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Despite Steady Growth, Just 42% of Americans Have a Passport

US Citizens Passports

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Travel is important.

There, I said it. Travel – and helping you travel on the cheap – is our life’s work. That’s why we post domestic flight deals here every day. Everyone needs time to step away from the pressures of everyday life, unwind, soak up new experiences

But you also need to get out of your comfort zone and see the world. There’s so much to see in the 50 United States, but even more across the globe. There are cultures to explore, new foods to try, and languages to learn – or at least try. It’s eye-opening to see different parts of the world, how much different their lives are and still appreciate all that connects us.

That’s why it’s discouraging to see less than half of Americans own a passport – a must for any international travel. We crunched the numbers from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Census Bureau and found that just over 42% of Americans currently hold a valid passport. And while that’s a drastic improvement over the last three decades, it’s still a disappointing figure.

 

US Citizens Passports

 

Even with the best international flight deals we find through Thrifty Traveler Premium, there’s no denying international travel is out of reach for some. It takes time and money that many Americans, sadly, don’t have. More than 12 percent of Americans live under the poverty line.

Still, it’s discouraging that less than half of all Americans own a passport – especially compared to the rest of the world. In Canada, more than 66 percent of residents hold an active passport. In the U.K., it’s higher than 75%, according to Forbes.

 

US Citizens Passports

 

So let’s get those numbers up, people. Instead of heading your usual U.S. haunts, go abroad. Skip the beaches of Florida and consider Mexico, Thailand, or Bali, Indonesia. Trade in the vineyards of California and try out Cape Town, South Africa instead. There are so many amazing cities across the world to explore, from Barcelona and Paris to Hanoi and Tokyo. 

Don’t have a passport yet? You’ll need to apply in person through the U.S. Department of State. After applying and finishing up your passport, it will run you $145 – and $115 for children under 15.

 

Bottom Line

If you’ve been holding off on taking that first international trip, what are you waiting for? Get a passport. Life is short, travel now.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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