Where Can You Travel Without a Passport?(USA 2022)
There are several ways you can travel without a passport from the USA.
Are you planning a quick break and suddenly realised your passport is expired? Or perhaps you’ve lost it, the dog ate it or you never had one in the first place.
The good news is that there are plenty of places you can travel to from the US, even without a passport!
The options include the US states, which are completely free to travel between, other US territories and even certain countries with special allowances as listed below.
Table of Contents
Can You Travel Outside the US Without a Passport?
In a nutshell, there are only a select few places that you can travel to outside the US that doesn’t require a passport.
Traveling to other countries will normally require a passport and in some cases, a travel Visa that allows you to visit these countries for a short period only.
If you overstay, you can be punished if you didn’t have special permission to remain in that country for excessive lengths of time.
This usually isn’t a problem since most people who go outside the US to these special locations are only visiting for a short vacation anyway.
Traveling outside the US, where you don’t need a passport is very different. In fact, one advantage is that there is no time limit given if you decide to stay longer for any reason!
What US Territories Can You Go To Without a Passport?
A US citizen can freely travel to other states and U.S. territories without a passport.
If you do not want to go out of the country, you can always choose a destination inside the USA. Each state offers different cultural and natural wonders. There are so many tourist attractions to visit in the United States and each place tells the unique and flourishing story of the state you are visiting.
There are also many U.S territories you can visit without US Passport.
The US territories a US citizen can travel to without a passport are:
- Puerto Rico
- The US Virgin Islands
Puerto Rico is a small island destination located in the Caribbean.
It’s only 1000 miles away from Florida, so most people travel by plane to get there on the same day. You also don’t need a passport to visit this incredible destination, which has so many amazing sights and tropical beaches.
You do need to bring your valid ID which can be a standard ID card or a driver’s license. You also must present your birth certificate otherwise you will be turned away.
If you don’t have a current birth certificate, it’s easy to obtain a copy of this at the hospital where you were born. They have the original on file and will gladly make a copy that will have an official stamp that proves this is a copy of your birth certificate. If you are traveling by boat on a Closed-Loop cruise ship, then you can enter Puerto Rico with just these two documents.
Any other location that requires a passport will otherwise keep you on the boat where other guests are visiting until they return.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Puerto Rico?
St Thomas – The US Virgin Islands
St. Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands and is a holiday spot for U.S Citizens where they can soak up the sun, with passport-free travel!
So the good news is that U.S. citizens can travel to St. Thomas without a passport.
The trip to St. Thomas is classified as domestic travel, and as such the following documentation will be accepted:
- Photo ID Drivers license
- U.S. Passport or Passport card.
- U.S Department of Defense ID
- Permanent Residency ID from U.S. Department of Defense.
- State-issued driver’s license
- Foreign Government issued passport
- Transportation workers ID
- Veteran Health Care ID
Just make sure to bring as many documents with you as you can, including your birth certificate if you have it available. An expired passport will also be a bonus.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To St Thomas?
A US citizen can travel to Guam without a passport as long as they have a valid driver’s license or some other form of government-issued identification.
The suggested docs are the same as above, with a SENTRI card, birth certificate and REAL ID being recommended.
While there are no passport requirements for US citizens traveling to Guam, it is always to take your passport with you just in case.
Find out more information on the Visit Guam immigration site.
What Countries Can You Go To Without a Passport?
There are certain countries outside the US where you are able to travel even without a passport.
Each of these countries have their own rules and requirements you will need to be aware of.
Here are some of the countries with special exceptions:
If you are planning to go to Mexico, you can drive overland to get there without a passport.
Mexico is an interesting destination that many people have enjoyed visiting for many decades. This is one of the few places where you don’t need a passport, but there is a catch to this.
While a standard ID would be considered just fine for crossing the border, Mexico requires that US citizens present a passport card which is also called a SENTRI Card. This is short for Secure Electronics Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection.
This is presented to border officials when you enter and leave Mexico by car or in a vehicle. If you travel in a car, you will also need an import permit for that vehicle.
You will also need to provide a completed FMM (Multiple Migratory Form) and a completed health declaration form. You also need to show hotel reservations and return tickets.
While it is possible to travel overland to Mexico without a passport, it is not possible to fly in or out.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Mexico?
Whether or not you need a passport to get to the Bahamas depends entirely on how you get there.
United States citizens can travel to the Bahamas by sea without requiring a passport. That means if you’re on a cruise or taking a day trip from Florida, you won’t need a passport to enter the country. Anyone traveling by air will still require a passport from their home country.
The Bahamas are one of the most popular cruise destinations on the planet, and the islands help facilitate this tourism boom by creating laws making it easier for travelers to arrive by boat.
Maritime passengers are allowed to use other forms of ID to enter the country, including a passport card, an enhanced driver’s license, a trusted traveler card, or a U.S. military ID.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To The Bahamas?
U.S. citizens can travel to Canada without a passport, but there are restrictions.
Travelers must have a valid government-issued ID like a driver’s license or state ID.
Additionally, they may be asked to show proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
US citizens are also not required to carry a passport when flying into Canada. However, they are required to present a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
Where Can You Travel on a Cruise Without a Passport?
There are certain countries US citizens can travel without a passport to, as long as they are traveling on a closed-loop cruise returning to the US
Here are several countries that you can visit without a passport while on a cruise:
- St. Lucia
- Cayman Islands Antilles
- St. Kits and Nevis
- The British Virgin Islands
Just be sure not to miss the boat, as you will not be able to ‘catch up’ with the boat at the next port of call without a passport!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do You Need a Passport To Go To Hawaii?
Since Hawaii is part of the US states, there is no need to have a passport when flying to Hawaii. There are however some new rules about the type of ID that you do need to show when going to Hawaii.
According to the latest news that will be enforced for 2023, you will need to have a REAL ID instead of a standard state-issued ID. These IDs will only be cleared at TSA checkpoints when you are traveling in the Airports.
The main difference between a REAL ID is very simple since the state that you’ve been issued a REAL ID has an image of your home state within a box marked with a star or the word ‘Enhanced’.
If you already have this type of ID, then you don’t need to worry. If you’re planning on traveling in 2023, and your ID isn’t upgraded to the new REAL ID, then you’ll need to go to your local DMV to update your information.
Any children you bring with you do not need any passport and also there’s no need for a valid ID if they’re under 18 years of age. Babies will need an ID that’s using a birth certificate only and children or teens can use a school ID.
Do You Need A Passport To Go To Cancun?
Cancun is a part of Mexico and therefore follows the same rules.
A passport is required for all air travel from the United States to Cancun, Mexico. All international travelers must also have a passport to gain entry into Cancun.
A passport is not required when traveling by land or sea, but it is always recommended to carry a valid passport with you when traveling internationally. Therefore taking a road trip to Cancun and returning overland is possible without a passport.
It is also recommended that travelers have a valid passport when traveling throughout Mexico as identification.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Mexico?
Final Thoughts on Traveling Without a Passport
While it is possible to travel without a US passport to many places, it can certainly be more difficult.
It’s also well worth obtaining a SENTRI card or passport book, just in case.
The most important thing is to do your research beforehand and make sure you have all the relevant documents with you.
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.