How the World Vacations

Ever wonder how the rest of the world vacations? At Travelex, we help travelers with their foreign currency needs every day, but we were curious to know more about how they were spending those funds. Where were they going and for how long? How were they getting to their destinations? How much did their countries of origin impact the type of travel they chose? After crunching the numbers, we put together this How the World Vacations infographic to highlight the fact that though international travel is popular among tourists of all nationalities, but the ways in which they travel can differ significantly.

In order to put together our How the World Vacations infographic we did some old-fashioned man-on-the-ground surveying and combined our results with data obtained from each market’s national tourism authority. We made certain to keep the demographics consistent across the board in terms of age, sex, status and so on. We were most interested in finding out not only where people are traveling internationally but also how they are financing their vacations.

Some of the results were to be expected. For example, we found that international tourism has continued to grow annually, except for in 2009, which happens to coincide with the onset of the worldwide recession. Yet some other statistics, like the fact that Aussie vacations are almost three times longer than those of comparable Chinese travelers, took us by surprise.

Take a look below and read on for some further highlights and do share with your friends!


How the World Vacations

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Some Other Notable Highlights

Each nations’ favorite travel destination varies pretty widely depending on location. For travelers from the UK, Spain is their favorite destination, while, not surprisingly, Americans tend to pack up and head off to Mexico. However, when the Chinese travel abroad, almost half of the time they’re heading to Hong Kong.

We were surprised to find that the most consistent destination for international travel seems to be Germany. That’s right! Germany. We guess lederhosen and lagers hold a certain amount of appeal no matter what native language you speak.

Though the prevalent form of travel for all foreign markets is by airplane, there seems to be a correlation between the lengths of vacation time with the mode of transportation. For example, Chinese tourists generally have the shortest vacations—averaging just eight days—and yet they’re doing over a third of their travelling by sea. In contrast, the British have vacations that average 11 days and yet only 5% of their traveling is done by boat. This is in spite of the UK being essentially an island nation!

It seems that cash is king when it comes to choosing the type of currency used during travel. However, a whopping 27% of Americans are actually still using the dollar when spending abroad.

Additionally, credit cards can cause travelers headaches, with over a third of travelers reporting that their credit cards were either not accepted, stolen or cloned.

Across the board, travelers like to be prepared when they arrive at their destination. 40% more vacationers get their cash from places like currency exchanges, banks, at the airport, or travel agency BEFORE they travel than those who wait until they arrive at their destination.

We hope you enjoyed our study, please pass it along!

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