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Table of Contents
- 1. Puerto Rico
- 2. Solvang, California
- 3. San Francisco, California
- 4. San Diego, California
- 5. U.S. Virgin Islands
- 6. Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida
- 7. Key West, Florida
- 8. Oahu, Hawaii
- 9. New Orleans
- 10. Washington, D.C.
- Can you fly to other U.S. territories without a passport?
- Do you need a passport to fly in the U.S.?
International travel is booming. But if you want to take a trip soon and you don't have a passport, it might be too late to join the international travel palooza.
The State Department estimates standard passport processing times at 10 to 13 weeks. And expedited processing can take seven to nine weeks. Even if you have a passport, check the expiration date because some countries require passports to be valid at least six months beyond your trip dates.
Whether it’s too late or too costly to consider international travel, there are still plenty of places to travel without a passport.
Here are 10 places to go without a passport in 2024:
1. Puerto Rico
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Puerto Rico took off in popularity for both leisure travel and remote work. 2022 was its strongest year in tourism history, generating roughly $8.9 billion in tourism revenue, a 39% increase over the previous 2019 high, according to Discover Puerto Rico, the territory's tourism board.
Visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches, experience delicious culinary adventures and attend numerous summer festivals, such as El Festival de las Flores and Festival del Mojo Isleño.
As of January 2023, the number of events booked in Puerto Rico was 81% higher than at the same time last year, according to Discover Puerto Rico. This summer’s scheduled events include El Festival de las Flores, a multi-day festival of flowers in the town of Aibonito, and the culinary-focused Festival del Mojo Isleño, held in the town of Salinas and named for the slow-cooked tomato-based sauce served over seafood (you’ll likely get a taste of it if you visit).
2. Solvang, California
For a taste of Europe without a passport, head to Solvang, California. Also known as "The Danish Capital of America,” Solvang is famous for its thatched roofs, traditional windmills, Scandinavian handcrafts, museums, restaurants and shops.
Don’t miss the Scandinavian handcrafts sold at the Jule Hus Christmas Store — one of the more than 100 shops you'll find in Solvang — and grab an Aebleskiver (a puffy Danish pancake), available at many cafes around town.
Air travelers should fly into Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. Considered one of America’s most charming airports, Santa Barbara Municipal is increasing capacity on some existing American Airlines and United Airlines routes and adding new routes on United and Southwest Airlines this summer.
Solvang is an excellent stop if you're driving along California’s Highway 101 between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
3. San Francisco, California
Speaking of San Francisco, you might head there next. San Francisco is home to the country’s oldest and largest Chinatown. Tourists can meander down Grant Street, framed by the iconic Dragons Gate, and visit the China Live marketplace or the Red Blossom Tea Company.
Getting to San Francisco’s Chinatown is easier than ever, as the city’s new Central Subway officially opened in January 2023, with a station in Chinatown.
While San Francisco claims to be the birthplace of tasty treats such as cioppino, the martini, the Irish coffee, and Boudin sourdough bread, it’s a great spot to sample dishes that originated elsewhere, too.
At Burma Love, don’t miss the tea leaf salad, a Burmese dish made with fermented tea leaves and a crispy mix of nuts and beans. For a taste of Guam, order any of the barbecue items from Prubechu. And the city does fusion too, like the Korean and Japanese-inspired Koja Kitchen. There, order the Original Koja, consisting of Korean BBQ short ribs served between lightly fried garlic rice buns.
4. San Diego, California
San Francisco is in the northern half of the state, but don't skip the southern half either. In particular, head to San Diego, which is know for near perfect weather year-round. A highlight is Old Town San Diego, where you'll learn about the area's Mexican history, culture, and cuisine
5. U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands have been an official U.S. territory since 1917, so a passport is not required for U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland.
This Caribbean destination consists of three islands — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Each is among the best tropical places to visit, not just for its breathtaking beaches, but for its culture and history.
This summer marks the 69th year of the St. John Celebration — three weeks of food festivals, boat races, parades and more on the island of St. John. It begins on June 10 and encompasses Emancipation Day, a local holiday on July 3 commemorating the abolition of slavery.
6. Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida
Orlando, Florida hosted 74 million visitors in 2022, making it America’s most visited travel destination that year, according to Visit Orlando, the destination's official tourism association. Perhaps the fact that Disney World is cheaper than Disneyland has something to do with it.
While not a replacement for international travel, the World Showcase section of Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park consists of 11 mini subsections themed to different countries. The food is among the best you’ll find on Disney World property. Don’t miss the Canadian ice wine at Le Cellier Steakhouse or the school bread (a sweet roll filled with custard and dipped in coconut) from the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Epcot’s Norway pavilion.
Fans of France won't want to miss the French pavilion, which is home to a relatively new attraction called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. The trackless ride opened in 2021, featuring vehicles shaped like rats. Plus, parts of the ride smell like fresh bread.
7. Key West, Florida
If you’re into a relaxed island vibe, consider Florida’s southernmost point, Key West. According to Hotels.com, average hotel prices in Key West between June and August were 15% lower in 2023 versus 2022.
When in Key West, don't miss Dry Tortugas National Park, which sits about 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West. This part is unique in that it's s mostly open water with seven small islands, and it's accessible only by boat or seaplane. But if you make the trek there, it's worth it for the magnificent Fort Jefferson, and postcard perfect blue waters, coral reefs and vast array of wildlife. While the entrance fee for Dry Tortugas National Park is $15 per person (good for seven consecutive days), you may qualify to get into this national park for free.
8. Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii tourism made a major comeback since the COVID-19, with the number of visitors arriving to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2023 up 14.2% from March 2022, according to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. But Hawaii got hit hard again after the Maui wildfires in August 2023 killed nearly 100 people and left many more without homes.
During that time, travel to Maui was discouraged so resources could be dedicated to the island's first responders and residents, rather than tourists. And while tourists listened — it's affected the entire state. Now tourism numbers are down throughout almost all of Hawaii, which has been challenging for the other islands that are still dependent on tourism dollars.
Given that, you might head to Oahu, which is home to the state capital of Honolulu.
Visit Oahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center, which offers cultural presentations including lauhala weaving, poi tasting and an evening luau that pays tribute to Hawaii's last ruling monarch, Queen Liliuokalani.
For folks looking to experience a new culture, another reason to consider Hawaii is that it's the only U.S. state with two official languages. What's more is that the Hawaiian language is classified by the United Nations as a critically endangered language. Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, has taken strides to preserve the language, particularly at its ‘Ōlelo Room Bar and Lounge. The walls are decorated with Hawaiian words, and every bartender who works there speaks Hawaiian.
9. New Orleans
New Orleans is a city with a rich history and culture. The city's French, Spanish, African, and American heritage is reflected in its food, music, art, and architecture. In the French Quarter, you'll see historic buildings, jazz clubs and many of the city's most popular attractions, including Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, and the St. Louis Cathedral. Don't miss the Treme neighborhood's Afro-Caribbean culture.
The city's cuisine is a fusion of Creole, Cajun, and French influences, and it is renowned for its fresh seafood, gumbo, and jambalaya. New Orleans is also a major center for live music, and visitors can find jazz, blues, and zydeco performances in clubs and bars throughout the city.
While many tourists go during Mardi Gras, there are many other festivals and events held throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy everything from the French Quarter Festival to the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.
10. Washington, D.C.
Embassy Row is a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C. that is home to the embassies of over 170 countries. Tourists can typically visit the embassies, many of which offer cultural events, such as film screenings, concerts, and art exhibitions. The embassies are typically housed in grand buildings that represent the architectural styles of their respective countries. And while walking between embassies, it's easy to sample food from different countries at the many restaurants in the area.
Can you fly to other U.S. territories without a passport?
Not all U.S. territories or Freely Associated States (which are a few Pacific Island nations that hold certain agreements with the U.S.) are necessarily places you can travel without a passport as a U.S. citizen.
According to USA.gov, U.S. citizens do need a passport to travel to these places:
Guam (on a case-by-case basis, photo I.D. and proof of citizenship may be accepted instead.).
The Federated States of Micronesia.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The Republic of Palau.
Do you need a passport to fly in the U.S.?
You don’t necessarily need to flash a passport at U.S. airport checkpoints in order to travel, but adults ages 18 or older do need some sort of valid identification. Other valid forms of identification include:
Border crossing card.
Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, Nexus, Sentri, Fast).
Permanent resident card.
Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards.
And as of May 7, 2025, state-issued IDs or licenses must be REAL ID compliant when used at airport checkpoints. If your license isn’t compliant by then, the Transportation Security Administration will accept other forms of valid identification — including passports.
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