When you think of passports, you think of those little books that open up the world to you. But to US citizens, passports can be in a different form, namely, in card form. With several key differences, but not unlike the passport book, the US passport card allows some international travel and carries several advantages.
Beyond the form and size, these are some of the differences between US passport books and cards:
- The card is noticeably more affordable than the book. For first-time applicants over the age of 16, the card costs $65 as opposed to the book’s $165. For applicants under 16, it costs $50, while the book costs $135. Card renewals by mail cost just $30, while it costs $130 to renew the passport book by mail.
- The card only grants you international travel through land and sea borders. Countries that share land and/or sea borders with the US include Canada, Mexico, and several Caribbean countries. For air travel, you must use the regular passport book.
That border limitation might put you off, but we’re here to show you that there is a lot to discover just by using the US passport card. Here are our top five countries you can visit with just a US passport card.
The first country is an obvious choice, especially for US travelers looking for some similarity, and yet looking to adventure, be it in nature or in concrete jungles.
For those of you who want to feel Europe but do not fancy the flight across the ocean, Montreal is a great choice. As the largest city of the dominantly francophone Quebec province, Montreal truly makes European vibes its own.
If you’re longing for some peace and natural beauty, Canada has something for you, too. The Banff National Park in Alberta, for example, offers picture-perfect nature like nowhere else on earth. The oldest national park in Canada features rocky mountain peaks, gorgeous turquoise glacial lakes, as well as rich and vibrant biodiversity.
There’s a reason the Bahamas are such a popular tourist destination. The archipelago prides itself on its clear seas and playfully pink beaches.
The country’s 16 major islands each offer unique opportunities for relaxing and adventure. The Bahamas are also ready to treat their guests with various adventures like boating, diving, and other marine activities.
The Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with the francophone Haiti. While not having the whole island to itself, the country still boasts a wide range of natural diversity. The terrain comprises savannah, highlands, rainforests.
And who could forget their beaches? The Punta Cana area invites sun-seekers to relax on its soft white sands. Beside this area, there are other undeveloped, more quiet beaches for you who would prefer some more zen under the warm Caribbean sun.
This island nation might not share the fame that The Bahamas have, but it does not mean that they are lacking in options. This 180 km² island, not unlike other islands in the Caribbean, offers beautiful beaches, but the adventures don’t stop there.
Take a peek into past civilizations at the Arikok National Park which has the Fontein cave paintings. Other than that, you could visit Palm Beach, which also has the Bubali Bird Sanctuary.
We obviously cannot skip Mexico. The culture of Mexico is steeped with its long history that started back in the ancient civilizations of the Aztec and Maya.
One example is the El Castillo at the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Chichén Itzá was a large and thriving city in the Mayan empire. Other than that, the ruins of Tulum overlooks the clear blue Caribbean sea and is the ultimate package of beauty of the past and present.
Mexico is a country with a diverse culture and it would be a shame to miss out on them!
Convinced to get a passport card?
I hope we convinced you that the US passport card is already quite advantageous. If you are, you should know how to apply for one, and proceed to follow the instructions.
Make sure you take care of all the documentations as well as you can, including the little nuances such as the printing format of your application form and your passport photo. Good luck and bon voyage!