Top 5 Domestic Destinations for 2018
Drawn by the state’s breathtaking natural beauty, U.S. travelers have made Alaska cruises their top domestic vacation destination for the first time, according to a new national survey of travel professionals.
While cruises to Alaska have been among the top 10 domestic trips booked over the past several years, this is the first time they’ve reached the number-one spot in Travel Leaders Group’s annual Travel Trends Survey. Travel Leaders polled 1,355 of its North American-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline agents about what they are seeing in terms of trends for 2018.
Alaska’s scenery, and its remoteness, have made it a bucket list item not only for travelers in the United States, but from around the world. A cruise ship offers a great vantage point to take in the mountains and glaciers. According to Cruise Lines International Association, more than 1 million passengers went on a cruise to Alaska last year, a number that’s expected to grow by 7 percent in 2018.
Rounding out Travel Leaders Group’s top five domestic vacation destinations for 2018 are Orlando, Las Vegas, Maui and New York City.
In Orlando, Toy Story Land opens June 30 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, part of the Walt Disney World Resort. At Epcot, two favorites are returning. The International Flower & Garden Festival runs through May 28 and the Food & Wine Festival takes place from Aug. 30 to Nov. 12. Orlando is also a good base for day trips. The Kennedy Space Center, home to the shuttle Atlantis and other space-age attractions, is less than an hour away.
Las Vegas always draws a great lineup of entertainment, with something for every taste. This year’s musical headliners include Elton John, Cher, U2, Ricky Martin, Paul Simon and Reba McEntire with Brooks & Dunn. Fans of the hit TV series “Masters of Illusion” can check out a new stage version, featuring thrilling feats of magic. Another new show, “Inferno: The Fire Spectacular,” offers a dazzling display of illusions, pyrotechnics and fire stunts.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It boasts miles of beaches and scenic drives. For an unforgettable experience, view the sunrise at Haleakala National Park. Spring and summer are great times to sample some festivals on Maui. The Wine and Food Festival, with top chefs and renowned winemakers, takes place June 7-10. Movie buffs can enjoy screenings under the stars at the Maui Film Festival, from June 13-17.
One of the highlights of spring in New York City is Fleet Week, when the city celebrates the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. This year, it will be held May 23-29. Some ships are open to the public, and there’ll be numerous special events, including military band concerts, exhibits and aviation demonstrations. It’s a great week to visit the USS Intrepid, the aircraft carrier berthed on the west side of Manhattan that has been turned into an air, sea and space museum.
For help planning a trip to any of these destinations, contact your travel agent or get a quote below.