Though considered as one of the richest countries in the world, the number of American travelers is going down when it comes to international travel.
Travel is not always amongst the top ten things on everyone’s bucket list. Even when it is present, it doesn’t always refer to international travel. Americans, in particular, prefer to travel domestically rather than internationally.
In fact, some studies say that 64% of Americans have never crossed American borders. This is surprising given that America is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons for this lack of representation.
American Travelers and the Sheer Size of the Country
Only Russia, Antarctica and China are bigger than the USA in terms of size. From snow-covered slopes and dense green forests to grassy plains and sandy beaches; America offers it all. So, whether American traveler wants to ski, scuba or sunbathe, they don’t really have to go outside the country to experience it. Not only is this cheaper but it is also more convenient and saves Americans from the hassle of changing currencies, red-eye flights etc.
Getting a passport in America can set you back by $135. This makes the US passport the 5th most costly passport in the world. Thus, an individual is likely to get his or her passport made only when international travel is imminent. Americans believe that international travel is quite costly. The fact that the US shares its borders with only 2 countries also contributes to this.
After all, unlike Europeans, Americans cannot simply drive across the international border to visit countries other than Canada and Mexico and thus have only air travel to turn to. While calculating airfare for one person may still seem reasonable, when traveling with a family, this can turn out a little pricey.
No Time for a Holiday
US citizens literally have no time for a holiday. The average American gets only up to 14 days of leave annually. This includes sick days. To top this, a majority of Americans do not even take their entitled leave. In a race to fulfill the American dream, people find it hard to switch off from office and take a break. Even when they do take a break, most Americans find themselves checking in at the office every couple of days.
Americans Have a Lot of Debt
Most Americans take hefty student loans to pay for their college tuition. As a result, paying back these loans is often the number 1 priority. Credit card debts are the next most common form of debt affecting Americans. One of the reasons for the accumulation of these debts is the focus on ‘keeping up with the Jones’ and accumulating things rather than experiences.
Thus, even if they want to travel, many Americans find themselves financially unable to do so. This could be one reason that forbids American travelers from undertaking international trips.
But, is it Really Impossible?
Traveling abroad for the average American may be difficult but it isn’t impossible. However, there are a few tradeoffs that must be made. For example, switch off from work when you take a holiday. The office won’t collapse without you and neither will someone else be given your job just because you took a holiday.
As with citizens of any other country, plan a holiday in advance so that you can get cheaper flight options and budget your travel. So, fellow American travelers, save up and go see the world.