Many of us parents remember a time when we could travel around the world with relatively little documentation.  Sometimes, all it took was a copy of a birth certificate or a driver’s license to board a plane. Nowadays, you need a passport for almost everywhere. It’s great for security, but if you’ve got a large family the cost and annoyance of getting a passport may not be worth the trip, especially if you don’t travel often.

With the new travel requirements in place, you might be wondering how to schedule your next family trip without having to produce that very specific piece of documentation. Fortunately, there are some great locations that American citizens can visit without needing a passport.


Since it is physically separated from the mainland and is so tropical and exotic, many people seem to forget that this little slice of paradise is part of the United States.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy the surf and sand while still being surrounded by all of the familiar comforts of home.

U.S. Territories

There are a great number of Caribbean locations that happen to be U.S. territories – which means that you are free to visit without a passport.  Some fabulous examples include Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and U.S. Virgin Islands, which include the islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.  It is important to note, however, that you must travel directly to these locations. Connecting flights in neighboring countries may require you to produce a passport and/or obtain a visa.


Cruises are a fantastic option for travelers who want to set sail and leave their cares behind.  Closed-loop cruises (those that leave and return to the same U.S. port) do not require passengers to have a passport, even if there are international ports of call on the itinerary.

Beach Destinations within the United States

While it is wonderful to be say you just jetted off to some faraway land, there are many excellent places right here in the U.S. that will let you and your family soak up the sun. Whether it’s a California vacation on the west coast, a jaunt to Florida in the south or a trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks along the eastern seaboard, there’s plenty of places to kick back and relax on home soil.

If you’re ever in doubt about travelling to a certain area, whether it’s regarding passports or other advisories, a great resource is the official government’s travel website.