Where can U.S. citizens travel without a visa? Here's what you need to know before planning your next international trip.

By Elizabeth Rhodes
Updated December 22, 2020
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Before you book your next international getaway, there are a couple of things you have to do: Double-check your passport’s expiration date and see if you’ll need a visa to enter your destination of choice. So, where can U.S. citizens travel without a visa? A better question might be: Where can’t Americans travel without a visa?

Despite current restrictions that prevent Americans from traveling to certain countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. citizens still have one of the world’s most powerful passports, allowing for visa-free access to most countries around the globe. In fact, the Henley & Partners Passport Index ranked the U.S. passport seventh in its 2020 list of the world’s passports because it provides citizens visa-free access to 185 destinations, including countries that require Electronic Travel Authorization (often called an eTA) or a visa on arrival.

Americans can travel to most European, Caribbean, and Central and South American countries without a visa, along with many other popular tourism destinations. Countries that U.S. passport holders need visas to enter include Russia, India, China, Vietnam, Turkey, and more, and others require e-visas to visit.

If you want to see where you can travel without a visa, start by visiting the Henley & Partners Passport Index and selecting the country that your passport is from. Then, you can see which countries require a visa to visit. Find more information on the U.S. Department of State travel site, where you can search specific country requirements.

Of course, visa-free travel doesn’t give U.S. citizens the ability to go wherever they want for as long as they want. The amount of time that you can stay in a country without needing a visa varies from place to place, so be sure to check the local immigration and customs rules before planning your trip, especially if you’re hoping to travel for an extended period of time. If you’re visiting a destination that requires a visa, know that the process can be lengthy and expensive, so factor that in when choosing your departure date and trip budget.

As mentioned above, some countries have prohibited American tourists from entering during the coronavirus pandemic, and you can find country-specific coronavirus travel information (including quarantine rules and current restrictions) on the State Department website. Check out our list of places where Americans can travel right now to see which countries are accepting U.S. tourists.