Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — This year's harsh winter contributed to an exodus of travelers seeking refuge from the weather by booking tours, cruises and hotels in record numbers, according to AAA Carolinas Travel Agency. Trips taken by those booking through AAA, the largest leisure travel agency in the Carolinas, showed an increase in tours (15 percent), cruises (12 percent) and hotels (33 percent) over the first quarter of 2013.
The top five destinations for those several thousand travelers that included AAA members and the general public were Orlando; Mexico/Caribbean; Honolulu; Las Vegas, and Miami.
"People wanted to put this winter behind them with a positive memory," said Sarah Henshall, vice-president of travel for AAA Carolinas.
"Everyone was so excited telling our agents how happy they were 'getting away' even for just a few days and we already have seen bookings skyrocket for the second quarter of this year," said Henshall.
Travelers are already booking ahead in greater numbers than last year and the top destinations already booked for the second quarter of the year are Orlando, Europe, Mexico/Caribbean, Honolulu and Las Vegas.
For those driving and get AAA Triptiks for directions the top 10 destinations in the second quarter are: Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Raleigh, Savannah, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Orlando, Gatlinburg and San Francisco.
AAA Carolinas Travel Agency also saw a 3% increase air travel this year and a 10 oercebt increase in rental car reservations.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.9 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.