AAA says vacation trips are being booked even earlier as the post-travel epidemic returns

Traveling during the height of the pandemic is something many people put on hold. Three years later, life is slowly but surely returning to a new normal – which means more and more people are traveling again.

Debbie Haas is vice president of travel with AAA Michigan and says more trips are already being planned.

“We’ve actually got people already planning their 2025 holiday,” he said.

Overall, more travelers are booking vacations than last year, according to a new survey by AAA.

Fifty-two percent of Michiganders say they plan to take a vacation this holiday season. And of those, more than half say they’re booking trips earlier than last year.

Additionally, about 36 percent of Michiganders say they will or will book their Thanksgiving vacation this month – and about 31 percent of Michiganders plan to book a Christmas vacation in October.

“The week before Christmas when business travel closes down, the hotels are a little more empty — so that’s one of the times I like to travel,” Haas said.

Given the fluidity of inflation, finding the best time to travel and the most affordable and convenient mode of transportation can be challenging.

Haas shares some must-know tips on everything from travel insurance.

“What it does is, it allows you to be protected for things that might happen before or during the trip,” he said. “And it protects you and your travel companions as well as your financial investment in travel. And it can happen in many unexpected situations.

“So before you travel, it could be because of a loved one’s illness, or maybe you lose your job or maybe you’re injured. And while you’re traveling it can be for cancellations, lost luggage, and minor delays. Like three hours.”

And why book early?

“You’ll have the most choice and you’ll have the best value,” she said.

Also, consider looking for bundle deals and/or all-inclusive options regardless of how you’re traveling.

“Sometimes what we can do is bundle it with flights, like a cruise, with those flights purchased in advance using Scale — and that will save you,” Haas says.

If you drive or rent a car, consider a budget-friendly option.

“Rental car companies are investing in electric vehicles and what we’re finding is people are using it, whether they already own an electric car or if they want to use it as a sample drive if it’s the first time they’ve used it. And you’re driving an EV. You can save a lot on gas by getting it.”

As far as destinations go, Haas has also given importance to that.

“The biggest trend this year has been Europe, Europe is so hot,” he said. “More locally, of course there are some big cities to choose from, New York always gets really hot for the holidays because of the decorations, Chicago is not too far from home for Michiganders, Detroit definitely has our own traditions.”


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