Who said you have to have a passport to be well-traveled? While it’s true that your passport can unlock a whole world of travel, it’s also true that you don’t need it to visit some truly incredible places. So whether you lost your passport, forgot to renew it, or are just looking to get your travel legs under you on a pseudo-international trip, it doesn’t matter—you can still travel to so many places without a passport. All you need is an ID and a plane ticket, and you can experience it all, from ancient history and WWII sites to stunning beaches and vibrant cultures. So, if you’re ready to travel, it’s time to pack your bags and head to these beautiful places you can go without your passport.
Table of Contents
- 6 Beautiful Places to Travel Without a Passport
- What Other Places Can You Travel to Without a Passport?
- Should You Travel Without a Passport?
- You Don’t Need a Passport to Travel; You Just Need Next Vacay
6 Beautiful Places to Travel Without a Passport
While there aren’t endless places you can travel outside the US without a passport, the ones you can offer experiences truly unlike any other. From the glittering Caribbean to the peaceful Pacific, here are six breathtaking places to travel with a passport.
1. Puerto Rico
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is the largest territory of the United States. A wealth of Latin culture, Caribbean views, and mindblowing natural marvels easily make it one of the best places to travel without a passport. Whether it’s food, sea, history, or nature, Puerto Rico does not disappoint.
Start with a taste of the island life, where a bite of empanadillas or tostones (the Puerto Rican french fry) will immediately alert your senses that you’re not in Kansas anymore. Then, you’re ready to dive into the island and its wonders.
For many, the sea calls them to discover Puerto Rico’s 270 miles of coastline, offering up beach after beach after, well, you get the idea. Puerto Rico is home to nearly 300 beaches, from the lively shores of Carolina to the tranquil beauty of Cabo Rojo. Puerto Rico also sports two popular offshore islands. Vieques offers beautiful, myriad-colored sands while Culebra boasts world-renowned beaches, but both promise a quieter and more relaxing beach Eden.
History has also left a distinct mark on the island of Puerto Rico. Blue cobblestone streets and colorful pastel buildings bring the oldest city in the United States to life. The traditional Spanish architecture of old San Juan immediately captures the imagination, inviting visitors on a tour through history.
On top of historical landmarks, Puerto Rico’s natural marvels delight, from three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays to the only national tropical rainforest in the US at El Yunque National Forest.
How to Travel to Puerto Rico Without a Passport
So, what do you have to do to kick back and enjoy a refreshing sip of piña colada where it was first made? Puerto Rico is easily accessible to all American citizens, even those without a passport, thanks to plenty of cheap daily direct flights and very few travel documents required. Just an ID and boarding pass will have you on your way to one of the most incredible—and inexpensive—places you can travel without a passport.
US Virgin Islands
The only other Caribbean Islands that citizens in the United States can fly to with minimal travel documents are the US Virgin Islands. Here, travelers have their pick of three gorgeous places to travel without their passport, from the culture-rich St. Thomas to the historic island of St. Croix.
2. St. Thomas
Beautiful beaches and pulsing beats characterize the island of St. Thomas. While not very big, its size has little bearing on the incredible beauty, history, and adventure of this modern paradise. In St. Thomas, travelers are treated to the best of both worlds, with a cosmopolitan center backed by rolling hills and picturesque mountains. White sand beaches spill into shimmering turquoise waters and verdant tropical landscapes hide infinite adventures.
Charlotte Amalie is the bustling center of city life in St. Thomas, with a unique blend of history and culture, from the 17th-century Fort Christian to the second-oldest synagogue in the world, St. Thomas Synagogue. In addition, the city is a duty-free shopping destination, which makes the luxury stores on Main Street all the more enticing. Between lively bars, busy streets, and a bustling port that sees cruise ships coming and going daily, St. Thomas is the pulsing heartbeat of the US Virgin Islands.
But despite the city’s high energy, it’s also like any tropical island at heart: laid-back and breezy. Whether sunbathing beneath the palms at picturesque Magen’s Bay, catching the harbor views from a gondola lift over the island, or wandering the colorful streets of Frenchtown, island time is alive and well on St. Thomas.
3. St. Croix
The largest among the US Virgin Islands, St. Croix offers up some of the richest history in the US.
The island has flown the flags of seven different nations. Colonized by Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta, Denmark, and the United States, St. Croix sports a fascinating blend of history and architecture in conjunction with its mix of African, European, Caribbean, native Crucian, and American cultures. The result is an island bursting with diverse sights and tastes, from the savory bites found along Christiansted Boardwalk to the colorful walls of Fort Frederik, where the Danish governor emancipated enslaved people in 1848.
After absorbing Crucian culture in the twin cities of Christiansted and Frederiksted, the eastern coast of St. Croix calls. Considered the easternmost point of the United States, Point Udall is where the sun touches US soil first, and the scenic views are nothing short of mesmerizing whether viewed at sunrise or midday. On the opposite side of the island lies Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, a gorgeous stretch of beach that’s only open for a short time on weekends outside the period of April to August, which is turtle nesting season.
Between visits to sugar estates, horseback riding along the beach, and diving at one of only three underwater national moments in the US, St. Croix promises storied walks through history and endless beauty, from the bustling city centers to its sun-kissed shores.
4. St. John
The pearl of the US Virgin Islands, what St. John lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty. Regarded as the most pristine of the three islands, St. John promises breathtaking beaches, scenic overlooks, colorful corals, and so much more. While the island provides plenty in the way of land and history, like the Annaberg Historic Trail, which traverses restored plantation ruins, or the famed petroglyphs carved by Indigenous Taino, St. John’s natural features are what bring visitors back to its shores time and again.
What makes St. John genuinely unique is that the Virgin Islands National Park takes up the vast majority of the island. Over 5,500 acres, the park entices visitors with trails through lush forests, uncrowded white sand beaches, and beautifully vibrant coral reefs. Explore St. John’s fascinating flora along Francis Bay Trail or take in some scenic views with a hike along the Ram Head Trail. Spend time strolling along Cinnamon Bay, one of the longest beaches on St. John, or head to picture-perfect Trunk Bay, counted among the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Even the waters team with colorful fish and leatherback turtles, ensuring you don’t have to travel far for spectacular sights no matter where you go.
How to Travel to the US Virgin Islands Without a Passport
Whether visiting St. Thomas, St. Croix, or St. John, you’ll only need a non-expired, government-issued photo ID and a plane ticket. With those two items in hand, flying to the US Virgin Islands is as easy as traveling, well, anywhere else in the US.
5. Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are more commonly known as the Marianas. Like Hawaii, the Marianas are an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean. While it’s compromised of fourteen islands, only three typically see visitors: Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
Saipan is the largest of the Marianas, boasting glittering white sand beaches and dramatic seaside cliffs. Some of the latter, like Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff, serve as memorials to those who jumped from the steep bluffs during the battle of Saipan. Others serve as cliff-side holes for golf courses, overlooking jaw-dropping sea views.
While the island of Tinian is known for being tiny, it’s also known for the big mark it left on history. Tinian served as an air base during WWII and the launching point for the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even before that, its history runs deep, as evidenced by the ancient Chamorro latte stones found at the House of Taga, said to be the remains of a mystical chieftain’s home.
Finally, referred to as “Nature’s Treasure Island,” the island of Rota gets more visitors than it has residents. Once you dip below the waves, it’s not hard to see why. The waters surrounding Rota burst with beauty, from collapsed limestone caverns to vibrant coral reefs and mesmerizing shipwrecks filled with everything from stingrays to white-tip reef sharks.
Graced with warm weather, fringed by leafy palms, and surrounded by gorgeous turquoise waters, the Northern Mariana Islands feel like a remote island getaway unlike anywhere else in the US.
How to Travel to the Northern Mariana Islands Without a Passport
While a passport isn’t necessary to get to the Northern Mariana Islands, it is a bit trickier than flying to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands because of its location in the Western Pacific. Most flights to get here will involve a stopover or two. So if you want to visit the Marianas without a passport, you must ensure your stops don’t include international airports like Incheon in South Korea or Narita in Japan. But, so long as you select flight routes with layovers in domestic airports, the Northern Mariana Islands are one of the top places to travel without a passport.
Guam is another tropical oasis in the Pacific Ocean, sporting miles of beautiful beaches, infinitely gorgeous views, and thousands of years of history.
While it’s easy to feel as if you’ve seen one tropical beach, you’ve seen them all, Guam still manages to delight with its unique charms and stunning beauty. Ritidian Point is one of the island’s most well-known beaches, offering spectacular views backed by limestone cliffs and verdant jungle. For a more remote and rugged oasis that travelers can virtually claim to themselves, the warm waters of Tagachang Beach await.
As for the views, none stick out quite like those famously jaw-dropping panoramas from Two Lovers Point. Extending over the cliff face, the iconic site is legendary both for its story of ill-fated lovers and its breathtaking views over the Philippine Sea.
When you’re not enjoying the sun and sand or drinking in the view, Guam is a land steeped in stories stretching from Magellan’s arrival in 1521 to WWII and into the modern day. Guam’s past is on show as much as its present, with demonstrations of traditional culture at Gef Pa’go, WWII artifacts in the Pacific War Museum, and vibrant local fairs and entertainment at the Chamorro Village Night Market.
Guam’s spirit makes this tiny island in the Pacific a giant in every traveler’s heart.
How to Travel to Guam Without a Passport
Like the Marianas, travel to Guam can be a bit more complicated when traveling without a passport. Located just south of the Northern Mariana Islands, you’ll also have to contend with multiple layovers to get to Guam. Before leaving, ensure your flight route doesn’t include any international locations that would require you to travel with a passport.
What Other Places Can You Travel to Without a Passport?
Curious to see where else you can go without a passport? Once the travel bug bites, you won’t want to stop. So here are some places you might not have known you can travel without a passport, and how you can go there!
Can You Go to Canada Without a Passport?
Thanks to the shared border between the US and Canada, US citizens can technically travel to Canada without a passport. The catch is that you need another form of identification, like a Passport card, NEXUS card, or Enhanced Drivers License. In addition, you can only travel by land or sea. We think it’s a small price to pay to be able to admire Canada’s sprawling beauty up close and in person without a passport.
Can You Go to Mexico Without a Passport?
Mexico is another destination US citizens can technically travel to without a passport in hand. In place of a passport, travelers must simply present a passport card, a SENTRI card, or an Enhanced Drivers License. Minors can travel without a passport but will need a birth certificate for identification purposes to re-enter the United States.
Can I Go to Hawaii Without a Passport?
Absolutely! If you’re an American citizen or permanent resident, you don’t need a passport to travel to Hawaii. The only document you’ll need for travel, starting in May 2025, is a REAL ID-compliant identification card, such as a driver’s license, to board.
Keep in mind that if your flight is scheduled to make an international stop, such as a layover in Canada, you will need a passport to travel in that instance, just as you do anytime you travel to a foreign country. But, as long as you’re flying directly from the west coast or have a layover anywhere in the US, you can fly to Hawaii without a US passport.
Can You Go on a Cruise Without a Passport?
While you can’t indiscriminately travel on cruises without a passport, specific routes allow American citizens to cruise without one. Referred to as closed-loop cruises, these routes begin and end in the United States, negating the necessity of having a passport that you’d find with a cruise beginning or ending in a foreign destination.
While closed-loop cruises exclude routes to the Mediterranean, the British Isles, or the South Pacific, they do include some rather popular highlights like the Caribbean, Alaska, and Hawaii, to name a few.
Should You Travel Without a Passport?
The answer is it depends. Traveling without your passport within the United States is common. No one will ask you for your passport if you’re flying from Chicago to Los Angeles or from Atlanta to St. Thomas, and you’re unlikely to run into a scenario where a passport is needed.
That said, when you start traveling to places like Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, it can get tricky because those flight routes often include layovers in foreign airports. Even if you book a flight with all domestic layovers, your route may change, or an emergency could force your plane to land somewhere unexpected. In those cases, you could be delayed due to inadequate travel documentation. So, while it is one hundred percent possible to travel to some beautiful places without your passport, bear in mind that for some destinations, having a passport handy will be more convenient and less of a hassle if things go wrong.
You Don’t Need a Passport to Travel; You Just Need Next Vacay
Passport or no passport, the world is waiting for you. And whether you want to discover all of it or just our little corner of the world, Next Vacay can help make it happen. With deals to domestic highlights like Puerto Rico, Guam, and more, as well as international destinations around the world, you can be a well-traveled globetrotter whether you have a passport or not. So, what are you waiting for? Take to the skies and find your next adventure with Next Vacay!