Demand for passport renewal has skyrocketed, leading to long renewal wait times for American citizens. But there are still plenty of tropical destinations you can visit this summer.
The US Virgin Islands offer luxurious culture and breathtaking ocean views, or visit Honduras’ Copan for ancient ruins. Or travel without passport to Canada by taking advantage of closed-loop cruises that start and finish in the United States.
Northern Mariana Islands
Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are mountainous islands boasting sandy shores and spectacular water sports activities. Saipan island serves as a center for shopping and dining with American chain establishments like Pizza Hut and Hard Rock Cafe offering American classics, while local eateries provide traditional Chamorro fare like chicken kelaguen and donne sali pepper – dishes prepared using both ingredients found throughout CNMI.
Though not as easily accessible as other Caribbean destinations, US citizens can still fly there without needing a passport by having a non-expired government-issued photo ID and plane ticket. Guam, a tropical paradise at the southernmost end of Mariana Archipelago can also be reached without passport; though travel here might prove more challenging due to its remoteness and long flight routes but nonetheless remains feasible for those without one.
CNMI waters offer mesmerizing underwater sights, from sunken Japanese warships and vibrant coral reefs, to bioluminescent bays on Tinian and Christianted National Historic Site which offer glimpses into life on Danish West Indies beginning in 1733.
Due to lengthy passport application processing times, many travelers are finding it hard to obtain their travel documents in time for their journey. Luckily, there are still plenty of exciting destinations within the US which can be enjoyed without needing a passport – for example American Samoa in South Pacific boasting beautiful beaches and abundant marine life is one such spot that should not be overlooked!
Tutuila and Ofu are home to natural harbors framed by volcanic peaks – including 1,716-foot Rainmaker Mountain. Additionally, American Samoa National Park provides stunning scenery amidst tropical rainforests and coral reefs.
Samoa offers visitors a vibrant culture dating back more than three millennia. At its center lies an extended family, and elders are deeply revered. You may witness sacred siva dance performances; enjoy traditional Samoan food in village kitchens; or spot women wearing traditional lavalava and puletasi garments.
American Samoa enjoys year-round heat, so light cotton summer clothing is recommended. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen should also be packed. In villages slacks or shorts are acceptable while women should dress modestly when visiting churches. Locals speak both Samoan and English fluently while most businesses conduct their business transactions in English – visitors should bring along with them their passport, certified birth certificate, proof of employment proof as well as tickets for onward travel to do business here.
Guam, a US territory in Micronesia, is famous for its tropical beaches and Chamorro villages. A popular family destination, the island offers a diversity of cultures including Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans and Vietnamese populations. History can be seen through sites like Asan Beach War in Pacific National Historical Park or Fort Nuestra Seora de la Soledad located atop Umatac’s bluffs.
Visitors to Guam can sample its delectable cuisine, which blends Asian, Spanish and Pacific Island influences to produce unique local flavors. Popular dishes include grilled chicken and pork, red rice and Chamorro barbecue – popular favorites on this tropical paradise island. Meanwhile, shopping options abound, from malls offering luxury brands to smaller shops selling local handicrafts.
Travelers from within the US or its territories may not require a passport when entering Guam; however, travelers from foreign countries will require either a passport or REAL ID in order to board their flight. Due to COVID-19 pandemic delays, however, travelers can currently use enhanced driver’s licenses or passport cards instead of REAL ID as alternative forms of identification when flying directly into Guam; in this instance though a copy of your birth certificate will also be needed for TSA screening purposes.
Puerto Rico, situated in the Caribbean Sea just east of Dominican Republic, is one of the Greater Antilles islands and boasts its own distinct culture in every sight, taste and sound encountered on this tropical paradise. Locals speak both Spanish and English – often using “Spanglish.” San Juan serves as Puerto Rico’s capital city brimming with great restaurants and charming Danish architecture.
San Juan offers much to see and do, but visiting its beaches should not be neglected. On the Western side of the Island is an incredible playground for surfers; rent surfboards or kayaks or snorkel in bioluminescent bays to enhance your surfing experience! In addition, travelers should visit Puerto Rico National Forest or Yokahu Observation Tower for breathtaking views of its mountains and beaches.
Puerto Rico is serviced by multiple airlines that provide nonstop flights from major US cities. Travelers from within the US are able to visit without needing a passport as long as they present government issued photo identification whereas foreign visitors require passports as their means of entering. After May 2025 all driving licenses will have to comply with Real ID Act in order to serve as valid forms of identification.