U.S. is Among Top Countries to See, but Americans Have Seen Just 2% of the Globe

Survey Questioned 7,000 International Travelers


Global Travelers by Country


% of world Visited by Average Adult

# of Countries
by Average

1. U.K.



2. Germany



3. Australia



4. France



5. United States



6. South Korea



7. Brazil



While the United States is the 4th most visited nation in the globe and 2nd most desired to visit by travelers2, a Hostelworld Global Traveler Report reveals the average American adult is less “worldly,” as compared to their international counterparts. Americans are only half as likely as Europeans to journey abroad to more than one country, with the main reason being cost.

While the average UK resident has visited 10 countries, Germans have visited on average eight nations and the French five. The average American has been to just three nations, and nearly one-third (29%) of American adults have NEVER been abroad.

Top Reasons Americans Don’t Take a Trip to Multiple Nations:

1. Can’t Afford It


2. Don’t Want to


3. Have a Pet


4. Have to Pay A Mortgage


5. Have Children


What are the Reasons for Americans Not Traveling?: The top reason cited by Americans for not visiting these nations as well as others is perceived cost, with 71% saying they can’t afford to. 16% of adults say they simply don’t want to, as another 16% say it’s because they have a pet. Following that, 11% of respondents worry about the responsibility to pay a mortgage and an equal amount say it’s because of raising children.

Hostelworld’s Chief Marketing Officer Otto Rosenberger said: "People think that going abroad to experience multiple nations can be expensive but it can be done at a low cost. Budget travel on an international basis is better and easier than ever before, with hostels becoming more stylish, comfortable and better equipped, while still being affordable and social. Decades ago, Americans were less acquainted with hostels than they are today. It seems millennials are adapting and are more frequent users of hostels because it allows them to do much more for their budget dollar.”

Findings from the Hostelworld Global Traveler Report show that while the average U.S. adult has visited just 2% of the world’s nations, there is clearly an upward trajectory of international travel.

Percent Of Americans Going Abroad To More Than One Country Per Trip











In 2014, nearly 1-in-3 (29%) Americans who traveled2 internationally visited more than one nation, as compared to just 15% in 2013 and 9% in both 2011 and 2010. The findings correspond with travelers across the globe, with 26% taking an international trip to more than one country in 2014 as compared to 11% in 2010, driven in part by millennials seeking experience-led adventures.

Projections by the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reveal that youth travel (ages 15-30) will soon account for 25% of all international travel3 and is expected to be valued at $320 billion by 2020, with the millennials demographic being critical to this growing travel sector.3


Top 10 Reasons Americans Cite For Visiting Two Or More Nations

1.  See the World


2.  Have an Adventure


3.  Have New Experiences


4.  Learn More About the World


5.  Visit Friends or Family


Why Are Americans Traveling?:  The leading reason Americans say they travel is to “see the world” (51%); while 48% cited “adventure” and 46% say they seek “new experiences.” 36% want to learn more about the world and 24% travel internationally to visit friends and family.  

Mr. Rosenberg added: “When people take a trip they don’t just get to see the world, but ‘meet the world’ too, sharing incredible experiences with the amazing people they encounter along the way. These adventures are so unique and enriching that it’s no wonder that so many people regret not doing it.”

While abroad, Americans say they are most interested in meeting and interacting with Australians (23%), followed by the British (18%), Germans (14%) and at #4, fellow Americans (12%).

Where Do Americans Travel to? The study found that Americans travel most to their northern and southern neighbors, with the #1 answer being Canada (26%), followed by Mexico (23%). Next, they choose to visit the European nations of France (13%), England (12%) and Italy (12%). The Bahamas came out in front of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. 

 The research was conducted by ICM Unlimited1 for Hostelworld.com, the global leader in online youth hostel reservations. The study includes representative samples of 1,000 adults (aged 18+) in seven countries – the UK, US, France, Germany, Australia, South Korea and Brazil2.

Hostelworld.com provides reservation services, real time reviews, ratings and photos for over 30,000 properties in 180 countries. Some 240 of those properties are located in U.S. cities, including Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington D.C., Houston and Miami.


1 Source: ICM research. http://www.icmunlimited.com/


2 For purposes of this research, in some international context, Englanders define “traveling” as a longer trip abroad to more than one country. This is the type of traveling referred to in the Hostelworld Global Traveler Report. Australians and the Irish would refer to it as “backpacking.” The United States has no such term.


3 Source: Youth Travel Market Research, analysis conducted by studentmarketing which is an affiliate member of UNWTO http://www.student-market.com/youth-travel