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Salt Lake City ranks among top 10 as a last minute travel destination

File: The Utah Capitol Building and State Street in Salt Lake City. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — The coronavirus and subsequent travel restrictions have impacted travel around the globe; Vacations have been scrapped and people are staying closer to home, or choosing nearby destinations like Salt Lake City.

That hasn’t stopped all travel though, according to data collected by AAA: more Americans are traveling, they’re just doing it on a whim now.

Looking at hotel and domestic travel bookings, AAA says that almost half of all hotel bookings in September were made within three days of travel, up 31% from last year.

They also say that bookings within seven days accounted for 65% of their travel data which accounts for a 45% increase from last year.

Where are people heading?

All top ten destinations chosen by last-minute travelers in the west show those looking to get out of Dodge chose to stay closer to home.

Las Vegas took the top spot for people looking for a quick getaway followed by San Diego and Reno.

The rest of the top ten destinations according to AAA were:

  • Flagstaff, AZ 
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  •  Monterey, CA

And rounding out the top ten spots for travel on a whim was Salt Lake City. 

AAA spokesman Aldo Vazquez says safety is one reason people are staying closer to home. 

“Americans are choosing to explore more of the American backyard during these tough times, overwhelmingly choosing road trips this year because of [COVID-19],” Vazquez says. 

Low gas prices are another reason road trips on a whim are the most popular way to go on vacation, a trend Vazquez expects will continue in the fall. 


Tips for travelers going to the new Salt Lake City Airport