Find out ways to travel when you do not have a passport allowing you to travel internationally. Not all of us have the privilege of owning a passport. Even those who did, the events of covid-19 restricted movements, asking people to stay home in an attempt to slow the spread of 2020s deadly virus. It also restricted movements for USA passport holders as borders closed, halting international travel to destinations for many Americans. Fortunately, the USA is a huge country, with many opportunities to travel and stay socially distant. Passports aside, here are tips for you to travel throughout the United States.
Make Sure You Have a Valid I.D. to Travel
First, the best way to travel across state lines to ensure that you have a valid photo I.D. from your state. This is the best way to show who you are to authorities when a passport is not available. Even minors can have photo identification cards, so contact your local DMV to see what the requirements are. Minors typically have these cards when they take a flight alone, it is not reserved just for driving.
Check your ID expiration date before travel and if it is valid, keep a digital copy available just in case. Scanning a copy of your ID and making it available for you (or a family member) to download in case your ID is lost or stolen will be a lifesaver.
For those of you who are U.S. citizens, the application process for a U.S. passport is intensive but is totally worth it as a citizen. Even when you are not traveling. Not only does a passport allow you to travel internationally, but helps with new jobs. It is the perfect way to prove your identity to HR when starting a new job. In any case, make sure you can prove your identity with a valid ID before leaving home.
Decide How You Want to Travel
Next, choose a destination you can travel to in your county. If you live in a populated area, you can look at trains, cars, and flights. For those who live in rural areas, you will need to factor in driving time. One thing you must remember is that you do not need to get on an airplane to travel.
Travel can be visiting the city nearby, the state or county next-door, or even the mountains. Once you decide what kind of travel you want to do (outdoor hiking, ski resorts, beach vacations, cultural events, etc.), you will be able to plan travel for YOU. Stop restricting yourself by only looking at flights and start the possibility of experiences off the beaten track.
Consider Traveling the Classic American Road Trip
Without a doubt, one of the easiest ways to travel is by using a personal vehicle. Take one look at the United States sheer size and you will start to plan a road trip. This was the best way to visit America in the past (Route 66!). It is also one of the easiest ways to see parts of the country that do not have rail access. You can plan a trip around the entire state of Texas, a road trip to the four corners, or even a road trip to the first USA ski resort. The possibilities of road trips are endless.
If you have never been on a road trip, your first experience will help you learn how to travel. Start with a weekend trip (about 3 days) that does not have you driving more than 4 hours to get to your destination. Once you have a weekend road trip under your belt, double your distance and see how you like the trip.
Road trips are a great way to finish audiobooks, see the milky way, and connect with your friends or family. But if you do not like driving, find a friend who does, or move on from the idea and try traveling via Amtrak.
Utilize the Railways So You Can Travel (No Passport Needed!)
For the same reason, travel by train is a relaxing way to see the country. Unlike Europe, the USA railway system is built more for moving goods than people. But there are still many ways to travel via train, especially if you are afraid of flying. Most of the railways travel the country from east to west instead of north to south, but they are a relaxing way to see the country.
The USA railways can take you through the beautiful outdoors, the Rocky Mountains, the desert, and all the way to the capital. Utilize Amtrak’s Trip Planning Map to find a route near you. You can plan a trip with your entire family and have time to connect on the train before you all become tourists at the destination.
The best thing about train travel is not having to drive or worry about being lost. It is also about the ability to relax. The ability to enjoy time reading a book in my private room on the way to my destination.
Sign up for a Group Travel Tour
Of course, if you are still unsure how to travel, especially as a solo traveler, start with a group trip! While these experiences cost more upfront, group tours are ideal for those who are too busy to plan and want someone else to figure it all out. Tours are available for all age groups, and usually plan everything (including food & sleeping accommodation) for you.
If you are a lone wolf, stay away from group travel. But if you want to explore, meet new people, and do not mind sharing a room with a stranger, try it out! These tour operators have options within the USA, and when travel allows, all over the world. Get your travel feet wet here on a group tour and know that your guide will be there to help.
As I have said, learning how to travel without a passport is only limited by your imagination. You can hop in your car (or a friend’s car), book a train ticket, or even just visit the town next door. Keep these tips in mind for your next adventure. You will have a great time seeing the world around you.
Travel is more than hoping on an airplane to a country that is different from yours. Travel is how you define it, whether that is eating gumbo in New Orleans, Bagels in NY, or fresh fish in Seattle, it is not what you see on tv. So, choose how you want to travel and share where you are going in the comments below.
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