Longing for a tropical getaway on a far off island, but missing a passport? No need to worry, there are many incredible destinations you can access without the costly document.
With passport fees climbing higher and higher, your wallet will be taking a bigger hit than ever. The fee for an adult passport is currently $110 and, with the fee for a child’s passport at $80, it is a costly endeavor to prepare the whole family for international travel. It’s a big extra cost, especially for those who don’t leave the country often.
If you’re deciding on a destination and would rather not wait on your passport to be processed, there are a few places you should consider. Some of these destinations are clearly part of the U.S., while others might surprise you. The U.S. has territories all over, from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean; these are the top tropical spots where Americans can visit without a passport.
Northern Mariana Islands
Set in the Pacific Ocean, closer to the Philippines than the continental U.S., the Northern Mariana Islands might just be America’s best-kept travel secret. The 14 islands, only three of which are inhabited, were taken by the U.S. in 1944, following a victory over Japan in the battle of Saipan. Now a lesser-known tourist destination, the three populated islands: Saipan, Tinian and Rota manage to draw American travelers despite the remoteness. Look forward to forests full of wildlife and great diving opportunities—the Grotto is a must-see for experienced divers, home to sea turtles and reef sharks.
Key West, Fla.
Who says you need to need to leave the continental U.S. to experience incredible tropics? Key West, the southernmost point in the continental U.S. offers beautiful beaches and breathtaking sunsets, no passport required. This beautiful spot at the southern tip of Florida truly has something for everyone, from those looking to chill out to those looking for an all-out party. Shopping, excellent bars and restaurants and top accommodation make Key West a tropical paradise—minus the hassle of international travel.
Correction: an earlier version of this story stated that you could enter Mexico without a passport. Due to a change in U.S. regulations you now need a passport to enter Mexico.