Americans Can Experience This Amazing Caribbean Destination And Leave Their Passports At Home
Have you been dreaming of leaving it all behind and jetting off to the Caribbean but keep putting off that passport renewal? Luckily, Americans can experience the beauty and charm of the Caribbean without a passport!
In fact, Americans can experience the best of the Caribbean without a passport, without exchanging money, without a long-haul flight, and without dealing with the hassle of international cell service limitations.
Take It From Me, Puerto Rico Is The Most Accessible Caribbean Destination
When the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico this fall presented itself, I jumped on it immediately. Having lived elsewhere in the Caribbean since July, I was interested to see how different things were in San Juan. As an American, I knew I could travel to Puerto Rico without a passport. However, it didn’t register how truly easy it was to visit until I flew to San Juan.
The flight was a breeze! A lovely 2.5 hours from Miami with gorgeous weather, so the view from above turned the world below into a painting.
Having never been to Puerto Rico, I still felt like I was traveling to another country outside of the States. With Puerto Rico being a U.S. territory however, flying into San Juan was like any other domestic flight. When I landed and took my phone off airplane mode, I had fantastic cell service. Once deplaned, a small part of me felt like I needed to go through customs.
Instead, I was outside the airport and waiting for my ground transport in about 5 minutes! The drive to my hotel, The Sheraton, was smooth and short, which felt out of the norm for the Caribbean. If you’ve frequented much of the Caribbean, you probably know how rough the roads can get!
Not The Puerto Rico I Was Expecting
As we all know, the media often tends to exaggerate. As my departure date inched closer, I watched two hurricanes make landfall in Puerto Rico. First Fiona, and then Ian. Friends and family kept asking me if I planned to cancel my trip. I never had any intention of doing so, but did wonder what things would be like when I arrived.
By no means am I discounting the impact Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian had on residents of Puerto Rico, particularly those in the south. Still, while exploring San Juan, I saw no evidence of storm damage and no areas without power, save the occasional traffic light. Everything seemed to be operating business as usual.
Speaking with my driver on the way to the hotel, he recounted his experiences throughout various hurricanes. He told me how much his life changed during Hurricane Maria, one of the worst to ever hit the island. Fiona and Ian were no comparison, at least for him.