by the numbers – The Mercury News

Americans are traveling abroad in droves.

According to the International Trade Administration, the variety of U.S. residents flying to international destinations was nearly 6.5 million passengers in March. This is the best March total in over five years and shows that the post-pandemic era is over “Vengeance Journey” Trend is the brand new normal.

It wasn't just March, which usually sees a surge in spring break international departures. More Americans have left the country in every month of 2024 thus far than last yr and 2019. These trends point to a blockbuster summer for foreign travel.

Nearly half of Americans (45%) plan to travel by plane and/or stay in a hotel this summer, and expect to spend a median of $3,594 on these expenses. in relation to a survey of two,000 U.S. adults, conducted online by The Harris Poll and commissioned by NerdWallet.

That's despite rising travel prices This has caused some hesitation amongst potential travelers. According to the survey, about 22% of those that don't plan to travel this summer cite inflation, which makes travel too expensive, as a reason for staying home.

Where do traveling Americans go? And what does this mean for individuals who need to avoid crowds of tourists and better travel prices?

New travel patterns

According to data from the International Trade Administration, almost every region on this planet saw a rise in US visitors in March 2024 in comparison with March 2023. Only the Middle East saw a 9% decline. Still, not every region saw the identical year-over-year increase. U.S. visitors to Asia saw a 33% increase, while Oceania and Central America each saw a 30% increase.

However, comparing 2024 and 2023 only tells a part of the story. The recent patterns develop into clear when comparing international travel trends to 2019. For example, Central America saw 50% more U.S. visitors in March 2024 than in March 2019. Nearly 1.5 million Americans visited Mexico, 39% greater than before the pandemic. That's almost as many visitors as all the European continent, which has seen a more modest increase of 10% since 2019.

Only Canada and Oceania saw fewer visitors in March 2024 than in 2019, suggesting there has not been a resurgence of interest in these locations. In fact, the trends suggest a sort of tourism inertia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic-era lockdowns: The destinations that were more open to U.S. visitors throughout the pandemic, resembling Mexico, remained popular, while those who were closed like Australia, have disappeared from travelers' radars.

Price pressure

How these trends play out over the remainder of the yr will depend on quite a lot of aspects. Still, none is more likely to prove more vital than affordability. After months of stability, travel costs, including flights, hotels and rental cars, are beginning to rise again.

According to a survey of two,000 Americans by travel booking platform Skyscanner, about 45% of U.S. travelers say cost is their predominant consideration when planning their summer vacation.

This is more likely to further dent U.S. travelers' appetite to go to expensive destinations like Europe, while encouraging travel to low-cost countries. This could also impact all international travel, but thus far Americans look like traveling more.

For those trying to avoid crowds while staying on budget, Skyscanner travel trends expert Laura Lindsay has made a advice that lots of us might have help finding on a map.

“Albania is on the radar of travelers looking for something different,” Lindsay said. “Most people have yet to discover it, but aviation and tourism infrastructure are in place and there are fewer people compared to trendy European destinations like Italy, Greece or Portugal.”

On the opposite hand, American travelers trying to avoid crowds of fellow countrymen should avoid Japan, where the variety of US tourists has increased by a staggering 50% between March 2019 and 2024.

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