Educational Travel in Youth Linked to Academic, Career Success

Students who travel earn 12 percent more in their future careers

Oct 08, 2013, 14:20 ET from Travel Effect

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Educational travel has a clear impact on children's academic performance and career growth, according to a new survey by The Wagner Group, as part of the Travel Effect campaign. The "Travel Improves Educational Attainment & Future Success" survey revealed that adults who took learning-focused trips between the ages of 12 and 18 had higher incomes and achieved higher grades than those who did not travel.

Adults who traveled in their youth were more likely to graduate from high school, and 63 percent of that group went on to graduate from college, according to the research.

"Not only did we see a considerably higher graduation rate among students who traveled, but as adults, they earned 12 percent more annually," said Dr. Jeffrey Wagner, president of The Wagner Group.

The survey analyzed a cross-section of 400 American adults on their perceptions of taking, or not taking, an educational trip between the ages of 12-18. Educational trips include trips taken through school or a family trip that incorporated learning focused activities. To minimize any unintentional bias, the two groups were sample balanced for gender, age, ethnicity and family income level. Half of the respondents took at least one learning-focused trip, and the other half did not take any such trip.

Key findings include:

  • Adults who traveled saw benefits in their careers later in life: Fifty-two percent of students who took educational trips reported that their career choice was influenced by educational travel, and 89 percent reported that the trips had a positive impact on their education and/or career. Students who traveled on educational trips in their youth make nearly 12 percent more (or $5,000) annually later in their careers, than those who did not travel.
  • Students who took educational trips had higher grades: Travel helped 59 percent of those who took educational trips achieve better grades.
  • Students who traveled more likely to graduate and seek higher learning: Fifty-seven percent of adults who took educational trips as children and teens attained a college degree or went on to do post-graduate work, whereas only 33 percent of those who did not went on to higher education.
  • Travel added to context and depth of classroom discussions: For 80 percent of those surveyed, educational travel sparked greater interest in what they were taught in school. Among those who traveled, 86 percent believe educational trips made them more intellectually curious inside and outside the classroom.
  • Educational travel was not perceived as boring: Ninety percent of adults who took educational trips during this age range reported that their travel was fun, engaging and/or inspiring.

"The best part of this survey is that regardless of ethnicity, family income, age and gender, travel's benefits to education and future success are universal," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "This research shows that simple educational additions to your itinerary whether it's local culture, history or nature can have major impacts on future career success."

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Report Methodology
The Wagner Group conducted the survey "Travel Improves Educational Attainment & Future Success," in the summer of 2013 to determine the impact of learning-focused travel on academic performance and career growth.

A 10-minute random digit dial telephone interview was fielded from June 24 to July 1, 2013. Wagner interviewed 400 consumers between the ages of 21 and 69; 200 who took an educational trip in the USA and 200 who did not. For the purposes of the study, an educational trip was defined as any domestic trip taken between the ages of 12 and 18, that involved learning about the history or culture of the area visited, either as a school or family trip, where the respondent traveled at least 50 miles from home (one-way) or had an overnight stay regardless of mileage.

To minimize any unintentional bias, the "Traveler" and "Non-Traveler" groups were sample balanced in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and family income-class designation during the time when the respondent was between 12 and 18 years old.

About Travel Effect
Travel Effect is a campaign of the U.S. Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2 trillion in economic output and supports 14.6 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. For more information and the full survey findings, visit

Video with caption: "Caption: Travel Effect on Education: Future Success ". Video available at:


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