I recently had an inquiry for an amazing beach vacation, full of sun, surf and beauty, and also the feeling that they went somewhere. The problem was they had an expired passport and a desire to travel immediately. So, the big question became was there anywhere to consider besides Hawaii. It’s the tropical destination that everyone thinks of when you consider what is available for an amazing vacation on U.S. soil. And yes, it is a truly beautiful place that has some of the best beaches and most amazing scenery of anywhere in the world. But for someone traveling from the East Coast especially, is Hawaii the best choice when all things are considered?
I’d like to present some of my favorite destinations available to American travelers without a passport… and even those who have one and who still may not remember that these locations are truly worth a visit.
The island of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, and it happens to be one of the best islands in the Caribbean, with beautiful beaches to explore and a historic Old Town to experience and photograph. Throw in the El Yunque rainforest and you have a wonderful convergence of romance, nightlife, and adventure at your fingertips. Not only that, many low cost airlines fly there direct from the states, including Southwest, Jet Blue, and Spirit airlines.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Just next door to Puerto Rico are the U.S. Virgin Islands, with the three main islands being St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. St. Thomas is probably the most visited and well-known, due to the large amount of cruise ships that visit the island. St. Croix embodies an air of historic charm, and St. John is a true nature lover’s dream full of luxury and romance. Each island is unique in it’s own way and one of them is surely to be a perfect match for your vacation style.
If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, this unincorporated territory is a collection of five volcanic islands and two atolls located between Fiji and the Cook Islands. Here you will find beautiful unspoiled beaches and a culture that is wholly authentic, plus encounters with some of the nicest people you will ever come across.
So, if you are part of the almost 60% of Americans that don't have a passport...don't let that stop you. The world is full of amazing places, and there are some that don't even require a passport to get there!