Americans are back to traveling in droves now that the travel landscape is back to normal, excluding, of course, the state of conflict in some countries and the unpredictable realm of geopolitics, which keeps changing unpredictably by the minute.

Lucky for the average U.S. passport holder looking to escape the daily humdrum, there are very few limits as to where they can go.

Most countries now welcome them with open arms and are easing visa rules further, but that does not apply to all.

In fact, Americans need visas or electronic travel authorizations (ETAs) to travel to a number of popular destinations, including Australia, where an ETA is required, and Egypt, where a visa must be purchased on arrival, and that’s only two examples.

The days of travel restrictions may be in the past, but that does not mean international travel is always completely seamless.

So, if you are wondering where Americans can travel to without any pre-existing requirements simply by holding a valid passport, this list may prove useful to you:


Happy Young Female Tourist Smiling As She Takes A Picture From A Resort In Egypt, North Africa

Let’s start with the most restrictive continent for travelers: though Africa is widely known among Americans for transformative journeys, a wild undisturbed nature, and unmatched ethnic diversity, it is perhaps the hardest region to travel.

A majority of African countries still require Americans to obtain visas or eVisas in advance, an arduous process that may involve accessing outdated websites that are not fully functional, traveling to the nearest Consulate, paying expensive fees (as high as $200), and stressful border crossings.

Blue Nile Falls, Tis Issat, Ethiopia, Africa

There are only 15 destinations U.S. citizens can access completely visa-free, and interestingly enough, the continent’s leading attraction is not one of them: arriving in Egypt, Americans must purchase a physical single or multiple-entry visa at the airport, with prices starting from $25.

Home to Mount Kilimanjaro, a bucket list African landmark, and the UNESCO-listed Zanzibar island, Tanzania, too, requires Americans to pay a visa fee for entering, at an even higher rate of $50; even global safari capital Kenya has eVisa arrangements in place.

Aerial View Of Cape Town, South Africa

Fortunately, not all African countries make it harder and more bureaucratic for U.S. citizens to enter, with subtropical Morocco, an Arab country straddling both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts and the cultural hotspot that is South Africa allowing them to enter without visas.

The full list can be found below:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Central African Republic
  • eSwatini
  • Gabon
  • Lesotho
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Tunisia
  • Zambia


Young Woman Tourist Admiring A Colonial Cathedral In Valladolid, Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Latin America

Traveling Africa may prove challenging for most Americans, unless they a bunch of pre-obtained visas in hand, and plenty of blank passport pages to use up, but if it’s any consolation, exploring their own continent couldn’t be easier.

There is only one country in the whole of the mainland Americas where they cannot enter unless holding a valid tourist visa, and that is Venezuela, which in recent years has not exactly had friendly relations with the United States or most of its Southern neighbors, for that matter.

colorful houses on a cobbled street on a sunny day in buenos aires argentina

As for every other destination in the New World, Americans may come and go as they please, seeing they are not bound by restrictive entry rules and visa requirements, be in the form of entry authorizations or Consulate-issued permits.

From sunny Mexico down to tropical Colombia, they are eligible for hassle-free entry provided they carry a U.S. passport, and in these two countries in particular, their permitted length of stay can be as long as six months, sure to make slow travelers and digital nomads happy.

Blue And Yellow Macaw Perched On A Clifftop Overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

With that being said, Brazil, the largest South American country is now mulling over introducing a tourist visa for Americans, that would in theory make it impossible for them to visit unless holding a pre-obtained authorization, though that is not yet being enforced.

For 2024, these are all the North and South American countries U.S. nationals can visit without visa restrictions:

  • Argentina
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia*
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
*A Visa On Arrival for Bolivia is required costing $160


senso ji temple with cherry blossom in the foreground in tokyo japan

Asia is the perfect spot for Americans looking to immerse themselves in an entirely different culture and escape their mundane Western worries, but unfortunately for blue passport holders, unlike Africa, the list of visa-free countries in the continent of friendly smiles is not as limited.

The most obvious odd one out is China, which requires U.S. nationals to apply for a physical visa in order to enter, a bureaucratic process that typically involves a visit to a Consulate, where applicants must present documentation and be interviewed unless they are merely transiting through.

Giant Buddha Statue And A Red Historical Temple In Bangkok, Thailand, Southeast Asia

Fortunately, a majority of destinations across Asia are open to hosting Americans bureaucracy-free, and though there may be an entry form or an eVisa to be filled out here and there, these can be easily obtained online by paying a fee and with minimal hassle.

Famous examples include Vietnam and India, where U.S. travelers are not allowed to enter unless holding a valid eVisa.

woman looking at the illuminated buildings at thu bon riverside in hoi an vietnam

Exercising sovereignty over Bali, a popular wellness retreat and paradisaical island, Indonesia also requires Americans to purchase a visa, either online in advance or upon arrival at the airport, as does Cambodia and Laos; thus, they do not qualify for the list.

  • Brunei
  • Hong Kong
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Uzbekistan

The Caribbean

wild beach in punta cana

Going abroad, there is truly nowhere most Americans would rather be than the tropical Caribbean, a turquoise-blue ocean littered with paradisaical islands, some of which are countries in their own right and others that are autonomous territories of larger states.

With the exception of Cuba, they are free to roam around the territory freely, usually by presenting a valid passport. In the communist state, however, they are officially discouraged from visiting by U.S. authorities, and those who do must purchase a ‘Tourist Card’.

Woman in the Caribbean

Similarly to a visa, a Cuban Tourist Card can be obtained at a Cuban embassy or consular mission, or at the airport prior to departure, though the latter option is not advised as not all airlines and service providers are licensed to issue the document.

In some cases, the travel agency you book your Cuba trip with could be the one applying for the card.

As you might suspect, this requirement makes Fidel Castro’s homeland the hardest country for U.S. tourists to enter in the Caribbean.

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • French West Indies
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Puerto Rico*
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Maarten
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • U.S. Virgin Islands*
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are U.S. territories, meaning Americans do not typically need to present an international travel document to visit. State-issued, REAL ID-complying driver licenses are valid for domestic travel.


Dresden Old Town, Saxony, Germany, Central Europe

Out of all the continents, Europe is easily where Americans will find it easier to travel around, with all but three countries granting them visa-free entry: in fact, a majority of Europen states is a member of the European Union, one of the United States’ most trusted partners.

Whether they’re off to Italy to chase Mediterranean sunsets and rugged drives as they eat gelato, or they’re ticking off fairytale German castles off the list, U.S. passport holders do not have to worry about obtaining entry permits in advance (at least for now).

Woman walking in Rome, Italy

In the future, the EU will require them to apply for a travel authorization before flying, and that’s still not a visa – it’s an online form that needs to be filled coupled with a small, symbolic fee that actually exempts them from a regular visa – but as of this year, travel is still completely bureaucracy-free.

As for the exceptions, perhaps it’s not a surprise that Russia and Belarus would bar entry to American travelers unless they’ve been pre-screened at a Consulate and have obtained a visa in advance, and it’s not like there are many travelers going to these war-raging countries these days, anyway.

Panoramic View Of A Hilltop Castle In Lyon, France, Western Europe

The third European – or marginally European – country that is not listed under the visa-free agreements is Azerbaijan, the southernmost of the Caucasus states, a region between Eastern Europe and Western Asia: in order to enter, Americans must apply for an eVisa valid for only 30 days.

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

Middle East

Hagia Sophia dome and minaret old town, Istanbul, Turkiye

The Westernmost part of Asia, the Middle East is often treated as its own subcontinent, and similarly to the wider continent, it can be trickier to navigate if you’re an American, not only due to complex visa rules, but also conflicts or anti-American sentiment.

Visiting Iraq, Jordan or Kuwait, you will be required to apply for a visa on arrival, with prices and passport requirements varying between countries, and even some of the visa-free destinations, like Lebanon and disputed Palestine, carry their own significant risks.

view on Dubai downtown skyscrapers, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The war between Israel and Hamas has made the Jewish state equally high-risk for Americans to travel, especially now that Iran is weighing in.

We would definitely not encourage you to visit Iran, where Americans have been known to be arbitrarily arrested and accused of crimes despite being innocent and being aware of the multiple kidnapping cases, and only cross the Yemeni border at your own risk.

Temple Mount In Jerusalem, Israel, Middle East

That being said, there are plenty more Middle Eastern countries that are risk-free.

These include visa-free Turkiye, home to the fascinating cross-continental city of Istanbul and the coastal resort of Antalya, the United Arab Emirates, with its futuristic Dubai, and the increasingly trendy Saudi Arabia: they are all formally neutral in the conflict, and they all warmly welcome American tourists.

  • Israel
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkiye (formerly spelled Turkey)
  • United Arab Emirates


SUP Tahiti paddleboard woman standing on stand-up board paddling over turquoise ocean at luxury beach resort hotel on Bora Bora island, French Polynesia

Yet another subcontinent – not formally a continent, but rather a geopolitical concept – Oceania is arguably the most peaceful territory on Earth in 2024, with no wars, low levels of crime, and limited travel restrictions imposed.

Americans can travel visa-free to most sovereign Oceanic states and self-governing, non-independent islands, including French Polynesia and New Caledonia, which are part of France, and the Cook Islands, which belong to New Zealand.

They even enjoy freedom of movement across State-Governed collectivities.

mount cook in new zealand

The two ‘big’ countries in Oceania, Australia and New Zealand, do not grant unrestricted entry to Americans on the basis of holding a U.S. passport alone: applicants must have an Electronic Travel Authorization before boarding.

This is an easy requirement to fulfill, however, as it is easily obtained online, and it does not equal a visa. As for the rest of the Oceanic destinations, bar three – Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, and Nauru – presenting an American passport at the border is generally all the documentation you need.

  • American Samoa*
  • Australia**
  • Cook Islands (New Zealand)**
  • Eastern Island (Chile)
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia (France)
  • Guam*
  • Kiribati
  • New Caledonia (France)
  • New Zealand**
  • Marshall Islands*
  • Palau
  • Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom)
  • Samoa
  • Tonga
  • Vanuatu
*Freedom of movement.
**An Electronic Travel Authorization is required.

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