CHICAGO (CBS) — People are packing their bags and prepping for getaways in the new year.
Over 80 percent of people in Illinois will travel this year, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey. Of that 80 percent, over half will take two-to-three vacations throughout 2017. The peak time for travel will be in the summer months between July and September.
But Illinoisans are not the only ones making big travel plans in 2017. According to the survey, 42 percent of Americans are planning vacation this year, with most planning trips to warm weather destinations both in the U.S. and abroad.
“With much of the country in the midst of a harsh winter, warm-weather destinations in the United States and Caribbean are topping most Americans’ travel itineraries,” said Joseph J. Richardson, President and CEO, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Whether they’re taking a road trip to a well-known domestic destination or visiting an exotic international location, today’s travelers are seeking experiences that are unique and immersive.”
One-third of Americans said they are more likely to take a vacation this year, compared to last year, and are looking for a new kind of travel experience. According to AAA, destinations with increased travel bookings include Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; Toronto and Vancouver, Canada; and Cancun.
The top destinations for 2017, based on AAA’s travel bookings, are:
1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
2. Rome, Italy
3. Montego Bay, Jamaica
4. London, England
5. Nassau, Bahamas
1. Orlando, Florida
2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
3. Anaheim, California
4. Miami, Florida
5. Las Vegas, Nevada
Along with the top travel destinations, the survey discovered top travel trends for 2017 as well. The top trends include:
– Experiential Travel: Both expert and beginner travelers are seeking new experiences. They are searching for deeper connections to cultures, people, traditions when traveling. For example, AAA has seen an increase in book tours that include dining with local families or hands-on tutorials from locals.
– O Canada: Canada is becoming a more popular travel destination. Its close location and currency exchange make it easy and affordable for Americans to travel. With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday this year, it will offer visitors special experiences and learning opportunities.
– The “I”s Have It: Travel to Europe is spiking a demand in 2017, especially countries like Ireland and Iceland due to low airfares and safety.
– River Cruising: Despite its perception, millennials are more likely to consider a river cruise for an upcoming vacation over Generation X and Baby Boomers. According to a AAA survey, four in 10 Americans would consider a river cruise for an upcoming vacation and 24 percent said they are likely to take a river cruise in the next five years.
– National Parks: National Parks continue to remain an attraction for vacationers. According to a recent AAA survey, 79 percent of Americans say they are as likely or more likely to visit a national park through the first half of this year, building on the momentum of The National Parks Service celebrating in 100th anniversary last year.