CHARLOTTE – If you haven’t booked your summer travel plans yet, AAA says you better do it soon. Auto Club Group is seeing very strong bookings for cruises, tours, hotels and flights.
“Demand for travel has rebounded sharply this summer and we are already seeing large crowds at popular domestic and international travel destinations,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The recent decision to lift all international travel restrictions will only increase demand. Therefore, we encourage travelers to do their research and work with a travel expert. They can help you find the best price for a relaxing vacation.”
More than half are planning a summer vacation
According to a new AAA travel survey, 83% of North Carolinians will travel this year. More than half (64%) of them will rest in the summer. However, less than a quarter (21%) of summer travelers have finalized their plans. The most popular vacations they plan are:
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• 62% – Beach destinations
• 29% – City/Major metro destination
• 17% – Holiday in the resort (all inclusive hotels/many amenities)
• 17% – National/State Park
AAA summer traveler statistics and travel tips
87% are planning a trip. Leave early. Expect traffic jams near beaches and attractions, especially on weekends and holidays. Gasoline prices traditionally peak in the spring and fluctuate in the summer. Use the AAA mobile app to compare prices.
18% will not get a vehicle inspection before their trip. AAA urges drivers to make sure their vehicle is roadworthy. You can find a trusted local mechanic by visiting AAA.com/AutoRepair.
27% plan to travel by commercial flight. To reduce the chance of flight delays or cancellations, book a non-connecting flight that departs early in the morning. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours early. Download the airline’s mobile app to receive updates on your flight status. Consider travel insurance that provides coverage options for flight cancellations and delays (see below for more).
8% plan to take a cruise. Summer sailings fill up quickly. In many cases, passengers search 2024 departures to find the route they want. Travelers who book a cruise with AAA Travel Consultant may be eligible for discounts and benefits such as early boarding, specialty dining upgrades and onboard credits. Travel Advisors can also unlock additional savings on your airfare when you combine it with your cruise.
26% plan to rent a car. Rental car availability has improved, but inventory is likely to be limited at airports due to high demand. Prices are often higher the closer you get to your desired rental date, so book early for the best combination of availability and price. AAA members can also receive up to 20% off base rates at Hertz car rental locations.
International travel bookings are up more than 200% compared to 2022. Make sure your passport is up to date. Strong demand and pandemic-related backlogs have led to delays in passport processing. Waiting time increased from 8-11 weeks to 10-13 weeks. AAA members receive exclusive shipping rates for US passports and global travel visas with RushMyPassport.
Protect your trip
Travel insurance is mandatory! There are various reasons why travelers use it: medical emergencies, flight cancellations, bad weather or unexpected life events.
• Cancellation for any reason. These policies allow travelers to cancel their trip for covered reasons, allowing the policyholder to recover non-refundable deposits.
• Flight cancellations. If your flight is cancelled, passengers may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses.
• Flight delays. Policyholders can receive reimbursement for flight delays of at least three hours.
• Medical coverage. International travelers can obtain policies that provide medical coverage because their American health benefits generally do not extend outside the United States.
Plan ahead! Whether it’s mapping gas stations or electric vehicle charging stations along your route and at your destination, or planning which attractions and activities you want to visit when you arrive, AAA offers TripTik and Trip Canvas, two free travel tools. to be organized and prepared.