About 2 in 3 Americans (66%) have traveled outside the United States at some point for a leisure trip. And according to those of us international travelers, our border neighbors (Canada and Mexico) are the #1 and #2 destinations visited.
Now… is that because we are more likely to be able to get there (both financially and logistically) – or because we’ve been around the world and back, and those still stack up the best? It’s not crystal clear from our data… though it appears it may be the former, because when asked where we would most like to go (if money were no object), Canada and Mexico are nowhere to be seen on that list. Instead, we choose more exotic and/or more distant locales like Australia and Italy.
When planning a leisure trip, most Americans (72%) – including most international travelers – say they plan well in advance and take into account many personal and economic considerations. At least 6 in 10 Americans say that safety, political uncertainty, personal savings, and cost of airfare have a lot of influence over where they choose to travel. Gas prices and the value of the dollar are much less influential considerations.
For solely domestic travelers, financial considerations have even more weight, as economic uncertainty; personal savings; and the price of airfare, hotels and especially gas all factor in as somewhat more important than they are for international travelers.
But when traveling, we aren’t prepared to scrimp on everything – in fact, very few of us (22%) say we are willing to return home empty-handed. Almost 8 in 10 Americans say they rarely come home without a souvenir, especially those 18-29 and women. But don’t expect much from your grandmother or grandfather because it turns out seniors are the least likely to return home with a present, for you or them.
What’s been your experience? What’s your favorite place that you have ever visited outside the United States? And what did you bring home as a souvenir, if anything? Do you still have it and use it or has it been shoved in a shoebox somewhere in your attic or been donated to Goodwill?