photo of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, great to travel without a passport

13 Places to Travel Without a Passport That Feel Like Europe

According to a recent YouGov/Economist survey, only a little over a third of Americans have a valid passport. If that’s not you or your family, don’t worry–there are still lots of amazing places to travel without passports in the U.S.—from opportunities to take a cruise to all-inclusive resorts for families. 

You can visit any of these amazing tourist destinations and feel like you’re on a far-flung European vacation–no passport required! Travel documents can be difficult to arrange for young kids, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience European-style hospitality and charm with nothing more than birth certificates or enhanced driver’s licenses.

1. St. Croix – U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are home to some amazing opportunities for Caribbean vacations– no passport needed! St. Croix is the largest island and has the most for families to do. You can also visit St. Thomas and St. John without a passport, but they feel less European. The Carambola Beach Resort offers oversized suites perfect for the whole family. 

Basic Info: Rooms start at $237 – Notarized/certified birth certificate and photo identification required for flight, but cruise arrival only requires photo ID – Children under 16 do not need photo ID

Nearby Attractions: St. Croix has two cities—Christiansted and Frederiksted. The whole island is only 20 miles long, so it’s very easy to get between the two via rental car or taxi. Frederiksted is home to a lovely historic market district, while Christiansted has lots of museums like the Apothecary Hall, Alexander Hamilton’s house, and Fort Christiansvaern. You can also scuba, snorkel, and swim at various points around the island.

2. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

As an unincorporated territory of the United States, Puerto Rico is an easy place to visit that does not require a passport. Stay at La Terraza Hotel in Old San Juan and enjoy the best of what the island has to offer.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $175 – Driver’s license required for adults – Kids do not need documentation

Nearby Attractions: Visit one of the city’s two forts, El Morro or San Cristobal, to learn about local history. At night, Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, and you can even go swimming in one of them!

3. St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is America’s oldest European-style city and was founded by the Spanish in 1565. When you stay at the Casa Monica Resort and Spa, you’ll get to experience European-style hospitality and charm on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $299 – Historic district is walkable – No documentation required 

Nearby Attractions: There are lots of amazing attractions in St. Augustine that kids of all ages will appreciate. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is the only place in the world that is home to every species of crocodilian. The Spanish Military Hospital Museum lets you travel back in time to learn about medical practices and procedures in the Colonial Spanish period of St. Augustine, and visitors can see demonstrations of colonial surgery and medical preparations. For a real high-seas adventure, enjoy a dinner cruise on the pirate ship Black Raven, and don’t miss St. Augustine’s sandy beaches for fun in the sun.

4. Vail, Colorado

Vail feels a lot like taking a Swiss vacation without ever leaving the United States. When you and your family stay at the Sonnenalp Resort, you’ll get to experience a Swiss-style lodge with unique activities for kids, all nestled in the charming Vail Village.

Basic Info: Suites start at $329 – Ski concierge available during ski season – No documentation required 

Nearby Attractions: Vail has lots of incredible skiing and is considered one of the premiere ski destinations in the entire world. But even in the summer, there’s still lots of beautiful nature to hike or bike through. Families can enjoy strolling through the nearby Betty Ford Alpine Gardens or riding the Vail scenic gondolas.

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5. Lindsborg, Kansas

When you visit the town of Lindsborg, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into Sweden! Accommodations include charming places like the Dröm Sött Inn, an 18-room boutique hotel in a historic building.

Basic Info: Queen suites start at $195 – Nearest major airport is Wichita – No documentation required 

Nearby Attractions: Lindsborg’s historic downtown is filled with unique shops. They are famous for their biennial Svensk Hyllningsfest, a Swedish celebration held in odd-numbered years that includes Swedish dancing, live entertainment, a parade, and an authentic smörgåsbord.

6. Napa Valley, California

America’s wine country, Napa Valley in California, feels like sun-drenched Tuscany. You and your family can soak up the sun at the charmingly retro Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa– the weather is beautiful year-round.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $259 – Hotel has 3 pools and a spa – No documentation required Nearby Attractions: The best way to see all of Napa Valley is definitely on a hot air balloon tour! The Skyline Wilderness Park is great for hiking, and everyone loves visiting the outdoor Oxbow Public Market.

7. New England Cruise

Take a closed-loop cruise through New England’s islands around the East Coast that don’t require a passport (or any paperwork) to visit! You can experience lots of amazing destinations with all the amenities and comforts of a cruise ship.

Basic Info: A 5-night cruise starts at $410 – Government-issued photo IDs (drivers’ licenses) required for adults (some Canadian cruises may ask for birth certificates) – Lots of kid activities on board

Nearby Attractions: Each cruise itinerary is different but you can expect to see small towns, lighthouses, beautiful natural landscapes, wildlife, and more!

8. Newport, Rhode Island

If you’d like to experience the charm of the French coast, Nice is nice…but so is Newport! Stay in European luxury at the OceanCliff Resort and enjoy sea views and fresh ocean air.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $199 – No documentation required – Hotel offers a sailing school

Nearby Attractions: Take a sailing tour or enjoy a seafood boil by the beach! If your kids are sporty, they might enjoy the International Tennis Hall of Fame. For a fun day in the sun, take a chartered sailboat and go fishing as a family.

9. Hawaii

With its volcanic islands and white sand beaches, visiting Hawaii feels very much like visiting Madeira, Portugal. When you stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, you can swim, play, and enjoy the island’s unique culture.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $360 – No documentation required – Hotel has swimming pools

Nearby Attractions: Hawaii is a premier destination for snorkeling; its beautiful blue waters are filled with sea turtles and brightly colored fish. Visit Waikiki Beach for snorkeling and hiking up Diamond Head. You also can’t miss getting Hawaiian shave ice as a treat!

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10. Frankenmuth, Michigan

Say ja to Frankenmuth and enjoy a Bavarian-style vacation! Stay at the Bavarian Inn and enjoy German hospitality…and incredible German food! 

Basic Info: Resort packages start at $589 for 2 adults and 2 kids for a weekend – Lots of food onsite – No documentation required.

Nearby Attractions: Take a horse-drawn carriage through town and celebrate Christmas year-round!

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11. Asheville, North Carolina

You don’t have to go all the way to Versailles for the southern French climate! When you visit Asheville, NC, and stay at the kid-friendly Biltmore, you and your family can experience joie de vivre without leaving the country! The Biltmore Estate has cottages and an inn, as well as a hotel in the nearby Antler Hill village.

Basic Info: Hotel rooms start at $305 – Lots of dining options onsite – No documentation required 

Nearby Attractions: The Biltmore offers immersive art exhibitions, train displays, and many family-friendly activities. If you’d like to see more of what Asheville has to offer, check out the Western North Carolina Nature Center to visit some amazing North American animals, or go hiking along a waterfall at the Du Pont State Forest.

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12. The Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands are a tropical paradise off the beaten path. These islands with their pristine beaches feel like a Greek getaway in the Pacific–and many Americans don’t even know that they exist, let alone that visiting them doesn’t require a passport! The Kensington Hotel Saipan is an all-inclusive family resort that offers special kid-themed rooms and has multiple swimming pools and a private beach.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $338 – Birth certificate and photo identification required for flights and cruise arrival – Children under 16 do not need photo ID

Nearby Attractions: The resort has lots of beach activities, and every Tuesday and Thursday Saipan hosts an exciting night market.

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13. Hocking Hills, Ohio

Enjoy a highland fling in Hocking Hills, Ohio–a little piece of Scotland in the American heartland. Stay at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls and enjoy a cabin or yurt in the beautiful Ohio countryside.

Basic Info: Cabins start at $219 – Yurts start at $199 – No documentation needed 

Nearby Attractions: Explore the Old Man’s Cave or fly through the forest on one of the zipline adventures in the Hocking Hills area!

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