Overseas trips five times more expensive than domestic vacations, travel study finds

The Dalton Highway; America’s Loneliest Road, Wiseman, USA - 06 Sep 2017
A paved portion of Alaska’s Dalton Highway. The state leads the nation in travel spending.

It’s no shocker that international travel is far more expensive than domestic trips. But more than five times the cost?

That’s the finding of the travel consumer website RewardExpert, which determined exactly how much Americans spend, and which states spend the most.

In a study of 2016 spending habits released Tuesday, it found that a four-day domestic trip cost Americans $630 apiece, and they spent $3,538 on international travel..

Californians spent $721 domestically and $3,870 internationally, placing the state sixth among Western states.


Alaskans spent more than those in another state, with $851 on U.S. travel and $4,779 on international trips. The high rate was linked to the state’s location and a less competitive marketplace for airfares.

Other findings, based on four-day trips

  • Transportation costs make up 54% of international trip expenditures.
  • Transportation for domestic trips costs $246; for international trips, that jumps to $1,922.
  • Americans spend an average of $162.57 on lodging for domestic trips and $744.17 on international travel.
  • Americans spend $168.50 on food and drink in the U.S., and $573 abroad.
  • Southerners spend less than travelers in the rest of the nation -- $564 domestically and $3,169 overseas.

Methodology: For its study, RewardExpert used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census for various years to estimate what Americans spent in 2016. For rate information, it used,, data sets from the Department of Transportation and bus and train websites.



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