A greater number of people are anticipated to travel this summer compared to last as new data shows growing interest in domestic road trips and the beginnings of a return to air, international and cruise travel, according to AAA Texas.
AAA Texas is projecting a sharp increase in overnight road trips with hotel stays this summer compared to the prior two years, based on online and AAA Texas branch driving vacation map route requests through AAA’s TripTik service, TripTik.AAA.com.
TripTik map route printouts with hotel stops marked along the way (between April 1 and May 15) grew 10 times from 2019 to 2021 and doubled this year compared to 2020, when many travelers were printing out routes in anticipation of being able to travel later.
Among AAA Texas members who are taking air vacations, North American travel is starting to increase significantly this year compared to 2019. May 2021 bookings for Pleasant Holidays destinations – which include Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean – are up significantly compared to May 2019.
“Many AAA Texas members are taking domestic road trips and North American air trips instead of options that have not yet fully reopened such as cruises and international tours,” said Kent Livesay, AAA Texas vice president and general manager. “But additional countries and cruise lines are rapidly announcing reopenings every day and North American cruises start at the end of June, so travelers who are interested in those types of vacations should work with a travel adviser to make sure they get the best availability and price.”
Americans’ positive sentiment toward travel has rapidly grown from January to May as vaccinations increased and COVID-19 statistics decreased, according to the weekly Coronavirus Sentiment Index surveys conducted this year by Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm. The surveys found:
• In January, 55% of those surveyed said they were ready to travel, and by May that number grew to 77%.
• Of those planning leisure trips this summer, 71% have out-of-state destinations and 45% are traveling within their state.
• 43% of respondents in a March Destination Analysts survey had planned a vacation in anticipation of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
AAA Texas recommends several plan-ahead tips for summer travelers:
• Make reservations. National parks are requiring advance registrations, so don’t expect to be able to get in without one. Hotels in remote areas, likewise, are selling out quickly, so make sure to reserve them in advance. And a national rental car shortage could also create difficulties for travelers, so consider driving your own vehicle or using alternate transportation such as tour buses.
• Don’t forget passports/documentation. If you are taking one of the first North American cruises being offered this summer, you need a passport even if it’s a cruise to Alaska. Allow extra time to process your passport. AAA Texas members can get 30% off passport photos at any AAA Texas branch.
• Bring paper maps. If you are driving in remote areas, it may be difficult to access data-based online GPS. AAA Texas has free domestic maps available to members at any of its branches.
• Get your vehicle inspected. Many vehicles have been sitting largely unused for the past year and could have problems handling a long road trip without a maintenance service visit. Make sure fluid levels, hoses, belts and tires are in good condition and that tires are properly inflated for safety and fuel efficiency. Visit AAA.com/autorepair to find a qualified and AAA-inspected mechanic near you.
• Bring along needed extras for safety. Make sure you have masks for everyone in the family for the duration of your trip, as well as hand sanitizer. Bring along an emergency first aid kit and have plenty of drinks and food available for all in the car in case you get stranded on the road.
• Consider planning your trip with the help of a AAA travel advisor who can help you save time, find the best deals and assist with making changes should you need to while away.
About AAA: AAA provides more than 62 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of independently owned motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the motorist and safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. AAA Texas branch offices throughout the state can be found by visiting www.AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here