Rome comes in first, with other European and Caribbean destinations close behind
BOISE – (October 17, 2019) – As more Americans reap the benefits of low unemployment and higher disposable income, one in four say that they will take an international vacation in the next 18 months, according to a new survey by AAA.
Based on AAA travel bookings nationwide, Rome is the most popular destination abroad. The list of the top ten travel spots includes:
- Rome, Italy
- Cancun, Mexico
- London, England
- Dublin, Ireland
- Paris, France
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Munich, Germany
- Barcelona, Spain
The Bahamas, often featured among AAA’s top travel destinations, suffered significant damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which could impact tourism there for years to come.
“As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, international travel is an exciting option for many Americans,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “January through March are especially busy for our Worldwide travel agents as people make plans for the year.”
AAA says that most international vacations are planned with the help of an experienced professional due to the complexity of coordinating travel abroad, including sightseeing, airline flights and transfers, accommodations, travel insurance, excursions, and other logistical details.
About 40 percent of Americans who have visited another country rented or used a personal vehicle while doing so. AAA is one of only two entities authorized by the U.S. State Department to issue International Driving Permits, an official document that translates a U.S. driver’s license into a format accepted in more than 150 countries. Many countries will not accept a U.S. license alone.
“It’s definitely possible to take an international trip without breaking the bank,” Conde said. “There are plenty of deals, and travelers can always spread out the cost through a payment plan.”
Tips for international travel
To make the most of their next international adventure, AAA offers the following recommendations to travelers:
- Review popular travel guides, including AAA Travel Guides, for tips on where to go, where to eat, what to see and do, and how to get around.
- Check with airlines about luggage size and weight restrictions, which are usually different than for domestic travel. Passport photos, international power converters and plug adaptors, luggage accessories, and more are available in AAA Travel Stores in Idaho.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance, including medical insurance. If an unexpected health problem occurs outside of the United States, travel insurance could act as your primary coverage, and may save you a lot of money over using traditional health care benefits.
- Be aware of your surroundings, including any suspicious activity. Remain in commonly-traveled areas, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which makes it easier for the nearest embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency. Refer to the U.S. Department of State website for country-specific safety information.
“Planning and vigilance aren’t paranoia – they’re the keys to a safe and memorable vacation,” Conde said. “It’s likely that everything will go smoothly on your trip, but it pays to be prepared.”