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U.S. and other foreign travelers may differ on what goals they prioritize for a trip, but everyone finds common ground when it comes to “enjoying life to the fullest.”

With 45% of both U.S. and foreign travelers feeling that living a full life is the most important goal while traveling, the gaps between both groups weren’t too large for other goals as well, based on TripAdvisor’s latest TripBarometer survey “The Psychology of Travel.” The survey looks at the emotions U.S. travelers feel throughout the booking, traveling, and returning-home process.

The most important goal for U.S. travelers is getting a unique and interesting experience, with 66% of travelers wanting this. Enjoying special moments together with loved ones is the second most important at 47%. Both U.S. and foreign travelers see equal importance in living life to the fullest, with 45% of both groups making that the third most important goal.

The survey found travelers are most excited upon arriving at a destination, and the second highest level of excitement comes during the booking stage, at 69% and 64% respectively. Travelers are also most relaxed during a trip, and are expectedly most fulfilled upon departing from a destination and also once back home.

Likely feeling effects of wanderlust, 76% of U.S. travelers say returning home from one vacation prompts them to plan another one. Data also shows 55% of Americans introduce new foods into their diets after a trip, and 49% say they become more open-minded and tolerant of others.

Globally, numbers show 27% of men have a higher tendency to feel more knowledgeable during the booking process, whereas 60% of women feel more excited during booking.

The Top Motivations U.S. Travelers Have For Trips

What travelers want from vacation U.S. travelers Worldwide travelers
Provide unique and interesting experiences 66% 55%
Enjoy special moments together with loved ones 47% 42%
Broaden knowledge and enrich understanding of the world 45% 44%
Help to enjoy life to the fullest 45% 45%
Get immersed in the local culture 41% 36%

Emotions of U.S. Travelers During Each Stage of a Trip

Travel Stage Excited Relaxed Fulfilled
Booking 64% 6% 4%
Arrival at destination 69% 23% 10%
During the stay 40% 49% 19%
Departing from destination 8% 31% 55%
Back home 6% 38% 51%

Source: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: American tourists on 7th Avenue in New York City. Canadian Pacific / Flickr