Barbara P. Fernandez  /  Redux Pictures file
A Sunday afternoon on the calm waters of beautiful Lameshur Bay on St. John, the first known occupied indigenous site on the island dating to 840-700 B.C.
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updated 1/23/2007 4:36:17 PM ET 2007-01-23T21:36:17

If you're one of the many Americans scrambling to apply for a new passport to comply with the new State Department regulations, which go into effect January 23, relief is on the way. Select hotels and resorts in the Caribbean and the Bahamas -- two destinations affected by the new requirements -- are offering to pick up the tab for your passport, hoping to keep travelers coming back to these places despite the additional cost.

The Arawak Beach Inn on Anguilla is wooing first-time passport holders with a Passport to Paradise package, which includes four nights' accommodations and a complimentary day trip to a private island from just $240 per person. This package is not only available to first-time passport holders but also to travel veterans with two or more Anguilla stamps in their passports. Travel is valid through June 30, 2007.

The 19 member hotels of Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas will reimburse the cost of passports for an entire family of four when you travel by March 31, 2007, and stay a minimum of two nights. You'll need to send in a rebate form and several verification documents after your stay to get reimbursed. Your passport must be purchased by March 24, 2007.

The "super-inclusive" SuperClubs Resorts, scattered throughout the Caribbean and Brazil, are offering to reimburse the cost of a new or renewal passport when you book by March 31 and travel anytime in 2007. You must submit the required documentation either to SuperClubs or to your travel agent or tour operator at least 30 days before travel. Up to $97 for a new passport or $67 for a renewal will be credited toward your stay.

The Sonesta Great Bay Beach & Casino on St. Maarten is offering 100 "St. Maarten Bucks" per person to anyone whose passport is issued after November 26, 2006. St. Maarten must be your first arrival stamp. The St. Maarten Bucks can be redeemed at various restaurants, shops, car rental desks and other vendors on the island. This deal is valid for travel from January 23 through December 17, 2007, with a minimum four-night stay. Mention "SXM Bucks" when making your reservation.

The Ladera Resort in St. Lucia is offering a Passport to Paradise promotion for travel in 2007. First-time passport holders simply need to show their passport and original receipt at check-in, and they'll be reimbursed the $97 application fee. The resort is also throwing in extras like a leather passport case, a 30-minute massage and a custom cocktail. The deal is good for travel from January 1 - December 21, 2007.

The Sheraton and Westin Grand Bahama Resorts at Our Lucaya are offering $100 in resort credit to guests whose first passports were issued between August 1, 2006 and January 31, 2007. To be eligible for the credit, guests must book under the rate schedule PASS, show proof of purchase at check-in and travel by June 2007. A maximum of one $100 credit per room applies.

The new State Department regulations require that all U.S. citizens have a passport for air travel to and from all non-U.S. territories in the Americas, the Caribbean and Bermuda, starting January 23, 2007. For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions about the New Travel Document Requirements.

The Independent Traveler is an interactive traveler's exchange and comprehensive online travel guide for a community of travelers who enjoy the fun of planning their own trips and the adventure of independent travel. You can access our wealth of travel resources and great bargains here at www.independenttraveler.com, or at www.bargainbox.com.

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