Not Americans, not any of the Asian countries, and not the most neutral travelers in the world! Sorry, Canada, you have been out traveled by, of all people, the Finns! People from Finland take more trips than any other nationality. The average Finnish person takes 7.5 trips at home and abroad. But Americans are second, though less than half of us have passports!
Only one in five Americans travel abroad. But the U.S. is the biggest domestic travel market in the world. Sweden is third, Denmark fourth, and Norway fifth. Do you sense a trend here? Yes, people want to escape the harsh winters of the far north and head to warmer climes.
Rarely have I met any Finns on my trips, perhaps once in Denver at a convention. And many years ago, we met a plethora of Swedes on the island of Phuket, Thailand. Why? They own timeshares there!
Perhaps the real reason is that they find good value outside of their own countries. After all, the cost of living, and tax rate in Scandinavia is rather onerous, up to 51% in some.
Another reason for staying close to home, at least for Americans, is the threat of terrorism. Yet, I never think too much about that threat, unless I am headed to Iraq or Afghanistan. NOT! They are never on my short list of places to visit.
Speaking of taxes, can you believe the sales tax rate in Vancouver, where I am headed next week is a whopping 12%. But it gets worse. Manitoba and Ontario are 13%, with Quebec at 14.975%. And I thought I would head to the four eastern provinces to complete my Can-fecta, but their rate is 15%.
So, by now, I hope realize that the U.S. is a pretty darn good place to vacation. And we have many states with no sales tax, like Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Montana.
Then again, we all know “duty free” is mostly a scam to get tourists to buy more goods. You might save on sales tax, if you are lucky. I am not saying I have never purchased anything, because I have. Sometimes, I just needed a bottle of booze as a gift for someone I am visiting. Or I see something that is not available back home.