By AAA, Special for USDR
Whether travelers are planning an off-season trip this fall, a memorable holiday getaway, or a dream summer vacation, now is an ideal time to plan an international vacation, according to the experts at AAA Travel. In addition to warm-weather destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, European cities top AAA’s list of the most popular international travel destinations.
AAA’s top destinations for international travel through July 2016, are:
- London, England
- Rome, Italy
- Cancun, Mexico
- Paris, France
- Dublin, Ireland
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Prague, Czech Republic
“Travelers heading to Europe will enjoy favorable currency exchange rates, making now an excellent time to plan a trip overseas,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA Senior Vice President of Travel and Publishing. “Unique experiences such as river cruising are incredibly popular as well, as travelers look for opportunities to immerse themselves in a destination’s local culture while enjoying a hassle-free vacation experience abroad.”
AAA travel agents offer their top tips for international travelers:
- Plan ahead to make sure travel plans are not delayed by the passport application process. It can take up to six weeks to get a new passport, so allow plenty of time to secure the necessary documents. Some countries require that a traveler’s passport be valid for at least six months beyond the dates of the trip. Passport photos can be obtained at select local AAA offices.
- For travelers planning to drive overseas, an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be required. Many countries do not recognize U.S. driver’s licenses without an accompanying IDP, and it is illegal to drive without a valid license and insurance in most places. Even for those not planning to drive internationally, an IDP is recommended to serve as an additional source of identification. AAA is one of only two private entities in the U.S. authorized by the Department of State to issue IDPs.
- Refer to the U.S. Department of State’s current list of travel advisories and register all international travel plans with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling in STEP, U.S. travelers make it easier for the local embassy or consulate to contact them in case of an emergency.
- Travelers should notify their bank and credit card companies’ fraud departments before traveling internationally to let them know what countries the card will be used in to avoid service interruptions. Use a chip-embedded credit card with EMV technology, a more secure system being adopted in the U.S. that is already widely used throughout Europe.
- For travelers planning to post about their trips on social media or for those who want a convenient way to stay in touch with loved ones while traveling, subscribe to an international data plan with your current cell phone company or a local provider.
- When traveling internationally, avoid exchanging foreign currency at the airport or train station as kiosks there often charge high exchange rates or service fees. Check with a travel agent or bank to exchange currencies before an international vacation.
- Through reciprocal arrangements with motor clubs around the world, AAA members can benefit from services such as travel discounts, travel information and roadside assistance when traveling in many foreign countries. Click here for more information on available services and contact information by country.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
AAA news releases, high-resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA NewsRoom at NewsRoom.AAA.com.