Posts Tagged ‘TripTik Travel Planner’

Ginnie PritchettEven as technology advances, motorists identify range anxiety and lack of charging locations as top reasons to not drive electric

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 9, 2013) – The number of electric vehicle charging station locations has increased 959 percent since the debut of the Nissan Leaf in 2010. Despite that, eight out of ten U.S. adults are unsure about or unlikely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) and 30 percent of them say it is due to mileage limitations and availability of charging stations locations, according to a survey by AAA.

“There have been major advancements in electric vehicle technology and the supporting infrastructure,” said John Nielsen, AAA Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, “However, it will take time and education for the general motoring public to understand just how far these vehicles have come, and recognize the many resources available to those who drive them.”

Modern EVs typically have a range of 60-100 miles, more than enough for the average driver’s daily commute which the U.S. Department of Transportation says is around 16 miles one way. As to recharging, the U.S. Department of Energy reports there are now more than 5,800 charging stations available for public use. The agency has aggressively promoted expansion of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Additional findings from the AAA survey, fielded in July 2012, show that 26 percent of U.S. adults who are unsure about or unlikely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) cite the higher cost in general of an electric vehicle (i.e. buying, maintaining) as a reason they would be unlikely/undecided to make such a purchase.   “Battery improvements, increased competition, and economies of scale are all likely to drive down costs associated with buying an EV,” Nielsen continued. “With no need to change oil or filters and less brake system wear and tear, maintaining an EV is actually more affordable than a conventional vehicle.”

As joint efforts by government, private groups, and the automotive industry bring the charging picture into focus, AAA’s commitment to meeting member’s needs continues through electric vehicle roadside assistance. In 2011, AAA facilitated an extensive electric vehicle charging research and development program to help test EV charging as a roadside solution. AAA’s specially equipped road service trucks – capable of providing EV charging in approximately 15 minutes for about 10 miles of driving – are currently being tested in select markets across the country. The trucks can also provide traditional roadside services to members with any type of vehicle.

Working with the Electric Drive Transportation Association, AAA recently added EV content to their public information website, AAA Exchange. The new content provides basic information about electric vehicles that will help motorists determine whether an electric vehicle might be right for them. The materials also examine the various types of electric vehicles available, and help consumers understand the important differences that come with owning and operating an electric car.

Electric vehicle drivers looking for a public charging station in their area can consult the online AAA TripTik Travel Planner or the AAA Mobile application for smartphones. About 400 EV charging stations are located at AAA/CAA Approved hotels, restaurants and attractions. A green “plug” icon accompanies listings for these establishments in club-customizable AAA.com Travel Guides and 2013 Tour Book guides, which also denote stations available at AAA club offices.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Vacation loyalists still traveling despite rising fuel costs

ORLANDO, Fla., (April 5, 2012) – Large numbers of vacation loyalists are still traveling despite rising fuel costs, according to a recent AAA travel agent survey and travel sales data.  AAA Travel’s lists of top summer vacation destinations include choices popular with American families for generations within the United States and around the world.  Many seasoned vacationers are expanding their travel horizons to exotic faraway lands.  While many Americans head to their computers when planning a summer getaway, planning a vacation can be overwhelming.  AAA Travel has seen a continuation of the number of vacationers seeking expert advice from a travel counselor to help guide their decisions, save countless hours of research and gain insight into popular destination.   AAA has more than 3,000 travel counselors located within more than 1,000 AAA Travel offices across the United States and Canada.

“Many Americans consider travel a mainstay to our way of life and are loyal vacationers,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services. “While some Americans may modify their travel due to rising fuel costs, those who can are still choosing to travel and they are traversing the world.” 

Last year, several airlines made cost-saving adjustments by reducing seating capacity, consolidating routes, and replacing large aircraft with smaller more fuel-efficient airplanes.  Following those capacity reductions and this year’s rising fuel costs, some travel suppliers including tour companies and cruise lines have begun offering price incentives to attract travelers.  Savvy summer vacationers have been taking advantage of those incentives especially for international travel.  Vacationers can visit the nearest AAA Travel office or AAA.com for more price incentive information.

AAA Travel’s Top Summer Vacation Destinations by travel category are:

AAA’s Top Summer Land Vacation Destinations:  

Orlando, Florida
Honolulu, Hawaii
Rome, Italy
London, England
Anaheim, California

Leading the way in popularity for summer travel are vacations to the Orlando area, consistently holding the valedictorian spot in the top destination class year after year.

AAA’s Top Summer Cruise Vacation Destinations:

Caribbean
Alaska
Bahamas
Europe
Bermuda

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) forecasts that more than 17 million vacationers will cruise the world’s waterways in 2012, one million more than last year. AAA Travel sales data shows significant increases in cruise bookings for the summer family vacation season and throughout 2012 and into 2013.

AAA’s Top Summer Exotic Vacation Destinations: 

China
Peru
The Galapagos
The Amazon
India

Many seasoned vacation loyalists have been choosing AAA Vacations® – a collection of customized cruise and land vacation packages designed exclusively for AAA members – to fulfill their exotic travel desires.  AAA Vacations® destinations include once-in-a-lifetime experiences like a visit to an off-the-beaten-path section of the Great Wall of China.

Travel counselors at AAA receive frequent travel updates and stay abreast of price changes, travel alerts and continuously monitor the overall travel landscape. Their time, personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge enables them to offer valuable destination tips and sightseeing recommendations adding irreplaceable value to the vacation price.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

AAA’s TripTik Mobile app puts room reservations and cost savings at travelers’ fingertips   

ORLANDO, Fla., (April 2, 2012) – As gas prices continue to rise, travelers are seeking additional sources of price information and available savings.  AAA, North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, announces the launch of new capabilities in a trusted travel information resource, the AAA TripTik Mobile app for iPhone and Android smartphone users.  The free AAA TripTik Mobile application uses first of its kind functionality – powered by Travelocity Partner Network – to put hotel room reservations at users’ fingertips via their smartphone or tablet.     

AAA members on the go in need of hotel reservations at the last minute or well in advance can now easily book available rooms, research property amenities and take advantage of AAA member room rates with a simple tap of the book button. Gas station locations, frequently updated gas prices and more than 2,000 publicly available electric vehicle charging stations are other valuable travel budgeting features available with the free AAA TripTik Mobile app. 

“The integration of the new mobile hotel booking engine into our TripTik mobile app provides unmatched convenience and cost savings to AAA members on the go,” said Ted Petty, managing director, AAA Travel Technology. “The addition brings enhanced versatility to an already valuable and trusted travel tool,” added Ramin Kalhor, managing director, AAA Publishing Systems.   

Smartphone users can download the free GPS-based AAA TripTik Mobile app from the iTunes Store, Android Market, or find more information at AAA.com/Mobile.

Additional GPS-based apps include AAA Discounts, which displays nearby member discount locations and AAA Roadside, which enables members who need roadside rescue to send AAA their location, vehicle description and breakdown details. The AAA Insurance app guides users on what to do immediately after a traffic collision, and AAA Auto Buying Tools helps prospective buyers build their ideal car and view pricing, ratings, AAA reviews and more.  

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner and TripTik Mobile app alleviate range anxiety for electric vehicle drivers

ORLANDO, Fla., (March 16, 2012) – To help early 1900s motorists plan their fuel stops,  AAA marked gas station locations on early strip maps. Jump ahead a century and, today, AAA helps ease range anxiety for EV drivers by identifying charging station locations in its digital mapping tools.

With a choice of the TripTik® Travel Planner on AAA.com or the free AAA TripTik Mobile app for smartphones, finding places to recharge electric vehicles before they run out of energy just got easier. Using these tools, EV motorists can locate more than 2,000 publicly available electric vehicle charging stations across the United States, including independent stations and those that are part of a network. Data is supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy.

To find charging stations near an address or along a route, users select a green plug icon to display locations on a map in TripTik Travel Planner or the TripTik Mobile app. Clicking on an icon opens a listing that provides the station address, hours, charger levels and, where available, a telephone number. App users can dial the listed numbers in a single touch to check station availability status.

“From the original strip maps used for road travel to the comprehensive array of print, online and mobile travel planning tools offered today, AAA has been providing motorists with relevant and accurate travel information for more than a century,” said Bill Wood, managing director, AAA Travel Publishing. “The addition of electric vehicle charging station locations to our digital mapping tools reinforces AAA’s commitment to providing members the information they need in formats they want.”

AAA’s online and mobile mapping tools also display gas station locations, along with frequently updated gas prices, and points of interest, such as AAA Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. They also offer turn-by-turn directions and location information for user-entered addresses and other points of interest including attractions, events, AAA offices and Approved Auto Repair shops. The app can recalculate routes and provide voice guidance for the next maneuver.

All travelers can access AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner at AAA.com/travel. Smartphone users can download the free GPS-based AAA TripTik Mobile app from the iTunes Store or Android Market, or find more information at AAA.com/Mobile.

Additional GPS-based apps include AAA Discounts, which displays nearby member discount locations and AAA Roadside, which enables members who need roadside rescue to send AAA their location, vehicle description and breakdown details. The AAA Insurance app guides users on what to do immediately after a traffic collision, and AAA Auto Buying Tools helps prospective buyers build their ideal car and view pricing, ratings, AAA reviews and more.  

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, December 15, 2010

Cynthia BroughAAA projects 92.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holidays, an increase of 3.1 percent from the 89.5 million who traveled a year ago. The year-end holidays travel period is defined as Thursday, December 23, 2010 to Sunday, January 2, 2011.

“It’s great to see so many Americans taking to the roads, rails and skies this holiday season, especially since this is the fifth consecutive holiday period this year in which AAA has predicted a year-to-year increase in the number of travelers,” said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. “After a challenging year in 2009, a modestly improved economic environment and pent-up demand resulted in more Americans traveling in 2010, and the year-end holidays are no exception.”

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2010-11 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast can be found below.

More than nine out of 10 will drive to their holiday destinations
Approximately 85.7 million people (93 percent of all holiday travelers) will drive to their year-end holidays destinations. That represents a 3.2 percent increase from the 83 million who drove last year.

Number of air travelers expected to increase by nearly three percent
Nearly 2.75 million leisure air travelers (three percent of holiday travelers) will take to the skies during the year-end holidays, marking a 2.8 percent increase from last year’s 2.67 million air travelers. The remaining four percent of holiday travelers are expected to travel by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft.

Average travel distance up 33 percent; median spending about 3.5 percent more than last year
According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the year-end holidays is expected to be 1,052 miles, which is 33 percent more than last year’s average travel distance of 791 miles. Median spending is expected to be $694. Median spending a year ago was $670. Similar to Thanksgiving, a majority of survey respondents (75 percent) reported that the main purpose of their upcoming trip was a visit with friends or family.

Hotel rates increase, airfares decrease and car rental rates unchanged compared to a year ago
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings over the year-end holidays are expected to increase five percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $125 per night compared to $119 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay two percent more at an average cost of $88 per night. Airfares are expected to be three percent less than last year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $174 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. Weekend daily car rental rates will remain unchanged at an average of $50.

AAA reminds travelers that the motor club offers a variety of trip planning tools including:

  • Free printed TourBook guides and maps for members
  • Online travel guides and the TripTik® Travel Planner, available free to all travelers at AAA.com
  • Three free mobile applications that offer on-the-go access to AAA travel information and services:
    • AAA TripTik Mobile iPhone app provides updated gas prices, maps and directions functionality, and information on AAA Approved hotels, restaurants and attractions.
    • With AAA Roadside iPhone app, AAA members requiring emergency road service can quickly send their location, vehicle description and specific breakdown details directly to AAA without placing a phone call.
    • The AAA Discounts iPhone app, which has been downloaded more than 900,000 times, uses GPS technology to identify a user’s location and displays nearby businesses that offer members AAA Show Your Card & Save® discounts. A version of the AAA Discounts app is also available for Android-platform smartphones.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA,  August 25, 2010

Labor Day travel expected to recover from last year’s declines, all modes of transportation experience increases

Cynthia BroughAAA today projected the number of Americans traveling this Labor Day holiday weekend will increase 9.9 percent from 2009, with approximately 34.4 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home. Last year, 31.3 million Americans traveled during the Labor Day holiday. The 2010 Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, September 2 to Monday, September 6.

“While media reports on the state of the U.S. economy are mixed, many Americans are still interested in taking one more trip as the summer travel season comes to a close,” said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. “It is encouraging to see more Americans planning to travel to visit family, friends and exciting vacation destinations.”

MacDonell added, “AAA travel agents are continuing to report strong increases in the number of travelers making advanced reservations. Hotel, car and vacation package reservations for the upcoming Labor Day weekend are up over ten percent compared to last year. ”

The increase in travel for Labor Day appears to be the result of economic improvement over the past year. While job growth has been disappointing, gross domestic product, household net worth and consumer confidence have increased, while consumer debt has decreased. The U.S. travel industry began to gain traction in the fourth quarter of 2009 and that momentum has continued this year.

In addition to economic data, the date of the Labor Day holiday is another variable considered in the forecast. The earlier the holiday falls in September, the more travel tends to occur. Although the growth in Labor Day travel is predicted to be strong at 9.9 percent, had the holiday fallen earlier in the month the forecasted number of travelers would likely be even higher.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2010 Labor Day holiday forecast can be found at AAA.com/news.

Air and car trips to increase

Trips by automobile are expected to increase in popularity with 91 percent of travelers, or 31.4 million people, reaching their destination by driving. This is an increase of 10.3 percent from last Labor Day when 28.5 million travelers went by motor vehicle. Barring any major tropical storm activity in the Gulf Coast region, AAA expects the national average price of self-serve regular gasoline to be between $2.65 and $2.75 per gallon during this holiday weekend. Leisure air travel is expected to account for just five percent of overall travel with 1.62 million holiday flyers. This is an increase of 4.6 percent from one year ago when 1.54 million flew. Trips by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft, will be the dominant means of travel used by four percent of all travelers.

Median spending increases; average distance traveled decreases

Based on a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans this Labor Day holiday weekend is expected to be 635 miles, slightly less than one year ago (645 miles). Median spending is expected to be $697 this Labor Day, nearly $50 more than last year when median spending was estimated at $650. Dining (63 percent); shopping (47 percent) and visiting with friends and relatives (43 percent) were named as the three top primary activities by travelers this Labor Day weekend.

Airfares, hotel and rental car rates increase over holiday compared to last year

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares over the Labor Day holiday weekend are expected to increase nine percent from last year with the lowest round-trip rates moving up to $179 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. Weekend daily car rental rates will increase seven percent to an average of $46. Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase six percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $139 per night compared to $132 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay two percent more at an average cost of $102 per night.

AAA offers a variety of travel planning tools including free TourBook travel guides and maps for members and the TripTik® Travel Planner, available free to all travelers at AAA.com. Three iPhone apps offer access to AAA products and services on the go. The AAA TripTik Mobile app provides gas prices, directions and information on hotels, restaurants and attractions. The AAA Discounts app, which has been downloaded more than 880,000 times, uses GPS technology to acquire a user’s location and displays nearby AAA Show Your Card & Save® locations. With AAA Roadside, AAA members requiring emergency service can quickly send their location, vehicle description and specific breakdown details directly to AAA. The free apps are available for download at the iTunes Store.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Orlando, Fla., September 9, 2009

Finding budget-stretching shopping discounts, travel deals and cheaper gasoline prices are just some of the ways AAA will help consumers this Fall and Winter 

While the worst of the recession may now be in the rearview mirror, many families are still searching for creative ways to stretch their holiday budgets this year.

Whether these expenditures involve gift-giving, travel or dining out, there are a variety of ways AAA can help its more than 51 million members financially this holiday season.

Rather than trying to save money by searching local shopping malls for a bargain, eating at fast food restaurants, and haggling with telephone operators for a decent hotel rate, AAA members can simply reach into their wallets for instant savings. They are also protected in several ways from major automotive-related expenses. And, they can go online to AAA.com to access various tools and products that will aid them this holiday season. If a family member or friend is not already a member of AAA, membership makes a great money-saving gift too. To join, go to AAA.com.

Six ways AAA helps consumers stretch and protect their holiday budgets

  1. Before they reach into their wallet for cash or a credit card, millions of AAA members pull out their membership card. AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program is available at more than 164,000 locations in North America. Deals include discounts on meals, hotel rooms, themed attractions, car rentals, movie tickets, apparel and footwear, vision care, prescriptions and auto parts. Members also save online with well-known general merchandise retailers, as well as with many of the Internet’s best known and trusted specialty stores on items such as jewelry, floral arrangements, books and other media, and luggage. Visit AAA.com/discounts for a complete list. Last year, members saved an estimated $2.1 billion via the Show Your Card & Save program.
  2. When holiday plans include travel, seasoned travelers know to call or visit a AAA travel agent or go online to AAA.com/travel. AAA Travel Agency services are available to members and non-members, although members are entitled to special benefits. AAA, which operates the largest leisure travel agency network in North America, is able to provide access to unmatched travel values via its industry partnerships with leading travel providers, including the best tour and cruise companies, a wide range of hotel operators, numerous themed attractions and special destinations. In the current economy steep discounts, as well as free upgrades and extras are not uncommon, but holiday travelers should seek up–to-the-minute information for the best deals.
  3. AAA members don’t need to search all over town for the best prices on gasoline. Many members and non-members go to www.aaa.com/triptik for information on local gas prices updated as frequently as four times per day. AAA’s special relationship with the nation’s leading provider of retail fuel price information – Oil Price Information Service – makes this information available on AAA’s trip mapping and planning tool. This is also the ideal place to plan your holiday road trip. You can find hotels, restaurants and other points of interest. Plus, you can plot your travels to avoid toll roads if you wish. AAA maps and AAA TourBook® guides are also available free to members at their local office.
  4. A definite holiday budget buster can be an unexpected breakdown or major car repair. As a free public service, AAA inspects auto repair shops around the country and only approves those that meet and continually maintain high professional standards for equipment, customer service, cleanliness and training. To search for a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop nearby, visit AAA.com/repair. AAA recommends all motorists have their vehicles thoroughly inspected by a qualified technician at least once each year; especially if they are contemplating a long road trip. Regular inspections and maintenance can help consumers avoid major repair expenses, or the frustrating inconvenience of an automotive breakdown.
  5. When it comes to paying for all those holiday items, members can use a AAA credit card and reward themselves at the same time. The AAA WorldPoints® card allows members to earn points redeemable for cash, merchandise, gift cards, travel and more. Or, they can use the AAA Cash Rewards card that pays back 1 percent of total net retail purchases and there are no tiers to meet in order to get the best return possible. Cardholders not only get some of the best rewards available, the added benefits include no annual fee, reduced foreign transaction fee, and zero fraud liability.
  6. Should their vehicle fail them during the holiday rush, AAA’s legendary emergency road service is just a phone call or email away for members. Basic membership includes free towing from three to five miles (depending on local club policies) to any destination. AAA Plus members are entitled to 100 miles of free towing in any direction. Unlike most road service plans, AAA membership provides coverage for any vehicle they are driving or riding in. Experienced drivers know the expense of a tow alone will frequently pay the full cost of a one year membership in AAA. In addition, the motor club’s unique abilities as a roadside problem solver means members are not left alone to find a repair shop, arrange their own towing, secure a rental car or even make hotel arrangements should their holiday trip be disrupted. Last year, AAA responded to more than 29 million calls for roadside assistance.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Orlando, Fla., June 4, 2009

Great rates, custom maps, customer service, expert travel information and more make AAA.com a one-stop travel planning website  

As millions of Americans carefully plan and budget their summer vacations, AAA.com has a new look and an easier way to find the travel information and savings needed to research and book a complete vacation. Along with in-depth travel information, the site features great rates, user-friendly online mapping tools, and simple planning and booking tools. Offering the best of both worlds, AAA.com offers users 24/7 access to all of AAA’s online products and services backed by the reliability and customer service of AAA’s Travel professionals.

To access AAA’s travel planning tools and savings visit the travel section of AAA.com or visit AAA.com/Travel for direct access. Some of the convenient planning tools and information available on AAA.com include:

Great rates: AAA members who visit AAA.com to book a hotel room are more likely to find better rates than on other travel websites 67 percent of the time. Users can also search AAA.com for the best prices and AAA member benefits on cruises, vacation packages, flights and car rentals.

Maps and directions: Planning a summer road trip? The TripTik® Travel Planner can create routing itineraries and custom maps that include Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants, recommended attractions, and Show Your Card & Save® locations where members can receive discounts. AAA’s popular online mapping tool even helps users avoid traffic by displaying historic congestion information and offering an easy-to-use route modification tool. AAA has in-vehicle navigation and travel information solutions as well, including AAA Mobile® Navigator and AAA content available via select Magellan GPS systems.

Travel information: Not sure where to go or where to stay? Read detailed destination information and “AAA Pick’s” from AAA experts in the “Travel Guide” section and use AAA’s Diamond Ratings to find lodgings and restaurants at your destination or along your route. Most destinations have properties that range from budget to deluxe. AAA TourBook® listings, also available at AAA.com, include Diamond Ratings for more than 58,000 AAA Approved restaurants and lodgings. All properties are rated on a scale of One to Five Diamonds, allowing travelers to easily identify properties that fit their needs and budgets.

No time for planning? Check out AAA Drive Trips®, AAA’s expert-created, ready-to-go itineraries for popular destinations.

Additional Savings: Save money by finding the least expensive gas available. The TripTik Travel Planner also features current fuel prices at over 100,000 U.S. gas stations, including E-85 fuel availability. At a time when saving money is more important than ever, AAA members can also find AAA Show Your Card & Save® locations to take advantage of discounts at attractions, restaurants, automotive centers, retailers and more across the U.S. and Canada.

Travelers will find AAA.com a useful tool whether they need quick maps and local driving directions or complete travel planning tools and destination information. Visit AAA.com/Travel for more information and current rates.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com

Orlando, Fla., May 19, 2009

AAA’s TripTik® Travel Planner identifies congested roads and helps motorists find less traveled routes  

Millions of Americans will take a road trip this summer. For many, the trip begins with excitement in anticipation of fun with friends and family. However these feelings can change to frustration and anger as abruptly as traffic flow stops on congested roadways. Using AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner to map a journey can keep the excitement and travel flowing by helping motorists select the best route and times of travel.

Motorists who use AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner to plan their route will be able to view historic congestion information. With this information, they can avoid peak times of congestion if an alternate route is not available or use a simple route modification tool to select less-traveled roads. The popular online mapping tool is available free to all travelers on AAA.com.

While travelers should generally expect traffic delays during morning and evening rush hours in major urban areas and seasonal traffic traveling to popular destinations, they can use the TripTik Travel Planner to see where they can expect congestion delays in more than 125 areas across North America. For example, motorists may encounter heavy summer-time traffic in areas across the country such as U.S. Route 1 to the Florida Keys, U.S 6 into Cape Cod, U.S. Route 26 from Portland, Ore., to coastal beach communities, around the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. and to eastern shore points such as Ocean City, Md. and the Outer Banks in N.C.

Available congestion information on TripTik Travel Planner covers urban areas, as well as national parks and landmarks, popular summer weekend destinations and more. Travelers can better plan their itineraries with information messages such as: “expect congestion delays during morning and afternoon rush hours” and “expect congestion delays during summer months.” The TripTik Travel Planner also includes construction information as well as information on scenic roads across North America. Alerts are posted for highways with consistent traffic problems, areas with seasonal volume, and roadways with congestion due to tolls or security checks.

Other features available on TripTik Travel Planner include the capability to create custom maps, a travel guide section, and easy-to-use navigation and route modification tools. TripTik Travel Planner provides travelers 24/7 access to AAA’s proprietary travel information including AAA Diamond Ratings for more than 58,000 lodgings and restaurants, fuel prices at more than 100,000 U.S. gas stations, premier mapping information and hotel and car rental booking capabilities—everything needed to plan an entire trip, right from within the map.

Travelers will find the TripTik Travel Planner a useful tool whether they need quick maps and local driving directions or complete planning tools and destination information for cross-country road trips and fly/drive vacations.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, Fla. – September 27, 2007

BTU-adjusted price of E-85 also displayed to help consumers gauge the cost of the lower-mileage fuel compared to gasoline  

Troy GreenHighlighting the growing availability and interest in the use of E-85 fuel as an alternative to conventional gasoline, the nation’s largest organization for motorists has begun publishing the nationwide average price of the mostly-ethanol blend of fuel this week on its widely-quoted AAA Fuel Gauge Report Web site (www.aaafuelgaugereport.com).

Pricing information for E-85 is also available on AAA’s TripTik® Travel Planner, an interactive mapping, routing and travel planning tool that is available free at AAA.com.

E-85 is the common name for a motor fuel made from a blend of approximately 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Conventional gasoline frequently contains as much as 10 percent ethanol, but much higher concentrations require special modifications to vehicle fuel systems and engines.

According to AAA, today’s nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline is $2.811 per gallon compared to $2.334 for a gallon of E-85.

“The addition of a national average E-85 price to AAA’s fuel price research Web site signals the arrival of ethanol as an increasingly competitive alternative to conventional gasoline in some areas of the nation,” said the association’s chief fuel-price commentator, Geoff Sundstrom.

There are approximately 4.5 million motor vehicles now on American roads capable of operating on E-85 or conventional gasoline through the use of flexible fuel technology, and more than 1,200 gasoline stations nationwide are now dispensing E-85 on a regular basis. Most of these stations are concentrated in the upper Midwest near the nation’s ethanol processing plants, but E-85 pumps are beginning to appear in other regions as well.

“The number of vehicles that can burn E-85 coupled with the number of stations that can dispense it means more motorists should be actively considering the purchase or lease of a vehicle capable of operating on a mostly-ethanol blend of fuel. It is AAA’s belief that given higher oil prices in the future, E-85 will become even more competitively-priced as the ethanol industry continues to develop in the United States and around the world,” he said.

To help motorists understand the cost differential between E-85 and conventional gasoline, AAA also is posting a nationwide, average “BTU-adjusted E-85 price” that accounts for the fact that E-85 delivers approximately 25 percent less energy content per gallon than gasoline. BTU stands for British Thermal Units; a method of quantifying the available energy in any given fuel source.

Today’s BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is $3.071 per gallon, or 26 cents more expensive per gallon to get mileage equivalent to that contained in a gallon of self-serve regular, AAA said.

“Simply comparing the retail cost of a gallon of E-85 to a gallon of gasoline does not convey the inherent loss in fuel economy – and increase in vehicle operating expense – that accompanies the use of E-85,” Sundstrom said. AAA’s “BTU-adjusted E-85 price is intended to compensate for this situation and provide an apples-to-apples price comparison that is more helpful to consumers.”

Pricing information for alternative fuels, Bio-Diesel and E85, is also available on AAA’s TripTik® Travel Planner. The AAA TripTik Travel Planner is an interactive mapping, routing and travel planning tool that is available free at AAA.com. Users can search for gas stations in their area or along their route by selecting the gas icon. Once stations are listed, users can scroll over locations and pricing information for all available fuels at a particular station will appear in a pop-up window.

AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner includes detailed maps, turn-by-turn directions, AAA proprietary content (such as scenic roads, congested areas, and construction information), AAA/CAA club locations, TourBook® and CampBook® guide information (including Diamond ratings for hotels and restaurants) and online hotel booking functionality. Users can map a single location or create complete point-to-point itineraries using specific addresses or populated drop-down lists that include airports, colleges and universities, major sports venues, hospitals, golf courses, ski resorts, cruise ports and national, state and provincial parks.

The data collection and calculations used to derive the prices of gasoline, E-85 and the “BTU-adjusted” price of E-85 is performed for AAA by Oil Price Information Service, the nation’s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information, as a public and member service. AAA’s national and club public affairs departments independently analyze and comment on fuel price patterns and trends based on its more than 30 years of ongoing fuel price consumer advocacy.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Report Web site lists average daily prices for the nation, all 50 states and more than 250 localities for all grades of gasoline, making the site the most current and comprehensive public source of fuel price information.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its more than 50 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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