Up in the Air: The President's Trip to Vietnam & Japan

The President will to return to the United States on Saturday after his 46th international trip. Over the course of his years in office, Obama has spent a total of 193 days out of the country. And on this trip, he visited Vietnam and Japan, bringing his total number of countries visited to 101.

Presidential Trips Abroad: Historical Data
PresidentTripsVisitsNumber of Days
Bush, G.H.W.2560102
Bush, G.W.49140215
* Through May 28, 2016


Foreign travel is a necessary part of the President's job, yet, as we've noted in our ongoing log of Presidential trips abroad, there is a lack of transparency regarding the full accounting of the costs. One exception is the cost to operate Air Force One, reckoned at $180,118 per flight hour this year.

Based on flight hours estimated by TravelMath.com, NTUF calculates that it cost $7.97 million just to fly Air Force One on this trip. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg for the total costs of the trip which include expenses for all the security, logistics, and personnel involved.

FlightTimeAir Force One Flight Costs
From Andrews AFB to Anchorage, AK7h 16m$1,308,857
Anchorage, AK to Fussa, Japan7h 27m$1,341,879
Fussa, Japan to Hanoi, Vietnam5h 1m$903,592
Hanoi, Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam1h 54m$342,224
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Shima City, Japan5h 55m$1,065,698
Shima City, Japan to Hiroshima, Japan1h 23m$249,163
Hiroshima, Japan to Anchorage, AK8h 3m$1,449,950
Anchorage, AK to Andrews AFB7h 16m$1,308,857
Total Costs $7,970,222

Related articles are available in our Presidential Travel archive.

Presidential Candidate Costs

We've added new cost estimates in our running tally of the Presidential candidates' spending promises. Check out CandidateCost.org to see how Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump would spend your tax dollars. 

And if Trump and Sanders do agree to debate each other ahead of the June 7 California primary, NTUF will cover it live on Twitter at @NTUF.

National Taxpayers Union Foundation is a nonpartisan research and educational organization dedicated to helping Americans of all ages understand how taxes, government spending, and regulations affect them. Through our timely information, analysis, and commentary, we’re empowering citizens to engage in important policy debates and hold officials accountable.

Our findings are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to aid or hinder the passage of legislation or as a comment on any Member’s or Candidate's fitness to serve.