International Presidential Travel Cost Analyses Archive

One of the president's official duties as the Chief Executive is to represent the United States not only at home, but also abroad. NTU Foundation's studies of Presidential travel tracks the time and cost associated with each president's overseas trips. Our data, which shows the number of trips taken and days spent abroad by every modern President, is meant to help taxpayers better understand the role they play in funding these official travels and how often it occurs.

A significant impact on the price tag of presidential travel is the operating cost for Air Force One. According to an Air Force spokesperson, the FY 2020 cost per flight hour to operate the president's plane was $176,393. This figure includes fuel, flight consumables, aircraft overhaul, and engine overhaul. The cost can vary from year to year primarily due to the price for fuel. For example, the FY 2017 cost per flight hour was $142,380, down from $180,118 in FY 2016.

However this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total costs incurred. As our studies have shown, there are a lot of factors (including security, lodging, and logistics) that impact the cost to taxpayers whenever the president travels, but there is not a lot of transparency. 

Presidential Trips Abroad: Historical Data
PresidentTripsVisitsNumber of Days
Eisenhower163694
Kennedy81633
Johnson112737
Nixon154282
Ford71938
Carter123068
Reagan2547118
Bush, G.H.W.2560102
Clinton55134233
Bush, G.W.49140215
Obama52112218
Trump*102451
* Trips taken through January 10, 2019.