Thanks to some pretty sweet international agreements and American territories, you don’t have to stay in the states if you don’t have a passport. Sure, you should probably get one eventually, but when you’re able to visit places as beautiful as these who needs one anyway?
8. The U.S. Virgin Islands
Tourism and rum are the two things that dictate the economy in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and that’s reason enough to go there in the first place. It wasn’t long ago that you could get a full fifth of rum for $2 on the island, and the cost hasn’t exactly gone up too much considering that there’s so much competition. The islands are only a hop and a skip away from America, which means that there are plenty of cruises that will take you to and from the area, but this is a place you’ll want to stay for longer than one night. The white, sandy beaches and eighty degree water will make you never want to leave.
7. Northern Mariana Islands
If you’re looking for a place that’s really off the radar, these islands may be the place for you. While the majority of the economy is based off of tourism, it doesn’t see the same amount of travelers as some of the other places, and that may be perfect for anyone looking for some real R&R. Even if you’re looking for a little bit of adventure, there are plenty of options for that as well. Jumping into the grotto won’t lead you to a bunch of attractive, naked women, but it will be thrill for anyone who likes diving. Along with that, anyone who appreciates history will be stoked to check out the various WWII memorials throughout the area.
6. American Samoa
It’s hard to believe that anything would be further off the radar than the Mariana Islands, but American Samoa takes the award for the most off-the-beaten-path place on this list. In fact, you won’t find more than a handful of hotels and resorts on the entire chain of islands. These volcanic islands are scattered with remnants of eruptions passed, and it’s more for the adventurous type rather than anyone wanting to sit around on the beach. If you’re feeling real adventurous, you can even stay in a hut and spend a day experiencing some of the uninfluenced culture with the islanders.
No, a sea monster won’t come and pull you out of the water because you’re by the Bermuda Triangle. Well, at least we think so… but, hey, with these kind of clear, mellow waters and the local culture, it’s always worth it. Where some of the previous spots on the list were a little more adventurous, you’ll find a lot more civilization in Bermuda. The nightlife is some of the best in the Caribbean, and it’s right next to Puerto Rico, making it easy to knock out two places at one time. The scuba diving is also top-notch and there are plenty of nearby shipwrecks to explore.
Guam may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of an island escape, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its own merits if you’re looking to get away. Just like American Samoa, Guam still holds many remnants of the battles of WWII, and that’s a huge draw from tourists. Don’t let that distract you from the lush, beautiful landscapes throughout the islands, though. We will say that this is easily the most expensive of all the escapes. Hotels are few and far between, which makes competition to keep prices low non-existent, and the flights in are definitely rare, which pretty much means you’ll have to have money to blow if you go here, but it’ll be worth the money if you have it.
Is there any way around the fact that Jamaica is one of the most chill places in the world? Definitely not. Curl up on a hammock by yourself or with that special someone and let the siesta begin. Stretches of sandy beaches, an abundance of local greenery *cough cough*, and the mellow nature of the locals makes Jamaica one of the clear choices for anyone looking to get away without the hassle of a passport. If you’re down to do some volunteer work there’s plenty to be found for anyone with a philanthropic side to them, but that hard work will earn a reward, which will bring you back to the beach with a drink in your hand.
2. The Bahamas
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama… yeah, we had to. There are a lot of cheap trips you can take around Florida, but what most people don’t realize is that there are a ton of cheap ship rides that will take you straight from Miami to the islands in the Bahamas; all for a relatively cheap cost. The most expensive thing will be the lodgings, but all of them are pretty much located right on the beach and they all offer pretty solid specials on drinks and nightly entertainment. If you’re balling on a budget, but want to get out of the states, Bahama’s islands are for you.
1. Puerto Rico
Many Americans want to see Puerto Rico become a state, but frankly our closest territory just wants to do things their own way, and that’s something you have to respect. There’s just way too many options on things to do in Puerto Rico for it to not claim the top spot on this list. Where some places will leave you wanting more, Puerto Rico has a ton of beautiful architecture and an extensive history for anyone wishing to delve deeper. Spend your days exploring the island’s impressive sights and spend the night salsa dancing in the moonlight; drinking one of the fine, local beverages. You’re guaranteed to have a great time.