It’s the holiday season and you are planning a rightfully deserved week-long trip abroad. All of a sudden your heart sinks when you discover that your passport has expired. No need to panic! You can access plenty of destinations without this official document.[slideshow:81716]
Besides, renewing your passport can end up costing you as much as the vacation. The application costs $140 for a passport book and a card ($110 for a passport only and between $30 and $55 for a card). That’s for you alone; a passport for the each minor is another $105 to $120.
Combine that with the fact that it will take weeks, if not months, for your application to be processed, and you are better off going to a place where you don’t have to worry about bureaucracy and legal technicalities.
Northern Mariana Islands
Don’t get confused. These 14 Pacific islands may be closer to the Philippines than the U.S. but they are legally part of it. That happened in 1944 after the U.S. won the battle of Saipan. Eleven of the islands are still uninhabited. The rest – Saipan, Tinian and Rota – attract visitors with their forests, wildlife, and scuba diving. The favorite such location is the Grotto, home to sea turtles and reef sharks. Visiting the Managaha is a nice and relaxing way to spend the day, just a boat ride away. It has everything – from great food to all kinds of water sports activities. The best place to see the sunset is Mt. Tapochao. The Suicide Cliff is another popular destination despite its sad history. It is where hundreds of people jumped to their deaths in 1944 in order to avoid being held captive by the U.S. army.
U.S. Virgin Islands
If you want to explore the Caribbean Sea, you don’t have to wait for a passport to visit the Bahamas or Saint Martin. Instead, go to St. Thomas, St. Croix and/or St. John, all three of which accept American dollars. Trunk Bay is one of the most famous beaches on all of the islands – it’s absolutely serene. But go early in the morning because it gets really busy later. Try the Underwater Trail, which is a snorkeling path of coral and fish with underwater signs. Boat tours, scuba diving are snorkeling are by far the most popular activities for tourists.