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Majority of US travelers planning summer getaway

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Sat, Apr 13th 2019 07:00 am

Theme parks, European vacations top summer travel itineraries

By AAA of Western and Central New York

According to a recent AAA Travel survey, two-thirds of leisure travelers (64 percent) plan to take vacations this summer. Many of those vacationers will head to historical European cities or soak up the sun in Orlando’s theme parks and attractions, according to an analysis of AAA’s travel booking data.

“Millions of Americans are making plans for summer vacations, visiting famous landmarks in Europe, family attractions stateside, and anything in between,” said Carol DiOrio, vice president of travel at AAA Western and Central New York. “AAA recommends travelers plan ahead and book early with the expertise of a knowledgeable travel agent to maximize your vacation experience – saving time and money so you can focus on making vacation memories that will last well after summer fades away.”

Top Summer Travel Destinations

These are the top summer travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings for trips June 1 through Aug. 15:

  • Orlando (1)
  • London, England (5)
  • Rome, Italy (2)
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (3)
  • Dublin, Ireland (4)
  • Paris, France (7)
  • Seattle (9)
  • Anchorage, Alaska (8)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (6)
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (12)

*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2018 ranking.

Top trends for summer travel this year include:

Orlando once again claims the top spot as the most-visited summer travel destination. The city’s world-famous theme parks are a top draw for families, as Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World prepare to unveil new attractions this summer.

Europe is a bucket list destination for many Americans, and this summer is no exception. London has grown in popularity compared with last year, while Rome, Dublin and Paris continue to be hot spots for top summer travel destinations.

Alaskan cruises are a top vacation choice for summer travelers this year, with Vancouver, Seattle and Anchorage topping the list of embarkation ports for these coveted sailings.

After a harsh winter, many Americans will flock to warm-weather destinations, particularly those in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has once again cracked the top 10 after briefly dipping off last year’s list.

“These top locales are sure to see an influx of travelers this summer, but some people will be looking for great vacation spots with slightly fewer crowds,” DiOrio said. “Other destinations to watch this year that didn’t quite make the top 10 list include Montego Bay, Jamaica; Calgary, Canada; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Anaheim, California.”

Be Road Trip Ready

While many travelers will tour Europe, take cruises, visit theme parks and soak up the sun in Hawaii or the Caribbean, road trips remain a top choice for many families this summer. AAA expects to be called on to rescue nearly 8 million Americans at the roadside this summer season, with the top reasons being flat tires, lockouts and dead batteries. AAA Automotive experts recommend these car care tips to prepare your vehicle for a summer road trip:

•Tires – Make sure to inflate tires to the recommended pressure listed in the owner’s manual or on the driver-side doorjamb. To check tread wear, insert a quarter upside down; if the top of George Washington’s head is visible at any point, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.

•Brakes – Inspect the brake system for fluid leaks, and check all components for wear at every oil change and whenever there are signs of a potential problem. Pay attention to any brake warning indicators on your car’s instrument panel, or any grinding or scraping noises when applying the brakes.

•Battery – After three years, have your battery tested to determine remaining capacity. In many areas, AAA members can have a AAA mobile battery service technician come to their home or work to perform a free battery test and install a new battery on site if needed.

•Fluids – Change the oil at the intervals specified by the vehicle manufacturer and use an oil that meets the vehicle’s factory specifications. Also, check the engine coolant and brake, transmission, and power steering fluids.

Regardless of destination, travelers can look to AAA for assistance planning and booking unforgettable vacations this summer. For more information, visit AAA.com/Travel.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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