AAA: More Americans Make Plans for International Travel

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PORTLAND, Ore., – One-quarter of Americans plan to take an international vacation over the next 18 months, according to a new AAA Travel survey. AAA’s advance travel booking data shows that many travelers will head to popular European destinations including Rome, London, Dublin and Paris, and warm-weather spots in Mexico and the Caribbean.

International Travel

Get an International Driving Permit Before You Go

AAA’s survey reveals that 80 percent of Americans have taken at least one vacation outside the U.S., 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 percent increase in International Driving Permits (IDPs) sold in the last five years (through 2018).

International Travel

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.

“Travelers can easily apply for an International Driving Permit with an application accessible online or in person at AAA, whether they are a member or not,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “The $20 fee is a small price to pay for peace of mind while traveling overseas.”

 

Potential Impact of Brexit

London and the United Kingdom are always popular destinations for travelers from the U.S. The U.K. 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.

 

Top International Travel Destinations:

These are the top international travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings for trips over the next 18 months:

  1. Rome, Italy
  2. Cancun, Mexico
  3. London, England
  4. Dublin, Ireland
  5. Paris, France
  6. Montego Bay, Jamaica
  7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  8. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  9. Munich, Germany
  10. Barcelona, Spain

International Travel

For travelers who say they don’t have plans to travel internationally over the next year and a half, one of their top concerns is expense. “You can travel overseas on a budget. One way to save money is to book in advance as many travel suppliers offer early payment incentives to travelers who book and pay for their trips before the end of the year. This is a good way to lock in savings,” says Dodds.

 

Tips for International Travel

AAA can help you prepare for your overseas adventure.

  • Get help from a knowledgeable AAA travel pro. They’ve been there, done that and can help you get the best deals, plan all the details, and save you hours of research online.
  • Check out the AAA Travel Guides for info on where to go, what to do and see, how to get around, what to eat, and all the can’t-miss attractions.
  • Check with airlines about luggage weight and size restrictions which are often different than for domestic flights.
  • Check with your mobile phone carrier about international plans for your phone and tablet so you don’t get hit with a surprising bill.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your vacation investment and ensure a smooth vacation experience. Medical insurance can also be a good idea as your domestic plan may not provide coverage abroad
  • 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.
  • Visit the AAA Travel Store for passport photos, international driving permits and all the accessories that make travel easier including plug adapters, electricity converters, luggage, bags, clothing and more, all selected by our team of travel experts. AAA members receive special member pricing on all products.

 

Survey Methodology

AAA’s international travel findings are the result of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,002 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted from August 22 to 28, 2019. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1% at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults. Results are weighted by age, gender, region, race/ethnicity and education to be proportionally representative of the U.S. adult population.

AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit 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.

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For more info go www.AAA.com. AAA Oregon/Idaho provides more than 820,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, and is an affiliate of AAA National, serving more than 60 million motorists in North America.