We all know that the last year has been rough for Europe, amid terrorist attacks, economic crises and the flood of migrants from the Middle East. As if that weren't enough, the State Department issued a travel alert on May 31, citing the risk of potential terror attacks.
But as we dive into the all-important summer season, it appears that Americans are making their summer vacation plans relatively undeterred by these ongoing problems.
According to AAA's 2016 Summer Travel Destinations List, demand for travel to Europe is vigorous, with Rome and London topping the list for international bookings from June 1 through Aug. 15.
Specifically, Rome topped the list, up from No. 4 last year, followed by London, up from the third spot in 2015.
Interestingly, Paris also rose in the ranks, despite the November terrorist attacks, to No. 5, up from No. 7, followed by Dublin, which stayed at No. 6, and Amsterdam, which made the top-10 list for the first time in the 10th spot.
Non-European international destinations were Cancun at No. 3, Vancouver at No. 4, Punta Cana in the seventh spot, followed by Montego Bay at No. 8 and Calgary at No. 9, respectively.
"Europe remains very popular with American travelers despite recent terrorism concerns," said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing, in a statement, crediting the strong dollar, discounted pricing and a "continued sense of resilience" for the strong numbers.
"The strong interest in Europe and even Paris shows that many Americans are undeterred by recent global events," he said.
That said, AAA is not ignoring the State Department's travel alert, but Sutherland points out that a travel alert, issued for short-term events that travelers should be aware of, differs from a travel warning encouraging travelers to reconsider visiting the country at all.
"AAA urges travelers to exercise vigilance when traveling and be aware of their immediate surroundings. Determining when and where to travel is very personal," said Sutherland.
To help members while en route, AAA offers a free mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The routing function works for Europe; additional features, such as locations for low gas prices and information on accommodations and restaurants, display only in the U.S. and Canada.