Where Can You Travel To Without a Passport From the US?

Are you a U.S. resident wondering where you can travel without a passport internationally? 

There are many places you can travel without needing a passport. 

In this article, we will share some tips regarding passport-free travel as we check out these places.

Whether you’re looking for romantic places to travel without a passport or just need an emergency getaway, join us as we explore these destinations.

Key Takeaways

  • As a US citizen or LPR, you can travel to many US territories and closed-loop cruise destinations without a passport.
  • For Canada, US citizens and LPRs can present a passport card or NEXUS card to enter.
  • For Mexico, US citizens need a passport, while LPRs require a valid passport from their country of origin and their Green Card.
  • Alaska, as the 49th state, allows US citizens and LPRs to travel without passports.

Can You Travel Without a Passport Internationally?

image showing a man is worrying about the place to travel without a passport
Image Credit: AsierRomeroCarballo | Depositphotos

A passport is mandatory for international travel. It serves as official identification and proof of citizenship. 

But some exceptions are in place for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) traveling to certain destinations. 

These places are either US territories or are subject to special treaties. 

Can I Travel Without a Passport in the US?

There are many places within the United States where you can travel without a passport.

As a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), you have the inherent right to visit these places.

But if you’re a US citizen, it is advisable that you carry a form of photo ID when traveling domestically. This could be a state ID card, driver’s license, military ID, or even a passport.

It’s because hotels and airlines may need your photo ID prior to checking-in or boarding a flight. 

And, if you’re an LPR, your Green Card may act like a valid photo ID. 

Yet, it’s recommended that you bring both a Green Card and another photo ID with you to avoid potential confusion.

Who Can Travel Without a Passport in the World?

Passports are mandatory for most international travel. 

But some destinations have agreements with the United States that allow U.S. residents to travel without a passport.

For example, U.S. Citizens and LPRs who are members of the NEXUS program can enter Canada by presenting their NEXUS card, instead of a passport.

Where Can You Travel Without a Passport From the US?

Puerto Rico

image showing an island in puerto rice
Image Credit: grapesky | Pixabay

As a US territory, Puerto Rico allows US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) to travel without a passport. 

This agreement has been in effect since the U.S.-Puerto Rico Treaty was first signed in 1917. The Jones-Shafroth Act establishes Puerto Rico as a US Territory.

Because of this treaty, Puerto Rico is like any other state, and even Puerto Ricans are considered American citizens.

Thus, any form of government-issued identification, like a driver’s license, state ID card, or Permanent Resident Card, aka Green Card (for LPRs), is enough for travel to Puerto Rico.


Image Credit: texcosa | Pixabay

Guam is another U.S. territory that welcomes U.S. Citizens and LPRs without passports. 

Instead, U.S. citizens aged 18 or older traveling to Guam must present a REAL ID, or a valid U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID, and an original or certified copy of a birth certificate.

As for LPR’s, it’s always advisable to bring your Green Card with you, as you would need it to re-enter the US mainland.

US Virgin Islands 

Trunk Bay, St John, United States Virgin Islands | Image Credit: sepavone via Depositphotos

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) is a US territory that includes the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. 

Passports and visas are not mandatory for US citizens and LPRs to enter these islands. 

But passports are still the best form of identification, especially when it’s time to return to the US mainland. 

Besides, showing proof of citizenship (e.g. U.S. passport, birth certificate, Trusted Traveler Program card, etc.) or for LPRs (e.g. Green Card) will help expedite customs processing.

American Samoa

Image Credit: 12019 | Pixabay

Unlike other US Territories, American Samoa has kept control of its own border

Although a visa is not necessary, both US citizens and LPR’s will need a passport and return ticket to enter its territory.

Northern Mariana Islands 

Image Credit: raksyBH | Depositphotos

This Western Pacific archipelago is famous for its coral reefs, historical sites, and natural wonders. 

Although both U.S. citizens and LPRs can travel to these islands visa-free, you need a passport and return ticket to enter.


Image Credit: jaywwild | Pixabay

US citizens and LPRs who are members of the NEXUS program can use their NEXUS card when traveling from the US into Canada. 

These alternatives make transit between the two neighboring countries easier and travel smoother. 

Each traveler needs their own NEXUS card to enjoy this benefit, except for children under 18 years of age.

For LPRs who are members of the NEXUS program,these are the additional entry requirements:

  • A valid passport (or equivalent acceptable travel document) from their country of citizenship and
  • Valid Green Card (or equivalent valid U.S. identification)


Image Credit: Michelle_Raponi | Pixabay

Mexico has a number of travel requirements that apply to U.S. citizens when visiting the country.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you must have the following documents to travel to Mexico:

  • US passport
  • Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM): Mexico Travel Card for Americans
  • Mexico visa (if staying more than 180 days)

Additionally, your U.S. passport must be valid for at least six months from your date of arrival.

As for LPRs, those who wish to visit Mexico must have a valid passport from their country of origin in addition to their Green Card.


Image Credit: 12019 | Pixabay

Alaska is the 49th state in the United States, so US Citizens and LPR’s do not need passports to travel to this destination.

Additionally, Alaska does not require COVID-19 tests for travelers, for them to be vaccinated, or for them to wear a mask. 

But individual businesses and communities may have their own requirements. Check with companies, cruise lines, and travel agents for specific COVID-19 regulations.

Closed-Loop Cruise Destinations

A closed-loop cruise is a voyage that starts and finishes at the same U.S. harbor and explores places in the Western Hemisphere.

You don’t need a passport to join this kind of cruise if you’re a US citizen or LPR.

Instead, U.S. citizens can present other proofs of identity, such as a birth certificate, a photo ID, or an enhanced driver’s license. 

But some cruise lines and destinations might still demand a passport, so it is advisable to have one prepared.

As for LPRs, there may be different rules at the destinations on your itinerary, so it’s always a good idea to check. Additionally, a Green Card is necessary to re-enter the U.S

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Can US citizens go to Mexico without a passport? 

No, US citizens need a valid US passport to travel to Mexico. Additionally, they require a Mexico Travel Card (Forma Migratoria Multiple) if staying for more than 180 days.

Do I need a passport to travel to the US Virgin Islands? 

US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) can enter the US Virgin Islands without a passport. But, it is recommended to bring a valid passport, especially when returning to the US mainland.

Can I take a closed-loop cruise without a passport? 

Yes, US citizens and LPRs can take closed-loop cruises without a passport. But, some cruise lines and destinations may have specific passport requirements, so it’s advisable to check beforehand.


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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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