Why Puerto Rico is a Great Destination for First-Time Solo Travelers who are US Citizens

If you’re a US citizen and you’re considering traveling solo for the first time, consider going to Puerto Rico, which is an unincorporated U.S. territory.

Puerto Rico s a tropical island in the Caribbean with beautiful beaches, mountains, lots of waterfalls, and the only tropical rainforest in the United States, El Yunque National Rainforest. The weather is beautiful year-round with its rainy season being the winter months.

Here’s what makes Puerto Rico the perfect destination for US citizens who are considering solo traveling for the first time:

No passport needed

That’s right, you don’t have to apply for a passport to visit Puerto Rico. You may already have one, but you don't need to bring it with you unless you're coming from another country that requires it or if you're headed to another country afterwards where you will need it.

When you apply for a passport, you have to wait 3-6 weeks to get it to be able to travel while you submit the application, send in documents, and wait to receive your passport. Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, you are able to fly there with your state issued ID.

Plenty of similarities

Because Puerto Rico is part of the US, there are plenty of similarities that make traveling there easier.

Being able to speak in English

English is one of the official languages of Puerto Rico, along with Spanish which is used more by the locals. When you're in more of the touristy areas, which is liekly where you'll be visiting, many people are bilingual and speak English, making it easier to communicate while you're there.

Using the same currency

Puerto Rico doesn't actually have its own currency, so it uses the US dollar. This makes it much easier to be able to buy things while you're in Puerto Rico.

While I was there, I got by with using my credit card like normal. I would recommend carrying some cash, especially if you venture out of the touristy areas, as you may find a few cash-only places.

Different culture

While there are a lot of similarities, there are also a lot of differences from Puerto Rico to the mainland of the US. Puerto Rico has a totally different culture, largely Spanish culture but also influenced by African and Indian culture. From the food to the traditions to the language, to the people, you will get a truly unique and different experience than traveling to other parts of the US.

While I was there, they were celebrating the 6 weeks of Christmas, as their traditions span a much longer time than in the US. 

And as it relates to the language, it's a great place to test out your Spanish skills. Before you go, learn some Spanish and while you're there, give it a try with the locals because a high percentage of people are bilingual so they are happy to have you practice by talking to them.


All around, Puerto Rico makes a great destination for US citizens who are interested in trying out solo travel for the first time. It's similar but different in many ways, and it's technically not international, so it's easier to get there.

Have you been to Puerto Rico? Do you agree?

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