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AAA’s Summer Travel Trends Report: Washingtonians Are Going Global

Cruise industry drives Seattle’s ranking as the second-most popular domestic destination

The upcoming July 4th holiday marks the official start of summer in the Pacific Northwest, and AAA Washington – one of the most trusted travel brands in the U.S. – today announced its annual summer travel trends report. Findings show Washingtonians are turning to global travel this summer, with Great Britain topping the list of international destinations. Meanwhile, Seattle maintains its standing as the second most popular destination in the U.S., due in large part to the area’s bustling cruise industry.

“During the pandemic, clearly we experienced a decline in our customers booking trips internationally,” said Michelle Glass, Vice President of Travel with AAA Washington. “Our current summer bookings data show people are feeling safe and excited to journey outside the US again. In their conversations with customers, our travel advisors say there is a general feeling of people looking to make up for lost travel time, explore the world and reconnect with family and friends.”

According to AAA, the top five international and domestic summer destinations for Washington travelers are:

1. London, England1. Seattle
2. Reykjavik, Iceland2. Los Angeles
3. Paris, France3. Hawaii
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands4. Spokane
5. Rome, Italy5. Portland

AAA Washington trends data is informed by air travel and package bookings as well as sales of International Driving Permits (IDPs), which AAA sells at its 15 full-service travel stores across Washington and northern Idaho. AAA says its current IDP sales are just shy of 2018 pre-pandemic levels.

July 4th Holiday Weekend Travel

With the upcoming July 4thweekend marking the official start to summer in the Pacific Northwest, AAA predicts one million Washingtonians will travel 50 miles or more from home. Despite record-breaking gas prices, 82 percent of Washington travelers will go by car, 13 percent by air and the rest by bus, train or boat. AAA encourages drivers to avoid heading out Thursday and Friday afternoons as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers.

“If you don’t have something fun planned for this summer, call 800 829-5448 to connect with one of our friendly and informative full-service travel agents. They can assist you to explore options on any budget for a last-minute trip – we are here to help,” encourages Glass. “My personal ‘pro-tip’ is never rule out last-minute opportunities! Alaska is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer – and it’s not too late to book a cruise departing from Seattle even for next week! You can save on airfare and travel ‘local’. Imagine, a cruise as a last-minute vacation idea!”

About AAA Washington:

AAA Washington was established in 1904 by 10 prominent Seattleites determined to champion the betterment of motoring conditions and laws; the preservation of Washington state’s natural beauty; and the promotion of Washington as an unrivaled tourist destination. More than a century later, the club continues to pursue these on behalf of its 1.2 million members. 

AAA Washington provides a variety of exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts, maps, and personalized trip planning, to members. AAA was recently named one of the most trusted travel and automotive brands in the U.S. Additional information is available through the company’s stores in Washington and northern Idaho, at, or by calling 1-800-562-2582. 

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit

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Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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