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Under 5% of Americans travel overseas - fact or myth?

Hello American friends (i.e. non Republicans)

I'm from Australia. Us Australians travel a lot, because we are isolated and on an island, this leaves us no choice if we want to see other countries. You my American friends have other landlocked countries you can visit, so can technically travel to other countries without going overseas.

When I do run into Americans overseas and mention I'm from Australia, I virtually always hear "Oh nice, I'd like to go there someday". But you can kinda tell it's lip service and that they probably won't go there. There's no conviction in their voice, it's just polite speak.

Which got me doing a quick Google and I found this article from the Huffington Post.
[huffingtonpost.com]

Although a little old, it makes some interested best estimates of the true percentage of Americans who travel overseas. I also learned there's been a tiny bit of growth in the last 9 years - the BBC reports 40% of Americans now hold passports compared to 35% when the Huff Post article was written. But nothing to significantly alter the fact that out of 4% of Americans who travel o/s, only a paltry 2% of the come to Australia.

So my question are: Why aren't you travelling? Why aren't you travelling here? I'd love to hear reasons. Are they...

1) Cost
2) Time (you only get 2 weeks per year vacation there, don't you?)
3) Prefer to go somewhere else
4) Fear of flying
5) Something else?

Cheers, Brett.

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By ShroomPizzazz
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33 comments

4

Money.. when so much must go to services that should be collectively done by society as a whole...as in . Health care, leaves little room for travel.

PaulE Level 2 June 28, 2018
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4

We are broke! Our employment rate for shitty paying jobs is the highest ever. πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

Sticks48 Level 8 June 28, 2018
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4

America is not the American dream. Far from it.

Many Americans struggle on low wages and enjoy less holiday entitlement when compared with other countries. Unions must be very weak in the US.

Ellatynemouth Level 8 June 28, 2018
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And getting weaker, thanks to the latest SCOTUS decision.

@GinaMaria

It really is a class war. The ruling class are trying to squeeze as much out of the working class as they can. Like a piece of fruit. They would turn us into slaves if they could.

4

Traveled extensively including Australia, loved it, very nice place.

Dhiltong Level 7 June 28, 2018
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No you didn't. But nice try smile001.gif

[newstalkzb.co.nz]

@PraiseXenu shhhh!! Don’t tell the Ausies.......

2

Oz has fatal spiders, salt water crocs and killer kangaroos. That damn spider scares me the most.
Europe, please.

MacTavish Level 7 June 28, 2018
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Hear hear! I wouldn't travel to a place where the spiders were either a) bigger than me, b) hairier than me, or c) could kill me faster or more easily than i could kill them.

That pretty much rules out Australia on all three counts smile001.gif

2

I went to New Zealand, is that close enough?

mattersauce Level 7 June 28, 2018
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2

It's far too expensive, unfortunately. 😞

memorylikeasieve Level 7 June 28, 2018
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2

I used to travel quite a bit professionally. Traveling overseas and elsewhere is a drug for me. I miss it a lot and would love to travel to Australia regardless of the flight times/expense/critters. That being said, I know a lot of people who have trouble going five minutes down the road. I attribute that to the above plus fear; there’s a lot of fear in the U.S. exacerbated by polarizing influences, and though my inclination is to travel and experience new things and push my envelope, (therefore negating fears) I realize I’m pretty unique.

PenLOP Level 6 June 28, 2018
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2

Well, here you have an American who has traveled overseas....and Australia is one of the countries I visited. Lovely people.

DUCHESSA Level 8 June 28, 2018
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2

Been to Oz, and much of western Europe. Still would like to see some of South America.

But - travel keeps getting more difficult, especially in the area of security.

jeshuey Level 7 June 28, 2018
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1

At different times of my life, I have lived in Germany, the Middle East, and different parts of Asia. And BTW, while living in Japan, I traveled to Australia and New Zealand. But I know most Americans don't share my Wanderlust, whether it be because of lack of curiosity or the low-wage economy that is the norm here.

DharmaBum50 Level 7 June 29, 2018
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1

what, is the whole world american ? eff off

markdevenish Level 7 June 28, 2018
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1

My primary reason for not traveling much is lack of a companion to do it with.

JanGarber Level 7 June 28, 2018
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1

I do travel overseas - headed to Italy in a few weeks, in fact. I think most Americans don't because of money, limited vacation time, and an utter lack of curiosity. (And that flight to Oz is a killer)

GwenC Level 6 June 28, 2018
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1

Given the brewing trade wars this makes me wonder if the amount of international travel by a population has any relationship to their foreign policy.

I have my own thoughts on this, but would like to hear others.

PraiseXenu Level 6 June 28, 2018
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1

Getting to Australia is a lot of time and money. But I’m planning to go in about a year. Looking forward to it.

PhitDoctor50 Level 7 June 28, 2018
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0
  1. Distance
  2. Not sufficiently different enough from American culture to to intrigue us.
  3. Perceived macho values and tx of women.
  4. Too many crocodiles..
  5. Mostly desert.
  6. Maps show it to be somewhat beneath us.
  7. Immigration (whites only) history and current treatment of refugees
  8. I could add treatment of Aboriginals but we are far worse there with our Native Americans.)

Despite the above (done partially in jest), Aussies are great and friendly people (in my experience) with a less overbearing government.

soquel Level 5 July 11, 2018
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Distance >> True
Not sufficiently different enough from American culture to to intrigue us >> True
Perceived macho values and tx of women >> You've watched too much Crocodile Dundee
Too many crocodiles >> Only in the Northern Territory
Mostly desert >> True, but plenty to see if you stick to the coast
Maps show it to be somewhat beneath us >> Same as distance?
Immigration (whites only) history and current treatment of refugees
I could add treatment of Aboriginals but we are far worse there with our Native Americans.) >> Like USA there are rednecks in Australia and good people too, so I don't know why that would be an issue. Every country has its share of assholes. Older generations who vote conservative tend to be more racist too.

0

Thank you for all your comments. Very insightful.

ShroomPizzazz Level 4 July 9, 2018
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0

Australia is a great country, I loved it...you might be surprised to know that many Americans have never left their own state let alone travel overseas. But my Australian friends get 6 weeks of vacation a year or more so its much easier for them to get away. And, if you're off by say 3% of Americans who travel overseas, it equals almost the whole population of Australia smile001.gif

lerlo Level 7 July 5, 2018
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0

Lack of money, so many in the US are just living paycheck to paycheck.
& I'm not sure how long it's been but we used to be able to go to Canada without a passport (maybe Mexico too) but now we can't.

RjRhodes Level 3 July 1, 2018
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0

I think that is a myth. Roughly 75% of everyone I know has at least been to one or two other countries.

OuzelWoman Level 6 June 30, 2018
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0

Cost is biggest. I haven't even left the state in a long time.

TheGreatShadow Level 8 June 30, 2018
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0

A few decades ago, I had an unexpected overnight stay in Brisbane because my flight from Fiji to the Solomon Islands diverted with a mechanical issue. The customs person was downright belligerent with me upon presentation of a US passport (it was my first experience with that passport not being accepted by a Western country without a Visa) and angrily granted me permission to enter "until 6 AM the next morning". We were all under the control of Solomon Island Airways, and they were determining the bus and departure times. That aside, I enjoyed the view of a bunch of Queen Anne style homes along the river, and indulged myself in the inevitable toiled swirl direction experiment. I have relatives in NZ, so I will go back.....

Byrdsfan Level 8 June 29, 2018
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0

I've traveled to Australia for work and found it to be a wonderful experience. But it probably wouldn't have been on the top of my list for several reasons: (1) cost, (2) travel time, (3) cultural similarity to the US. That said, I'd be happy to live in Australia if not for the fact that it's "the ass-end of the world," as you Aussies say.

Lalo Level 5 June 29, 2018
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0

To be blunt, for the amount of money going to Australia costs and effort it takes, sad to say, it just doesn't intrigue me enough. In some ways the US and Australia have a lot of cultural overlaps and neither do I have any interest in traveling around the rest of the US at this point in time. Most of the US citizens who go to Australia would be those who "want to see a country where they speak English and it's kinda like the USA." No thanks.

Your 5% stat is utter nonsense but it is true a smaller percentage of US citizens travel overseas than other western countries. Some of it has to do with our extensive National Park System or having less mandated vacation time and some of it has to do with being intellectual dullards utterly lacking in curiosity which, I suspect, was the rest point of this post.

PalacinkyPDX Level 8 June 28, 2018
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wow

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