An upcoming celestial event is scheduled to occur on October 14, visible in North, Central, and South America, particularly in certain regions like parts of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. According to NASA, this annular solar eclipse holds significance as it represents a rare occurrence in the United States, with the next visible annular solar eclipse not expected until June 2039. Even then, it will only be visible in Alaska. To help travelers plan for this astronomical event, Travel + Leisure has compiled a list of destinations within the U.S. that offer budget-friendly options for experiencing the October solar eclipse. Their information is based on data provided by Priceline, which highlights average costs for hotels, flights, and rental cars from October 13 to October 16, ensuring that travelers are well-prepared for the upcoming annular solar eclipse.

What is an annular solar eclipse?

According to NASA, an annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is at its farthest point from Earth and comes between the sun and our planet. Because the Moon seems smaller from this distance, it doesn’t completely cover the sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect in the sky. NASA cautions that it’s never safe to gaze directly at the sun during an annular eclipse without proper eye protection designed for solar viewing. Alternatively, consider a safer method, using a pinhole projector instead.

Budget Friendly U.S. Destinations for Experiencing October’s Solar Eclipse

One of the cost-effective options featured is Las Vegas, Nevada. As per Travel + Leisure’s data, flights to this destination begin at $215, while hotel rates start at $188 per night, and rental cars are available from $69 per day. Houston, Texas, is another destination highlighted on their list, with flights starting at $233, hotel accommodations beginning at $126 per night, and rental cars priced at $67 per day. Denver, Colorado, also provides an affordable choice for witnessing the annular solar eclipse. Flights to this destination are among the more economical prices, starting at $258. Hotel stays start at $174 per night, and rental cars can be secured at $77 per day.

Other places on their list include New Mexico, Utah, California, and Oregon destinations. Check out the complete list and price breakdown here.

5 Passport-Free Getaways Where Travelers Can Explore

Most of the time, if you’re traveling outside of the U.S., you need a current passport to do it. But there are some places outside of the country where you can visit without a passport.  And that’s good news for many Americans. A significant portion of Americans, roughly 55 percent, do not possess one.

Last year, the State Department reported that out of the 333,287,557 individuals residing in the United States, an estimated 55 percent, or a substantial portion, did not possess a passport. This figure, based on the total number of 151,814,305 valid U.S. passports in circulation, highlights the fact that a significant majority of Americans have yet to get one.

You don’t always need a passport to visit some awesome places. There are U.S. islands and territories, like the breathtaking U.S. Virgin Islands, where you can hop on a plane and explore without a passport. However, it’s important to note that the travel landscape can sometimes be confusing, as there are other U.S. territories, like Guam, where a passport is necessary for entry.

Do I need a passport for cruises?

When it comes to closed-loop cruises, which are voyages departing from the U.S. and returning to the same port, travelers have a bit of leeway when it comes to passport requirements. According to Ilisa Oman, a travel agent at One World Family Travel, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) allows passengers on these cruises to travel without providing proof of a passport. Instead, a state-issued driver’s license or identification card usually suffices.

Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule. It’s always best to check in with your cruise line for more information about your travels.

To make your trip planning a breeze, we’ve got your back with a list of cool destinations where you, as a U.S. citizen, can travel passport-free. Whether you don’t have one or simply prefer to explore without the hassle of carrying one, we’ve got you covered.

  • Puerto Rico

    This Caribbean island is part of the U.S. Puerto Rico has sandy beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and even a tropical rainforest. If you’re a U.S. citizen traveling from anywhere within the U.S., you don’t need to hassle with a passport to visit this paradise. It’s worth mentioning that starting from May 2025, there’s this thing called the Real ID Act that kicks in. If your state isn’t compliant with this Act, you’ll need to bring your trusty passport to explore the wonders of Puerto Rico. So, make sure to check if your state is all set with the Real ID Act before planning your trip.

    San Juan, Puerto Rico resort skyline on Condado Beach on dusk.

    Sean Pavone/ Getty Images


  • St. Croix

    If you’re craving island vibes, you might want to check out St. Croix. It is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, you won’t need to worry about bringing your passport when traveling to and from this island.

    Beautiful scenery with harbor of St Croix, green mountain, water and town along the coastline.

    NAPA74/ Getty Images

  • Northern Mariana Islands

    The Northern Mariana Islands, a collection of 14 tropical wonders has sandy shores, azure waters, and an array of thrilling activities like windsurfing, cavern dives, and jungle treks. And yes, U.S. citizens can venture to these remote islands without the need for a passport. However, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to carry a government-issued proof of identification along with you during your visit.

    Taga Beach is an idyllic little cove below the cliff lines and is one of the top attractions in Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands.

    raksybH/ Getty Images

  • St. Thomas

    St. Thomas, a Caribbean island known for its white sand beaches, snorkeling opportunities, and Danish colonial architecture. As a U.S. citizen, you won’t need a passport to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas. However, it’s important to note that if you plan to explore the neighboring British Virgin Islands, a valid passport will be required. For your adventures on St. Thomas, it only requires a government-issued ID with your photo.

    Trunk Bay, St John, United States Virgin Islands.

    SeanPavonePhoto/ Getty Images

  • St. John

    St. John, the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. This island is home to the  Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, where you can embark on thrilling adventures like scuba diving, hiking, and even discover prehistoric archaeological sites. Since St. John is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can leave your passport at home when traveling there.

    Cruz Bay, St John, United States Virgin Islands.

    SeanPavonePhoto/ Getty Images

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