Wish We Were There

With the dollar now pathetically weak vis-a-vis other currencies, the notion of a foreign vacation is strictly hypothetical for most Americans this year. But we can dream, especially if a pollster asks us to. And, as it happens, a Harris Poll released this week asked Americans to say where outside the U.S. they’d most like to go on a vacation if money were no object.

Australia had been the top vote-getter in annual Harris surveys on this question since 1997, but it fell to second place this year. Italy, which had been the runner-up in the past five years, took the No. 1 spot this time. Filling out the top 10 were Britain, France, Ireland, Greece, Japan, Germany, Canada and Spain.

In a breakdown by age group, Italy was the leading choice of 18-31-year-olds, followed by Britain and Japan. For 32-43-year-olds, the top choices were Australia, Italy and Britain. The poll’s 44-62s had the same top two choices, but France was their third pick. Among those 63 and older, the order of finish was Italy, Australia and Britain.

The poll also broke the respondents’ choices down by region. Looking at it that way, 48 percent chose a European country, 24 percent an Asia/Pacific country and 15 percent a country in the Americas or the Caribbean. A stick-in-the-mud 6 percent said they “wouldn’t go anywhere outside the U.S.”