Why Americans STILL Don’t Travel Overseas
A recent Quora thread asked the question, “Why Americans STILL Don’t Travel Overseas?” the author pointed out several reasons why Americans don’t take advantage of their passports to travel abroad. They would rather stay on their home turf instead. Others cited their fear of losing their jobs or not being inoculated against Covid-19. No matter the reasons, there are some basic things Americans should know before heading out the door.
U.S. citizens don’t need passports to travel abroad
For many travel destinations, the absence of a passport doesn’t pose a problem. Besides the U.S. mainland, the U.S. Virgin Islands also do not require a passport for citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands. To visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, you must apply for a travel screening portal and provide proof of a negative antibody or coronavirus test within five days of travel.
US citizens do not need a passport to visit all states, but some have specific rules. Currently, U.S. citizens can enter any of the contiguous states without a visa, but check the rules for each state and the country’s customs to find out if you’ll need a visa for extended stay. Also, it’s important to understand the rules for traveling with a passport when visiting other countries.
If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll have to show your US citizenship at the border. A photo id or a Raised Seal birth certificate will do. If you are traveling for business, you’ll have to register for ESTA before you go. Then, you’ll have to register for ESTA and get your visa. Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may need to travel with two passports to avoid hassles.
As mentioned, the Caribbean and South Pacific are popular destinations for Americans without passports. Some of these places are popular with contiguous 48 travelers and can be easily visited by U.S citizens. There’s also a US territory, American Samoa, which is located in the Caribbean. The American Samoa Islands and Guam, both in the Pacific, are also among the most popular destinations for US citizens without a passport.
They prefer to vacation on home turf
While 30% of Americans own passports and prefer vacationing abroad, the majority of them still prefer to vacation in their home states. According to U.S. Travel Association executive vice president Bruce Bommarito, 61.5 million trips were reported in 2009, with about half of those going to Canada or Mexico, two countries that did not require passports until 2007.
They aren’t inoculated against Covid-19
Even though vaccine-based travel restrictions are not really mandates, they do make travel safer for those who aren’t inoculated. While these policies are increasingly common in Europe and Asia, Americans still have a split on this issue. According to a CNBC All-America Economic Survey, 49% of respondents were in favor of mandates and 52% were opposed. Age and vaccination status were major determining factors in the public’s position. Unvaccinated travelers cited fear and frustration as main reasons for choosing not to get vaccinated.
However, the government has made exceptions for people who are under 18 years old and those who have not been inoculated against COVID-19. Medical and travel conditions, however, will determine whether a person is eligible for an exemption. However, the Biden administration has opened a loophole for people from countries where vaccinations are scarce and a COVID-19 test can prove it. If you don’t have the vaccine, you can still travel abroad if you’ve taken a COVID-19 vaccination within three days. The only exception is if you’re going to fly in a plane within the U.S., so you’ll need to be inoculated before you travel there.
But it’s not just foreign nationals who are afraid of Covid. A Pew survey released this week shows that nearly half of Americans are unwilling to travel overseas if they are unvaccinated against this disease. They don’t even want to visit a country where Covid is prevalent and risky, because they think vaccines make them safer.
They aren’t wealthy enough to travel abroad
While many people still consider themselves “poor,” the truth is that Americans are increasingly returning to foreign lands and countries. Although international travel restrictions remain in place in some countries, around 71% of Americans have traveled abroad. However, the degree of foreign travel varies greatly among Americans. About one-fifth have traveled to just one foreign country, whereas almost half of college graduates have visited five or more countries. Only one-fifth of Americans have visited more than ten foreign countries.
While income certainly plays a role in traveling, it’s not a prerequisite for culture. The highest earners are more likely to visit more than one foreign country. The same is true for the most diverse countries, with the highest-earning people typically visiting as many as four countries a year. And as long as you can afford it, the chances of you being able to travel abroad are high.