How many people do you know who actually have a US passport? Unlike, say, a driver’s license, a passport isn’t one of those documents that everyone has. In fact, according to CNN, only 30% of Americans have a passport- about 1 in 3. Compare that to Canada, where 60% of citizens have passports, or the UK, where 75% of citizens do, and you can see just how low that percentage really is.
Why do only 30% of Americans have a passport? The obvious answer is that we simply don’t travel abroad as much as people in other countries do. According to CNN, Americans took approximately 61.5 million trips overseas in 2009. That may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t when you consider how many people live here. Also, that number is down 3% from 2008.
So what’s the deal? Are we that provincial, just unwilling to deal with even minor cultural differences? Maybe that’s part of it. CNN quotes Matthew Kepnes of NomadicMatt.com, who says “Not taking the leap is comforting, because this is the American life. Breaking outside anything that is your norm is scary.”
Meanwhile, Bruce Bommarito,executive vice president and chief operating officer for the U.S. Travel Association, sounds a similar note: “Americans are comfortable in their own environment.”
But that’s definitely not the whole story. It’s just harder for Americans to travel internationally than it is for someone in Europe. Depending on where in the country you live, it can take a long time to get out of the United States, especially if you’d like to go anywhere other than Mexico or Canada.
Plus, Americans don’t get as many vacation days as people who live in better-traveled countries, and it’s not considered ordinary for young people to take a year off from work or school to travel.
Also, I’d add that passports can be a significant up-front expense. It costs $135 for an adult to get a new passport, and while that breaks down to a measly $13.50 a year, it’s still a lot of money to put up all at once, especially if you have a family.
The passport application process itself can also be intimidating, and Americans are not known for their ability to tolerate bureaucracy. That’s why RushMyPassport offers a handy checklist that shows you what documents you need and what you’ll need to do. You’ll also be assigned your own personal passport specialist to help you through the application process. Then, we’ll deliver your documents to the Department of State for processing times as low as 24 hours.
Don’t miss out on your chance to travel overseas. Let us help you get your US passport today!