The High Cost of Obama’s International Travels

By NTU, Special for  USDR

Today, President Obama returns from his most recent voyage to Africa, having now spent 161 days abroad during his presidency on 41 international trips. That’s the data from National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s (NTUF’s) new Presidential travel study “Still Up in the  Air.”

NTUF found the President has traveled internationally as much as any U.S. President through July of the seventh year in office – equaling former President Clinton with 41 trips. Though, Obama has tended toward shorter stays, falling shy of Clinton’s 178 days spent  overseas.

Study author and Policy Analyst Michael Tasselmyer said, “Where in the world is Barack Obama remains the easy question, the difficult question for taxpayers is: What in the world is the cost of the  travel?”

Table 1. Presidential Travel Abroad Through July of Seventh Year in Office




Number of Days









Bush, G.W.









  1. Sources: State Department data, media reports.
  2. Visits are defined as the number of countries traveled to during a trip (e.g., if the President spends time in 4 countries before returning to the U.S., that is counted as 4 visits).

The most recent estimate on the hourly cost of flying Air Force One from Fiscal Year 2015, verified by NTUF, is $206,337 per flight hour. This figure, obtained by Judicial Watch, represents a slight decline from  2013.

The President’s trip to Africa has taken him to Nairobi, Kenya from Andrews Air Force Base, and on to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia then back to D.C. for a total flight time of 29 hours, at a cost of  $5,983,773.

Visiting this region of Africa requires additional security measures for Obama, and the 20 Members of Congress and additional members of the Executive branch who traveled with the  President.

Tasselmyer concluded, “While flight costs can be estimated, the rest of the expenses associated with travel, including security, lodging, food, and more, not just for the President and Air Force One, but additional staff and airplanes, remains  opaque.”

National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) is the research and education arm of National Taxpayers Union, “The Voice of America’s Taxpayers.” For more information visit

SOURCE National Taxpayers Union  Foundation

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.