A greater number of people are anticipated to travel this summer compared to last, as new data shows growing interest in domestic road trips and the beginnings of a return to air, international and cruise travel, according to AAA Texas.

AAA Texas is projecting a sharp increase in overnight road trips with hotel stays this summer compared to the prior two years, based on online and AAA Texas branch driving vacation map route requests.

TripTik map route printouts with hotel stops marked along the way (between April 1 and May 15) grew 10 times from 2019 to 2021 and doubled this year compared to 2020, when many travelers were printing out routes in anticipation of being able to travel later.

Among AAA Texas members who are taking air vacations, North American travel is starting to increase significantly this year compared to 2019. May 2021 bookings for Pleasant Holidays destinations – which include Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean – are up significantly compared to May 2019.

“Many AAA Texas members are taking domestic road trips and North American air trips instead of options that have not yet fully reopened such as cruises and international tours,” said Kent Livesay, AAA Texas vice president and general manager. “But additional countries and cruise lines are rapidly announcing reopenings every day and North American cruises start at the end of June, so travelers who are interested in those types of vacations should work with a travel adviser to make sure they get the best availability and price.”

Americans’ positive sentiment toward travel has rapidly grown from January to May as vaccinations increased and COVID-19 statistics decreased, according to the weekly Coronavirus Sentiment Index surveys conducted this year by Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm.

The surveys found:

• In January, 55% of those surveyed said they were ready to travel, and by May that number grew to 77%.

• Of those planning leisure trips this summer, 71% have out-of-state destinations and 45% are traveling within their state.

• 43% of respondents in a March Destination Analysts survey had planned a vacation in anticipation of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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