TAMPA, Fla. (February 16, 2016) — Media publicity regarding terrorism, the stock market, and now the Zika virus is weighing on the minds of travelers, many of whom are turning to AAA for advice on whether they should alter their vacation plans.
AAA always encourages Americans to be cautious when traveling the world, and to be aware of any health or security alerts before leaving. Although much has been made about the Zika virus, and travelers should stay informed, Federal health officials have not issued travel restrictions to those countries with active virus transmission.
“Ultimately, the decision to travel is a personal one that must be made by each individual,” said Brent Stahlheber, Sr. Vice President – Brand Marketing and Travel, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA urges travelers to follow CDC recommendations, which urges women who are pregnant - or plan to become pregnant in the near future - to consider postponing vacations to areas affected by the Zika virus.”
Although AAA has not seen an unusual surge in trip cancellations, travel agents are seeing an increase in people wishing to alter itineraries or push vacation dates back to later in the year. However, those considering a vacation this year could benefit as travel providers are responding to market concerns by cutting prices, offering some of the best valued vacation packages in quite some time.
"Traveling by car this year was already going to be more cost effective thanks to the lowest gas prices in seven years, but now people can find some really good deals across the board,” Stahlheber said. “As you might expect, we are seeing tremendous discounts to areas like the Caribbean, South America, and Europe, but there are also great deals on vacations to Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
Travelers booking with AAA are finding select vacation discounts up to:
- $500 air credit and 7.5% off vacations to Europe, Britain, Ireland and Scotland
- $1,000 off vacations to Asia, Australia & New Zealand
- $800 off vacations to North, Central and South America
- $200-$300 off cruises to Alaska, the Greek Isles, and Western Caribbean
- Click here to learn more
The current strength of the dollar makes international travel especially affordable right now. Favorable conversion rates means Americans will get more for their money when visiting far-off destinations like Europe and Australia.
"In fact, many travelers who are uneasy about going overseas often consider Canada a great 'Plan B' because it’s not far from home, but still offers an international experience,” Stahlheber said. “Domestic destinations like Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. National Parks are also growing in popularity among travelers who want to stay within the United States."
2016 AAA - The Auto Club Group Top Travel Bookings
7. Central America/Panama Canal
8. South America
10. World Cruise
(Year to date bookings)
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.