Ready for a getaway but don’t have a passport? Check out the top 10 places to travel without a passport to enjoy a much-needed vacation with no passport required!
When Can You Travel Without a Passport?
Anytime you travel somewhere within the boundaries of the United States or to one of its territories, you don’t need a passport. This is considered domestic travel because it’s technically traveling within your home country.
When you travel domestically, no passport is required to enter the state or territory you’re visiting as long as it’s a U.S. state or territory.
The exception to this rule can be when your domestic travel takes you across the border of another country that’s not U.S. territory along the way.
Example: Driving a car to Alaska requires crossing the Canadian border. While Canadian border officials don’t currently require U.S. citizens to show a passport, another valid form of ID will be required (like a birth certificate).
Another instance where you may need a passport even when traveling to a U.S. state or territory is if your travel itinerary includes a stop in another non-U.S. country along the way.
Example: Taking a cruise to the Virgin Islands with stops in U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) and the British Virgin Islands (including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada) does require a passport.
That’s because the British Virgin Islands are not U.S. territories. If your cruise or trip only takes you to the U.S. Virgin Islands, you would not need a passport.
What about when you’re traveling domestically to a U.S. state or territory, but your flight has a layover in a foreign country? You’ll need a passport for that.
Example: Flying to Honolulu from Boston with a 1 hour layover in Toronto means you’ll be boarding a flight from a Toronto airport. This requires you to have a passport to be cleared for the flight back into the U.S.
To sum it up, if your feet only touch U.S. (or U.S. territory) soil without physical border crossing or landing in foreign countries, you should be able to travel without a passport.
If you’ll be on the ground in a foreign country at any point during your journey, expect that you’ll need a passport to travel.
Read Next: Looking for recommendations on where to go, but aren’t sure where to start? Use our destination recommendation tool to recommend destinations that you’ll love!
Top 10 Places to Travel Without a Passport
You already know that you can travel freely anywhere within the U.S. without a passport – and that includes the noncontiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska.
But the United States of America also possesses 5 territories that are unincorporated, permanently inhabited lands that you can also travel to without a passport:
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Puerto Rico
- American Samoa
- Northern Mariana Islands
Some of these places just don’t get enough attention when it comes to domestic travel that feels like you’re going on an international trip.
There are tons of incredible destinations in the contiguous United States and we’ve talked about them in detail. But now, let’s take a look at some of the best places to travel without a passport outside* of the contiguous U.S.!
*We included the Florida Keys on our list, although they’re technically part of the contiguous U.S. They’re the southernmost islands in the States and take you beyond the main shores of the country.
1. Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Few places on Earth can compete with the stunning tropical beauty of Hawaii, and Honolulu (located on the southeastern coast of Oahu) is among the best destinations in the archipelago.
Honolulu is Hawaii’s capital city. While it offers tons of options for accommodations, beaches, dining, and attractions, this island city has remained true to its roots with well-preserved beaches and natural areas.
It’s easily one of the best places to travel without a passport and you’ll feel worlds away from the U.S. when you’re on the idyllic shores of paradise in Honolulu with the majestic Koolau Mountains rising around you.
Famous beaches like Waikiki, Sunset, and Hanauma Bay are must-visit spots in Honolulu. Pristine sand stretches out to the inviting blue waters of the Pacific with surf from gentle to powerful.
Hike through dense tropical forests to volcanic craters and rushing waterfalls, enjoy a dinner at sunset on the beach, dive and snorkel, attend an evening luau, and dance the hula while you’re here.
March through June is the best time to visit Honolulu, and you can find out where to stay in Honolulu by considering what you want to be near – beaches, bars, historic landmarks, or a little of everything.
2. Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
It surprises people to learn that the Caribbean is one of the places to travel without a passport. St. Croix is an incredible and affordable tropical destination that many people consider the best of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
St. Croix has 2 sizable towns: Christiansted and Frederiksted. Christiansted on the Northern Shore is the better of the two and offers the most dining, accommodations, activities, and beach options.
The history here is palpable in the stone archways, old buildings, historic churches, and antique street lamps alongside shady paths that wind through this beachfront town.
The beaches boast pristine white sand and clear, blue water that is inviting year-round.
Come swim, eat fresh seafood at an oceanfront cafe, try water sports, hike around the island, and learn about the history – all without a passport.
3. The Florida Keys, Florida
When you think of an island paradise, you’re picturing gently swaying palm trees, colorful buildings and huts on the shore, wooden piers, waterfront restaurants serving up fresh seafood, and a slow pace that can only happen on island time.
That’s exactly what you’ll find in the Florida Keys. These islands are the southernmost part of the United States and each of the 5 best islands in the Florida Keys has something special and unique to offer visitors.
Key West is the most-visited and popular island to visit, but don’t sleep on the natural beauty of the Lower Keys, the incredible fishing and diving on Marathon and Islamorada, and the parks and snorkeling on Key Largo.
Visit the Southernmost Point of the U.S. in Key West, fish the shallows in Islamorada and Marathon, take ecotours, wander through national parks and nature reserves, swim with dolphins, and bask in the sunshine on warm, sandy shores.
The Keys are home to some of the best beaches in Florida, like Calusa Beach on Big Pine Key, and you won’t be disappointed with the tropical vibes and scenery you’ll find on these close-to-home islands.
Where else can you sample a cool and tangy-sweet slice of Key Lime Pie in the birthplace (Key West) of this refreshing confection?
December through May is generally the best time to visit the Keys, but you’ll find good weather here year-round with comfortable swimming temperatures that never fall below 68F.
4. Cruz Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. John is a haven of natural tropical beauty that rolls all the charm and color of the Caribbean into one gorgeous island that doesn’t require a passport to visit.
About two-thirds of St. John is the perfectly-preserved Virgin Islands National Park, unspoiled by tourism and development. If you want to feel like you’re in a Caribbean paradise that exists just as it did centuries ago, this is the place.
Lush mountainsides teeming with life blanket the scenery in tropical greenery. Dense tangles of mangroves, unspoiled beaches that stretch for miles, and winding hiking trails through the forests make it among the best places to visit, passport or not.
You’ll spot friendly dolphins and sea turtles just offshore in the sparkling, blue water of Cruz Bay. Beachfront bars and restaurants are welcome additions outside of the national park zone and make it easy to enjoy full days on the beach.
Cruz Bay is excellent for beaches and nightlife, but don’t skip a trip to nearby Trunk Bay to swim, play, snorkel, dive, and enjoy incredible views of this naturally beautiful island.
It’s not cheap to visit St. John and there are fewer budget-friendly options for accommodations, but if you can swing it, this is an amazing place to visit without a passport.
Mid-December to mid-April is generally the best time to visit St. John with great weather, little rain, and excellent chances to snorkel, explore the plantations and ruins, and chill at a beachfront cafe.
5. Esperanza, Vieques, Puerto Rico
It’s amazing to think that you’ll only need to pack a bag and grab a photo ID to visit a place as incredible and tropical as Vieques, Puerto Rico. Since it’s a U.S. territory, you won’t need a passport to come see this beautiful island!
Just 6 miles southeast of the mainland, Vieques is one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico and feels like its own island nation. It’s wrapped in all the lush, tropical flora and natural beauty you’d expect for a Caribbean destination.
Esperanza, one of 2 towns on the island, is the best place to stay for gorgeous beaches and views, access to the bioluminescent bay, and neat little shops and restaurants that make your stay feel authentic.
The island overall has over 40 beaches where you can swim, relax, and play. Snorkeling is incredible at Blue Beach, where you’ll be able to swim above 2 coral reefs and watch colorful schools of fish just offshore.
Don’t miss Mosquito Bay, a bioluminescent bay where the waters release an ethereal glow when disturbed by the paddle of your kayak. The glow is most intense around the new moon phase each month.
Rent a golf cart or Jeep to make your way around the island easily. Keep an eye out for the wild horses than run free on Vieques for an amazing sight!
Nightlife, dining, and shopping are great on the island. You’ll also be able to tour the ruins of an old sugar mill, visit the 19th-century Fuerte de Vieques, and discover a hidden black sand beach at Playa Negra.
6. Red Hook, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
The tiny town of Red Hook on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a taste of relaxation and natural oceanfront beauty in one of the most enticing examples of Caribbean islands that don’t require a passport to visit.
St. Thomas is known for its popular white sand beaches, colorful communities, excellent snorkeling and diving, funky island vibes, vibrant local culture, and thriving marine life just offshore.
Staying in the epicenter – Red Hook in the East End – means you’ll be close to all the best resorts, restaurants, attractions, and beaches on St. Thomas, like Coki Beach (great snorkeling, but tends to be crowded).
Beachfront bars and cafes make it easy to eat and drink your way through a lazy beach day here. Hop on a booze cruise to let loose as you take in the tropical scenery of the waters around St. Thomas.
You can go scuba diving, take a ferry over to nearby St. John, charter a fishing boat or take a cruise from the marina, or visit Coral World Ocean Park to see dolphins and sea lions playing in their natural habitat.
You’ll find plenty of accommodations on St. Thomas around Red Hook, from the glitzy Ritz-Carlton to more budget-friendly, family-owned inns that feel authentic and distinctively Caribbean.
We’ve found that April and May are the best time to visit St. Thomas for smaller crowds and delightful temperatures that make beach days truly blissful. Prices also tend to be lower in the spring!
7. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan is an islet you can reach from Puerto Rico’s mainland via 3 bridges. It’s the most-visited place in Puerto Rico and filled with Old World charm, cool historic sites, cobblestone streets, and beautiful Caribbean scenery.
This is a walkable city with most attractions and landmarks easily reachable on foot. That’s how you’ll want to experience Old San Juan – strolling slowly through the town to stop and admire points of interest along the way.
Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and San Juan Bay, this islet boasts tropical vibes and greenery that’s enhanced by the historic architecture (including 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and small-town feel.
Forts built 500 years ago, intricate cathedrals, tasty Puerto Rican fare with Caribbean flavors, salsa music and dance, colorful buildings, and nearby beaches make this one of the best places to travel without a passport.
When you’re on Old San Juan, you’ll want to take guided historical tours to see the landmarks and learn the significance of the old architecture around the island.
It’s a foodie paradise here with mouth-watering dishes bursting with Caribbean flavor and unique ingredient combos. Try a Mallorca with ham and cheese – dusted with powdered sugar, like a Monte Cristo – and street tacos Puerto Rican style.
8. Tumon, Guam
You won’t need a passport to travel to Guam, and Tumon is the island’s tourism capital with vast stretches of pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, excellent diving and snorkeling, and renowned shopping.
Beach-goers will want to head straight to the popular Ypao Beach, the biggest and most historical beach in the area. It’s a little taste of tropical paradise and has family-friendly amenities like grills, an amphitheater, and picnic tables.
Gun Beach, where the calm and zen of gentle waves on the white sand with a jungle behind the beach is juxtaposed with mounted Japanese guns in a tunnel onshore that have been there since WWII.
You can’t visit Guam without diving or snorkeling – it’s world famous for the abundance of marine life. Diving and snorkeling around Guam’s thriving coral reefs and shipwrecks is the perfect way to spend a calm water day.
Tumon’s rich ecosystems mean you can see monitor lizards, flying foxes, coconut crabs, and an amazing array of colorful birds.
Shopping is ideal in Guam because there are so many different shops and boutiques selling everything from luxury fashion and home goods to souvenirs and gadgets. There’s no sales tax, either!
Dance clubs and beachfront bars make for lively entertainment while you’re here and it’s always fun to take a jungle cruise or boat tour of the coves and rock formations around the shore!
January through May is the best time to visit Guam since it’s the dry season, warm, and offers great conditions for diving and snorkeling this time of year.
9. Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa
American Samoa is a U.S. territory that doesn’t require a passport to visit. The island of Tutuila and its capital, Pago Pago, makes an awesome place to visit if you want to experience a faraway land that’s as beautiful as it is rich in culture and history.
Tutuila is the largest American Samoa island and home to an international airport. Volcanic peaks surround its rainforest-filled interior bordering shores where you’ll find coral reefs and beautiful, unspoiled beaches.
When you’re in Pago Pago, you’ll want to hike the many trails through the rainforests to see wildlife, dense vegetation, and great views of the volcanic mountains and beaches.
Set off on Tuafuana Trail near Vatia village, the rugged Mt. Alava Trail up the mountainside, the Lower Sauna Ridge Trail along the northeastern coast, and a small, hidden trail that winds around Cape Taputapu beach.
Speaking of beaches, Tutuila has some great shoreline. Alega Beach is the most popular on the island, but you shouldn’t miss Two Dollar Beach (which actually costs $5 to enter).
Aunu’u Beach has an ATV trail where you’ll see natural rock arches and secluded coves with a volcanic crater lake nearby. Cape Taputapu beach boasts incredible sunsets.
Catch a fiafia show, similar to a luau, in the evening. Your hotel might even host one (like Tradewinds Hotel on Friday nights). While you’re here, taste breadfruit, oka (fish in coconut cream), grilled pork, and fresh seafood.
Getting here can be difficult because only Hawaiian Airlines offers direct flights from the US to American Samoa. You’ll have to book a flight from Honolulu to Tutuila to avoid layovers in foreign countries.
10. Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
A trip to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands (where Guam is the southernmost island and a separate U.S. territory) won’t require a passport and offers an amazing cultural experience in a beautiful beach setting.
Saipan is the biggest island in the Northern Mariana Islands archipelago and the most popular for tourists. The landscape undulates with mountains, hills, and plains along the coasts.
Coral reefs thrive offshore and present great diving and snorkeling opportunities for adventurous visitors who want to see the colorful marine life beneath the waves.
On the northeastern coast, the Grotto is a famous cavern dive site where you can swim down 70 feet in a collapsed cave to see unique formations and abundant marine life.
There’s plenty of WWII history around Saipan, from Banzai Cliff to Last Command Post, where history appreciators can learn about Saipan’s unique role in the war.
The native Chamarro culture here is an interesting blend of Spanish, Mexican, American, Japanese, and Filipino traditions, flavors, and music. It permeates the island’s foods, history, and celebrations.
You can dine on grilled chicken, pork, and steak with steamed veggies and fresh seafood filling your plate as you take in scenic views of the mountains, beaches, and jungles.
It’s a great destination for people who appreciate natural beauty and authenticity. Come to Saipan to avoid big crowds and see the world from a new perspective in a gorgeous place!
Things to Consider
If you’re planning a trip to one of the places you can travel without a passport, you might think that the Freely Associated States are also included in the list of places you can go with a regular photo ID.
But the United States of America does require a passport for U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to fly to and from the Freely Associated States of the Pacific.
Freely Associated States are not U.S. territories and citizens of these countries are not considered U.S. citizens. These countries include:
- The Republic of the Marshall Islands
- The Federated States of Micronesia
- The Republic of Palau
If you’ll be visiting any of these Freely Associated States, you will need a passport just like if you were traveling to a foreign country with no relationship to the U.S.
Another thing to keep in mind as you consider traveling to a U.S. state or territory outside of the contiguous nation is the flight distance and cost.
Since these places are far away, flights are more expensive and much longer than you might be used to if you’ve only engaged in domestic travel.
- U.S. to the U.S. Virgin Islands: 2,270+ miles
- U.S. to Hawaii: 3,700+ miles
- U.S. to American Samoa: 5,980+ miles
- U.S. to Northern Mariana Islands: 7,180+ miles
While traveling without a passport to the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa makes for an incredible experience, you’re in for a long flight up to 20 hours!
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions about the top places to travel without a passport? Here’s a look at the FAQs other travelers had on the topic.
What countries can you go to without a passport?
U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents can go anywhere in the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa without a passport.
The countries outside of the U.S. that don’t require a passport are considered U.S. territories, so all you need to travel there is a government-issued photo ID in most cases.
What Caribbean islands don't require a passport?
The only Caribbean islands that don’t require a U.S. passport are St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas (the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Puerto Rico.
You can freely visit these countries via flight or cruise without a passport as long as you’re not making any stops in foreign countries that are not U.S. territories.
Can I go to Cancun without a passport?
No, you can’t go to Cancun without a passport of some kind. A valid passport book is required unless you’re going by car or on a cruise.
A passport card is acceptable to travel to and from Cancun or other parts of Mexico by land or sea.
Can I go to the Bahamas without a passport?
If you’re traveling to the Bahamas via air, you will need a passport and there are no exceptions.
The only way you can go to the Bahamas without a passport is if you’re traveling on a cruise, when you can use a document that complies with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
Do I need a passport to go to Jamaica?
Yes, you need a passport to go to Jamaica since it’s a foreign country that is not a U.S. territory.
Just like the Bahamas, it’s possible to go to Jamaica on a cruise without a passport as long as you have documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
So, What Are the Top Places to Travel Without a Passport?
From Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, there are some truly stunning places to travel without a passport – and maybe a few that you hadn’t heard of before.
You won’t need to hassle yourself with the drawn-out process of applying and waiting for a passport when you visit any of these 10 spectacular destinations around the world.
Whether you’d prefer a short trip somewhere like the Florida Keys or want to plan a 2-week getaway on the other side of the world in Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands, there are plenty of places to travel without a passport.
The hardest part is narrowing the list down to the spots you can’t wait to visit first!