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International destinations that Americans visit the most

Young woman in hat with baggage in international airport

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%).

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food.