Travel Preferences among NRIs & Indian Americans – 2019 Study

US Immigration News

As per U.S. Census statistics, Indian Americans continuously outpace every other ethnic group socioeconomically in the USA.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 1990 and 2000, the Indian population in the U.S. grew 130% – 10 times the national average of 13%. Indian Americans are the third-largest Asian American ethnic group, following Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans.

At IndiaUSATravel.com, we try to address the needs of desi (Non-Resident -Indians aka NRIs) population in the USA. We share information regarding travel and immigration to the USA.

As part of this education process, we also aim to keep track of the trends in this industry, on topics related to travel and immigration among Non Resident Indians in the USA.

In Q4, 2019, we surveyed our community to discover and analyze the trends and travel preferences of Indians traveling to the USA and back. Here are our findings.

More than half of Indian Americans, travel to India every year.

How often do you travel outside the USA? Chart 1 - US Travel Statistics
53% of Indian Americans in USA prefer to travel to India once a year.

Not a surprise this one. Our community have seen many interactions and questions where many NRIs make it a point to travel to India every year.

Our assumption is that these are folks who have friends and family in India and wish to be in touch with them every year.

And a visit to India is the best way to stay in touch, perhaps.

Almost half of Indian Americans have been living in the US for more than 10 years!

How long have NRIs been living in the USA

In our community, there are all kinds of NRIs. Folks who are on H1B visas to American citizens. However, it looks like there is a clear majority of NRIs who are in the USA for more than ten years.

Almost 90% of Indian Americans prefer visiting India instead of inviting parents/relatives over to USA

Indian Americans prefer visiting India instead of inviting parents/relatives over to USA

We asked NRIs in our community if given a choice between visiting India or inviting their relatives/friends/parents to USA, what would they choose?

Looks like almost a 90% of the vast majority would choose to visit India instead of inviting friends and family to USA.

Having said that, most NRIs have invited their parents for visiting USA (see below).

Most NRIs in USA have brought their parents to the USA on visit visa

Visiting USA is one of the hot topics in our community. NRIs who reside in US trying to bring their parents on visit visas to India need help with the process, trying to figure out how to do it the right way, so they don’t get their visas rejected.

Almost all American NRIs have bought travel insurance during USA visits

When traveling to the USA, one of the biggest worries for visitors is medical expense.

Because medical expense in the USA is high, many visitors tend to end up paying huge medical bills out of pocket while visiting USA.

A solution to this is getting short term medical insurance. Apparently, almost 80% of Indian Americans we surveyed are familiar with travel insurance and have bought travel insurance in the past.

Most Indian parents visiting the USA stay for less than 6 months

We asked American Indians who brought their parents on visit visas to USA, how long they usually stay in the USA.

It turns out that most parents visiting their kids in the USA stay in the USA for less than six months.

American Indians prefer to travel within USA for vacation

Indian Americans love USA so much that if given a choice between Europe and USA, they choose USA for vacation.

Perhaps there’s a whole lot to see and enjoy within US that Europe sound boring.

Whatever the reason, NRIs and Indian Americans love to travel the length and breadth of United States than flying out to any other continent or country for their vacations.

American Indians aren’t sure if they should trust travel insurance companies.

We asked NRIs if they trust travel insurance companies.

Almost 34% answered that they don’t. While 40% weren’t sure and voted “May be”.

Does that mean that NRIs don’t buy travel insurance?

Perhaps not. NRIs do buy travel insurance when they or their friends and relatives visit the US. Just that they aren’t sure if the travel insurance companies can be trusted or not.

Vast majority of NRIs & American Indians haven’t made travel insurance claims.

That’s a good thing we think.

From what we understand, buying travel insurance is easy but travel insurance claims aren’t.

We asked NRIs if they thought the insurance claim process was easy or not. To which a vast majority of almost 74% replied that they never claimed it.

Makes sense.

Most Indian Americans buy plane tickets three months ahead of travel

We asked NRIs when they bought plane tickets ahead of their travel and most people replied that they bought air tickets three months ahead of their travel.

Insubuy is the most trusted website among American Indians to buy travel insurance

We wanted to find out where to NRIs and Indian Americans shop for travel insurance if at all.

There are so many sources available starting from your travel agent to online price comparison websites. What many people who buy travel insurance buy realize is that, most of the time the plans are the same. What matters is where you buy it from.

Some folks preferred to buy the plans directly from the website. Some, from agents and most people, online.

Among those who bought travel insurance plans online, Insubuy.com appeared to be the most popular website among American Indians.

Most Indian American NRIs prefer to travel during December

NRIs Preferred month of travel

We also wanted to find out what time do Indian Americans do most of their travel.

It appears that among our survey respondents, the preferences were pretty evenly distributed.

Unlike most other choices, we could see a clear case of personal taste, among NRIs.

But having said that, December appeared to be the most popular season to travel among NRIs with a marginal 24%.

The second most popular month to travel was June, followed by April.

  • This survey was done among NRIs residing in USA who are part of our community, in collaboration with BacktoIndia.com
  • All survey participants participated in this survey anonymously.
  • None of the participants were given any kind of compensation to participate.