howmuchI know a lot of Americans just want to get away and travel internationally. Well, according to the State Department more and more are doing it—or at least they’re getting passports, but that’s most likely because in 2007 they started requiring passports for travel to/from Canada/Mexico and cruises.

Roughly 37% of Americans have passports, which isn’t too bad for a nation of 340 million people and a country so vast that you can pretty much experience every kind of climate and topography inside it.

BTW: Did you know the state with the most passports is New Jersey with 62%?

I wholeheartedly recommend that Americans get out and travel internationally so they can experience new cultures and ways of life. As corny as it sounds, I truly believe there would be less prejudiced if more people could see with their own eyes that people are people pretty much everywhere. Most are good, too.

For those that are planning to travel internationally and are on a tight budget, it’s worth knowing what countries charge for a tourist visas before buying plane tickets. These handy infographics from HowMuch.net will let you know roughly how much a tourist visa will cost and how quickly you can get it. Of course, you’ll want to check out other resources before buying your plane tickets just to make sure they are accurate. (For cross-checking, keep in mind that we work with Allied Passport & Visa, whose website quickly allows you to search for the country to see what the actual fees are, and not just the estimates.)

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I also highly recommend international travelers checking out the U.S. State Department’s country-specific pages to learn about their destinations—especially the warnings. I made a rookie mistake not checking it out once on a trip to Budapest and I ended up falling for a scam that was listed on the State Department’s warnings page. Ugh!

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