If you’ve read a few of my posts, you’ll notice that I seem to mention AAA a lot. Well, there’s a reason for that!
AAA, fully named the American Automobile Association, is a national organization that offers everything from driving classes, to insurance, and even financial planning services. Most important to me though, are their travel services and how they save me money, which is something not many people know about!
I am a AAA member, which is something I recommend that avid long distance travelers consider becoming as well. There are a few different ways you can become a member to get all the great perks. You can either sign up for membership on your own at a cost of about $15, which is small compared to all of the savings. You can also join the membership of a family member or friend that has one, you will get your own card and number too! The price depends on which type of membership you want and all of them are available online.
AAA travel options, like many similar organizations, include a lot of areas for members to save when traveling, here are my favorites:
1. Hotels: What I love about this is that most hotels allow you to book with a AAA discount from their site so you don’t have to sort through locations on a third-party site.
2. Flights: AAA allows you to search flights from their site to find their discounted prices showing all the airlines simultaneously! These prices are the best when put with another option such as a hotel. Just a note that on their own AAA prices can still be relatively high, but are discounted compared to airline sites.
3. Rental cars: This is where AAA stands above the rest for me. Since thy specialize in car services they have a lot of working discounts with just about every car rental place you can think of. On my last big trip to Canada, we rented a car for the six-day vacation. At a regular price that was going to cost about $300. When I searched through AAA that number dropped to $192. Even though there are expenses at the counter, a lower starting price means a lower total.
The organization offers many other specials such as Disney, cruises and even package deals where you can book a car, hotel and flight all at once saving big bucks, which is sometimes the best option. Other organizations offer similar options, some even through secondary booking sites such as CheapAir and Travelocity.
Of course, everything can’t be perfect. The downside I have found is that while their savings are huge, AAA still may not offer THE lowest prices, so no matter how loyal you find yourself to AAA (or any other travel organization) ALWAYS double check and compare prices elsewhere.
No matter what remember that it takes effort to travel thrifty but your wallet will thank you!