While traveling may involve copious amounts of time, money and even planning, the life experiences that a young traveler, in particular, takes away from such journeys can have a profound impact on who they become as adults.
According to a recent Celebrity Cruises survey of more than 1,000 Americans regarding the impacts of childhood travel, individuals who traveled internationally as children are significantly more likely to enjoy novel experiences as an adult.
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The study also found that:
—Of those who traveled as a child, 95 percent enjoy experiencing other cultures as an adult
—Those who traveled internationally while they were young are more likely to say they enjoy experiencing new cultures, trying new foods and exploring a new place when compared to those who didn’t
—Respondents who traveled in their youth are 14 percent more likely to want to interact with people who don’t speak English
The study also found that respondents who traveled internationally as a child took 50 percent more trips last year than people who stayed in the country as children.
“In some respects, the potential benefits of traveling as a child seem obvious: Direct experience of other cultures can transcend anything learned in a classroom, while family bonds can strengthen on the road,” states the Celebrity Cruises study. “But those who go abroad as kids may also receive an entirely different gift—a lifelong love of travel.”
With millennials finally starting to have children and countless Americans busy making summer vacation plans, this information may prove especially useful, said Celebrity. If nothing else, it offers insight on the advantages of bringing children along for the globetrotting.
The study also reveals that buoyed by a strong economy, Americans are venturing abroad in unprecedented numbers.
According to federal figures, approximately 80 million U.S. citizens traveled to another country in 2017, driving a spike in passengers on international flights.
In addition, 50 percent of Americans have traveled internationally by the time they were age 17, while 25 percent traveled abroad by age eight.
On the flip side of all this data, Celebrity’s study also reveals that 27.8 percent of survey participants have still never left the United States. To break that down further, 36.1 percent of Gen Z has not yet made an international trip. The second-largest group in this category is millennials, 29 percent of whom have never ventured beyond U.S. borders, followed by baby boomers at 27.2 percent.
The primary reason survey respondents cited for not traveling internationally is lack of money—84 percent of people said this was what held them back.
Shockingly, the second most significant reason people don’t travel abroad is lack of a passport, with 50.4 percent of respondents saying this was the case.
Additional reasons following close behind were concerns about personal safety and not wanting to leave one’s comfort zone.