Are you ready for a vacation but haven’t applied for or renewed your passport? Luckily, there are some amazing places outside of the contiguous 48 states that U.S. residents can visit without needing a passport. It sounds too good to be true, but you can still go on an exotic vacation without this important document. (Still make sure to bring a valid ID or birth certificate with you!) Consider one of these destinations the next time you want to plan a passport-free vacation and avoid international hassles.
Hawaii – The Hawaiian Islands are extremely scenic with lush earth and clear waters. The cool thing is that there are several Hawaiian Islands to choose from, each different. You can visit the city or go to a smaller, less populated island. You can also check out Pearl Harbor and active volcanoes.
American Samoa – These volcanic islands are actually a remote U.S. National Park, with beaches and rainforests. Only a few thousand people visit the island each year, so it is a very private experience. It hasn’t been Americanized yet, so you won’t see many hotels or commercial businesses.
Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico isn’t far from the U.S. and flights are fairly inexpensive for those living on the East Coast. You can visit Old San Juan and the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System, El Yunque National Forest.
Guam – Guam is the only U.S. territory west of the International Date Line. In fact, the westernmost point in the territorial U.S. is here at Point Udall. A major part of the land is occupied by the U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy bases. Flights to Guam cost more than the other destinations on the list, but the resort prices are pretty affordable.
U.S. Virgin Islands – Not to be confused with the British Virgin Islands (which you DO need a passport for), the U.S. Virgin Islands have three main islands – St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. Each has something different to offer. Trunk Bay Beach in St. John is a top 10 beach in the world. St. Thomas offers duty free shopping. Point Udall in St. Croix (same name as in Guam) is the easternmost point in the U.S.
Northern Mariana Islands – These islands are close to Japan and Korea. There are more than a dozen islands but only 3 are inhabited. It’s one of the more interesting places on the list, as they had first been colonized by Spain, then governed by the Japanese before they became a U.S. territory.
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