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Step Into the Sun

Broods are turning to road trips, resorts and theme parks this year for a welcome respite.

Step into the sun

(Photo: Disney Parks; Olga Melhiser Photography)

There’s no doubt the pandemic has changed how we travel, but there are still ways to hit the road safely during the peak summer season. Here’s how families are traveling during school break – and beyond.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please see official websites before visiting to check for restrictions or closures.

Theme Parks

After a long 2020 with reduced attendance capacities, Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort have seen a huge uptick in attendance this year. Both parks hit capacity over spring break and will likely see a very busy summer season. Lines and wait times will be long: If you’re planning a trip, give yourself a few extra days to make sure you get to do everything you want to do.

Step into the sun

Florida

Outside of the theme parks, head to nature – Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline, to be specific. The Florida Keys were among the most searched-for destinations this winter, according to Forbes. For an alternative, head to Cape Coral with its extensive parks and beaches, and nearby Sanibel Island for some of the best seashell-hunting in the country.

Step into the sun

Road Trips

If last year was the summer of the road trip, this summer is set to be even more driving-oriented – but you don’t have to do it in your car. Rent an RV through a sharing service that lets you use someone’s RV when they aren’t using it, and you’ll be able to get a premium vehicle – one that lets you get out while still being able to keep your distance – for less money.

Step into the sun

Long-term Hotel Stays

The new work-from-home lifestyle has added a surprising amount of flexibility to our lives. Many resorts, both domestic and international, are o­ffering work-from-hotel packages that include use of office space or have educational programs for kids so parents can work in peace. Marriott hotels across the country are o­ffering “Stay Passes” with check-in as early as 6 a.m. and checkout as late as 6 p.m. to accommodate work schedules in cities like Atlanta, Chicago and New York.

Step into the sun

All-inclusive Resorts

One of the best ways to make sure you’re taking a vacation you can a­fford is to book an all-inclusive resort. You’ll pay for everything in advance, and once you get there, the whole family is free to enjoy whatever they want without paying anything extra. Mexico, especially Cancun and Riviera Maya, has excellent all-inclusive options at all price points, but if you’d rather stay in the U.S., Florida has many all-inclusive beachfront choices.

Step into the sun

The Caribbean

Most Caribbean destinations, whether they’re U.S. territories or not, will require travelers to show proof of a negative COVID test or of being vaccinated. A little bit of paperwork in advance will make quick work of getting into your country of choice. Turks & Caicos was one of the first countries to welcome tourists back, and this island paradise has made strides to simplify international travel. In addition, many hotels are offering free on-site COVID testing for guests returning to countries with testing requirements.

Plan your family getaway with a AAA Travel Advisor at AAA.com/Travel.

Comments
  • JANIS L.

    Where is the May 2021AAA photo session entry picked for the magazine ?

    Reply

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