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THAT EXPLAINS IT: USA's diversity & why so many Americans don't have passports

In a KARRYON feature, Travel Corporation CEO John Veitch shares his insights on industry trends and the power of travel. This month he embraces the USA's travel diversity.

In a KARRYON feature, Travel Corporation CEO John Veitch shares his insights on industry trends and the power of travel. This month he embraces the USA’s travel diversity.

When it came out in the late nineties that only a small percentage of Americans had a passport, I like many people was shocked. Although this statistic has increased significantly since then, as someone whose life so largely revolves around travel, living in Australia – a country renowned for exploring the world – how could I not be?

This somewhat changed however on a recent family trip to the USA. My kids were standing in Yellowstone National Park in front of the towering peaks of Grand Teton and a giant glassy lake that stretched on for miles. In that moment, I truly felt I could have been anywhere in the world. This backdrop could have just as easily been a location deep in the Swiss Alps rather than a national park in Wyoming – and I believe this is one key thing that makes America special.


This country is incredibly varied, from the geography and the food to the people. Each state is so different, it’s no wonder Americans are keen to explore their own backyard before moving further afield. A trip through America constantly feels new and ever-changing, it’s almost like you’re travelling through countries in Europe, not just passing state borders of the US.

From the wilderness to the mountains or the beach, the sheer geography of the states makes it a tough place to tackle in just one trip, but there are plenty of reasons for multiple visits. Here at TTC, we’ve recently seen Busabout launch into the US, making it that little bit easier for travellers to get around with their flexible hop-on hop-off network with trips like the West to East Roadtrip where you’ll get a real taste for the country crossing various states.


One of my personal favourite experiences in America is the food. From the huge hamburgers to the incredible southern specialities – American BBQ and ribs, it’s such a key part of any US trip. Contiki’s MUNCH offering in the USA speaks to this belief with stops in Dallas for a traditional Texan style BBQ feast of ribs, sausages and chicken to New Orleans to be enchanted by the non-stop jazz festival vibe and the European/Caribbean fusion food.

Outside of the obvious big cities like NY and LA, however, lay locations like Montana, where I recently travelled as a family on a Trafalgar’s Cowboys and Buffalos trip. The kids adored the ranch we visited in Montana and riding the horses through the prairies, following along the river.


Of course, just outside of the US, lies a whole other host of incredible experiences, in Canada. The natural beauty is the true hero for this majestic country from the classic Rockies scenery that you can soak up on Luxury Gold’s Majesty of the Rockies with heavenly stops in Lake Louise, Whistler and Jasper to the less discovered but equally picturesque Eastern Canada – Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.

With airfares currently still at extremely bargain prices for the US, there’s no better time to visit.


Have you been amazed by the USA’s domestic diversity?