AAA: Americans Are Loving International Travel, as Millions Make Plans to Travel Overseas
AAA recommends travelers consider an International Driving Permit as part of their vacation planning
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 17, 2019) – – One-quarter of Americans plan to take an international vacation over the next 18 months, according to a recent AAA Travel survey. AAA’s advance travel booking data suggests that many travelers will head to popular European destinations like Rome, London, Dublin and Paris, and warm-weather locales in Mexico and the Caribbean, including Cancun, Montego Bay and Punta Cana, with most travelers in search of unique experiences.
According to AAA Carolinas travel, the most popular bookings for the remainder of the year and 2020 include:
“Every year we see more and more Carolinians book international trips and plan unique excursions while abroad,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “As they travel, they seek out new ways to connect with a destination to create special memories and AAA as found that road trips have become a popular activity while overseas.”
AAA’s survey revealed that 80% of Americans have taken at least one vacation outside the United States, and two in five of those, or nearly 77 million adults, have rented or used a personal vehicle while doing so. Aligning with this finding, AAA reports a 33% increase in International Driving Permits (IDPs) sold in the last five years (through 2018).
An international driving vacation comes with additional planning considerations and paperwork for which travelers need to be prepared. More than 150 countries accept IDPs; many countries do not recognize U.S. driver’s licenses without an accompanying IDP, and it is illegal to drive without a valid license and insurance in most places. An IDP is a legal document that translates U.S. driver’s license information into 10 foreign languages and AAA is one of only two entities authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue IDPs.
“AAA makes the process of obtaining an International Driving Permit an easy one,” continued Wright. “Travelers can fill out an application at any of our AAA locations or online for $20, which is a small price to pay for peace of mind while traveling overseas.”
Tips for International Travel
Planning an international vacation can be a daunting task, but AAA Travel experts advise travelers they don’t have to go it alone. AAA recommends these additional tips to prepare for a trip overseas:
- Seek the expertise of a knowledgeable travel agent; they can make recommendations and help navigate the myriad options available for international travel, saving time, money and the hassle of planning solo.
- Review the AAA Travel Guides, recently enhanced with additional international destination information, for tips on where to go, how to get around, what to do and see, and what not to miss on vacation.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your vacation investment and ensure a smooth vacation experience.
- Be aware of your surroundings and remain vigilant while traveling internationally. Refer to the U.S. Department of State for detailed recommendations and country-specific information. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which makes it easier for the nearest embassy or consulate to contact U.S. citizens in case of an emergency.
Potential Impact of Brexit
Home to AAA’s third-most popular international travel destination, the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on Oct. 31. It is not clear whether or how tourism to the region will be affected. However, in the event no deal is struck between the governments of the UK and EU, travelers may experience delays at the border when crossing between the UK and other top destinations in Europe. Additionally, if travelers encounter any political protests or demonstrations, the U.S. Department of State cautions travelers to avoid those areas if possible, and to be careful within the vicinity of demonstrations. Travelers should continue to monitor the United Kingdom travel advisory and seek the expertise of a knowledgeable travel agent.
For more information or to start planning a trip, visit AAA.com/Travel.