TOWSON, MD (May 1, 2018) – Warm-weather destinations are hot spots for vacationers this summer. Orlando has retained its top spot in 2018, as the most visited domestic travel destination, while Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii, have both grown in popularity compared with last summer, based on trips booked nationwide by AAA Travel.
“This is shaping up to be another banner season for travel,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Travelers are making plans now to visit theme parks, sail away on cruise vacations, relax at the beach and explore cities in the U.S. and across the globe.”
The top domestic summer travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings nationwide for trips June 1 through August 15, are:
- Orlando, Florida (1)
- Honolulu, Hawaii (4)
- Anchorage, Alaska (2)
- Seattle, Washington (3)
- Los Angeles/Anaheim, California (5)
- Maui, Hawaii (7)
- Fairbanks, Alaska (6)
- Las Vegas, Nevada (8)
- Boston, Massachusetts (13)
- Salt Lake City, Utah (14)
*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2017 ranking.
Road trips remain the most popular family vacation option for those staying stateside, despite higher gas prices. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a family trip are expected to hit the roads this year.
“Many Americans, including those traveling as a family, will venture overseas for their summer vacations,” continued Averella. “More than one-third of families nationwide who are planning a trip together this year will visit an international destination.”
Rome has regained its standing as the most popular locale for international summer vacations, while Dublin and Paris both continue to climb in the rankings. Beach destinations in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico can also expect an influx of travelers this summer.
AAA’s top international summer travel destinations include:
- Rome, Italy (3)
- Vancouver, British Columbia (1)
- Dublin, Ireland (4)
- London, England (2)
- Paris, France (7)
- Montego Bay, Jamaica (8)
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (5)
- Calgary, Alberta (10)
- Cancun, Mexico (6)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (9)
*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2017 ranking.
“With only weeks away from the unofficial kick-off to summer, we recommend travelers plan their trips now to secure the best rates and availability,” said Danny Baylus, a travel agent with AAA Timonium Car Care Insurance Travel Center. “Also, consider working with a travel agent, as they have relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere.”
Summer Travel Tips
AAA’s travel experts offer their top tips for travelers planning summer vacations, including:
- Plan ahead – Book early for the best deals and availability on hotels, airfare, car rentals and more.
- Work with a travel agent – Travel agents often have access to extra amenities and added benefits to help plan the perfect summer vacation. They can also be a tremendous help in the event something changes or goes wrong on your trip.
- Be flexible – If your schedule permits, avoid traveling during peak times this summer, including Memorial Day weekend and around Independence Day, to encounter less congestion and fewer crowds.
- Safety first – If driving, get plenty of rest before setting out on your road trip. Schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles to remain alert and avoid driving drowsy.
- Make sure your vehicle is road trip ready – Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility, such as a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop or one of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Car Care Centers to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Pack an emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.
- Pack your patience – Summer is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Expect heavy crowds and allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely.
To help travelers plan their summer vacations, AAA’s professional inspectors have assessed nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Every AAA Inspected & Approved hotel and restaurant is acceptable for the type of experience it provides. Ratings, from One to Five Diamonds, help travelers find the level of services, facilities and amenities they’re looking for on their vacation. Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments in the AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides and TripTik Travel Planner.
For more information and to begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/Travel or call 410.616.1000, ext. 4361409.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.