If you’re planning to take a trip abroad, it may be time to start saving: The average international trip costs nearly $5,000, according to new research; but that doesn’t stop travelers.
A survey of 2,000 internationally traveling Americans looked at their travel habits and found that, despite the cost, the average respondent has taken six international trips in the past five years alone, with one-third saying they have taken even more (34%).
If time is money, many are making the most of it too, with one in eight holidaying abroad for more than three weeks at a time.
Conducted by OnePoll for Delta Vacations, the survey found that, on international vacations, Americans have spent the most time in Europe and South America over the past five years and the least amount of time in Antarctica and Africa.
However, don’t count those continents out on future trips, as the majority of respondents have a “bucket list” of international destinations they’d like to visit (55%). One in five of those who do say there are at least 10 places on that list (21%).
People shared some of their best memories of traveling to other countries, including “getting engaged on the beach in Costa Rica,” “climbing the Great Wall of China,” and eating “amazing hole-in-the-wall fish pie in Edinburgh.”
More than a quarter admit that they like to spend their time doing “touristy” activities (27%), while 24% enjoy spending time among the locals, and 40% enjoy a combination of both.
Most respondents are also interested in learning about the culture of a foreign country while there (77%).
To help prepare, 50% said they downloaded a language app to try to familiarize themselves with the language of the country before visiting.
However, 40% of Americans admitted that traveling to another country makes them nervous.
This may be because they have encountered problems at their destination, such as booking accommodation in an undesirable location (48%), booking reservations incorrectly (38%) or having difficulty finding transport (33%).
Nearly half said they had previously been afraid or nervous about visiting an international destination, but put these fears aside and left anyway (48%), leaving nearly all respondents glad they took the opportunity (93%).
“The experience of traveling abroad is definitely worth it,” said Kama Winters, president of Delta Vacations. “It allows you to immerse yourself in other cultures, try new things, and broaden your perspective. It can be an intimidating process, and that’s why I recommend two things: use a trusted travel provider to curate recommendations, and sign up for an airline loyalty and rewards program to earn and redeem miles as you travel. Take advantage of that experience and those miles!”
Making sure everything goes smoothly can be a lot of pressure, which is why 44% of travelers prefer to leave travel booking in the hands of professionals like travel agents or tour operators.
If respondents had to choose their best options for a comfortable flight, they would opt for more comfortable seats (40%) and more meals or snacks (36%) of better quality and quantity (34%).
“We believe in having the support of our customers every step of the way and offer our experience and service to support them,” Winters said. “Avoid spending hours online researching every aspect of your trip and use expertly crafted sample itineraries, recommended hotels and curated experiences that take any vacation to the next level.”
MUST HAVE ITEMS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
- Foreign plug adapters: 47%
- Day bag — 42%
- A map: 41%
- Debit/credit card — 41%
- Reusable water bottle: 41%
- Portable charger — 40%
- Translation app/dictionary: 40%
- Cash — 36%
- Reusable bags — 25%
- Large suitcase — 22%
HOW TO PASS THE TIME ON LONG PLANE TRAVELS
- Watch TV/Movies: 50%
- Listening to music: 48%
- Reading — 45%
- Play games: 41%
- Do puzzles: 38%
- Sleep: 37%
- Talking to other people near me: 31%
- Color — 31%
- Listen to podcasts: 29%
- Looking out the window: 23%