America is 50 states and we all know that. However, what many people forget about is our territories and our freely associated states. I have traveled to many of them but most Americans could not even locate them on a map. I know of one man that did not even know where Guam was!
Many people don’t ask the right question: What is the best US territory to vacation in?
Right inside our country is some amazing tropical places to visit that are like visiting another country but without the problems and the security issues that are related to visiting places like the Philippines, Thailand, or Vietnam. None of them require much more than just your birth certificate so if you do want to visit them, you don’t even need to wait for a passport.
US Virgin Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
These are the main ones that have civilization on them. There are a few others used for research like Midway Islands and Howard Islands (which was where Airhear was last seen). However, few make it that far out and fewer are even allowed to be present due to policies of the US Government.
Each of these islands are a little different and most of them provide a little different look at American life. It seems the more remote you get, the less influential Hollywood becomes. However, make no mistake about it, they love America.
The most well known of them is the home of Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rico. While they do face challenges related to hurricanes, the rest of the time is amazing weather and you should have no real issues while there.
On top of that, you can normally get flights to San Juan for very good prices. Hostels in town are not prices you will see in Thailand but they are still pretty reasonable all things considered.
US Virgin Islands
The other place off the east coast to check out is the Virgin Islands. It is much more upscale than Puerto Rico but it is still worth checking out. I am just not sure how much you could do on a budget.
Getting there should not be that challenging but flights and hostels will not be cheap. Just be prepared to pay for anything and everything you try and do.
Of all them on the list, I have the most experince in American Samoa. It is more than just where NFL players with funny names come from and the top recuitment for the military. It is the only piece of US Soil south of the equator and the only tropical rainforest in the United States. The national park of American Samoa is worth a visit all by itself.
Flying to American Samoa is only possible from Honolulu using Hawaiian Airlines. The price are set and there is no other option. With that said, expect to pay mainland prices for most other things.
To be honest, American wins for best US territory to vacation in.
The most eastern part of the United States is more than just a military base and where the day starts for America. It is also a tropical island that has some great beaches and a tropical experience but with the backbone of being in America. It is best of Asia and America together.
Getting to Guam is not a challenge because United flies there daily out of Hawaii and Delta flies from Japan. Much like America Samoa, everything you will encounter in Guam will be priced close to what you expect in the mainland.
Northern Mariana Islands
Just north of Guam is the infamous Northern Mariana Islands that became the center focus of a major labor scandal. However, the beauty of the islands is some of the best that America has to offer. It is just very hard to get to is the problem. On a side note, it was from these islands that we loaded the atomic bombs that was dropped on Japan.
Traveling to Saipan is either from Guam or via Japan. Going to the Northern Mariana Islands is more of a afterthought of visiting Guam for most people unless they are working for the government going to Saipan for official business.
Taking a Northern Mariana Islands vacation is something you will never forget!
Many people only know the atoll in the central Pacific because it was where we test some powerful bombs. However, the beauty of Marshall Islands is out of these world. It is probably one of the best places to see truly tropic islands that have not been commercialized.
Being a remote island in the Pacific does make getting to it a challenge. As of it stands currently, only United makes the flight from Hawaii on their way to Guam. There is no other options. Hotels are most 2-3 stars at best.
I highly recommend a Marshall Island vacation. It might be a long ways out there but it is worth the trip.
Another amazing tropical place to visit is Micronesia. It is a freely associated states that is over a million miles of water. It also has great places for surfing, some waterfalls and of course some beaches as well. There is nothing disappointing about a vacation in Micronesia….especially on Yap Island.
Following the trend of insane airfare, we have a new competitor. Flying to the islands here can cost well over a thousand dollars. As United controls the market, there is not much anyone can do about it but pay if they want to go. The hotels on island are about what you would expect at Motel 6 in the mainland.
Going to Micronesia is one of the best US territory to vacation but is normally forgotten about.
The final one on the list is the paradise for divers known as Palau. People were are into deep sea diving travel here from all over the world to experience the amazing marine life under the sea. If you have the ability to ever make out that far, it is highly recommended.
Traveling to Palau is the same story we have had with every other remote location in America. It is pricy to get airfare but once you land, everything else is basically the same price you would pay in Missouri or Texas.
Why I think the Islands are worth it!
I know many people will never see them but I think making a point to visit one of them on the list in your lifetime is something everyone should try and do. It is just that amazing. Seeing a different way that American live will open your eyes to a new way of thinking at the very least.