One of the best things about America is that it’s so darn big.
This country has everything from rainforests to mountains to deserts to everglades. We have some of the best cities and some of the most well preserved natural wonders found anywhere in the world. We have oceans and theme parks, farmers markets and skyscrapers, casinos and B&Bs. It’s no wonder that three out of four domestic trips taken in the US are taken for leisure.
Here are some other fun facts about American summer travel:
- Substantially more people take summer vacations when the economy is stronger. Case in point: only 33% of Americans took summer vacations in 2011, but 45% took summer vacations in 2012.
- Most Americans take short vacations and only go short distances. Around Independence Day weekend, for example, 84% of people who travel do so by car, and that figure goes up when gas prices go down.
- In 2017, travelers within the United States (both residents and international visitors) spent $2.8 billion per day on their trips. That spending supports 15.6 million jobs in the US.
- International travelers who visit the United States stay an average of 18 nights and spend an average of $4,360 per person when they visit. (Other countries tend to have way more guaranteed vacation time than Americans.)
- Ten of the most popular cities to visit during the summer in the United States – both for residents and international travelers – are New York, Chicago (yay!), Washington DC, Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, Seattle, Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles.
- Top leisure activities during domestic trips for Americans include visiting relatives, shopping, visiting friends, and fine dining, in that order.
But domestic travel isn’t the whole story during the summer. Twenty years ago, only 20% of Americans had a passport, but now that figure has more than doubled. While international travel to the United States has been slipping in recent years (we won’t comment on why that might be…), international travel by Americans has been on the rise. In 2015, 32.8 million Americans traveled overseas (meaning somewhere other than Canada or Mexico), which marked a 7% increase from the previous year. The world is truly getting smaller.
According to NWI.com, the ten overseas countries visited most by Americans in 2015 were, in order — the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, France, Italy, Germany, Jamaica, Spain, China, the Bahamas, and India.
Wherever your travels take you this summer, remember that we can help you out with expedited passports and expedited visas. We can also answer any questions you might have about current travel warnings, application processes, the best travel apps – whatever you need. Just contact our friendly team. We’d love to hear from you.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.