Study: Best Places to Travel Internationally According to State - CenturyLinkQuote
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Most Popular International Travel Destination by State

Travel can be an exhilarating experience. There’s nothing like imagining a trip in anticipation—all the Instagram pics to take, the new foods to try, and the cultural nuances to explore.

It’s no surprise then that in 2017, nearly 10% of the US population (over 38 million people) made the voyage across borders—and in some instances, across the seas. But where, exactly, did they go? According to 2017 data from the National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO), we identified the most popular international destinations.

But that got us thinking – which US states are visiting which countries? We combined the top travel destinations from the NTTO 2017 data with Google Search Trends data to determine each state’s most-searched travel destination.

Trying to figure out where to fly next? Check out where your neighbors are wanting to go based on the following graphic. 


The Most Interesting Findings

Where To, Captain? According to the map, over 76% of states were searching for countries in Europe. England was the most popular destination within that continent. This is in line with how Americans actually traveled in 2017, with Europe being the most popular destination (38% of all US international visitors went there). The Caribbean was the second most popular region, with 24% of leisure travelers having visited there.

So Many Choices. American Airlines or Delta? Nonstop or layover? Day flight or red-eye? There are many factors when it comes to clicking the final purchase button. Airfare still ends up being the main factor when choosing which airline to book with—convenient schedules and non-stop flights are secondary. It’s a good thing we have that information for the 37% of travelers who are money-conscious: On average, a trip can cost a little over $4,000 per travel party, or $2,423 per visitor. Of that cost per visitor, about $1,000 of that goes to the airfare. So start saving up, as it’ll cost you a grand just to get where you’re going and back!

YOLO or Solo? A trip overseas can be scary, especially if you’re doing it by yourself. Yet a majority (57%) of people do just that. That leaves the remaining 43% traveling with a spouse, a family member, friends, or some combination of the three. Some have bonds so tight, they invite their friends on their family trips to faraway lands. And whether your traveling alone or with others, at least you’re traveling at all.

Planning Makes Perfect—Sometimes. Passport? Check. Luggage? Check. Phone charger? Check. On average, people plan their international trips 110 days in advance! That’s plenty of time to make sure they have what they need to make their trips a success. However, 45% of travelers do not pre-book their lodging. They figure it out as they go, we guess. Is it even an adventure if you know where you’re going to lay your head that night?

StateMost Popular Travel Destination
AlabamaEngland
AlaskaGermany
ArizonaMexico
ArkansasBahamas
CaliforniaChina
ColoradoCosta Rica
ConnecticutEngland
DelawareEngland
District of ColumbiaFrance
FloridaSpain
GeorgiaEngland
HawaiiJapan
IdahoEngland
IllinoisMexico
IndianaEngland
IowaGermany
KansasGermany
KentuckyEngland
LouisianaGermany
MaineEngland
MarylandEngland
MassachusettsSwitzerland
MichiganEngland
MinnesotaNetherlands
MississippiEngland
MissouriNetherlands
MontanaEngland
NebraskaEngland
NevadaGermany
New HampshireAruba
New JerseyPeru
New MexicoEngland
New YorkItaly
North CarolinaGermany
North DakotaGermany
OhioEngland
OklahomaEngland
OregonEngland
PennsylvaniaBahamas
Rhode IslandAruba
South CarolinaEngland
South DakotaGermany
TennesseeEngland
TexasMexico
UtahEngland
VermontAustria
VirginiaGermany
WashingtonCanada
West VirginiaEngland
WisconsinEngland
WyomingEngland

Methodology

Using the top 25 most visited international countries according to the National Travel & Tourism Office, we used Google Trends to see where each state wanted to travel most. The additional information came from the same office’s 2017 Survey of International Air Travelers.

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