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  • Writer's pictureChristine Hardenberger

No Passport Required (4 Great Tropical Vacations in the United States)

I really want to go to the Caribbean.

Yes, I’ve been to St. Lucia and Jamaica recently, but I really want to go to the Caribbean with my husband.

For a vacation.

I hear that’s a thing people do.

Unfortunately, Bil can’t leave the country right now. Since he works on a Marine base, if he leaves the U.S. he has to quarantine for two weeks upon his return and since he can’t work from home, that’s not really an option for us. It would mean a one-week vacation would cost three weeks of vacation time (i.e. all the vacation time).

I’ll bet a lot of you are in the same boat.

Many military service members, first responders, and healthcare professionals can’t go outside the United States right now without submitting to a lengthy quarantine upon their return and, for most you, that’s just not an option.

Never fear! There are some great tropical locations that you can visit without leaving the country. Check out all the places you can go, no passport required.

Key West

I love Key West. It’s a quaint little town on the tip of the United States and it manages to be both lively and laid back at the same time. Key West has it all — clear blue water, gorgeous architecture, excellent, food, history, and nightlife.

Considerations: Key West can be a little too crazy for some guests at night. You may want to stay on your resort in the evening.


What’s not to love? You get palm trees, white-sand beaches, Polynesian culture, and amazing food. You can relax or surf or hike or take in the local history. It almost feels like visiting another country while never leaving US soil.

Considerations: Hawaii is expensive. Flights from the East coast can easily run $1,000 per person and food and activities on the island are costly as well. It’s also far. From the East, it’s an 11-hour flight.

US Virgin Islands

You want to visit the Caribbean? You got it! The US Virgin Islands are in the Eastern Caribbean and offer all the scenic beauty and “no problem” attitude that you find on the other islands. It’s a true Caribbean experience because you’re actually in the Caribbean.

Considerations: The USVI can be expensive to visit. Since there are no all-inclusive resorts (save one that I do not recommend), you need to purchase all food and drinks.

Puerto Rico

Another perfect Caribbean option in the United States is Puerto Rico. This US territory is an easy trip from the mainland and offers a wealth of vacation experiences, including the only rainforest in the US National Forest Service. Culture, history, beach life. Puerto Rico is an excellent choice when you are looking for an island vibe with lots more do to than just sit on the beach.

Considerations: Right now, the biggest downside to visiting Puerto Rico is their COVID testing requirement. They require a full PCR lab test (not the rapid test) to be taken within 72 hours of arrival. Since the lab test results take 2-4 days to come back, this is a bit of a gamble.

One thing to note when considering a tropical US vacation is that there are no true all-inclusive resorts in the United States. There are few places that offer meal plans or a modified “all-inclusive” experience, but nothing that matches the Caribbean all-inclusive resorts.

However, if you’re hankering to have your toes in the sand under a warm, tropical sun but you can’t leave the States, we can make that happen. Just give me a shout at!

Until next time…

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