If you’re planning on taking a trip overseas, it may be time to start saving — the average international trip costs nearly $5,000, according to new research; but that’s not stopping travelers.
A survey of 2,000 Americans who travel internationally looked at their travel habits and found that despite the cost, the average respondent has been on six international trips in the last five years alone, with a third saying they’ve been on even more (34%).
If time is money, many make the most of that, too, with one in eight vacationing internationally for upwards of three weeks at a time.
Conducted by OnePoll for Delta Vacations, the survey found that for international vacations, Americans have spent the most time in Europe and South America over the past five years and the least time in Antarctica and Africa.
Don’t count those continents out on future trips, though, as most 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 fondest memories of traveling to other countries like “getting engaged on the beach in Costa Rica,” “climbing the Great Wall of China” and eating “an incredible fish pie at a hole-in-the-wall in Edinburgh.”
More than a quarter admit they like to spend time doing “tourist” activities (27%) while 24% enjoy spending time among locals — and 40% enjoy a mix of both.
Most of those surveyed are also interested in learning about a foreign country’s culture while they’re there (77%).
To help prepare themselves, 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 feel nervous.
This may be because they’ve run into issues at their destination such as booking accommodations in an undesirable location (48%), booking reservations incorrectly (38%) or having difficulty finding transportation (33%).
Nearly half said they’ve been scared or nervous to visit an international destination before but put these fears aside and went anyway (48%), leaving nearly all of these respondents glad they took the chance (93%).
“Traveling abroad is definitely worth the experience,” said Kama Winters, president of Delta Vacations. “It allows you to immerse yourself in other cultures, try new things, and expand your perspective. It can be an intimidating process and that’s why I recommend two things: use a trusted travel provider to curate the recommendations and sign up for an airline loyalty and rewards program to earn and redeem miles while you travel — put that expertise and those miles to good use!”
Making sure they get everything right can be a lot of pressure, which may be why 44% of travelers prefer to leave the trip booking to professionals like travel agents or tour operators.
If respondents had to choose their top picks for a comfortable flight, they’d opt for more comfortable seats (40%) and more meals or snacks (36%) of better quality and quantity (34%).
“We believe in having our customers’ backs every step of the way and offer our expertise and service to support them,” Winters said. “Avoid spending hours online researching every aspect of your trip and use expertly built 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 RIDES
- Watch TV/movies — 50%
- Listen to music — 48%
- Read — 45%
- Play games — 41%
- Do puzzles — 38%
- Sleep — 37%
- Talk to others near me — 31%
- Color — 31%
- Listen to podcasts — 29%
- Look out the window — 23%
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