Where Can I Travel Without a Passport? (2024 Edition)

where can I travel without a passport

Dreaming of international travel but don’t have a valid passport? Tired of the fees, paperwork and hassle required to renew your expired documents?

Good news—you can still satisfy your wanderlust without the restrictions of a passport. Let’s take a look at places where you can travel without a passport in 2023.

Key Takeaway: 5 exotic places US citizens can travel to without a passport:

  1. Puerto Rico
  2. The US Virgin Islands
  3. American Samoa
  4. Guam
  5. Northern Mariana Islands

Where Can I Travel Without a Passport in 2023?

#1. Puerto Rico

As an unincorporated US territory, Puerto Rico allows US citizens to visit without needing a passport.

All you need is proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, passport card, or REAL ID compliant driver’s license.

You can find plenty of direct flights to Puerto Rico from major US airports, especially along the East Coast.

Flights take 3-5 hours from cities like New York, Florida, and Atlanta. Upon arrival in Puerto Rico, US citizens are not subject to customs checks.

As part of the US, Puerto Rico uses the US dollar, English is commonly spoken, and US cell service works seamlessly.

But Puerto Rico offers a vibrant Latin culture with Spanish colonial architecture, stunning beaches, rainforests, and delicious Caribbean cuisine.

One of the main draws of Puerto Rico is its coastline. With miles of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, it’s a paradise for beach lovers.

Popular activities include strolling Old San Juan’s blue cobblestone streets, swimming at bioluminescent bays, touring rum distilleries, hiking through El Yunque rainforest, and indulging in fresh seafood like mofongo and arroz con gandules.

For nature lovers, the tropical El Yunque rainforest is a haven for biodiversity, with numerous hiking trails that lead to breathtaking waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints, and unique flora and fauna.

Puerto Rico makes for an easy tropical getaway for US citizens without the time and cost of applying for a passport.

With just proof of citizenship, you can experience Puerto Rico’s beauty and culture.

From the popular tourist spots like Condado Beach and Isla Verde to the more secluded shores of Flamenco Beach in Culebra, there’s a beach for every preference.

#2. The U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, offer captivating beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history.

As a U.S. territory, visiting these islands is as easy as traveling within the country.

St. Thomas, the most populous of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is known for its stunning beaches and duty-free shopping.

Spend your days lounging on the soft sands of Magens Bay, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Trunk Bay, or exploring the vibrant streets of Charlotte Amalie, the capital city.

For a more laid-back and nature-focused experience, head to St. John. Two-thirds of the island is protected as Virgin Islands National Park, offering pristine beaches, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife.

Trunk Bay, with its famous underwater snorkeling trail, is a must-visit, as is the picturesque Cruz Bay, where you can find charming shops, restaurants, and galleries.

St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, boasts a rich history and a unique blend of cultures.

Explore Danish colonial architecture in Christiansted, visit the historic Fort Christiansvaern, or take a scenic drive along the coast to admire the island’s natural beauty.

Don’t miss the chance to taste the local cuisine, which is influenced by African, European, and Caribbean flavors.

Whether you choose to visit Puerto Rico or venture into the U.S. Virgin Islands, passport-free travel within the United States offers an array of unforgettable experiences.

From pristine beaches to historical landmarks, these destinations provide a taste of paradise without the need for international travel.

#3. American Samoa

American Samoa is another US territory that allows easy entry for US citizens.

You don’t need a passport to visit American Samoa. You just need to bring a document that verifies your US citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport card, or enhanced driver’s license.

There aren’t any direct flights to American Samoa, so you’ll need to connect through Hawaii or other Pacific hubs when flying from the US mainland.

When you deplane in American Samoa, you’ll go through customs where officials will check your citizenship documentation.

As an American territory, US federal laws apply in American Samoa. US currency is used, cell phone coverage is provided by US companies, and you have all the rights of being in the States.

However, American Samoa has a unique Polynesian culture and way of life.

It’s known for its breathtaking tropical scenery, beaches, coral reefs, and traditions like village festivals, cooking, and music.

Some popular activities for visitors are hiking through rainforests to waterfalls and volcanic crater lakes, swimming with sea turtles, embarking on boat tours to spot dolphins and whales, and attending a traditional umu feast. American Samoa is 11 hours behind Eastern Time.

Like Guam, American Samoa has visa waiver programs with several Asia-Pacific countries that make visits easier.

Overall, as a US citizen, you can readily visit this South Pacific paradise with just your birth certificate or other proof of citizenship.

#4. Guam

As a United States territory, Guam allows US citizens to visit without a passport.

All you need to enter Guam is a document proving your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport card, or enhanced driver’s license.

With one of these documents, you can book a flight from any US state to Guam on a domestic commercial airline.

There are no direct flights, so your journey will connect through major hubs like Hawaii, Japan, or Korea before arriving in Guam.

Upon arrival in Guam, you will go through US customs and immigration where officers will verify your citizenship documentation. Be sure to have your document on hand when disembarking.

As a US territory, Guam provides all the rights and protections of being in the States. You can use US dollars and your cell phone service will work just as it does at home.

Guam is an tropical island located 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

It offers beautiful beaches, excellent scuba diving and snorkeling, World War II historical sites, and a unique CHamoru indigenous culture.

Popular activities for visitors include boating through Guam’s jungle rivers, exploring historic caves, and attending cultural festivals.

An additional benefit of Guam’s status is its visa waiver programs with many Asian countries. Visitors from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and others can enter Guam with ease.

#5. Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands are an interesting passport-free destination for US citizens to visit.

This US commonwealth territory allows entry solely with proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, passport card, or enhanced driver’s license.

There are several options for direct flights to the Northern Marianas from locations like Japan, Korea, China, and Guam.

Otherwise, you can connect through hubs in Hawaii or the West Coast. Upon arrival, you’ll go through US customs and immigration using your citizenship documentation.

As a US commonwealth territory, the Northern Marianas use US currency, English is widely spoken, and US cell service works normally.

The islands offer a mix of indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian cultures along with American influences.

The landscape is lush and tropical with white sand beaches, crystal blue waters, and rugged terrain.

Activities include world-class scuba diving and snorkeling, jungle safari tours to see artifacts from World War II, visiting traditional latte stone sites, and indulging in fresh seafood and local cuisine.

The Northern Marianas are 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Like Guam and American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands participate in visa waiver programs with many Asian nations.

This allows those visitors easy entry as well. For US citizens, the Northern Marianas deliver an exotic Pacific island getaway without the need for a passport.

#6. Cruise ship travel

Thanks to cruise ships departing from and returning to the same US port, American citizens can enjoy tropical vacations without the need for a passport.

Known as “closed-loop” cruises, these trips allow travelers to visit multiple destinations while only needing proof of citizenship like a birth certificate or driver’s license.

Popular closed-loop cruise itineraries depart from ports like Miami, Galveston, and Los Angeles.

They might stop at destinations such as the Bahamas, Caribbean islands, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and even Hawaii.

Since the ship both originates and concludes in the US, passport-free travel is permitted.

Regulations still require a passport for closed-loop Hawaii cruises beginning/ending in California. For all other domestic routes like Miami to the Caribbean, travelers just need proper identification.

Closed-loop cruises lasting longer than 48 hours may also require you to have a certified birth certificate and government photo ID.

With a closed-loop cruise that reenters the US, citizens can experience beautiful vacation spots without the time or cost of a passport.

Just be sure to bring proper citizenship documentation so you can easily re-enter the country.

Passport-free travel within the United States

One of the major benefits of US citizenship is the ability to freely travel between all 50 states without a passport.

Whether driving cross-country on summer road trips or catching last-minute flights for business meetings, it’s easy to explore the entire country using just a driver’s license or other government-issued ID.

From Hawaii to Maine, Alaska to Florida, American citizens can crisscross the country and territories freely using just their state ID.

Some forms of acceptable identification for domestic US air travel are:

  • Driver’s licenses
  • State-issued ID cards
  • US military IDs
  • Permanent resident cards
  • Tribal IDs

Children under 18 can provide their school ID, birth certificate, or be listed on a parent’s ID.

Land and sea travel between states typically only requires a driver’s license or other state ID. You can also use these for boarding domestic flights.

However, designated “REAL IDs” or other enhanced licenses may soon be required for air travel under federal law.

With the diversity of landscapes and cultures across the United States, domestic travelers have endless destinations to experience without international flights.

The Concept of Passport-Free Zones

Passport-free zones are designated areas where travel between countries within the zone can be done without presenting a passport. There are several of these zones around the world. Here are some examples.

The Schengen Area (European Union)

The most well-known example of this is the European Union’s Schengen Area, which enables effortless movement across 26 European countries.

This agreement allows residents and citizens of Schengen member states to travel freely for tourism, business, or work throughout most of the European Union without a passport.

Countries in the Schengen Area include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Citizens of Schengen countries need only show a national ID card or driver’s license to cross borders and pass through immigration checkpoints.

The open border policy enables convenient train and road travel across Europe. While random customs checks can still occur, passports are not mandated.

The Schengen Area also approves short-term tourist visas allowing visitors from outside the EU to travel freely within the zone for up to 90 days. 27 nations even permit travel without a visa.

By eliminating internal border controls, the Schengen Area exemplifies European integration and enhancement of economic ties between member states.

Citizens can easily live, work, study and travel across a vast region spanning from Iceland to Greece.

Gaining dual citizenship with any country in Europe would allow you to have the exact same rights – not just to travel freely, but also to live, work, study, and retire in any of the EU countries, plus the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland.

CARICOM (The Caribbean Community)

CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) comprises 15 member states including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Citizens of most CARICOM nations can travel between member countries without a passport. All that is required is a national identification card and proof of citizenship like a birth certificate. CARICOM countries also allow visa-free entries for visits up to 90 days.

This open border policy enables convenient travel for tourism, education, business, and employment within the Caribbean region.

Residents can island hop to enjoy picturesque beaches, diverse cuisines, cultural festivals, and historic sites across the West Indies.

To improve economic integration, CARICOM also has agreements for skills certificates, social security benefits, and tax information to be transferable between countries.

There are also ongoing efforts to introduce a universal CARICOM driver’s license and ID card.

By removing passport requirements, the CARICOM Single Market aims to encourage free movement and closer political ties between Caribbean countries.

Citizens can easily live, work, or study abroad within this tropical island region.

Mercosur (South America)

Mercosur is an economic and political bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Citizens of Mercosur member states can travel freely without a passport between these countries. All they need is a national ID card.

The open borders policy enables easy travel for tourism, business, and employment throughout much of South America.

Citizens can explore the region’s cosmopolitan cities like Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro or head to beaches, jungles, and wine regions. Major land border crossings exist between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay and Brazil, and other neighboring countries.

Just like the European Union, the Mercosur residency agreement allows citizens of member states to live and work in other countries in the bloc without needing a visa or work permit.

Students can also study tuition-free at public universities throughout Mercosur.

To facilitate travel, agreements are also in place for mutual recognition of professional licenses like medical and law degrees.

Mercosur continues working to allow drivers’ licenses and vehicle registration to be valid across borders as well.

The open border policy has strengthened cultural and economic ties between South American neighbors.

For regional citizens, passport-free Mercosur provides the chance to easily explore and reside in nearby countries.

Bilateral agreements

Nordic Passport Union

Some countries also have bilateral agreements that allow passport-free travel between them.

For example, the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) have a long-standing agreement, the Nordic Passport Union, that allows their citizens to travel freely within the region without a passport. Greenland is also included in this agreement.

This arrangement, which predates the European Union, promotes cultural exchange and strengthens the ties between these nations.

Common Travel Area (UK & Ireland)

The UK and Ireland have maintained a common travel area since 1923, which allows British and Irish citizens to travel freely between the two countries without a passport. They can also live and work in either nation without restriction.

Even after Brexit, the common travel area remains in place, enabling convenient border crossing for tourism, business, study, and employment.

British citizens can enter Ireland by showing a UK driver’s license or other national ID.

An additional benefit for UK citizens is the potential to regain EU residency rights through Ireland’s citizenship laws.

Anyone with an Irish parent or grandparent can obtain Irish (and thus EU) citizenship.

Many Brits have therefore looked to their Irish ancestry as a path back to EU rights post-Brexit.

Even those without any Irish heritage can become eligible for Irish and EU citizenship by maintaining legal residence in Ireland for five consecutive years.

For British citizens, the CTA makes it easy to establish residency, without any need for a visa or residency permit.

Thanks to the longstanding free movement between the UK and Ireland, British citizens can not only travel there freely but also leverage Irish heritage or residency to open up EU privileges once again.

Legalities of traveling without a passport

Before embarking on any journey without a passport, it’s important that you understand the legal requirements.

Some countries may accept alternative forms of identification, such as an enhanced driver’s license or an official national ID card.

For example, in the United States, citizens can travel to Canada and Mexico by land or sea using an enhanced driver’s license or a trusted traveler program card, such as the NEXUS card.

These documents serve as valid identification and facilitate hassle-free travel between the neighboring countries.

Similarly, within the European Union, citizens can use their national ID cards as a valid travel document within the Schengen Area.

These ID cards contain biometric information and meet the security standards required for border control purposes.

It’s important to note that while some countries may accept alternative forms of identification, others may still require a passport for entry.

So it’s essential to research and understand the specific requirements of each destination before you plan a trip without a passport.

What’s more, you should always carry your identification documents when traveling without a passport. They can serve as a backup in case of any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.

Passport-free travel offers the convenience of seamless movement between countries without the need for a passport.

Whether through passport-free zones or bilateral agreements, these arrangements promote tourism, cultural exchange, and economic integration.

But you should stay aware of legal requirements and alternative forms of identification accepted by each destination – to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Pros and Cons of Passport-Free Travel


  • Convenience – no need to apply, renew, or carry a passport for every trip in the travel zone
  • Saves time and money – avoids passport fees, renewal hassles, and consular paperwork
  • Encourages tourism and business – makes regional travel easier and more accessible
  • Strengthens cultural ties – increases interactions between citizens of different countries
  • Allows flexibility in living/working – gives people the ability to relocate or work abroad easily
  • Provides greater access to education – students can study at universities across the region


  • Loss of passport control – potential security risks without documentation checks
  • Constraints on monitoring immigration – harder to track visitors and prevent overstays
  • Less revenue from passport fees – governments lose income from passport applications
  • Promotes emigration – makes it easier for skilled workers to leave economically
  • Imbalances between countries – wealthier nations may get more immigrants
  • Cross-border crime – criminals can more easily operate across borders
  • Spread of infectious diseases – diseases transmit more rapidly across borders

Passport-free travel facilitates greater mobility, economic opportunity, and cultural exchange, but requires governments to sacrifice passport control and closely cooperate on security.

Preparing for Passport-Free Travel

Before setting off on your passport-free journey, make sure you’re well-prepared to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

While a passport isn’t required, it’s essential that you carry alternative identification documents.

These may include an enhanced driver’s license, a government-issued ID card, or any other form of identification accepted by the destination country.

To make the most of your passport-free adventure, make sure you research the entry requirements, pack appropriately, and have travel insurance to cover any unexpected circumstances.

Embarking on a journey without a passport can offer unique and exciting experiences.

Whether you choose to explore exotic tropical island territories, or uncover the hidden gems within your country, passport-free travel provides the opportunity to broaden your horizons without the usual bureaucratic hurdles.

Pack your bags, gather your identification documents, and embark on an unforgettable adventure to a destination where you can travel without a passport.

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