Travel

AAA's top travel destinations for 2022

Buildings line the coast in the Italian town of Amalfi The Italian town of Amalfi

Wondering where to travel in 2022? 

We’ve pulled together the 10 destinations AAA expects will trend the hottest next year based on current AAA bookings and a few other factors. 

Red rocks in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

1. Mainland U.S. & Canada

Even as things return to normal, a long period of uncertainty has many travelers understandably looking to take their next trip closer to home. North American destinations have been very popular for 2022 bookings, with even experienced travelers looking at familiar places with fresh eyes.

In the U.S., that includes evergreen vacation spots such as Las Vegas, San Diego, Orlando, New Orleans, and New York City. It also includes places with more regional appeal such as Sedona, Arizona, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, that are known for their outdoor appeal.

Especially popular are the national parks across the country, with many travelers seizing the opportunity to finally road trip to bucket-list natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Arches National Park. Tours and accommodations are booking up quickly.

Related content: 7 ways to be a responsible traveler at U.S. National Parks

In keeping with the outdoors theme, Banff National Park and Vancouver are 2 popular Canadian destinations with a focus on being out in nature. Farther east, vibrant Montreal and storied, romantic Quebec City are drawing travelers as well.

Member Choice Vacations logo

Discover the Rockies and amazing National Parks on a guided tour

9 days from $2,599, land only

Explore the massive and rugged Rocky National Park, travel to the majestic rock formations of Canyonlands and Arches national parks, and journey on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad through stunning scenery in the Colorado Rockies.

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $50 savings per person
  • $50 optional experience credit per person
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including Celebrity Cruises' Boston, Maine, and Canada package

A skyline view of Diamond Head and the city of Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Honolulu, Hawai‘i

2. Hawai‘i

The Aloha State has been a top travel destination ever since it re-opened to mainland travelers back in October 2020, and that momentum continues into 2022. Its scenery—palm and pandanus beaches, knife-back ridges cloaked in tropical vegetation, otherworldly volcanic craters and lava fields—is dreamlike, and its indigenous Polynesian culture is alive, strong, and fascinating. It’s easy to feel like you’re at the ends of the Earth in this tropical wonderland, which makes it all the more remarkable that it's a domestic destination.

Related content: 10 myths & misconceptions about Hawai‘i travel

Pleasant Holidays logo

Experience Hawai‘i's Aloha Spirit at the Moana Surfrider

5 nights from $706, land only. Your package includes:

  • Historic Banyan room accommodations 
  • Kids 17 and younger free
  • Access to fitness center

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $100 activity voucher per booking
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including a 15-day Hawaiian cruise with Princess Cruises

A beach with wooden shacks and a pier in the Dominican Republic

A beach in the Dominican Republic

3. The Caribbean

Like Hawai‘i, the Caribbean offers a tropical getaway from the Lower 48 without being too far away. Cut loose on the waves, explore local trails and wildlife, enjoy dining and nightlife, or kick back at an all-inclusive resort with the whole family—with lots of all-inclusive options, there's something for everyone here. And with each Caribbean country's local spin on language, culture, and Caribbean food, there's sure to be something new to discover, even for frequent visitors to the islands.

Pleasant Holidays logo

Enjoy an independent getaway to Runaway Bay in Jamaica

5 nights from $838, land only. Your package includes:

  • Superior executive room accommodations at the Bahia Principe Luxury Runaway Bay
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Access to fitness center

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $100 activity voucher per booking
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including a cruise to the Bahamas and St. Thomas on one of the world's largest and most advanced ships

The Temple of Kukulcan in Chichen Itza, Mexico

The Temple of Kukulcan in Chichen Itza, Mexico

4. Mexico

From the rugged Pacific shore of Baja to the ancient Maya ruins of the Yucatan, Mexico's diversity of experiences and backdrops have made it particularly attractive to American travelers in 2022. Part of that is because popular resort destinations like Los Cabos and Cancun are just a short flight away, and there are many all-inclusive options for travelers seeking a relaxing getaway. Enjoy the colonial architecture of Puerto Vallarta, the pristine white sand of Cozumel, or blaze your own trail in bustling Mexico City.

Princess Cruises logo

Escape to Cancun on an all-inclusive independent getaway

5 nights from $640, land only. Your package includes:

  • Deluxe king room accommodations
  • Limitless access to buffet and a la carte dining options and international and domestic liquors
  • Daily activities, non-motorized water sports, and live nightly entertainment
  • Free Wi-Fi

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $100 activity voucher per booking
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including a cruise around the Baja Peninsula and Sea of Cortez

A cruise ship in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska

5. Alaska

The vast and sparsely inhabited terrain of Alaska is breathtaking, from the thundering calving of Glacier Bay to the towering peak of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. The state’s human story is just as fascinating, from the diverse and vibrant indigenous cultures to the history of Russian sea-otter hunters and gold-panning “sourdoughs.” Most Alaska travel happens via cruise, thanks to the state's rugged geography (many of the sights can't be reached by road). Pent-up demand has ships booking up quickly for 2022, even as inventory increases.

Holland America Line logo

Embark on an Alaskan Journey to Glacier Bay

7-day cruises from $949, interior stateroom

Visit Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, Sitka, and more Alaskan highlights, plus enjoy an international stop in Victoria, Canada.

Learn more and see other packages, including a 12-night Princess cruisetour that visits Denali National Park

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy

6. Italy

Thousands of years of remarkable history remain palpable in Italy, from relics of ancient Rome and the eerily preserved, volcano-blasted city of Pompeii to the Renaissance treasures of Florence, Venice, and Milan. The combination of architecture and landscape here is unparalleled—just stop by the idyllic Amalfi Coast if you're unconvinced. Add in excellent food and the extremely friendly and welcoming people, you'll see why this is AAA's most-booked European destination. Another boon is the flexibility to see the country in your preferred style: Whether independently, on a guided tour, or aboard an ocean or river cruise, Italy has it.

Trafalgar logo

Discover the charms of Italy with Trafalgar

13 days/12 nights from $2,745, land only

Trafalgar's Best of Italy guided tour takes travelers to Rome, Florence, and Venice for a trifecta of great cities. Highlights include VIP admission to the Vatican Museums and a glassblowing demonstration.

Learn more and see other packages, including a Uniworld luxury cruisetour with stops in Milan and Venice

People watching the aurora borealis above Iceland

The aurora borealis above Iceland

7. Iceland 

Once an obscure travel destination, this island just below the Arctic Circle has become a hopping tourist spot over the past decade thanks to its "land of ice and fire" geography, friendly locals, and focus on ecotourism. One of its most popular draws is the Golden Circle, a smorgasbord of volcanic landscapes, towering geysers, painted hills, and magnificent waterfalls situated on a break in the Earth's crust. Return to Reykjavik to soak in the hot springs and marvel at the Hallgrimskirkja church. Visitors who make the trip near the winter solstice can experience the endless night, and—if they're lucky—the undulating cosmic beauty of the aurora borealis.

AAA Member Choice Vacations and AAA Travel logos

Uncover the natural treasures of Iceland with AAA Member Vacations

7 days/6 nights from $2,299, land only

Travel to the Golden Circle, explore Thingvellir's rugged rift valley, learn about Iceland's geology at the Lava Exhibition Center, and more.

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $50 savings per person
  • $50 optional experience credit per person
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including a Hurtigruten cruise that circumnavigates Iceland

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

8. Ireland

The Emerald Isle remains one of the most popular destinations for international travelers in 2020. The dreamy landscapes are part of the appeal: the vales of County Donegal, the limestone Burren, the crags of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, the Cliffs of Moher, and more. There are certainly wonderful historical monuments to appreciate here, including the Neolithic passage tomb of Newgrange (older than Stonehenge), Cork’s Church of St. Anne, and the Blarney Castle and its kissable Blarney Stone. But so much of Irish culture is living and breathing: from bodhran- and fiddle-driven folk music and high-flying Irish dance to the literary spirit of Dublin, where James Joyce’s Ulysses gets an awesome annual celebration on June 16, aka Bloomsday.

Brendan Vacations logo

Discover the enchanting charms of Ireland

11 days/10 nights from $3,325, land only

Travel on Brendan Vacations' Highlights of Ireland & Scotland cruisetour to visit Dublin, Galway, Donegal, and Belfast in Ireland, as well as Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Scottish Highlands.

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $80 optional experience voucher
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including a Princess cruisetour visiting the Ring of Kerry

A cruise boat on the Seine in Paris at sunset, in front of the Eiffel Tower

The Seine in Paris, France

9. France

Perhaps the dream European destination par excellence, it's no surprise to find AAA members excited to return to France. Who hasn't dreamed of strolling down the Champs-Elysees in Paris, sipping on expertly crafted wines in Bordeaux, and catching some sun a la plage on the French Riviera? For the historically inclined, there's sites medieval and modern, from the spire of Mont-Saint-Michel to the landing beaches of Normandy. And there's not enough room on this entire page to lay out all the culinary delights waiting to be discovered.

If you're not sure where to start, the many small-ship river cruising options make it an especially attractive option, with packages offering a great way to see both Paris and the countryside in one trip on a smaller ship.

AmaWaterways logo

Sail through the French countryside on the Taste of Bordeaux river cruise

7-night luxury river cruise from $3,099, River View Stateroom

Enjoy unlimited fine wine and beer with lunch and dinner and immersive shore excursions in every port, including Bordeaux, Libourne, and Cadillac.

Plus, receive exclusive AAA member benefits:

  • $300 savings per stateroom
  • 1 complimentary bottle of wine and box of chocolates per stateroom

Learn more and see other packages, including an Insight Vacations guided tour of Normandy, Brittany, and the Loire Valley

Neuschwanstein Castle shrouded in fog at sunset

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany

10. Germany

Home to Habsburgs and techno music, Western Europe's most populous country is a vibrant mix of the Old World and the next big thing, a draw for travelers of all ages. Journey to soaring castles like fairy-tale Neuschwanstein and storied Heidelberg, then step inside the hallowed walls of Gothic cathedrals in Cologne and Munich. Amble around clean, efficient cities in search of local culinary specialties like currywurst and spatzle, or head out into the pristine woodlands of the Black Forest or the Harz.

Combine all that with great river cruising options like the Danube, Main, and Rhine, along with the annual winter Christmas markets, and it's clear why Germany is a compelling choice.

Insight Vacations logo

Enjoy fairy-tale castles & grand cities on the Best of Germany tour

13 days/12 nights from $3,375, land only

This guided journey stops in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, the Black Forest, and more. Highlights include visits to Neuschwanstein Castle, the Heidelberg Tun, and the Romantic Road town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Plus, receive exclusive AAA Vacations® amenities:

  • $80 optional experience voucher
  • AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee
  • 24/7 Member Care

Learn more and see other packages, including an AmaWaterways luxury cruise on the Danube

Lake Matheson in New Zealand, with snow-capped mountains in the background

Lake Matheson in New Zealand's Southern Alps

Bonus: Australia & New Zealand

While they're currently closed to American travelers, these two countries down under are expected to be a hot ticket once they're open again in 2022. Australia's natural scenery is unparalleled, transitioning from the rainforests and world-famous beaches of the Gold Coast to the red-hued deserts surrounding the sacred monolith Uluru. The cities are renowned as centers of culture, with Melbourne known as the "Paris of the Southern Hemisphere."

New Zealand's climate is more temperate—its longest mountain range is known as the Southern Alps, complete with glaciers of its own. Culturally, the main draw are the indigenous Maori, who proudly preserve their unique customs and invite visitors to learn more about them.

Portrait of a AAA travel advisor

AAA can help you navigate a changing travel world

Handling all the details is no small task when planning a vacation this year. A knowledgeable travel advisor will be familiar with the travel rules, testing requirements on departure and return, and shifting change and cancellation policies that could impact your trip.

AAA Travel alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

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