Why More Americans Should Apply for a Passport This Winter
For the fifth year in a row, U.S. outbound travel is on the rise. More than 21 million passports were issued in 2017, and high demand has continued throughout 2018.
Yet, 42% of Americans have passports, a number significantly lower than other developed countries. Approximately six in 10 Australians and Canadians have passports, and that number increased to 76% in England and Wales as of the last census.
As Americans plan their winter vacations, now is a good time to apply for a passport. At the end of the year, applications begin to slow down and wait periods are shortest. Residents of states that have yet to comply with the federal REAL ID act, should take advantage of this time and start the application process, so they are able to travel even domestically.
The benefits of international travel are countless. A Hilton study on travel trends in 2017 found that more than half of those who traveled internationally said it gave them one-of-a-kind experiences and a deeper understanding of the world. Nearly 40% said they made meaningful friendships while traveling abroad.
A belief we hold true is travel—through connecting with other cultures and exploring the world—gives us a better understanding of others and shifts the way we see ourselves. In an increasingly interconnected and digital world, it’s easy to think that we can experience the full spectrum of human experiences straight from the palm of our hands.
Travel is also about what you gain, and what you leave behind. The influx of international travel has the power to shape communities, boost economies and help preserve local cultures and environments.
Passports may be the key to travel, but the only person who can make the decision to book that ticket and start exploring is you. If you’re one of the nearly 60% of Americans without a passport, we urge you to challenge yourself to act now, apply for a passport and see what the world has to offer. Experience what life is like through another culture’s eyes. Passport stamps are badges of honor, and we hope you join us in making the world a well-traveled place.View More News