Spontaneous travel plans are the best travel plans. But the one thing that always gets in the way of spontaneity when it comes to travel is a passport. However, there are several places that you can travel to without a passport. In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport. Doesn’t matter if you forgot to renew your passport, lost it, or just haven’t gotten around to acquiring one, the world is full of fantastic places that you can travel to from the United States without harbouring a passport.
From sandy white beaches to snow-capped mountains, you will be left awe-struck by the many culturally vibrant and beautiful destinations that you can travel to without having a passport in your possession. So, instead of waiting for the State Department to process your passport in eight to eleven weeks, consult our article on the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport, and add a little spontaneity to your life.
Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport – A Quick Glance
Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport – An Overview
U.S. Territories and Within USA – Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
The US harbours five overseas territories that can be visited by American citizens without a passport. These destinations are not only the best places to travel to without a passport but are as beautiful as they are accessible.
1. Puerto Rico – Culturally Vibrant Latin American Island Residing in the Caribbean
Among the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport, Puerto Rico is the one that is the most vibrant. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Puerto Rico garnered immense popularity for both remote work and leisure travel. The year 2022 proved to be the strongest year in Puerto Rico’s tourism history, and completely turned its tourism tide. During the year a tourism revenue of roughly $8.9 billion was generated, a 39% increase over the previous 2019 high. When the calendars flipped to 2023, it was reported that the number of events booked in Puerto Rico just for the month of January was 81% higher than last year.
Puerto Rico is also applauded for being the largest Latin American island in the US territory, and its airport San Juan, receives flights daily from the major airport hubs in the States. Those visiting Puerto Rico will be greeted by beautiful beaches and served delicious culinary delights. Summer is especially the best time to visit the place as you will be able to attend numerous summer festivals like Festival del Mojo Isleño and El Festival de las Flores.
Puerto Rico is the land of endless diverse experiences. When in Puerto Rico you can either explore the distant islands of Vieques and Culebra or you can go surfing in Rincon. Hike lovers can trek to the historic lighthouses near Cabo Rojo. You can also paddle atop Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays, a rare phenomenon that is found in three separate locations i.e., Mosquito Bay on the island of Vieques, La Parguera in Lajas, and Laguna Grande in Fajardo.
Other hotspots in Puerto Rico include the tropical rainforest of El Yunque, serene waterfalls that are hidden within the mountainous landscape, as well as historic landmarks that include El Morro, which is a Spanish fortification that was built in the year 1539. All in all, Puerto Rico is one of the best places to travel to without a passport that offers you a plethora of recreational options from lounging by the crustal clear waters, on the white sand, against the backdrop of crashing waves and squawking seagulls to hiking amongst the lush nature of the island, discovering waterfalls, and basking in the serenity and tranquility of the place.
2. ST. Croix, US Virgin Islands – A Multicultural, Laid-Back Caribbean Destination among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
The U.S. Virgin Islands has been an official U.S. territory since the year 1917, therefore a passport is not required for U.S. citizens wishing to visit the place. Among the three main territories in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is the largest one, offering a plethora of beautifully tranquil beaches, lively downtown, as well as adventure excursions throughout its vast expanse.
Despite not being as famous as some of the other Caribbean islands, St. Croix carries a unique charm, adorned with natural beauty, and immersed in rich history and culture. Its vast size is one of the main reasons why St. Croix was added to the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport list and one of the pivotal reasons why you should plan your visit to the destination.
Its sheer size allows you to get away from the crowded tourist areas and enjoy your time surrounded by calmness and tranquility. When it comes to adventures and activities, ST. Croix harbors a diverse collection from hiking to biking to snorkeling. The hiking trails weave along the island’s ridgeline and offer a glimpse into the natural beauty and deep history of the Caribbean.
When it comes to beaches, nature blessed ST. Croix with the most beautiful white-sand beaches. Buck Island Reef National Monument is one of the territory’s best beaches and harbors a dazzling coral reef. Moreover, the island also harbors a seven-acre park i.e., Christiansted National Historic Site, that is managed by the U.S. National Park Service and harbors five historic structures including a Fort.
Christiansted National Historic Site is at the centre of the island’s deep history and provides a glimpse into the life in the Danish West Indies during 1733. St. Croix is also home to Salt River Bay, which is a bioluminescent bay and was the landing site for Christopher Columbus when he was on his journey to the New World.
3. Guam – The Most Gorgeous Destination among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
In the Pacific Ocean, Guam is the most recognized of the three U.S. territories and is quite easy to get to, with flights departing from Honolulu, Hawaii, on a regular basis. However, when traveling to Guam without a passport, be mindful not to enter any other country on a connecting flight. Upon arriving in Guam, you will be met with a paradise-like destination lined with stunning white beaches, harboring exotic wildlife, and seeped in intriguing culture and history. It is quite difficult not to be besotted with Guam once you set eyes on its ethereal beauty.
Many vacationers visit the paradisaic destination to enjoy aquatic pursuits, from mesmerizing coral reefs to ancient shipwrecks, Guam has got it all. For fun in the sun, Guam offers water sports like kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and parasailing. Lovers of hiking can take advantage of the many hiking trails offered by the place and break a sweat or two.
One of the most popular places in Guam that is a must-visit is the Two Lovers Point in Tamsung. It is one of the most iconic places in Guam and harbours lookout points that offer breathtaking views of the Philippine Sea. Two Lovers Point narrates a timeless, and bittersweet tale of eternal love, the tale from which it got its name.
The story goes that long ago during the Spanish colonial era, the daughter of a wealthy Spanish businessman fell in love with a Chamorro man who belonged to a modest family. Just as all love stories go, the girl’s father arranged for her to wed a powerful Spanish captain. Upon finding her daughter’s affair the father ordered her to marry the captain at once. However, on the day of the wedding, she slipped away to meet her lover.
Once the girl’s family realized she was gone, they chased the two lovers up to the cliff above Tumon Bay. Upon finding themselves trapped between the edge of the cliff and the approaching soldiers the two tied their long black hair and jumped into the roaring waters below, never to be seen again. Despite being a site that carries with it a tragic story, Two Lovers Knot is an absolutely breathtaking place and is a must-visit with the love of your life.
4. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands – The Most Stunning among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
Of the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport, St. John is undoubtedly the most stunning, natural, and possibly the most beautiful one. Two-thirds of the island comes under the protection of Virgin Islands National Park and offer stunning hiking trails, historic ruins, and beautiful beaches. St. John is applauded for harboring some of the most stunningly beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, that feature clear waters, and white sandy beaches. As most of the island is undeveloped and protected, its beaches are pristinely clean and devoid of all kinds of pollution.
St. John is also home to a number of historical and cultural sites as well as epic hiking trails. The two main towns on the island Cruz Bay and Coral Bay are starkly different, with Cruz Bay being one of the liveliest villages in the Caribbean and Coral Bay being a forgotten reclusive community. St. John is also recognized as one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, with a low crime rate, and hospitable locals. Inhabited by a total of 3,645 people, according to the 2020 census, the island is home to extremely kind people who welcome tourists warmly to their homeland.
5. Oahu, Hawaii – The Most Popular among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
After the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii tourism made a major comeback and the number of visitors arriving to the Hawaiian islands increased up to 14.2% in 2023 according to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. However, in August 2023, tragedy struck Hawaii as wildfires engulfed Maui killing nearly 100 people and leaving many more without homes.
During that devastating time, tourists were discouraged from visiting Maui, so that all the resources could be dedicated to the island’s first responders and residents. Even though the tourists listened, the entire state was left in shambles, with the tourism numbers dropping throughout all of Hawaii. This drop in tourism has been quite challenging for the other Hawaiian Islands as they depend immensely on tourism dollars.
Even though Maui isn’t up and running yet, it is encouraged to visit other places Hawaii has to offer in order to lend a helping hand to the locals. Oahu which is home to the state capital of Honolulu is one of the best places to travel to without a passport and is also quite beautiful with a plethora of recreational options. On your trip to Oahu, you can visit the Polynesian Cultural Center that offers cultural presentations including poi tasting, lauhala weaving as well as an evening luau that pays tribute to Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last ruling monarch.
Oahu is also home to lush rainforests, world-renowned beaches, and iconic landmarks. Chill by the beach as you gaze at the crashing waves or explore the island and find gems hidden in its lush expanse. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the place or enjoy fresh local foods from small towns. Oahu is the place that will offer you many recreational options throughout your visit.
Closed-Loop Cruise Destinations – Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
A closed-loop cruise is the type of cruise that begins and ends at the same port. The cruise makes plenty of stops in foreign nations, allowing voyagers glimpses of foreign lands. Many closed-loop cruises allow travelers to board without a passport and travel to the stunning Caribbean and Central American countries. To board a closed-loop cruise, you will need to present the following documents as proof of citizenship:
- A government or state-issued ID
- An original birth certificate
We would still recommend carrying a passport with you as even though a closed-loop cruise does not require travelers to bring a passport, bringing one along is a good idea. You might miss your boat in a foreign nation, and flying back to the United States without a passport can be a bit of a hassle. Without further ado let’s take a look at the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport via a closed-loop cruise.
6. Bermuda – #1 Destination among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport via a Closed-Loop Cruise
Bermuda is a British Overseas territory that is lined with pink sandy beaches. It is one of the most popular destinations for closed-loop cruises departing the northeast coast of the United States. The British Virgin Territory is known for its unique architecture, stunning natural wonders, and colonial history. Embark on a closed-loop cruise and witness Bermuda’s beautiful golf courses, tour its historic forts, and make your taste buds dance by devouring the excellent dining options Bermuda has to offer.
You can opt for sailing aboard Celebrity Cruise Line’s Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Eclipse in order to travel to Bermuda without a passport. The cruises depart from a U.S., port, travel to Bermuda for a few nights, and then return to the same U.S. port they departed from.
7. The Bahamas – The Most Accessible among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
The Bahamas is a large archipelago nation in the Atlantic Ocean and harbors pristine beaches near multiple cruise ship ports. It is one of the most accessible places to travel to from the United States without a passport and is a popular cruise destination. Due to its proximity to the United States, some cruise lines offer three-day cruises from Florida, providing a great opportunity to snag a good deal on a whim. Many people have to ignore last-minute deals due to passport applications. However, that is not the case with closed-loop cruises, as they allow boarding without a passport, facilitating spontaneous travel.
You will find excellent dining, shopping, and water sports activities in many ports like Nassau and Freeport. Travelers are also given the option to opt for a day pass to mega resorts like Atlantis, and Baha Mar, both of which welcome cruise visitors. To visit the Bahamas without a passport, visit the Celebrity Cruise Line website and book a cruise on the Celebrity Summit or the Celebrity Eclipse, both of which don’t ask for a passport when boarding.
8. Jamaica – Offers the Most Beautiful Mountainous Landscape among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
Jamaica is a large and beautiful Caribbean Island that is a popular port for closed-loop cruise ships. It offers two cruise ports between Montego Bay and Kingston. Cruisers wishing to see the place can board a closed-loop cruise and enter the country without a passport to witness its mountainous landscape that is peppered with waterfalls and coffee farms. In Jamaica, ocean-based activities like snorkeling and sailing are also quite popular. So, if you are coveting an ocean adventure, but don’t have a passport, consider bearding a closed-loop cruise ship that will take you to Jamaica, one of the best places to travel to without a passport.
9. Belize – Best for Water Activities among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
Belize is a Central American country that is famous for its water sports like scuba diving. Thanks to closed-loop cruises, voyagers can enjoy the top best thing to do in Belize, i.e., scuba dive at the Blue Hole without a passport. This is a once-in-a-lifetime dive, and all scuba diving enthusiasts are encouraged to try it at least once. The dive is reachable from Belize City which is the country’s principal cruise port. The mesmerising Blue Hole dive is an open water sinkhole that descends over 400 feet in the middle of a pristine coral atoll.
10. Costa Rica – A Tropical Paradise among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
Costa Rica is a Central America County that is recognised as a tropical paradise and is an ideal vacation destination for the lovers of nature as it houses exotic animals and is biologically diverse. Voyagers wishing to visit the place can board one of the many closed-loop cruises that leave California’s Pacific Coast and make their way south to Costa Rica, specifically Puntarenas. From there, visitors can easily enter the country without a passport and gain access to the Central American country’s pristine beaches, protected rainforests, and diverse wildlife viewing opportunities.
A Bonus Destination
The Cayman Islands – Most Dazzling among the Top 10 Best Places to Travel to Without a Passport
The Cayman Islands is a tiny string of three tropical islands in the Caribbean and comes under the umbrella of British Overseas Territory. It is one of the few tropical paradises that come under the United Kingdom flag and might be the most dazzling of them all. American citizens can board a closed-loop cruise to visit the Cayman Islands without a passport. George Town is the island nation’s cruise port. Here passengers unload to discover its pristine waters, and endangered species, and engage in ocean-based activities.
Best American Express Credit Cards for Travel
Carrying cash on travel is equally as dangerous as it is a hassle. Therefore, frequent travelers should carry credit cards with them as not only are they convenient but also a safe transaction option. So, before departing on a trip to one of the destinations mentioned above in the top 10 best places to travel to without a passport list, make sure to check this article: Best American Express Credit Cards for Travel by Finance Firefly, a website where they answer all of your financial questions.