Dependent upon your travel destination, a passport may not be necessary; but before setting out on any journeys of discovery make sure your ID complies with REAL ID compliance.
As long as you are a US citizen, no passport is needed to visit certain destinations within the US. Here are a few suggestions.
How Americans travel into Canada is dependent upon how they plan to get there; driving, taking a boat or cruise ship trip or crossing over land borders does not require a passport; however if flying is involved a passport will be needed – even at border crossings which allow air travel – although programs like Nexus passport card may help with crossing land borders but cannot be accepted when flying internationally.
Travelers entering Canada from the US must present either a valid passport book, an acceptable alternative such as a NEXUS card, SENTRI card, Global Entry card or an enhanced Driver’s License as proof of travel documents. When traveling with minor children they can also present certified copies of birth certificate(s), Consular Report of Birth Abroad/naturalization Certificate.
Border Services officers often conduct searches of electronic devices like computers and mobile phones at the border by accessing their contents if they contain illegal materials, possibly leading to arrest or even prosecution for travelers who possess them. Therefore it’s advisable for travelers to carry a valid passport.
Many travelers may not realize they can visit Alaska without needing a passport, yet this captivating destination makes the US seem far away. Alaska also is susceptible to natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires and tsunamis which pose threats for travel.
While flying directly to Alaska from another US state won’t require a passport, the trip still counts as international travel since the route will pass through Canada. If going on a cruise that doesn’t stop in Canada however, then bringing along your passport may not be necessary.
If your cruise includes Canada, be sure to bring a valid passport or document compliant with WHTI for crossing the border. Furthermore, according to the CDC you will be required to be fully immunized against Hepatitis A and B prior to entering Canada.
As well as your passport, you will also require government-issued photo identification such as your driver’s license or birth certificate. When traveling with children they require notarized approval statements from both their parents or guardian as well as proof of identity documents such as an original birth certificate or Social Security card to ensure they won’t become separated from their family in case they get lost.
The US government has relaxed passport requirements for travelers visiting its territories, such as Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. When air travel is involved however, all individuals, regardless of age, including children under 16 must possess an valid passport to fly internationally unless travelling with parents/guardians/proving citizenship via birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
Travelers traveling by land do not generally require a passport for most entry points into Mexico. Requirements vary depending on how and where one travels within Mexico; most US citizens can enter using either their passport book, card, or SENTRI (Secure Electronics Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) card which allows easy border crossing while meeting minimum Mexican requirements.
A SENTRI card is similar to a passport in that it includes information such as photo, name, nationality, place of birth, issue date and expiry date as well as its own unique passport card number. Other forms of documentation that may be used for land travel include valid US driver’s license/state ID cards/official travel documents such as boarding pass/hotel reservations etc. Additionally those travelling as part of groups such as churches/educational/social organizations/etc may present these travel documents along with letters of consent from legal guardians/legal guardians presenting these documents with their legal guardians giving their legal consent letters for them.
So long as your travel is within the United States, a passport isn’t necessary. Instead, national ID cards like driver’s licenses can still be used as photo identification; just be sure it meets REAL ID compliance before May 2025!
American citizens can also take advantage of many destinations across their own nation without needing a passport, from world-renowned cities to tropical paradises. No matter your preference in terms of nature, culture or history; America offers something for everyone!
St. Thomas is an idyllic Caribbean island offering beautiful beaches and luxurious culture, and many activities such as watersports and snorkeling at The Grotto. Additionally, Culebra and Vieques islands nearby provide additional secluded beaches as well as unique hiking experiences for visitors.
Guam Island offers travelers looking for a tropical escape the perfect tropical paradise destination. Renowned for its luxurious culture and stunning beaches, lush forests, and historic landmarks; top attractions on Guam include Micro Beach, Mount Tapotchau, Banzai Cliff. Travelers wanting an immersion into Polynesian culture should also visit its neighboring Northern Mariana Islands which do not require passports from Americans.