico, though, these requirements only apply to entering the country by land. You will not be able to fly into Canada without a passport. And once you get there, you will not be able to fly out of Canada without a passport, either.
How to Visit Other Destinations Without a Passport
Alright, there are other places you can go without a passport, under a very particular condition. Destinations such as the Bahamas, Belize, or Bermuda, can be visited by Americans without passports, as long as they arrive on a cruise ship. It has to be on a closed-loop cruise, meaning the ship departs and ends at the same U.S. port. Always check the requirements with the cruise line before booking to ensure you don’t need a passport for your particular trip!
These travelers are not required to possess a passport. You can instead carry a Trusted Traveler card, a passport card, or a state-issued ID paired with an original birth certificate. A word of caution about traveling without a passport, though. if you accidentally end up stuck in another country, like say, you miss the boat, you will need a passport to get back home. This is why cruise lines encourage passengers to bring passports, even if they don’t necessarily need them.