Traveling within the US doesn’t require a passport; all that’s necessary to enter other parts is having a valid driver’s license or state ID compliant with REAL ID by May 2025.
However, many destinations require passports or REAL IDs. This includes closed-loop cruises to Mexico and Canada as well as trips to islands nearby.
American citizens enjoy unparalleled travel freedom when crossing borders; passports aren’t necessary! From beaches with tropical island vibes, stunning glaciers, or historical landmarks – everything can be experienced within its borders without needing one.
Domestic air travel allows you to use state or military ID, PIV card issued by the federal government or REAL IDs issued by federal facilities – this requirement goes into effect May 2025 so be sure that you have one!
Hawaii is one of the best places in the United States without needing a passport to explore, offering stunning beaches and tropical paradise, bustling cities such as Honolulu and Waikiki and an incredible foodie scene – ideal for unwinding or beginning an exciting journey full of shopping, sightseeing and great cuisine! Plus Disney World and other theme parks make Hawaii an excellent family destination.
As long as you possess government-issued ID, proof of citizenship, and a ticket for outward passage within 30 days, traveling in U.S. territories without needing a passport can be done effortlessly. This includes visiting American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico which provide everything from beaches to historic culture.
Travel in US territories is unique because its residents enjoy varied relationships with Congress and varying constitutional protections. Some territories even give residents the right to vote in federal elections and serve on juries; other territories don’t.
American Samoa and Guam, two incorporated US territories, enforce certain provisions of the US Constitution while nine unorganized US territories in the Pacific (Midway Atoll, Baker Island, Jarvis Island, Howland Island, Palmyra Atoll etc) do not. Besides five inhabited US territories there are nine unorganized US territories each boasting their own culture; whether you’re seeking tropical adventure or educational exploration the US territories offer something for everyone!
U.S. Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are among the top Caribbean destinations for Americans without passports, offering stunning beaches, exotic wildlife, vibrant culture and stunning snorkeling sites like Trunk Bay with world-class snorkeling opportunities and historical ruins to discover. Situated about 1,000 miles southeast from Southeast Florida, these tropical islands are sure to satisfy your Caribbean travel desires!
For traveling to the USVI, all that’s necessary is an official non-expired government-issued photo ID and plane ticket. Green card holders should consider carrying their immigration papers with them just in case an emergency arises.
Small islands like these boast significant efforts toward sustainable tourism and practices to protect their beaches, natural land and marine environments. Be sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen when visiting these tropical treasures; this includes products with the toxic “Toxic 3 O’s”, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene ingredients known to damage coral reefs as well as kill or sting sea turtles.
Spanish Virgin Islands
The Spanish Virgin Islands (SVI), with their classic Caribbean charm and alluring anchorages, make an essential stopover for sailors and adventurers. SVI’s easternmost islands make for uncrowded anchorages and an array of sea excursions; their uncrowded beaches are home to rare flora and fauna as well as unexplored coral reefs; nature lovers will delight at finding rare plants and creatures found there; on land you’ll experience traditional Criollo cuisine as well as festivals that give an insight into its blend of African, European, and Taino cultures – giving an insight into these exciting Caribbean islands!
As opposed to American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico – which require US passport holders a valid passport to visit – SVI are open and welcoming for travelers without one. A favorite among sailors, SVI can easily be reached with direct flights from many cities into San Juan and then aboard private yacht charter manager can suggest itineraries that explore Culebra and Vieques main islands as well as smaller islets and cays dotted about. Don’t forget your snorkel gear and fishing poles because SVI waters offer some of the finest diving, fishing and lobstering spots in all the Caribbean!
British Virgin Islands
After experiencing a winter storm that caused havoc across much of the US, some may wish for an escape to the British Virgin Islands. Do I require a passport for travel there? Yes; however it depends on your individual plans.
Passports are required of cruise ship passengers visiting the British Virgin Islands, as well as anyone arriving via private watercraft. Yachts entering Tortola may also require all relevant documentation and crew members must possess valid passports (for details regarding visa requirements for your nationality of citizenship please check with a U.S. embassy/consulate). The BVI Customs and Immigration Office in Road Town on Tortola can clear them for entry as long as their captain possesses it all and all crew members possess valid passports – for which clearance can be granted from them via Road Town on Tortola as long as yachts arriving by private watercraft or yacht utilizing Tortola’s Customs and Immigration Office on Tortola can clear them for entry as long as their captain provides all documentation necessary. Once at Tortola the BVI Customs and Immigration Office is Road Town can clear yachts provided their captain has all documents needed and crew members possessing valid passports (check with your national or regional U.S. Embassy or Consulate for Visa requirements specific to your country or citizenship status.)
Visitors flying into St. Thomas or St. John who wish to take day trips to the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) should be aware that a passport will be needed to enter these British-owned islands. Ferries run regularly between Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke Anegada and Cooper Island and offer an affordable and easy way of exploring them all.