By Julie Loffredi
More Americans are heading abroad. The latest numbers from the US Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office, the federal office responsible for gathering statistics on travel to and from the US, reveal that more Americans are taking trips outside the country. The earliest data available for 2019 (January-March) shows over 21 million Americans left their home to visit an international destination. That’s up nearly 7 percent from last year.
For example, about three million Americans visited Europe sometime between January and March this year. That’s nearly 10 percent more than last year. When looking at other year-over-year (YOY) comparisons, the Caribbean gained 18 percent more US-based visitors in 2019.
So, what’s behind this push to explore the world? Travel research powerhouse Skift hinted at a number of factors — including a robust economy supported by high consumer confidence, low unemployment, and a strong US dollar.
But traveling abroad is expensive and not everyone can afford it. The Los Angeles Times reported back in 2016 that overseas trips may run five times more expensive than domestic trips.
That high price tag is likely a good reason why more are turning to insurance. According to travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip.com, demand for third-party travel insurance is up. And, those who opted for travel insurance were likely headed to one of these popular destinations:
Trending International Destinations
- Mexico (most popular)
- United Kingdom
- Dominican Republic
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
This list is based on all travel insurance policies sold in 2018-2019 on InsureMyTrip. Cruise travel policies excluded.
On the flip side, inbound visitors are down to the US.
Julie Loffredi is also the travel editor for InsureMyTrip and helped gather these destinations statistics.