It's my experience that this is more of a British phenomenon than a pan-European one. Perhaps it's just that they speak English more, and so we hear it more from them, but I've almost never heard that trope from any other Europeans (one curmudgeonly Swiss marijuana retailer being the exception, but that was something of a special case). Perhaps it's simply that other European cultures do not display the confrontational rudeness that typifies Britain, and so have the decency to keep that sort of chauvinism hidden. This all started to make sense to me when I realized that British tourists are considered a drunken, rude, unruly and unwelcome intrusion in most of Europe (and elsewhere), soccer-hooligans that they are. So, in typical fashion, they try to compensate by recasting this as cultural superiority to those insular, stupid Americans. This is largely accomplished via binge-drinking circle-jerks in pubs, where they invent ridiculous statistics about American passport ownership and travel habits and congratulate themselves on their enlightenment for spending a week getting shitfaced on club drugs in Ibiza or Ko Samui. Seriously though, American international travel habits come down to distance and time. We recently hired a guy from Europe at my job, and within a month he was complaining that the amount of time off we are allotted, combined with the travel time to/from Europe and the level of jet-lag, pretty much precludes travelling to other continents with any regularity. You have to save up all your days off for an entire year, just for a single trip. And we get more time off than your average American worker (and are paid better to boot), so you can imagine how the rest of the country fares. Differences in average family size also matter. Your average European has fewer children, later in life, and so has more years wherein big intercontinental trips are feasible. Not that I'm convinced that Europeans travel to other continents more frequently than Americans; the greater level of international travel that is claimed seems to be largely a function of travel between European countries.