There’s nothing more anxiety inducing than searching for your passport the day before a trip. In 2023 we’re channeling chilled travel energy so why not cut out the stress and travel without a passport? From tropical beaches in different time zones to amazing places on the mainland, here’s our guide to some mind-blowing places you can travel without a passport.
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are an unincorporated island territory of the United States and that means no passport required. St. Thomas is the most popular cruise ship spot in the Caribbean, and it doesn’t disappoint with aqua waters, white sandy beaches and friendly locals offering foods such as callaloo stew and fish & fungi.
St. John, US Virgin Islands
St. John is one of the best places to snorkel in the Caribbean. You don’t have to swim far from shore to find turtles, rays and colorful coral reefs. The smallest of the USV islands, it is considered the most unspoiled and is definitely one for outdoor lovers. More than 50 hiking trails crisscross the island.
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
St. Croix has a storied past. Owned at various times by the Spanish, Dutch, English, French, Danish and even the Knights of Malta, you’ll see relics of all this history across the island. Add perfect beaches, incredible local street food and water sports and you have a great vacation without a passport.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
A short flight from most US cities you can experience the rich culture and Caribbean beauty of Puerto Rico. As another territory of the United States, you won’t have to show your passports here. San Juan, once a fortified city, is now the capital of Puerto Rico and the old town is full of romantic cobbled streets, plazas, colorful houses and historic buildings.
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Culebra is a peaceful tropical island with beaches often voted as some of the best in the world. It is surrounded by cays and reefs which make it a hotspot for divers and snorkeling. About a 30-minute ferry ride from San Juan, Culebra is pure tropical paradise. Don’t miss Flamenco beach, one of the most idyllic you’re likely to see.
Key West, Florida
Back on the US mainland, Key West is just as tropical as any Caribbean island. People come here for the water sports, snorkeling and national parks. It’s a place to travel without a passport and you can avoid renting a car as most attractions are super close together. As well as outdoor activities, Ernest Hemingway’s house and the bars of Duval Street are essential places to visit.
Art deco architecture, beautiful beaches, high end shopping and world-famous nightlife make Miami one of the US's most popular cities for tourists. South Beach is perfect for people watching and in Little Havana you can experience the Latin American culture and incredible food. Warm weather all year round helps too.
Anna Maria Island, Florida
This beautiful seven mile stretch of land sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida peninsula and features white sand beaches, clear blue water and open-air seafood restaurants. Come here to experience old world Florida charm, go dolphin spotting, or just lay out and soak up the sun.
Santa Catalina Island, California
Just an hour's ferry ride from busy southern California is this rugged island with great beaches, hiking trails, charming coastal towns and abundant wildlife. Check out the beautiful bay, restaurants and shops in Avalon or if you’re more active try diving, snorkeling and boat trips to spot local wildlife.
It may be 2000 miles across a vast ocean, but you bet Hawaii is a place you can visit without a passport. Oahu is the third largest island and home to most of the island’s population. You can experience bustling city life or laid-back surf towns and soak up the culture and traditions of the native Hawaiian people.
This dramatic, verdant island is also known as the Garden Island and it's not hard to see why. Tropical rainforests cover towering cliffs and deep valleys are broken by vertical waterfalls. This island is all about the outdoors, from hiking and kayaking to ziplining and snorkeling.
Honolua Bay on Maui is one of the best surf spots in the world and there are plenty more beach and reef breaks on this island. It’s also got a volcano to hike, tropical water to snorkel in, a rich traditional culture and incredible whale watching opportunities.
A mere 7,000 miles away from the US mainland and 1,400 from the Philippines, this little island in Micronesia is known for its tropical beaches, traditional villages and ancient stone pillars. As well as coconut trees, sandy beaches and coral reefs it has a 4,000-year history including Spanish colonialism and WW11 battle sites.
Forming the eastern part of the Samoan archipelago, this US territory is home to Polynesians with a strong and proud Samoan culture. There are no 5-star hotels here but great options for eco-tourism, the endless Pacific Ocean, rainforests, coral reefs and the friendliest of locals.
So, without the stress of searching for or renewing that little blue passport you can still be lazing away your days on tropical beaches or discovering cultures far away from the US mainland. We’d say it was about time to pack your bags.
Long story short...
While we encourage you to explore the above destinations, keep in mind many of them are home to native communities that deserve your respect and support when you visit. Please take some time to learn and research about native cultures and traditions before your trip and what actions you can take to reduce your impact and empower locals.
Written by Laura Sedlak