When you prepare for a trip abroad, the one essential item you need to pack isn’t your wallet, toothbrush, or even a pair of underwear—it’s your passport. That’s what most travel experts will tell you, at very least. But as it turns out, there are a few overseas trips where a passport isn’t required at all. If you drive or sail to nearby locations such as Canada, Mexico, or even the Caribbean, you only need a passport card or driver’s license to enter the country.
While they don’t have all the frills of a traditional passport book, passport cards are U.S. government-issued photo I.D.s that are valid when traveling by air or sea to certain locations. And unlike the books, which can cost a pretty penny, passport cards cost only $55 for adults and $40 for kids. (By the way, here’s what your passport color really means.)
The one drawback: This perk is not applicable to U.S. jet setters who fly to their destinations. Passport cards only work for land and sea travelers, Travel+Leisure reports.
To get a passport card of your own, you can apply here. Simply present the application form—along with a birth certificate, photo I.D., and other forms of identification—at your nearest facility, and you’ll be one step closer to your next spontaneous getaway.
So, what are you waiting for? The tropical (or arctic) vacation of your dreams awaits! And if you’re planning an overseas trip via airplane in the near future, here’s why you need to renew your passport immediately.