Lonely Planet Writer

Most Americans won’t use their passport next year

Two-thirds of Americans won’t be using their passports next year and those who do will mostly travel to neighbouring countries like Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada, according to a recent study.

US passport.
US passport. Image by Damian Bariexca / CC BY 2.0

The results of the study – commissioned by Travelex, a foreign currency exchange company, in conjunction with YouGov, a market research company – states that 66 per cent of Americans surveyed don’t plan to travel abroad in 2016. The top five international destinations for Americans are Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, the UK and Italy.

But when travelling outside of those regular destinations, the study notes that people in the South are most likely to go to Brazil; Westerners are most likely to go to France, the UK or Australia; Mid-westerners stick to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean; and North Easterners are most likely to head to Japan.

While cost can be a big reason for inhibiting travel, 39% of Americans said that they would sacrifice eating out in the States in order to save up for a trip abroad. Cutting costs on food makes sense as 40% say they spend the majority of their travel money abroad on food. As travellers have different aims in heading abroad, it is the over 55 age group that says they are seeking culture as a main objective, followed by relaxation. For 18 to 34 year olds and 35 to 54 year olds, the top reason is relaxation, followed by culture.