How to Plan a Trip for Solar Eclipse

How to Plan a Trip for Solar Eclipse

» About Town | By David Barley | March 20, 2024 8:38 AM ET

While numerous eclipse enthusiasts have long marked April 8, 2024, on their calendars, there are those just now deciding to witness this natural marvel firsthand. If you find yourself in this category, fear not - it's not too late. According to AAA booking data, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio rank as the most sought-after cities along the path of totality, with Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Buffalo also emerging as prime eclipse-viewing destinations. Hertz, AAA's car rental partner, notes a staggering surge in reservations for Dallas, currently six times higher than last year at this juncture.

If air travel proves too pricey or unavailable, driving could be your optimal choice. AAA members benefit from discounts with Hertz, which has bolstered its workforce and strategically positioned vehicles in high-demand zones ahead of the eclipse. To cut costs, consider lodging with nearby family or friends. AAA booking data indicates a 48% increase in hotel prices during the eclipse weekend compared to the same period last year in the most popular cities along the path of totality. Reach out to a AAA travel agent or explore Trip Canvas to organize a comprehensive vacation around your eclipse excursion.

Given that the eclipse falls on a Monday, determine when you'll depart. Many travelers intend to extend the experience into a long weekend, with Saturday, April 6, anticipated to witness significant travel activity. Hertz reports a staggering 3,000% surge in advance bookings for eclipse path cities for that Saturday compared to last year. Moreover, considering it's Spring Break for numerous families, expect additional travelers during that weekend.

Anticipate heavier-than-usual traffic before and after the eclipse. AAA offers the following recommendations:

  • Keep your vehicle's headlights on.
  • Utilize the sun visor to shield your view of the sun.
  • Refrain from wearing eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Avoid attempting to photograph or video the eclipse while driving.
  • Resist the urge to pull over to the side of the road, highway, or interstate to view the eclipse.
  • Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic to observe the eclipse.
  • Remain vigilant of pedestrians who may be gazing skyward!

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