This Is the Number One Dream Travel Destination for Americans
Nope, it’s not in Europe.
For many people, the variety of places that find space on our vacation wish lists cover about as much ground as a geography book. That posh cruise through the Mediterranean? Sure sounds nice. How about a trek through the mountains of British Colombia? Yes, please. A week basking on the beaches of Hawaii? Is that a question?
But while our “someday” travel files might be filled with ideas, everyone typically has an ultimate vacation fantasy spot—the one place they’ll go first once they pay off their credit cards, send the kids to college, have more time, or win the lottery. And, according to a new report from Vrbo, for many people, that one place is Australia.
In their first-ever U.S. Traveler Survey, the vacation rental site polled more than 1,000 Americans on their leisure travel preferences and habits. When asked which destination they’d jet off to if time and money weren’t an issue, 13 percent of all respondents chose the land down under, more than any other country in the world. For baby boomers specifically, the number was even higher, with 19 percent dreaming of an Australian escape.
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But while Americans have high hopes of an Aussie getaway, the reality is that actually traveling there remains, for many of us, just a dream. As the survey points out, while many Americans cite Australia as high on their travel bucket lists, the country was just the 18th overall most visited destination by American travelers in 2018, according to Expedia.
“The disparity between dream and reality signals that barriers of time and money are the deciding factors for whether Americans will take that dream vacation,” Vrbo says in the report. That’s true for most Americans, except perhaps Millenials who, according to Vrbo, are most likely to go into debt for travel (37 percent) compared to Gen Xers (27 percent) and baby boomers (15 percent).
If you can manage to scrape together the cash for a trip around the world, Australia is, of course, pretty dreamy. From the cosmopolitan city of Sydney to the craggy coastline of New South Wales (one of the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2019), the country—roughly the same size as the U.S.—offers plenty of fodder to fill your travel fantasies for years to come.