No U.S. passport? No problem! Your I.D. can still take you far

From the Caribbean to Canada, you can confidently make plans to travel to these destinations with no passport required.

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The United States is a rather large country, so it’s normal to overlook all that is available to its citizens, including travel options. Apps like Instagram constantly tease us with gorgeous places around the world just waiting for us to visit, but in our current circumstances, obtaining a passport can still be a hassle you might not feel like going through right now. And that’s okay! What if we told you there are exotic islands and destinations for you to explore off the mainland that do not require a U.S. passport for entry? Would you book your trip then?

woman on cruise ship theGrio.com
Photo: Getty Images

Luckily for you, this is the case! In fact, there is an abundance of places one can traverse outside of the norm—and outside the country. That includes a ton of islands that are considered U.S. territory, so you do not need a passport to travel. And we’re not speaking of dull places, but islands and stops full of flavor, culture, sun, and slopes so appealing you should not wait any longer to miss them. There are destinations outside of U.S territory you can also visit on closed-loop cruises—that’s a cruise that departs and ends in the same U.S. port but stops in various countries for day trips. 

Whether you are visiting Canada’s British Columbia region through the certified Nexxus program or booking that trip to Hawaii, your travel dreams are not that far-fetched from reality. With just a little bit of preparation and research, you can make your vision come true without a passport. Below is a list of destinations to voyage to free of passport restrictions today!

Puerto Rico

Probably the most popular island of the U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is a dreamy locale full of Latin flavor. From the wide variety of fusion foods that are not just of Hispanic heritage but Asian, Italian, and more, to the waterfalls and trails that overlook city views, P.R. is a top stop you can visit via flight or cruise without a passport. 

U.S. Virgin Islands 

Since 1917, The U.S. Virgin Islands has been a territory of the U.S. made up of the Caribbean islands St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas, with an additional 50 smaller islets, cays, and islands a part of the archipelago. Since it is the territory, you can access any of these islands via flight or cruise without passport trouble. Nicknamed “America’s Paradise”, enjoy a vacation or even a life full of sun and seascape activities with near-perfect beach weather year-round. 

Canada 

If you weren’t aware that it is possible to travel to Canada without a passport, consider this your notification. Nexus is an expedited border control program, established in 2009 as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Through a series of pre-screening processes, travelers are allotted entry into the U.S. and Canada through Nexus, which can take the place of a passport. Enjoy visiting dynamic destinations like British Columbia, Quebec City, and Toronto passport-free today. 

Northern Mariana Islands

Known as America’s best-kept secret, the Northern Mariana Islands are collectively a U.S. commonwealth made up of 14 individual islands, none of which require a U.S. passport to travel. Huddled in the far west, the Northern Mariana Islands are only about 3 hours away from Japan, right above the equator. Established as a U.S. Commonwealth in 1978, you can not only travel to these islands without a passport, you can also live there passport and visa-free!

Closed-loop cruises with stops throughout the Caribbean and Mexico

When looking for an all-inclusive vacation, cruising may be your best bet, and closed-loop cruises are the top in the market. A closed-loop cruise is a cruise that departs and ends in the same U.S. port but stops in various countries one day at a time. If you book a week-long cruise, it is possible to have three different days at sea, with stops at different Caribbean islands in between, each taking up one day. When stopping on the islands through the cruise, you are allotted to leave the ship and spend a day on the island, doing what you please. U.S. passports are not a requirement to participate in a closed-loop cruise as long as you bring other documentation such as your birth certificate, U.S. I.D, or U.S. Driver’s License. Closed-loop cruises have stopped at non-U.S. territories such as Bermuda, Belize, Curacao, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Grand Turks, and Mexico.

Hawaii

You may think of Hawaii as the ultimate Pacific island vacation but remember: Hawaii is an actual U.S. state as well as the only state outside the North American mainland. Therefore, no U.S. passport is required to visit any of the islets that make up the beautiful seascape locale. When you are visiting the country just make sure to be most wary of the dangerous wildlife in hawaii.

Alaska

Although it’s adjacent to Canada, Alaska is a state in the United States of America, located in the country’s northwest extremity. Therefore, you can fly to Alaska without a passport, but you can also drive through Canada to reach Alaska using the Nexus program at the Canadian border and your U.S. citizenship identification cards at the Alaskan borders. 


Noel Cymone Walker theGrio.com

Noel Cymone Walker


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