So you are all excited planning a picture perfect getaway and realize someone in your travel party doesn’t have a passport! Or worse yet, you are the culprit and didn’t get your passport renewed. Don’t despair, help is here! There are definitely picture perfect places to visit without a passport that everyone can be happy about!
If you are feeling like a little Carribean flow would suit you just right, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are gorgeous places to go without a passport.
When the West Wind calls and the Pacific beckons, there is Guam, American Samoa, North Mariana Islands, and let’s not forget Hawaii where US Citizens can travel without a passport.
How Can A Us Citizen Travel Out Of The Country Without A Passport?
US Territories outside of the contiguous United states are where Americans can travel without a passport. You will only need a government-issued form of photo ID because you are not actually going to another country.
As long as you have a driver’s license or a photo ID card issued by a U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles you can be on your way to a picture perfect place to visit without a passport! The Transportation Security Administration does not require children under 18 to provide ID if they are traveling within the United States or the territories we discuss below.
5 Picture Perfect Places Americans Can Visit & Travel To Without A Passport
Puerto Rico is one of my favorite vacation spots to travel too. I’ve been there three times now and even took a solo trip, which was fantastic! With 300 miles of coastline and just as many beaches, Puerto Rico offers US citizens an amazing opportunity to getaway without a passport.
Where to start?! Pristine beaches, rainforest, camping, hiking, Five-Star Resorts, Bed & Breakfast, paradores, biking, canoeing, historical buildings, and more, super grandioso!
You hear about San Juan quite a bit, which is Puerto Rico’s largest city as well as the capital.
With its historic and unforgettable El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), you will see authentic Spanish colonial buildings purported to be up to 450 years old. Old San Juan, properly known as San Juan Antiguo, its proper name, is actually the oldest city under United States sovereignty.
Another boast of this picture perfect US territory is it is home to El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service.
With so many places to visit without a passport in Puerto Rico, let’s swing over to the west side of the island and highlight Rincon, which is known for its glorious sunsets and beach activities.
If you aren’t immediately enamoured with the Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel & Villas, there are many options including the Villa Confresi located right on Rincon beach, and home of the “Pirate Special” for those who enjoy a more than a little rum with their coconut!
Besides all the surfing, snorkeling, and fishing, there is plenty to do for the land lovers in your party!
Enjoy guided horseback riding by the beach or a relaxing picnic at the Punta Higüeras Lighthouse park with sea cliffs views showcasing amazing sunsets.
You may even see a few humpback whales pass you by from December to mid April where they spend time in the warm Caribbean waters.
With over 3,500 square miles, six regions and 78 municipalities, Puerto Rico is a gorgeous and geographically diverse Caribbean island where you can plan and stay at many different places without a passport.
The U.S. Virgin Islands
I’ve always wondered about that name, have you? When trying to get to India in 1493, the person who claims he discovered the US even though indigenous people already lived here ran into the islands called them ‘The Virgins’ after the legendary beauty of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins.
Another tidbit, and why the U.S. Virgin Islands is also a place Americans can visit without a passport; the United States purchased St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas in 1917 from the Dutch for a cool $25 mil in gold. This was to help improve military positioning during World War I. As of 1996, a fourth island was added to the US Virgin Island territorial government, Water Island, but it is mostly un-commercialized.
Many will recommend visiting all three of the main islands to enjoy three different types of experiences in what is called “America’s Caribbean Paradise.” Each of the three islands will offer many water related activities including snorkeling, diving, fishing, and plenty of sun and sand.
St. John’s offers the most “natural” experience as almost ⅔ of the island is considered a protected national park; this also includes a large area of offshore coral reefs. You definitely won’t get a big city vibe if you choose St. John’s as a place to relax and enjoy the pristine waters and lush Caribbean parkland. With a short ferry ride to the east, you can get a bit of cultural sophistication at St. Thomas when the mood strikes.
St. Thomas is the island where you’ll find a more cosmopolitan atmosphere, upscale pampering, and high end resorts. Although, there are plenty of places to stay if you’d rather devote less of your travel budget to where you’re going to sleep! While being well known for luxurious accommodations, dining, and shopping, of the three islands, St. Thomas also boasts a kickin’ nightlife. Don’t miss 99 Steps, Coki Beach, Main Street, and for a breathtaking view, take an aerial gondola ride to Paradise Point, overlooking Charlotte Amalie harbor.
St. Croix has some fun things that immediately jump out at you like: hang gliding, off road ATV tours, sailing, kayaking and canoeing. St Croix gets less of the tourist traffic even though it is the largest of the three islands. History buffs who also enjoy the spirits of the Carribean will appreciate a visit to the Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan Rum distilleries (both of which offer tours and samples). Another brush with the past is the Estate Whim Plantation Museum where visitors can view an 18th century sugar plantation.
Whether you choose only one or all three, there is something to entice anyone who isn’t satisfied with only sipping rum drinks on white sand, tropical beaches.
Ok, I just couldn’t do it, I can’t leave out the one place that fascinated and horrified me at the same time…Mount Pellier Domino Club, home of the beer drinking pigs!
Yes, Beer. Drinking. Pigs. I quickly scrolled through over a dozen or so pictures and noticed first, many were of swine, swilling and crushing cans of “near beer;” secondly, I then googled to see if the beer would hurt the animals. I’m glad to report that I couldn’t find any info to say that it harmed them, so I was able to relax and look at the rest of the photos where I can’t help but get the impression that when it comes to beer guzzling, they are absolute pigs!
Ok, just one more thing…there’s no sales tax in the US Virgin Islands, making it an even nicer place for any “shopaholics” to visit without a passport!
Traveling to Guam Without A Passport
If you are looking for a vacation location seemingly off the grid, yet still a place to visit without a passport, you don’t have to look further than Guam. The diverse island located in the Western Pacific as part of Micronesia proudly possess unsurpassed beaches, all of which are free (except those privately owned).
“Where America’s Day Begins,” is the first of the United States holdings to welcome the new day due to its location near the International Dateline, which is 14 hours before the east coast is first kissed by the sun’s rays.
Guam is rich in cultural history and home to the Chamorro who are Americans citizens as well. Get a taste of the local foods, wares, music and dancing at the famed Wednesday Night Market at Chamorro Village in Hagatna, the capital of Guam.
If you shop the airfare deals to get to Guam, the daily rate to relax and enjoy a beautiful tropical paradise in the Western Pacific is more than reasonable. I pulled a quick hotel search and found rates as low as $72 for hotels and the unbelievably gorgeous Leopalace Resort, in Yona, part of sparsely populated southern Guam, for $109/night!
Yona is considered the largest village in Guam in the southern portion that is less populated than the more touristy areas like Tumon Bay. There is no end to the beautiful scenery with gorgeous rolling hills, lush foliage, and a renowned tropical fruit farm to tour and indulge in a fresh fruit buffet
If you think a relaxing vacation isn’t a vacation if it doesn’t include golf, not to worry, Guam is home to seven publicly accessible golf courses.
Last, but never least, our men and women in service are a large part of the presence in Guam which occupies about ⅓ of the island.. A good portion of the Chamorrow population proudly serves in the United States Military and in Guam, a strategic position in the Pacific Ocean.
The area is rich in military history, museums, and sites from World War II and a perfect setting for abundant and incomparable homeschool lessons.
Here we go with the “one more thing..” Did I mention you can take a leisurely drive around the whole island in about an hour and a half? Glorious!
No Passport Required For The Northern Mariana Islands
North of Guam, also in the Micronesian Region of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find the Northern Mariana Islands. There are over a dozen islands that make up the area, where divers and adventure seekers alike will find a plethora of military artifacts, shipwrecks, and reefs to explore, including cavern dives.
Saipan, Tinian, and Rota are the three islands that are populated where you can enjoy plenty of warm sandy beaches. The Northern Marianas are known as a place to go for world class diving and golf and where Americans can travel without a passport.
There are two indeigenous people that comprise the majority of the population in the Northern Marianas, the Chamorros and the Carolinians who are warm and welcoming to visitors. Known for their cultural festivals, markets, and hospitality, there are experiences for everyone.
For scuba divers there are over a dozen dive sites that are considered world-class which include Naftan, The Grotto, -*and Eagle Ray City.
If you are going to Tinian, scuba diving is the primary reason for a visit to the Island, surrounded by underwater caves, numerous reefs, and more World War II artifacts than any ocean needs! Tinian Grotto is the most popular cavern dive and you’ll want to experience the quiet slumber of tanks, Jeeps, ammunition and planes in Dump Cove.
If you fancy a break from the warm, clear waters ,Rota offers a thought provoking experience at the Nieves Latte Stone Quarry. Where the latte stones were made to be used as pillars as foundations for raised houses and are evidence of some true ingenuity of the ancient Chamorro. Fascinating actually!
As you drive along the coast to Songsong, visit the incredible Marianas Trench Cave Museum (yes it is inside a cave) and take a hike up the trail. Along the route, stop over at the deserted Pinatang Park for a picnic lunch and enjoy the view of the Phillipine Sea. Continue on to Songsong Village Lookout for a view of the beautiful Mount Tapingot, nicknamed Wedding Cake Mountain.
Saipan is the largest and most developed of the three islands. Garapan is the main tourist area with shopping, street vendors, bars and many restaurants including fine dining.
If you’re up for some “pasture pool” on an amazing “carpet” then you won’t be disappointed, no “pitch and putt” here! Saipan has championship golf courses with cliff-side holes and views overlooking the ocean.
The Northern Marianas’ resorts and country clubs are captivating experiences on their own, but provide access to all the Mariana islands’ outdoor adventure and exploration of dazzling marine life and a glimpse of the past with jungle treks, cavern dives and night diving.
Between hiking and ATV-ing through diverse terrains, parks and memorials, to hidden beaches and water sports such as windsurfing, parasailing, paddle boarding, banana boat rides and dinner cruises, there is much to attract any US citizen that travels without a passport.
And of course, one more thing, if you happen to walk into a shop of business and one of the locals shouts “half a day!” They aren’t telling you that’s how long it will be before they can help you! Hafa Adai (“huh-fah-day”) is the informal Chamorro greeting for “What’s up, or What’s going on?” Just know you will be greeted warmly and with a smile, even when it takes a “half a day!”
The Last Place You Can Visit Without a Passport: The American Samoas
If you happen to find yourself approximately halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, you might be in the Territory of the American Samoas! Consisting of a chain of five islands and two atolls in eastern part of the Samoan archipelago, American Samoa is a largely undeveloped and unmarred tropical paradise that you can visit without a passport!
This is a destination for those adventure seekers who want to detach, detox, and disappear for a while from the craziness of city life. In the middle of Polynesia, the islands are made up of dense rainforests, volcanic peaks, and unspoiled coral reefs, where only 10% of the area is developed.
Currently the only way to get this US Territory without a passport is from the US mainland to Pago Pago International Airport on Tutuila, is via Hawaiian Airlines from Hawaii. Hawaiian flight service runs select days of the week so scheduling your trip to include the beautiful National Park of American Samoan takes a bit of planning.
Did I mention that the National Park includes sections of three islands: Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta’ū as well as about 4,000 underwater acres? You’ll need to book a flight or boat trip in advance and make the trek over to the remote islands of Ofu or Ta’u towards the beginning of your trip because these transports book up and daily service can vary..
Of all the picture perfect destinations we’ve shown you, the National Park of American Samoan includes an underwater sanctuary with hydrothermal vents, deep water reefs, and some of the largest and oldest Porites coral heads in the world. It is also the only true tropical reef within the National Marine Sanctuary System.
American Samoa offers no chain restaurants or hotels, only the natural beauty and unspoiled authentic lifestyle of the Polynesians. There are many tours or activities you can schedule, or just choose to disconnect and reconnect; you can explore a volcanic island where you may or may run into another person all day.
With over 3,000 years of deeply ingrained American Samoan culture, there is plenty of music, dance, and tradition to experience as well as food like palusami and taro at local markets or cafes.
Of course, one more thing…your trip would not be complete without a ride in a traditional ‘Fautasi‘ or long boat with 40 or more paddlers, and a truly great way to experience fa’asamoa, the Samoan way, and you don’t need a US passport for that trip either!
Can A Us Citizen Travel Out Of The Country Without A Passport?
The short answer is yes, but there are only a few exceptions. Fortunately for us, there are several places where Americans can travel without a passport! But the bottom line, if you think you might want to take advantage of the beautiful and unmarred landscape and Micronesian culture, plan on staying quite a while as you’ve flown almost halfway around the world to get there.
Each of these highly unique and history rich destinations have much to offer and explore. The one best thing each of these territories have in common are the awe inspiring beaches and lush, verdant tropical topography.
Oh and “one more thing” and most important, these are picture perfect places Americans can visit and travel to with a US Passport!
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