AAA Summer Travel in Full Swing; Traveler Comfort is Highest since the Pandemic Began

AAA Summer Travel in Full Swing; Traveler Comfort is Highest since the Pandemic Began

AAA provides tips to combat higher travel prices

Note – AAA’s Memorial Day Travel Forecast will be distributed on Tuesday, May 17th

TAMPA, Fla., (May 10, 2022) – AAA says two years’ worth of pent-up demand is about to be unleashed this summer. According to a new quarterly survey from The Auto Club Group, Floridians are more comfortable traveling now, than any other time since the pandemic began. View the full survey.

Measuring Floridian’s Comfort-Level in Traveling During the Pandemic
Q1 2021Q2 2021Q3 2021Q4 2021Q1 2022Q2 2022
40%47%74%63%63%85%

Top reasons cited for increased comfort included:

  • Receiving their COVID-19 vaccination (50%)
  • Belief the risk of contracting the virus is the same wherever they go (29%)
  • Less afraid about the dangers of the virus (24%)

“We’re hearing from travelers who are eager to return to a sense of normalcy, and it appears that time is finally here,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Travel bookings are surging, with people who are tired of being home, are ready to explore new destinations and reconnect with family and friends.”

Summer Vacations in Full Swing

A recent AAA report revealed there are twice as many bookings of flights, hotels, cruises and rental cars for the 2022 Memorial Day weekend, compared to last year’s holiday.  AAA expects that momentum to carry into the summer travel season. 

Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) Floridians will take at least one trip in 2022. The largest share (51%) plan to travel this summer.

Most popular summer vacations:

  • Beaches (42%)
  • Theme Parks (27%)
  • City/major metro destinations (26%)
  • Lake Destination (20%)
  • International travel (19%)

“The summer travel season is less than a month away, yet 40% of Floridians say they haven’t booked their travel plans yet,” Haas continued. “My advice to them is to book now. Inflationary pressures and strong demand will make it harder to find a last minute deal. By booking early, you’ll have the best combination of availability and competitive pricing.” 

How Florida Travelers are Combating Inflation

Although inflation is driving up costs, that doesn’t mean people are cancelling their trips. While a quarter of Floridians say inflation is not affecting their plans at all, 74% are making various adjustments to offset the added expense:

  • Taking road trips instead of flying (26%)
  • Staying in more affordable accommodations (26%) – like a cheaper hotel or sharing a rental with others
  • Choosing more affordable destinations (25%) – like traveling domestic instead of internationally
  • Planning further ahead (20%)

The Effect of Rising Gas Prices on Travel

Gas prices are rising throughout much of the U.S., including in Florida. Click here to view today’s state average. Price gains are largely driven continued tightness in global fuel supply, compounded by expectations that summer gasoline demand will be stronger than last year.

Despite higher gas prices, 82% of Florida summer travelers still plan to take a road trip of 50 miles or more this summer. However, 68% of Floridians say they will adjust their travel habits to offset the higher price at the pump by:

  • Taking fewer trips (24%)
  • Traveling closer to home (24%)
  • Taking shorter trips (23%)
  • Staying at less expensive hotel (18%)
  • Budgeting more for gasoline and less on other aspects of their trip (16%)

AAA’s Tips to Combat Higher Travel Prices

  • Book early.  Prices rise as the travel date gets closer and availability diminishes.
  • Be flexible with your dates and destinations. Select off-peak travel times, like when kids are in school. Prices are lower when there’s less demand.
  • Participate in loyalty programs and memberships like AAA, which can provide discounted rates on hotels, dining and more.
  • Use a travel agent. They have direct relationships with travel suppliers, enabling them to access travel pricing, inventory, and benefits you may not find on your own. 
  • Don’t forget travel insurance. If you miss your trip for some reason, travel insurance can help recoup deposits and other expenses you may not otherwise get back. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, there are policies that can help offset additional expenses you weren’t prepared for. You could also receive financial compensation for flight delays of as little as 3 hours.

AAA Resources to Combat Higher Gas Prices

  • Enroll in savings programs. AAA Members who enroll in Shell’s Fuel Rewards program can save 30 cents per gallon on their first fill-up and 5 cents per gallon each additional trip to the pump. Click here for more information.
  • Get a tune-up. Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained to optimize its fuel economy. Visit AAA.com/AutoRepair to find a certified repair shop.
  • Find the lowest gas prices in your area by using the free AAA mobile app.
  • Determine anticipated fuel costs for your trip by using the AAA’s Gas Cost Calculator.

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Florida from April 13 – 19, 2022.  A total of 400 residents completed the survey.  Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9% points.  Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida.

About AAA – The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 13 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.