PORTLAND, Ore., – Spring Break is almost here and warm weather destinations, cruises and European cities are among the most popular destinations according to AAA.

AAA Travel data shows a 28% increase in cruise bookings for March and April compared to last year, and a 60% percent increase for cruises departing from South Florida. AAA data for March and April also shows international flight bookings are up 20% and hotel bookings are up 37%. European cities top the list of most popular destinations: London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, and Amsterdam.

Closer to home, many Oregon families will visit Central Oregon, the Oregon Coast, Eugene, Seattle, and Boise. Top U.S. destinations for members of AAA Oregon/Idaho are Las Vegas, Anaheim, Honolulu and Maui.

“Many travelers want to escape cold temperatures and winter weather, so beaches, pools and places with good outdoor activities are very popular for spring break,” says Doreen Loofburrow, Senior Vice President of Travel at AAA Oregon/Idaho. “European cities are extremely popular this year. In many cases, people are visiting destinations portrayed in their favorite TV shows and movies.”

Top Spring Break Destinations 2024

Travel trends for Spring Break and Beyond:

“Set-jetting” – where travelers plan trips around TV shows and movies – is a major travel trend this year for spring break and summer travel and beyond. Here are some of the most popular destinations according to AAA travel data:

Hawaii and Italy – The White Lotus (Season 3 will be shot in Thailand.)

Paris – Emily in Paris

London, Bath, Windsor – The Crown, Bridgerton

London’s Richmond borough – Ted Lasso

Australia and Ireland – The Tourist

Astoria, Oregon – The Goonies. Even though this movie came out in 1985, the Goonies sites continue to be popular.

Longer itineraries are also popular this year. People are spending more time and money on vacations. Many choose to add destinations and activities before and after a cruise, or book back-to-back cruises. Those traveling to international destinations will often visit multiple destinations before returning home. Many employees still have the option to work remotely so they can physically be away from the office for longer periods of time.

Considering timing: Travelers in 2024 are making conscious choices about where and when they travel. Many popular destinations are crowded during the peak season and the high number of tourists can impact the experience. Travelers are looking at other options including shifting their trips from the peak times (such as summer in Europe) to shoulder season (spring and fall) or even off season (winter). Travelers can then experience their chosen destinations with smaller or no crowds, and pricing is often more reasonable.

Vacation dupes: This involves choosing vacation destinations that are similar to a more popular and crowded hot spot. They include Memphis instead of Nashville, Liverpool instead of London, Lisbon, Portugal instead Paris, and Bruges, Belgium instead of Venice.

Active travel: Travelers are looking for out-of-the-ordinary experiences that will create memories that last a lifetime.  Active travel can include options for walking, cycling and hiking, in some cases visiting sites that aren’t accessible by car or tour bus.  In 2024, we expect Arican Safaris to continue as a top destination. Many travelers are seeking out small expedition cruise products, even though they may not be your typical cruise traveler. There are more choices now in this category, and many expedition cruises offer the opportunity for travelers to take part in research experiments.

Tips for those flying during Spring Break:

  • Check your airline’s website or download their app to keep up to date on your flight status, including checking one last time right before you leave for the airport
  • Check-in online for flights 24 hours ahead
  • Arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for international. Security lines may be longer than usual due to the increase in travelers.
  • Consider booking a flight during non-peak travel periods to cut down on wait times. In general, early morning flights tend to have fewer delays and cancellations than flights later in the day.
  • Sign up for TSA PreCheck before your trip. However, even these expedited security check-in lanes will be busier than usual.
  • Avoid checking a bag if possible. Bring all medications in your carry-on bag, as well as snacks and a change of clothes. That way you’ll have provisions if your checked bag gets lost or delayed.
  • Plan ahead for meals and snacks. Most airlines have limited meal offerings. Some airlines let you pre-order food for your flight.

AAA to the rescue this Spring Break

AAA is ready to provide roadside assistance during spring break with the most common issues being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. 

  • AAA makes it easy to request assistance—by phone or text (1-800-AAA-HELP), app or online—and members can track the service technician’s progress as they make their way to your vehicle.
  • Make sure your car is road-trip ready. Have your vehicle inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America.
  • Be prepared for emergencies with a mobile phone and car charger and/or charging cable, a flashlight with extra batteries, a shovel, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers and pets.
  • Share your itinerary with family or friends so that authorities know where to start looking for you if you don’t reach your destination.

Gas prices on the rise for Spring Break:

This is the time of year that we typically see seasonal increases in gas prices, and that is the case this year. Factors including refinery maintenance, the switch to summer-blend fuel, and an increase in demand for gas are putting upward pressure on pump prices. In addition, the cost of crude oil has increased which usually leads to higher pump prices.

The current (as of March 20, 2024) national average for regular gas is $3.52 a gallon. This compares to $3.45 a year ago. The Oregon average is currently $4.12 compared to $3.88 a year ago. Find current fuel prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.

AAA news releases, high resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA NewsRoom at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

Find local news releases at https://oregon.aaa.com/community/media/media-contacts.html

Fuel prices are updated daily at AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge at AAA Gas Prices. For more info go www.AAA.com.  AAA Oregon/Idaho provides more than 890,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, and is an affiliate of AAA National, serving more than 64 million motorists in North America.