PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Many are probably dreaming of their next vacation, especially after the recent blizzard and below-freezing temperatures.

AAA Northeast has released the top travel picks of the year just ahead of school February vacation.

Florida was at the top of the list with 35% of northeast travelers choosing the Orlando area for their winter break getaway, followed by Cancun, Hawaii, Aruba, and the Dominican Republic.

Anne Lishwe, with AAA Northeast, says they are seeing an increase in those that want to travel now, and also later into the year.

“We are still suggesting that people plan ahead and book ahead, especially looking into the fall even,” she said. “In the fall we are seeing even more people schedule to travel than in 2019 so that demand is really starting to boom.”

As the travel demand increases, so does the cost. AAA says they are seeing anywhere from a 10-15% increase in pricing when it comes to planning a trip.

For example, a trip to Disney that was $10,000 before the pandemic will likely be closer to $12,000 now. As the demand continues to increase during heavy travel periods, that percentage could double.

“Sixty percent of Americans are ready to book a trip. Even if they’re not ready to travel now, they’re ready to book a trip in the next two months,” Lishwe said. “I think it was about 70-80% of Americans that want to take a trip this year.”

The travel outlook for this year is a positive one overall. While there are still COVID-related travel restrictions in place, there is renewed optimism that some of those bigger adventures may be back on the table.

“We are seeing a combination of last-minute decisions and getaways, but also people that are starting to plan those big bucket-list trips,” Lishwe explained.

For the summer and fall, Lishwe says they are seeing a big Europe trend, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, and even Alaska.

“Those are those bigger trips people have been holding off on, and people are ready now,” Lishwe said. “They’re getting to relax, they’re getting to enjoy, and that I think is needed now, absolutely more than ever. So is it worth it in the end? 100% it’s worth it.”

For Rhode Islanders planning a trip to Aruba, fully vaccinated and boosted visitors no longer have to show proof of a negative COVID test.

While some destinations relax their rules, some are still tightening things up.


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