Heading Out Of Town

The American Automobile Association did a survey to see just how many of us are traveling this holiday weekend, the busiest of the summer season.

More than 37 million Americans are expected to head out of town. Many already have.

That's the biggest number for a Fourth of July weekend in at least nine years. Almost 33 million of the people plan to travel by car, up 2 percent from last year. Another 4 million will travel by air, which is actually down by 2 percent.

The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm talks to Travelocity's Amy Ziff, who was at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, to find out where the hot spots are, and what bargains are still out there for last minute travelers.

According to Travelocity, the overall top destinations for July 4th, 2003 are:

  1. New York
  2. Chicago
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Denver
  5. Orlando
  6. Washington
  7. San Francisco
  8. Las Vegas
  9. Atlanta
  10. Boston

Top European destinations for the summer:
  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Frankfurt
  4. Amsterdam

The average length of stay in 2003:
Air = 5 days
Car Rental = 5 days
Hotel Stay = 2.6 days

Last-Minute Deals
If you haven't made your plans but you still want to go, here are some great last-minute deals from Travelocity to take advantage of:

Vacation Deals
Chicago to Toronto: Air and hotel from $250
Departs: Saturday, July 5 Returns: Tuesday, July 8
Enjoy your stay at the Holiday Day Inn Express Toronto-North York or upgrade to a number of other hotels.

New York to Jacksonville: Air and hotel from $264
Departs: Saturday, July 5 Returns: Tuesday, July 8
Enjoy your stay at the Holiday Inn I-95 & Baymeadows or upgrade to a number of other hotels.

Los Angeles to Denver: Air and hotel from $302
Departs: Saturday, July 5 Returns: Tuesday, July 8
Enjoy your stay at the Holiday Inn Denver Northglenn or upgrade to a number of other hotels.

Air Deals:
Air Tahiti Nui is offering Los Angeles to Tahiti round-trip economy fares for $340: The special roundtrip fares in Classe Moana/Economy Class are available on the airline's departures on July 4-5, returning on the following return flights from Papeete to Los Angeles on July 9-10.

Fares to Canada start at just $143 for round-trip air on Alaska Airlines: Purchase tickets by July 10, and travel by November 19 to enjoy this offer. Sample fares include:

  • Oakland to Victoria from $143
  • San Francisco to Vancouver from $143
  • San Jose to Calgary from $163
  • Phoenix to Vancouver from $183

    Cruise Deals:
    Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas - 3 Day Weekend Mexican Baja: Departs L.A. on July 11 from $299 pp. Ports include: Ensenada, Mexico

    Carnival Victory - 5 Night Canada New England: Departs in New York on July 12 from $349 pp, July 21 and July 26 - $379 pp. Ports include: St. John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Travel Tips For The Road

    • Make sure your car is road worthy before you start - check oil level, transmission fluid, radiator's anti-freeze/coolant level, windshield washer fluid, and Brake Fluid. Also check the battery.
    • Drink plenty of fluids - especially water or juice
    • Plan for stops every 2-3 hours
    • Drive defensively -- not everyone is as safe as you
    • Bring snacks, games and sing-along tapes and books for the whole family
    • Plan your route in advance
    • Bring and atlas or map so the kids can follow along
    • Plan the trip to start before your kids wake up to take advantage of some quiet time while they slumber, a side benefit may be that traffic is thinner too.

  • Travel Tips For The Air
    If you're headed to the airport you may want to remember these helpful tips:
    • It's the heaviest holiday travel weekend of the summer so pack some patience and plan to give yourself extra time to get through the lines at airports around the country
    • Try online check-in from home available with most major airlines
    • Utilize e-kiosks & curbside baggage
    • Pack snacks, you may not be served anything to eat in flight
    • Condense your items and see if you can pack without checking a bag
    • Think about easily removed shoes - you most likely will be asked to put them through the screening machines
    • Avid golfers, clean your clubs ahead of time (some fertilizers can set off the security systems.)
    • Remember to leave your bags unlocked or they may be cut open
    • Keep your valuables with you on the plane, not in checked bags
    • Film stays with you, not in checked luggage