The Busy Travel Season Starts with Spring Break (For NC)

Cruises and international trips on the rise; Florida tops list of domestic destinations

CHARLOTTE, NC., March 8, 2024 – North Carolinians are actively finalizing travel plans for the year ahead. A new AAA travel survey reveals that 89 percent of residents will travel in 2024; 44% will take more vacations than last year.

“The travel season is already off to a hot start in 2024,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Americans continue to make travel a top priority, and AAA travel agents have been busy planning a wide range of vacations from weekend getaways to world cruises.”

According to the survey, the most popular times to travel are from March through July. For many travelers, their first vacation of the year will be during spring break. According to the survey, 33% of North Carolinians will take a Spring Break vacation. Some of the most popular trips include the beach (27%), theme park (19%), National/state park (19%) while 17% have yet to decide their destination.

“This time of year, many travelers are looking for warm weather, pools, beaches, and outdoor adventures,” Haas said.

If there’s one place that defines Spring Break, it’s Florida. AAA Travel booking data shows the Sunshine State tops the list of Spring Break destinations. Florida’s beaches, family-friendly attractions, and cruise ports make Florida a logical choice for in-state and out-of-state travelers seeking some fun in the sun. While Orlando is the top choice for Spring Break travelers, Fort Lauderdale and Miami are the two most popular domestic cruise ports.

Cruising is off to a splashy start in 2024 with sold-out ships and inaugural sailings, and that strong demand is evident in Spring Break bookings. AAA Travel data shows a 28% increase in cruise bookings for March and April compared to last year, and a 60% percent increase for cruises departing from South Florida.

Good to Know: More travelers are booking cruises farther in advance, which is one of AAA Travel’s cruising trends this year. Many Spring Break cruises have been sold-out for months. Last-minute bookings are possible, but prices may be higher and cabin choices limited.

AAA Advice: If you miss the boat for Spring Break, AAA Travel suggests booking a summer cruise now before they sell out, especially if you’re eyeing popular destinations like Alaska.

AAA Trip Canvas Tips: For families traveling with teens, check out the best cruise lines for teenagers. · Best for Onboard Activities: ROYAL CARIBBEAN · Best for Teen Clubs: CARNIVAL · Best for Families with Kids of Different Ages: DISNEY CRUISE LINE · Best for Recreational Tournaments: PRINCESS CRUISES · Best for Entertainment Options: HOLLAND AMERICA LINE · Best For Family Accommodations: CELEBRITY CRUISES

International Spring Break trips are also on the rise compared to last year. AAA data for March and April shows international flight bookings are up 20% and hotel bookings are up 37%. European cities top the list of most popular destinations: London, Paris, Rome, Dublin, and Amsterdam.

“More AAA members are also booking tours for their international Spring Break vacations,” Haas continued. They want the convenience, expertise, and peace of mind that guided travel brings.”

AAA Advice: Planning ahead is critical, especially when traveling internationally. AAA recommends travel insurance which provides coverage for accidents, illness, medical emergencies, delayed or canceled flights, lost luggage and more.

AAA Advice: If you plan to drive at your destination, don’t forget to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before your trip. An IDP is a document that translates a valid U.S. driver’s license into several different languages. Most countries highly recommend an IDP and several countries require it. AAA is the only entity in the U.S. authorized by the State Department to issue an IDP.

AAA Trip Canvas Tips: For travelers who want to visit popular European cities but can’t decide on which one, check out these tours that cover multiple destinations. · Treasures of Europe · London and Paris · Italian Vistas · Netherlands, Belgium, and France · Best of Ireland and Scotland

Browse more cruises and find travel inspiration on Trip Canvas, AAA’s free travel-planning tool.


About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in North and South Carolina from January 24-28, 2024. A total of 400 residents in each state completed the survey. State 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 North and South Carolina.

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 64 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, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.