Passports are important for travel from the United States to foreign countries. As of 2007, you need a passport no matter where your flight’s destination from the United States if you are flying out of country. However, if you need to travel very soon and do not have a passport, you may not be able to get on your plane. The rules still apply in the Caribbean, even though in the past a number of tourists leaving from the United States were not required to carry passports to certain countries. With the rules changing, the best thing for you to do is to get a passport. If this is not possible because of time constraints, don’t worry. There are still ways for you to travel to the Caribbean.
First, you can go to Puerto Rico, which is a commonwealth of the United States. Even though it is a Caribbean island and you’ll have to fly or take a boat there, travel to Puerto Rico is really no different than travel to another state. A passport is not required, and you don’t have to go through customs at the airport either. Even if you do have a passport, Puerto Rico is a great tourist destination, and the international flight service found here is the best in the Caribbean.
Along those same lines, you can also visit the U.S. Virgin Islands without a passport if you want to travel to the Caribbean. Again, these islands are a commonwealth of the United States, meaning that a passport and trip through customs is not necessary. St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, so many people fly there first, and other popular islands spots are the town of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, which is the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean, and the rainforests of St. John.
Most people don’t realize that passports only apply to air travel until at least 2008. Therefore, you can still leave on a cruise through the Caribbean from a United States port without a passport. Cruises are popular because you can visit a number of ports to experience lots of local culture. The Bahamas are also fairly close to the United States, so you can take a one-day cruise to the islands without a passport. Another choice is to fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands and take a ferry to the British Virgin Islands from there. Again, getting a passport is the best choice, because they soon may be required fro all air travel and for land and sea travel as well, but it you can’t get one in time, there are still ways for you to visit the Caribbean.