The best summer getaways

By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

Arrivederci Roma? No, for many Americans it is more like “Ciao, Roma. Bello vederti!” According to AAA summer travel bookings, demand for vacations to Europe is strong in 2016, with Rome and London at the top of many international travelers’ itineraries this summer.

Americans are also flocking to warm-weather destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean, and increasingly traveling to Canada to take advantage of favorable exchange rates, according to the new report released by AAA.

The top international summer destinations, based on AAA bookings for travel June 1 through Aug. 15, are:

Rome, Italy (4)

London, England (3)

Cancun, Mexico (1)

Vancouver,    Canada (8)

Paris, France (7)

Dublin, Ireland (6)

Punta Cana, Dominican

   Republic (2)

Montego Bay,

Jamaica (5)

   Calgary, Canada



(Number in parentheses indicates summer 2015 ranking position.)

“Europe remains very popular with American travelers despite recent terrorism concerns, said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., president and CEO of AAA The Auto Club Group.  “In fact, some of the most popular European destinations moved higher on the list this year. Increased security, a strong dollar and discounted pricing are motivating millions of Americans to venture across the pond for their summer vacations.”

Florida Summer Traveler Statistics

85 percent plan to take at least one summer trip, of 2 days or more from May – Sept.

73 percent will travel domestically, 27 percent internationally.

Of the various vacations: 64 percent will include driving, 56 percent flying, 9 percent other modes (train, RV, etc.).

Travel Alert

On May 31, the U.S. State Department issued a Travel Alert for Europe, citing the risk of potential terror attacks. Travel Alerts are issued for short-term events that travelers should be aware of when planning to visit a country. This differs from a travel warning in which the State Department urges travelers to consider very carefully whether to visit a country or region at all.

AAA urges travelers to exercise vigilance when traveling and be aware of their immediate surroundings. Determining when and where to travel is very personal. The strong interest in Europe and even Paris shows that many Americans are undeterred by recent global events.”

Top Domestic Dest-inations.

While many of us will have Europe and other locations in our sites this summer, AAA also says the great American road trip is back, with nearly 56 percent of Americans planning a drive vacation this summer, according to a recent AAA survey. The lowest summertime gas prices in 11 years are prompting Americans to drive in record numbers. More than half of U.S. adults say low gas prices are prompting them to hit the roads this year.

And, if you live in Central Florida, it is no surprise that the Orlando area once again is the top domestic summer travel destination.

AAA’s top domestic summer travel destinations include:

Orlando (1)


Los Angeles/

   Anaheim (7)

Honolulu (4)

Las Vegas


New York, N.Y.

Maui, Hawaii

San Francisco


(Number in parentheses indicates summer 2015 ranking position)

“There are several newcomers to AAA’s list of most-popular U.S. travel destinations” said Richardson, “This tells us that Americans are looking forward to venturing out this summer and exploring diverse destinations from coast to coast. However, Orlando remains a top draw for travelers of all ages. The ‘City Beautiful’ is world renowned for its world famous theme parks, top notch hotels and restaurants, all sandwiched between some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.”

Before setting out on a summer vacation, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, request AAA roadside assistance and more. For in-person travel planning, seek the expert advice of a trusted travel advisor, who can provide personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge to create a memorable vacation. For more information and to begin planning a trip, visit

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Florida from April 12, 2016 – April 28, 2016. A total of 410 residents completed the survey.  Survey results have a margin of error of ± 4.8 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida.

About The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.