Forgetting to renew your passport should not keep you from going on that vacation you desperately need. In fact, there are numerous beautiful destinations you can travel to without your American passport! From tropical paradises to amazing historical sites, there are a bunch of getaways that don't require you to show your passport.
Believe it or not, you can visit some of the most serene beaches, partake in numerous fun activities like snorkeling and hiking, and try delicious delicacies without your American passport at a number of exotic locations. U.S. territories like the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands don't require a valid U.S. passport, but you should have your valid government issued I.D. with you.
If you're looking to escape somewhere elsewhere in the Caribbean, taking a cruise is the perfect way to go. Many Caribbean cruises start and end in the U.S., and all that's required is a birth certificate and valid government-issued I.D. You can check out stunning tropical hot spots like Bermuda, Curacao, and Belize.
While you contemplate on where to go on your next vacation, be wary about some of the locations you consider. There are countries that require strict rules for entering even if you have a valid passport. Even scarier, there are numerous countries that don't guarantee you'll be safe. These vacation destinations are not for the faint of heart and you're better off crossing them off your list of places to see.
For those of you who are looking to travel to a long-distance getaway, we've listed 15 hot spots that don't require a passport and 10 countries that you'll have an especially hard time entering even if you have your passport ready in hand.
25 No Passport: Puerto Rico
You can explore the vast wonders of Puerto Rico without a passport. The island is officially an unincorporated territory of the United States, and it's basically like going anywhere in the U.S, so just have your valid I.D. with you. There are endless things to do in Puerto Rico, from exploring its colonial section and feeling like a part of the past in Old San Juan to snorkeling and scuba diving in Culebra Island where you'll be surrounded by soft white sand and crystal clear blue waters. If you're looking for historic sites, Puerto Rico has stunning and massive old forts and if you're looking for more fun, tour the Bacardi Rum Factory and take a tasting tour.
24 No Passport: Jamaica
There are three ports for ships to dock in Jamaica, and the country is a top destination for closed-loop cruise goers. Obviously, you'll need a passport if you want to travel by plane to the nation, but cruises are just as fun and exciting and you'll only need a valid I.S. and your birth certificate. According to MSN, Port Antonio on the eastern side of the island accommodates smaller ships while Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, both at the north face of the country, welcomes larger boats. All of these ports have gorgeous beaches, bars and plenty of shopping. Plus, this is one of the safest ways to explore Jamaica.
23 No Passport: Mexico
You can certainly explore parts of Mexico without a passport if you choose to do a closed-loop cruise itinerary. There are many ports that allow visitors to explore Mexico's stunning beaches and get to know a little more about the culture. Parts of Mexico, like Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, are two of the most popular destinations, where visitors can join in water-based activities and enjoy an exciting nightlife. Cabo San Lucas' main beach also includes numerous restaurants and fun bars. There's also the stunning Arch of Cabo San Lucas, which is a natural archway in the sea cliffs. Other port towns, like Mazatlan, are great for visitors who want to see Mexico's historic sites.
22 No Passport: Honduras
The Bay Islands of Honduras is another spectacular and stunning vacation destination you can travel to with other closed-loop cruises without a passport. Cruise ships dock at Roatán, the largest of the Bay Islands, where visitors can snorkel and scuba dive alongside the second-largest reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Roatán is famous for its white sand beaches and dive site with volcanic crevices. There are plenty of organized activities for tourists, ensuring that they enjoy the country safely and you don't even need to worry about having a passport with you 24/7.
21 No Passport: Guam
Traveling to Guam is just the same as traveling to any other part of the United States. This exotic island is known for its lovely tropical beaches, its scenic sites for scuba divers and its famous cliff-side lookout. According to MSN, when you arrive into Tumon, Guam's central tourist district, it'll familiar as any other city in the U.S. Most of the hotels are situated in Tumon Bay, as are white sand beaches, shopping centers, and restaurants. When you venture a little outside Tumon, you'll find secluded beaches and Two Lovers Point, a cliff line towering over Tumon Bay, offering the best views of Guam from 400 feet above the Philippine Sea.
20 No Passport: Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are a collection of 14 mostly uninhabited islands that U.S. citizens can travel to without their passport. If you are looking to get away somewhere more remote these islands are your best bet with gorgeous beaches, scenic golf ranges and jaw-dropping natural wonders like the famous Grotto cave. The Grotto cave, located in Saipan, the most populated island, is a stunning limestone cavern that’s home to turtles and reef sharks and perfect for exploring. Saipan is also home to a number of museums and war memorials. The islands have been governed first by Spanish colonists in the 16th century, then the Japanese in World War II, and finally the U.S. since the Battle of Saipan in 1944, so there is a lot of history here, besides its natural beauty.
19 No Passport: Hawaii
Don't fuss about getting a passport and fly to our amazing 50th state of Hawaii as you would any other state. Hawaii is about 2,500 miles away from California and lies in its own time zone, but it is still part of the U.S. and a great destination getaway where you only need a valid government issued I.D. Hawaii is known for its beaches with gold, red, black and even green sands, beautiful waterfalls, stunning cliffs, volcanic peaks, and nature parks. Visitors can do a number of things in Hawaii like go on hiking trails, drive to the summit of a huge inactive volcano, camp next to waterfalls and simply lay on the beach and soak up the sun all day long.
18 No Passport: Bermuda
Bermuda is a wonderful destination to escape to and believe it or not you can travel here without your passport if you board one of the many closed-loop Bermuda bound cruises. These cruise ships dock at three ports, including Hamilton City, St. George and King's Wharf, and dock for multiple days at a time so you can explore as much as you want, lay on beautiful pink sand beaches and partake in some cool water activities. Check out one of the island's biggest attractions, Crystal Cave where you can go inside and see stalagmites and stalactites that have taken thousands of years to form.
17 No Passport: U.S. Virgin Islands
Minutes away from Puerto Rico is the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are made up of three main islands, St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and shouldn't be confused with the British Virgin Islands, which require you to present your passport. According to USA Today, each of these three islands has their own unique appeal. "St. John, with its national parkland and legendary diving, will charm true escapists. St. Thomas is a shopper's dream, with countless boutiques and jewelers, as well as two bustling cruise terminals. And Dutch-flavored and diverse St. Croix is a favorite of luxury-seeking honeymooners."
16 No Passport: Costa Rica
Costa Rica offers its travelers stunning sights of rainforests, exotic animals and beautiful beaches and you can see it all without a passport. Join one of the closed-loop cruises that go to Costa Rica is different than the other islands we've listed with its incredibly diverse terrain of lush forests, wildlife reserves, and beaches that make you feel like you're in paradise, it's amazing that you can discover this nation without a passport. Other Costa Rica ports even offer more natural diversity, like Puerto Caldera, which has five percent of the world's flora, fauna and animal species, despite how small it is.
15 No Passport: Alaska
Just like Hawaii, you don't need a passport to visit Alaska. It is the largest state in the U.S. and one of the most breathtaking with snowy mountain peaks, stunning glaciers, fjords, lush forests and an abundance of wildlife. Unlike the tropical places we've mentioned, Alaska is a great destination getaway for anyone who wants to get in touch with nature, go on a hike and explore the state's stunning landscape. One of the best ways to see Alaska’s beauty is to actually board a cruise. A cruise around Alaska is thrilling; you’ll see larger-than-life glaciers and marine animals you'll spot during peak times.
14 No Passport: Belize
Belize is a tropical paradise with plenty of adventure, relaxation and natural beauty that you can discover all on your own when booking a cruise. Your ship will drop anchor in Belize City and you can begin exploring the nation and partake in numerous activities like snorkeling reefs, discover caves, take a bike expedition through the Belizean jungle or get up and close with nurse sharks and stingrays. You can also discover ancient Mayan ruins like Xuanatunich, a magnificent archeological temple that's been claimed by the jungle.
13 No Passport: Bahamas
The Bahamas consists of hundreds of islands and there is something for everyone when you board a cruise to this wonderful tropical paradise. Bahamas cruises are fantastic for people who want to adventure in the water, dive and see the majestic coral garden at Orange Bowl reef, see mysterious shipwrecks in Grand Bahamas, and get close and personal with different marine creatures. According to MSN, you'll want to take a cruise with an itinerary that stops off in Nassau and gives tourists a feel for Bahamian culture and visit the popular Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort.
12 No Passport: American Samoa
American Samoa is a collection for five volcanic islands and two atolls between Fiji and the Cook Islands, and since it is an unincorporated territory of the U.S., you can travel here without a passport. Tutuila is the largest of the island and is home to capital Pago Pago, which has stunning untouched beaches, coral-filled waters, and rainforests that cover these tropical islands. Unlike many Polynesian destinations like Honolulu and Oahu, which can get crowded with visitors, the native Samoan culture is very strong here and very authentic. American Samoa is a terrific destination to just escape massive tourists; same old retail outlets and even fancy hotels. The islands are a tropical paradise where you can lounge on a beach, hike in its National Park and visit historic World War II sites.
11 No Passport: The United States Of America
Of course, we had to include the U.S. to this list! There are so many adventure destinations right at home that we seemingly overlook because we believe we need to escape the entire U.S. when we think about taking a much-needed vacation. We definitely take the U.S. and its unique and contrasting landscapes for granted. The U.S. is made up of beautiful mountainous regions, stunning desert towns with steep canyons, lush forests with tons of wildlife; jaw-dropping glaciers, and pristine beaches. Plus, you just need your government issued I.D. with you so there is no fuss about having to get a passport.
10 No Entry: Somalia
While you can enter Somalia with a valid passport, you probably want to cross this nation off your list because of how dangerous it is. According to Smart Traveler, official advice is to not travel to Somalia because there is a high number of attacks that occur on a regular basis. CheatSheet states that traveling to this nation is not for the faint of heart. Even the State Department warns Americans against traveling to Somalia for their own good and even going about obtaining a Somalian visa can be complicated since there isn't even a Somali embassy in the U.S.
9 No Entry: Sudan
The Department of State has issued a warning for any American wanting to travel to Sudan. Reconsider traveling to Sudan due to terrorism and civil unrest, with the Department of State issuing warnings against going to specific places in the nation including the Darfur region, Blue Nile state and South Kordofan state due to crime and armed conflict. There is a lot of paperwork you must fill out, proper documentation you must have with you, registering with the police within 24 hours of arriving at a destination outside of Khartoum you must do before exploring this country.
8 No Entry: Turkmenistan
It's safe for travelers to visit Turkmenistan and everything is strictly controlled so there isn't a petty crime against tourists. Many people travel to Turkmenistan to see Davarza, one of the most spectacular sites in the world and Ashgabat, The White Marble City, however, it's not that easy to just fly to this nation, unless you have the patience. According to CheatSheet, a person wanting to travel to Turkmenistan must obtain a letter of invitation certified by the Government of Turkmenistan, in addition to your visa. And getting your letter of invitation still doesn't guarantee that you’ll be granted a visa. Travel and Leisure report that even with the official letter proof that you've hired a 24-hour guide, and a full itinerary, still doesn't promise entry.
7 No Entry: Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia also tops the list as a destination that is difficult to enter and one that Americans should carefully consider traveling to. According to CheatSheet, the government sometimes issues travel bans against people who then can't leave the country for months or even years. The government may also only grant visas to people who are traveling to Saudi Arabia for business or to those who have family in the nation. It also might be more difficult for women to travel to Saudi Arabia, especially if they want to go alone. USA Today reports that women going alone are not allowed in the country unless their husbands, a sponsor, or a relative who is a male meets them at the airport.
6 No Entry: Bhutan
Bhutan is a beautiful Buddhist nation known for its fortresses, steep mountains, valleys and monasteries, like the one pictured above which sits high on a cliffside. People who want to visit this Buddhist kingdom might have a little difficulty getting into the nation. According to CheatSheet, Bhutan is on the State Department's list of countries without a U.S. embassy or consulate or diplomatic relationships with the United States. All tourists, unless they have an Indian, Bangladeshi, or Maldivian passport has to book their trip through a Bhutanese tour operator. Travelers should also note that the country sets a minimum daily tariff, however, these restrictive costs are usually worth it.