The United States is a larger landmass in comparison to Europe, which means that as a US citizen you can travel from one state to another in the same amount of time it may take to travel between two European countries. You do not need a passport to travel between states since all 50 states are part of the United States of America.
The United States also owns territory in the Pacific Ocean that have particular requirements for traveling without a passport. Prior to 9/11, travel rules between the United States, its territories, and adjacent nations were less stringent than they are now. Most of the time, you must travel with a passport, but there are always a few exceptions.
The following nations allow you to travel without a passport:
- Puerto Rico
- US Virgin Islands
- Northern Mariana Islands
- American Samoa
Please bear in mind that traveling without a passport in certain countries and US territory is normally only possible by land or water, and if you go straight there, you will still need to provide some kind of acceptable identification.
To enter Puerto Rico, you need not need a passport. This tropical island is located in the Caribbean, about 1,000 miles away from southeast Florida, and you can visit anytime as long as you have a valid ID card or birth certificate. You may enter without a passport even if you are not a US citizen but a lawful permanent resident.
While you are in Puerto Rico, you can visit some of the best beaches in the world, enjoy a variety of water sports, go on hiking trails, and you can even take a kayak to Mosquito Bay where the water glows. Overall, if you don’t want to deal with the headache of applying for a passport, Puerto Rico is the perfect holiday location.
US Virgin Islands
This group of islands is also located in the Caribbean and to enter there you won’t need a passport- of course, you still need a type of valid ID document when you travel. The US Virgin Islands have been a part of the United States since 1917, when Denmark ceded them to the United States, and you may now visit the archipelago and spend your vacation there.
You may visit three of the major islands during your vacation: St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. There are a variety of activities you can do; from visiting the Virgin Islands National Park up to snorkeling in the Trunk Bay.
Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are a US territory situated in the northern Pacific Ocean. There are 14 islands in the archipelago, with Guam being the southernmost island, but an independent territory. Because the islands are US territory, you won’t need a passport to enter and exit the archipelago. As in other US territories, you must have a valid ID card or birth certificate.
Saipan, Tinian, and Rota are among the most visited islands, with Saipan being the biggest. Between these islands, you can see some pretty amazing sights, such as Micro Beach, Mount Topachau, Banzai Cliff, and many historical sights.
American Samoa is another fantastic spot for a holiday without a passport. This US territory consists of various islands surrounded by breathtaking scenery. However, this territory is one of the most difficult to reach since flights there are rare and usually you have to enter via Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Located in the North Pacific Ocean, US citizens can enter the island without a passport, provided they have proof of citizenship or valid ID. This is one of the Mariana Islands’ most populated islands and is great for a summer vacation.
The island offers some of the greatest beaches in the world, including Ypao Beach Park, as well as a wonderful climate. Additionally, it has a rich cultural heritage and history and you can even visit two different warships deep in the ocean- relics from World War I and World War II.
If you are going by land or water, you do not need a passport to visit Canada. However, you must have a passport or a NEXUS card. A NEXUS card is a type of traveling document that allows you to travel through the Canadian border through an expedited procedure. This is a joint program between Canada and the US, so the application process to get a NEXUS card is overviewed by both countries.
If you fly to Canada, you cannot enter the nation with only a passport card; you must also have a passport or a NEXUS travel document.
You may now visit Mexico without a passport if you have a passport card or an improved driver’s license, according to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (EDLs). An EDLs is a travel document that proofs your identity and your US citizenship and makes your travel experience easier and faster when you enter Mexico by land or by sea.
You may also use your EDL to enter Canada or other US Caribbean territory. However, you have to keep in mind that you can use your EDL or passport card only if you are traveling by land, if you fly to Mexico you need your US passport.
Furthermore, minors under the age of 16 may travel to Mexico without a passport by using just their birth certificates (applicable only to travel by land).
Because Alaska is a state of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter the state. However, if your flight is a layover in Canada, you need a passport when you arrive at the airport.
If you are going on a closed-loop cruise that travels in the Western Hemisphere and that leaves from the same port and returns to the same port, then you don’t need a passport- a valid ID suffices. However, be certain that the cruise will not visit any other nations or territories outside of the United States that may need the use of a passport.
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