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Orlando remains top destination for local travelers
By AAA of Western and Central New York
AAA Western and Central New York chose National Virtual Vacation Day to announce the top destinations for Easter travelers as pandemic-style virtual vacations are being replaced with international getaways, cruises and beach destinations. More than three years since the pandemic began, travel has gone from hold to bold as travelers try to make up for lost time.
“Travelers are truly prioritizing their vacations,” said Brian Murray Sr., manager of travel at AAA Western and Central New York. “This spring, we saw international travel increase 30% over last year, while overall spring travel surpassed prepandemic levels. Now travelers are already making plans for 2024 and 2025.”
Murray noted that many families are also taking multigenerational vacations. A recent AAA national survey found that more than 40% of U.S. adults with spring break plans were traveling with three generations.
With many area schools closed the week before Easter, eager travelers are heading out to warmer destinations. Here’s a look at top destinations booked for Easter (April 1-8) through AAA Western and Central New York:
√ Orlando — theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, along with cruising out of Port Canaveral (also ranked first last year)
√ Miami and Fort Lauderdale — cruising to the Caribbean (Fort Lauderdale was second last year and Miami was sixth)
√ Cancun (all-inclusive vacations, up from eighth last year)
√ Punta Cana (all-inclusive vacations, down from third last year)
√ Nassau (up from 10th last year)
√ Montego Bay (down from fourth last year)
For those taking road trips, AAA Western and Central New York’s route production department, which handles maps and TripTik requests, reports an increase in route requests for destinations like Florida; South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); North Carolina (the Outer Banks); New York City; and Virginia.
Gas prices have been fluctuating in recent weeks. As of today, the national average for a gallon of unleaded is $3.49. The New York average is $3.44. In Buffalo, the average is $3.38, in Rochester it is $3.43, and in Syracuse it is $3.44.
With the cost of travel on the rise, AAA has tips for travelers looking for the best price:
√ Work with a trusted travel agent. They have many resources at their fingertips to help plan and organize a trip that fits your specific needs and budget with special offers and discounts.
√ Research travel insurance for every trip you plan to protect your investment.
√ Plan ahead as much as possible, be flexible and book early. Having flexible dates will help you find the best rate.
Motorists can benefit from comparing pump prices before filling up with the AAA mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android – a convenient option to find the lowest gas prices in a given area. Plus, the app is the quickest way to request roadside assistance, map a route, find discounts, or book a hotel.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.