Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
July/August 2016

Now's the Time to Travel

BYDeEtte Person
No doubt about it. One glance at the evening news can make one wary about leaving home. But, some would argue, there’s never been a better time to travel. Thanks to a strong U.S. dollar, your money can go further. And the options are endless in terms of places to go and things to see. Suffice it to say, it’s now a “buyers’ market” if you’re looking for a quick getaway or to check a few things off your bucket list. 
There are more places to travel now than ever before as new markets and ports have opened up, including Cuba, Myanmar (formerly Burma), and Vietnam. Plus, there are even more islands to visit as some cruise lines have actually bought their own private islands. For Arizonans, it may be easier to set sail from Galveston, Texas, as it is gaining hold as a U.S. port city.
Cruise companies are investing more than $25 billion in 55 new ships over the next few years. This means you can expect to find better deals as cruise lines compete to ensure passengers fill those new ships. And as European river cruising has grown in popularity, cruise lines have expanded their ports of call, giving travelers a glimpse into lesser-known destinations.
If you feel more comfortable sticking closer to home, you have more options, too. Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial by checking another natural wonder off your list. Or explore North America’s own version of the river cruise, which quickly is becoming a new American trend.
If you’ve never taken your family to tour the East Coast or the South’s historic battlefields, now is the perfect time to capture a great deal. Looking to the north, there’s The Last Frontier. Often a bucket-list destination, getting to Alaska is easier than you might think — it’s only about a five-hour flight from Phoenix. 
As you plan your next vacation, remember, AAA Travel can handle every detail of planning your trip and help you navigate any issues that might come up while you are traveling. When booking a travel package, keep in mind that AAA member benefits can be combined with other offers to get you the best savings. 
DeETTE PERSON is a Scottsdale-based writer who loves to seek out the local flavor and take the backroads wherever she travels.
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