Person holding a US passport.

7 Places Americans Can Visit Without a Passport

A U.S. passport can take months to receive. If you don’t want to wait that long, you’re in luck. Americans can travel to these seven places outside of the States without a passport.

1: Puerto Rico

View of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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Known as “the island of enchantment,” the tiny island of Puerto Rico sits approximately 1,000 miles from Florida. Travelers seeking a tropical getaway don’t need a passport to enter Puerto Rico as it’s an unincorporated territory of the United States. Puerto Rico offers stunning hiking trails, gorgeous beaches, and historic sites like Old San Juan.

2: Guam 

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Situated in the North Pacific Ocean, Americans visiting Guam can do so freely without a passport. That said, you must have a valid ID like a driver’s license. Guam is just under 6,000 miles west of San Francisco and offers travelers some of the best scuba diving experiences in the world.

3: St. John 

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St. John Island, one of the many US Virgin Islands, is ideal for couples seeking a romantic vacation. The territory is known for its friendly locals and warm weather. With approximately 20 square miles of land, tourists can expect to be amazed by the crystal-clear blue beaches and immaculate white sand.

4: St. Croix

View of St. Croix.
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St. Croix is one of the most populated US Virgin Islands and doesn’t require a passport for Americans to visit. The island attracts thousands of visitors annually and is a hotspot in the Caribbean tourism industry. It offers beautiful colonial architecture, scenic mountain views, and amazing restaurants.

5: Northern Mariana Islands

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Travelers who visit the Northern Mariana Islands can comfortably put their passports away, given its US territory status. The island offers visitors various activities like scuba diving, hiking, and relaxing beaches. The Northern Mariana Islands has a population of over 58,000 residents and is known for its friendly atmosphere.

6: American Samoa

View of American Samoa.
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Calling all ecotourism lovers! American Samoa is a U.S. territory in the South Pacific. It encompasses seven eye-candy islands and atolls. Rainforests, coral reefs, and soft sand beaches await Americans who choose to visit, no passport required.

7: Canada

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Until June 1, 2009, Americans could travel between the U.S. and Canada via land and sea with only a driver’s license and birth certificate. The good news for those who don’t carry a passport? You can now enter Canada with a NEXUS card, which offers travelers the added benefit of time-saving perks at border crossings.

Passport cards also work for crossing the Canadian border, which is a cheaper version of a traditional passport. If you’re traveling with someone under the age of 16, they don’t need a NEXUS or passport card to enter Canada; proof of U.S. citizenship is sufficient.

What’s Up With US Territories?

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Apart from being comprised of 50 states, the U.S. has 14 territories, which Americans are free to travel to without a passport. United States territories have voting and other rights that are different from those of the mainland U.S.

Travel Is Trending

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Approximately 56% of Americans 18 years and older own a passport. People in urban suburbs and big cities are more likely to own a passport than certain other communities, with those in evangelical hubs and Native American lands having the statistically lowest percentage of passport holders.

A Cruise, Anyone?

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Certain cruise routes don’t require Americans to have a passport. For example, the Caribbean cruise line Carnival offers cruise packages that depart and arrive in ports like Baltimore and New Orleans.

The Grueling Wait

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As of now, the US Department of State (DOS) says it can take six to eight weeks to receive a passport. That’s significantly lower than last year when the wait time was sometimes over three months. Mailing times aren’t included with these numbers, meaning you may have to tack on up to an additional four weeks of wiggle room, according to the DOS.


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If you have a trip coming up soon, you can apply for an expedited passport that will take two to three weeks to process. Remember to account for extra time if you choose to mail your application.

A Better Option

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Should you be traveling within 14 days, bring your passport to a US embassy or consulate in person. That way, you may be eligible for the “expedited at agency” clause.


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If you have a family emergency, the US offers a life-or-death emergency appointment to tourists who need to travel internationally within three business days. A family member outside the United States must have passed away or had a life-threatening illness to qualify.  

Traveling Without ATM Fees

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How does never paying an ATM fee when you travel abroad sound? Discover the trick to doing just that from a traveler who’s saved hundreds of dollars in ATM fees.

How To Never Pay an ATM Fee Abroad

10 Countries Americans Want To Relocate To

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Whether you’re reading this as an expatriate or you’re thinking about moving abroad, millions of Americans have been in your shoes. A study analyzed the most common countries Americans want to relocate to. Does the country you dream about living in make the cut?

10 Countries Americans Want To Relocate To

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