At first it seems…
like a great idea host an important business meeting
or corporate retreat in an exotic place so that the guests and
participants can enjoy themselves to the utmost and
maybe get a little inspiration from the relaxing and idyllic surroundings.
The problem is that if you get too exotic,
would-be attendees without a passport may not be able to come.
Relatively new US passport laws have made it impossible to travel
outside of the country without the proper travel documents.
Many people, especially businesspeople who need to travel frequently,
have obtained a passport “just in case,” but many others have not.
The safe bet is to host your conference or retreat someplace that does not require a passport.
Luckily, there are plenty of attractive options for US-based businesspeople who do not have a passport.
This large Caribbean island is a US territory, so traveling here does not require a passport.
San Juan, the capital of the island, boasts beautiful Spanish colonial architecture and the laid back,
culture-rich vibe that characterizes the Spanish Caribbean.
The resorts that host conferences and meetings are generally near golf courses,
making it easy to duck out for a round in between strategy sessions or presentations.
And, of course, this is the Caribbean, so beaches are everywhere.
Numerous stretches of sand can be found within driving distance of San Juan.
Other Puerto Rican beach destinations like Rincon
are great options for event hosts who want their retreat or
meetings to take place in the typically idyllic tropical beach setting.
US Virgin Islands
The United States Virgin Islands are another convenient destination for Americans without passports.
The USVI consists of three large islands and numerous smaller islets.
Of the three main islands (Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, and Saint John), Saint John offers
the kind of tropical beach experience that most people can only daydream about.
This island, which can be reached by ferry, offers clean beaches, world-class golf courses, and a full slate of water-sports.
The estates that host retreats and conferences on Saint John are fully equipped to serve overnight guests,
making it possible to have the meeting and accommodations in the same place.
The sunny beaches of the Gold Coast of Florida are a top choice for people who want to host their conference or retreat on the mainland.
The Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas have a number of villas, estates, and resorts that
can accommodation a business meeting, conference or retreat.
Some of these venues are quite luxurious. This is especially the case for those in the Miami area.
Of course, Miami is known for its nightlife.
It also boasts a wide range of dining options and Latin and Caribbean cultural influences.
This makes it one of the more colorful and enjoyable places to host a business meeting or conference.
On top of that, the warm weather means that golf is a year-round sport.
Hawaii is probably the most desired of all passport-free conference destinations for US-based businesspeople.
And why not?
It boasts warm temperatures year round, idyllic Polynesian beaches and amazingly good tourist infrastructure,
not to mention all the extras like golf, classy beachside lounges, and fine restaurants.
The biggest drawback for people who want to host a conference in the 50th state is that airfare is quite pricey and
some conference venues may be overrun by tourists, creating a rather non-productive environment.
Still, Hawaii will always be an alluring option.
People often overlook the US Southwest when they are searching for a destination to host their conference or special event.
The deep history and unique desert landscapes do give this region a slightly exotic air,
though not in the palm-tree, beach, and rum-based cocktail sense.
The most positive thing that a state like Arizona has going for it is its wonderfully luxurious estates.
The villas of the Phoenix and Scottsdale area are ideal for hosting a small conference,
business retreat, or other corporate event.
The Phoenix attractions are also quite noteworthy.
Arizona has one of the highest densities of golf courses in the country and the fine dining,
nightlife and shopping options of Phoenix are second to none.
So, while hosting a corporate retreat in the Swiss Alps, on the French Riviera or
on the stunning beaches of Bali might sound amazing,
there are plenty of more-practical destinations that do not even require a passport.
About the Author
Jamie is the Co-Founder and President of Estate Weddings and Events. Jamie and EWE have been featured in The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, WE TV, Premier Homes, and many other publications. When Jamie is not managing Luxury Events at EWE, you can find her traveling the world. Her favorite destinations visited are Laos and the Maldives.You can follow her on Google+ here.