Posts Tagged ‘AAA TripTik Mobile app’

Ginnie PritchettORLANDO, Fla., (May 21, 2013) – As everyone makes plans to head  to the beach or attend celebrations around the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, AAA strongly encourages to arrange a safe ride home before they partake in any festivities.

AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result.  PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.  Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere. AAA strongly encourages family and friends to pick a designated driver before they head out for any Memorial Day celebrations.

*Please note availability is subject to change without notice

The following AAA Clubs offer Tipsy Tow/ Tow to Go programs for Memorial Day Holiday Weekend:

  • The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida and Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
  • AAA Arizona (statewide)
  • AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Morris, Essex and Union counties)
  • AAA Northwest Ohio ( available in Lucas, Fulton, Wood, Henry, Williams, Defiance, Paulding and Ottawa counties)
  • AAA South Dakota (Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Mitchell and Yankton)
  • AAA Oklahoma ( Metro Tulsa, Metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee, Ardmore, Tahlequah and Lawton )

For a comprehensive list of other community programs listed state by state, please visit AAA’s DUI Justice Link Website

Ginnie PritchettORLANDO, Fla., (May 1, 2013) – As everyone searches for their biggest sombrero and makes plans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, AAA strongly encourages to arrange a safe ride home before they partake in any festivities.

AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result.  PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.  Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

Additional Resources

While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere. AAA strongly encourages family and friends to pick a designated driver before they head out on Cinco de Mayo.

*Please note availability is subject to change without notice

The following AAA Clubs offer Tipsy Tow/ Tow to Go programs for Cinco de Mayo:

  • The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
  • AAA Arizona (statewide)
  • AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Morris, Essex and Union counties/Program is offered year-round & called Safe Tow)

For a comprehensive list of other community programs listed state by state, please visit AAA’s DUI Justice Link Website

ORLANDO, Fla., (January 29, 2013) – As football fans across America head to Super Bowl festivities this weekend, AAA strongly encourages revelers to arrange a safe ride home before their teams hit the field.

AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result.  PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.  Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere.

The following AAA Clubs offer Tipsy Tow programs for the Super Bowl Game this weekend (February 3):

  • AAA Arizona (Statewide)
  • The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
  • AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Program is offered year-round & called Safe Tow)

For a comprehensive list of other community programs listed state by state, please visit AAA’s DUI Justice Link Website.

WASHINGTON, D.C., (December 26, 2012) – As Americans prepare for holiday celebrations, AAA reminds drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s Day, which consistently ranks as the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities. To strengthen efforts to protect the public against drunk drivers and reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, AAA is announcing its support of ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders, and offers important safety advice to partygoers.

“AAA is not alone in its concern about impaired driving or strong support for tough policies for convicted drunk drivers,” said AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy Director Jake Nelson. According to the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than nine in 10 drivers consider it a serious threat to their personal safety when others drink and drive, and nearly all (97 percent) surveyed find it unacceptable for a driver to get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink.  To prevent these dangers, nearly eight in 10 Americans support requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders, even if it’s their first conviction.

Research has identified ignition interlock devices (IIDs) as a proven way to save lives. AAA’s recommendation to require the use of IIDs for all convicted offenders is grounded in research.  “Evidence clearly shows that IIDs are more effective than other methods at reducing re-arrest among convicted drunk drivers and keeping them off the road,” said Nelson.

Additional Resources

AAA is reaching out to motorists on the heels of a recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) decision to support laws requiring IID use for all first-time DUI offenders—one of several new recommendations issued to help curb alcohol-related traffic injury and death.  “I commend AAA for stepping up for safety,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “Technologies, such as ignition interlocks, will reduce alcohol-related crashes on our nation’s roadways.  We look forward to working alongside AAA and its clubs to eliminate the nation’s top killer on our roadways – impaired driving.”

Preventing drinking and driving is a shared responsibility to save lives. While AAA advocates expanding IID use to all persons convicted of drunk driving, New Year’s Eve partygoers can do their part by heeding the following advice:

  • Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins
  • Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink
  • Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink
  • Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired
  • Call a taxi for a friend in need
  • Be a responsible host in reminding guests to stay safe and always offer alcohol-free beverages
  • If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself)
  • Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely

Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.  AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

Average travel distance decreases significantly as holiday travelers economize by decreasing entertainment costs

WASHINGTON, D.C., (May 15, 2012) – AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, an increase of 1.2 percent – or 500,000 travelers – from the 34.3 million people who traveled one year ago. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28.

“The overall domestic economic picture continues to improve slightly, however, American consumers faced a new challenge this year as steadily increasing gas prices throughout the spring significantly squeezed many household budgets,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Americans will still travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend but, many will compensate for reduced travel budgets by staying closer to home and cutting entertainment dollars.” 

 

Additional Resources

Automobile adds to dominance as lead transportation choice, up 1.2 percent

Approximately 30.7 million people plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 1.2 percent from the 30.3 million who drove last year.  Almost nine out of ten holiday travelers (88 percent) will take to the nation’s roadways during the Memorial Day weekend keeping automobile travel in the traditional lead as the dominate mode of holiday travel transportation.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

A survey of intended travelers found that 53 percent said recent increases in gasoline prices would not impact their Memorial Day holiday travel plans. Of the remaining 47 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel plans, nine percent are planning to take a shorter trip, four percent will travel by an alternate mode of transportation and 34 percent will economize in other areas. Those who intend to economize in other areas plan to reduce spending on entertainment (65 percent), stay at a lower priced hotel (34 percent), stay with friends and relatives instead of reserving a hotel room (31 percent) or stay in a hotel that includes value-added amenities like free breakfast and internet (27 percent).

National gasoline prices may have peaked in April despite seasonal highs in early spring when motorists experienced average price increases for all but four days in February and March. April experienced a full reversal as prices fell for 23 of 30 days during the month, helping to break a streak of 911 days since the national average price was lower than the previous year. The current national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is approximately 25 cents lower than this time last year.

Number of air travelers expected to decline by 5.5 percent

More than 2.5 million leisure air travelers (over seven percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the holiday weekend, a 5.5 percent decrease from last year’s 2.7 million air travelers. The remaining 4.5 percent of holiday travelers are expected to travel by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft.

Average travel distance significantly less than last year

According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be 642 miles, which is 150 miles less than last year’s average travel distance of 792 miles. With high gas prices squeezing consumers’ spending power this spring, consumers are responding by traveling shorter distances this Memorial Day holiday.

The decline in expected air travel is a factor in the travel distance decrease as fewer flying miles can be contrasted with the slight growth in automobile travel. Miles flown for weekend travel are typically longer than those driven. Last year, the shortest trips, those less than 150 miles, made up 19 percent of total travel compared to 21 percent this year, reinforcing the expectation that shorter trips are especially popular this Memorial Day weekend. Median spending is expected to be $702, only slightly more than the $692 median spending last year.

Change in income demographics of Memorial Day Travelers

The growth in Memorial Day holiday travel can be tied, in part, to a change in the income demographics of Memorial Day holiday travelers compared to last year.  Survey results reveal that the share of expected holiday travelers in the under $50K household income bracket has fallen five percent, from 31 percent to 26 percent.  The share of expected travelers in the $50K-$100K household income bracket dropped one percent.  Conversely, the share of travelers with household incomes over $100K increased six percent, from 30 percent to 36 percent.  The effect of higher gas prices is more significant on lower income households as fuel costs make up a larger share of overall spending.

Car rental rates drop, hotel rates rise

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase eight percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $160 per night compared to $148 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay 10 percent more with an average cost of $120 per night. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $36, four percent ($2) less than last year.

AAA offers mobile travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning ‘on the go’ include eTourBook guides for 101 top North American destinations, free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from city titles, like Orlando, New York and the award-winning Las Vegas, as well as National Parks. They’re usable on the same devices travelers already bring along for the road — tablets and smartphones.

Free AAA apps for iPhone and Android devices use GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby member discounts and find current gas prices. Travelers can learn about AAA apps and AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.

Travelers can find thousands of AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using AAA’s digital travel planning tools or online at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

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 2012 Memorial Day Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

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.

ORLANDO, Fla., (Dec. 14, 2011) –

Expected travel volume will be second highest in past ten years, representing nearly 30 percent of U.S. population

AAA forecasts 91.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the 2011-12 Year-End holiday travel season, a 1.4 percent increase over the 90.7 million people who traveled one year ago. This year’s expected Year-End holiday travel volume is the second highest in the past decade and represents 30 percent of the total U.S. population.  The 11-day Year-End holiday period is the longest holiday travel season of the year, affording many more Americans time to visit family or take vacations.  AAA defines the Year-End holiday travel season as Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 to Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.

“It’s a positive sign for the travel industry that so many Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, collectively contributing to the second-highest year-end holiday travel volume in the past ten years,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services.  “As our lives get busier, it is so important to create opportunities for the rest and rejuvenation that result from vacation travel and connecting with family and friends, especially during the holidays.”

Economic improvements are continuing at a very slow pace, and consumer surveys show active concern and pessimism over that pace.  The measure of economic activity, real gross domestic product, is expected to increase for the fourth quarter of 2011 by 1.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.  While 1.5 percent growth is still slow, it is a slight increase over the expected 1.3 percent fourth quarter growth predicted only one month ago, and the primary factor expected to drive this year’s modest increase in expected Year-End holiday travel.

Additional Resources

While pent-up demand was projected to inspire significant Thanksgiving holiday travel growth this year, holiday travel at the end of the year is less cyclical so pent-up demand has less effect.  Travel during the Year-End holiday period did not see the dramatic drop in travel following the 2008 recession that other holiday periods experienced.  The 2008-09 Year-End holiday travel volume of 85.7 million was only 8.5 percent less than the 93.7 million Year-End holiday travel during the 2006-07 peak.  Year-End holiday travel has grown each year since 2008-09; 89.5 million in 2009-10; 90.7 million in 2010-11; 91.9 million this year.

Fifty-nine percent of intending travelers feel the economy has either no impact on their travel plans or  they feel like things have improved for them. The remaining 41 percent state an intention to scale back travel plans due to economic concerns.  Last year, 67 percent of intending travelers stated that their travel plans were not impacted by the economic conditions at that time.  Given current economic conditions, a majority of travelers reporting no economic impact on their travel plans is a positive sign for the travel industry and another reminder of just how important traveling is to Americans.

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 2011-12 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

Automobile is top transportation choice, increases 2.1 percent

Approximately 83.6 million people (91 percent of holiday travelers) plan to take to the nation’s roadways this Year-End holiday travel season, a 2.1 percent increase compared to 2010-11 when the number of auto travelers totaled 81.9 million.  This year’s projected automobile travel volume is the second highest in the past decade and only 100,000 less than the 2006-07 auto travel peak of 83.7 million.  Automobile travel remains the preferred choice of transportation for 2011-12 Year-End holiday travelers as nearly 27 percent of the total U.S. population will hit the road.

The current national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is approximately $3.26 per gallon, about 29 cents more than one year ago.  However, the national average price is about 72 cents less than this year’s peak price of $3.98 on May 5.

Air travel down nearly 10 percent

About 5.4 million leisure travelers (six percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the Year-End holiday travel period, a 9.7 percent decrease from 2010-11.  This year’s air travel volume is the seventh lowest in the past ten years as nearly two million fewer Year-End holiday travelers are expected to fly than did during the decade’s air travel peak in 2002-03.  Jet fuel costs and capacity cuts continue to impact holiday air travel.  According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, Year-End holiday airfares are expected to be 21percent higher than last year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $210 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. This is the highest Year-End holiday average airfare in the past five years.

Train, bus, other modes of travel increases 4.2 percent  

Other modes of travel (bus, trains, watercraft, multi-modal travel) will make up the remaining three percent of the total person-trips, with 2.9 million people expected to travel by these modes, 4.2 percent higher than 2010-11.  Economic conditions are dictating that some Americans that otherwise might travel by air or automobile are traveling by these alternative modes of transportation.

Hotel rates increase; car rental rates decrease

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond or mid-range lodgings are expected to increase a modest one percent from last year with travelers spending an average of $126 per night compared to $125 one year ago.  Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay four percent more at an average cost of $92 per night, up from $88 last year.  Daily car rental rates are $40 on average, a 21 percent decrease from one year ago and the lowest seen in the past five years. As the demand for used cars fluctuates or car manufacturers offer fewer opportunities for buying back fleets it can become harder for car rental companies to shrink their fleet to meet demand.  With a larger pool of cars in the market, car rental companies must lower pricing to match supply and demand.

Travel distance decreases; median spending increases

According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Year-End holiday travel season is expected to be 726 miles, a decline from 2010-11 when travelers planned to log an average of 1,052 miles.  Propelling the reduction in expected travel miles is the 9.7 percent decline in air travel and indications that many air travelers are choosing shorter-distance flights.  The percentage of expected trips with a round trip distance above 1,500 miles decreased from 23 percent last year to 17 percent this year.  Median spending is expected to be $718, which is a three percent increase from $694 last year. Fuel and transportation costs combine to consume the largest share of holiday spending (32 percent), followed by shopping and food and beverages (tied at 19 percent). Other expenditures include accommodations (15 percent), entertainment and recreation (12 percent), and other costs (four percent).

Year-End Holiday Travel Tips

More Americans travel during the Year-End holiday season than during any other holiday period throughout the year.  Our nation’s roadways and airports will be busier than normal, so holiday travelers should be sure to pack more patience.  AAA offers these important travel tips that can help everyone have an enjoyable and safe Year-End holiday season.

– Plan ahead.  Use a travel planning tool like AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner available at AAA.com

to help identify the best driving routes, rest stops, and shop the latest gas prices.  Our nation’s highways will be crowded with both holiday travelers and day-trippers.  Continuously monitor weather conditions along your route and be prepared with contingency plans.  Doing your homework could save valuable time, fuel costs, and improve travel safety.

– Arrive early.  Airports will be crowded and security steps may be intensified so allow additional time at your departure airport.  For domestic flights, arrive at least two hours prior to your departure and arrive at least three hours early for international flights.  Busier airports may require even earlier arrival times.  Monitor weather conditions closely, and before leaving home, visit your airline’s website for updates about the status of your flight.

– Avoid the 3 Deadly D’s of Driving:

  1. Drunk or Drugged Driving.  Remember that impairment begins with the first sip of alcohol.     A designated driver should be alcohol-free, not merely the person in your party who has consumed the least amount of alcohol.  Many medications have side effects that cause impairment, so read medication labels thoroughly.

 

  1. Drowsy Driving.  Get seven to nine hours of sleep before driving.  Take a break every 100 miles or two hours.  Do not drive during hours when you routinely sleep.  If you feel tired while driving, pull over to a safe location and take a 20-to 30-minute nap.
  1. Distracted Driving.  It is the driver’s responsibility to keep eyes, mind and body fully focused on the task of driving.  Assign a passenger to be the designated texter, talker, and navigator.  If traveling alone, pull over to a safe location to use your cell phone or adjust your navigation device, then proceed on your trip distraction free.  Child and pet passengers can be distractions to drivers, so allow another adult passenger to interact with these family members.

Ninety AAA eTourBook Guides now available for members to download

For year-end vacation planning, members can download AAA’s free digital eTourBook guides for smartphones and ereader devices. Refreshed continuously with new information, each digital guide available for download highlights a top North American travel destination, complete with AAA Editor’s Picks, listings for AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, attractions, events and nightlife and other proprietary information available only through AAA. Top downloads for 2011 from AAA.com/ebooks include Orlando, New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Mobile App helps travelers find directions, fuel prices and more on the go

Travelers concerned about how fuel prices will impact their travel budget can use the free, GPS-based AAA TripTik Mobile app to compare prices for all grades of gasoline at nearby stations. The app also offers all travelers maps and directions and location information for hotels and points of interest.

In addition to the printed travel guides and maps available at club offices nationwide, AAA makes trip planning tools accessible online and via mobile devices travelers use every day. Along with the TripTik Mobile app, AAA offers iPhone and Android versions of its AAA Discounts, AAA Insurance and AAA Roadside apps. Using GPS technology, AAA Discounts displays nearby locations that offer AAA members a Show Your Card & Save discount.   AAA Roadside transmits a user’s location and details about a vehicle breakdown when a member requests AAA Roadside Assistance.  The AAA Insurance app provides step-by-step guidance on how to gather valuable crash scene information.  Membership is not required to download and use AAA apps but is needed to take advantage of AAA member features and benefits such as discounts.

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 it’s 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.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2011 –

Despite continued economic uncertainty more Americans are expected to choose family over finances resulting in first significant increase in any holiday travel this year

AAA forecasts 42.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a four percent increase from the 40.9 million people who traveled one year ago. This is the first significant increase in any holiday travel this year. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 27.

“Driving AAA’s projected increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers is pent-up demand from Americans who may have foregone holiday travel the last three years,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services.  “As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to create lasting family memories this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality.”

“This is the first significant increase in any holiday travel this year,” said Sutherland.  “Memorial Day travel was statistically flat while Independence Day and Labor Day travel experienced decreases of 2.5 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.”

While primary economic drivers continue to show improvement from one year ago, growth levels are not high enough to support a quick return to pre-recession levels of holiday travel. Rather a slow climb back is expected from 2008 which was a decade-low year for Thanksgiving travel with only 37.8 million Americans taking a trip. With volumes still below historical averages, pent-up demand will be a contributing factor in increased holiday travel, despite current economic conditions.

Total economic activity, measured as real gross domestic product, is expected to grow by just 1.3 percent for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The national unemployment rate is expected to be just fourth-tenths of a percentage point below last year’s level. Personal income, real disposable income and consumer spending are all forecast above last year’s levels. However, the growth rates of these indicators are weaker than last year, and Americans are expressing uncertainty about the future by way of weaker consumer sentiment and consumer comfort survey results. In particular, household net worth is expected to be 5.6 percent lower in the fourth quarter of this year compared to last year.

Additional Resources

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 2011 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast can be found here.

Automobile travel increases four percent, remains dominant mode of transportation

Approximately 38.2 million people (90 percent of holiday travelers) plan to take to the nation’s roadways this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a four percent increase compared to Thanksgiving 2010 when auto travelers totaled 36.8 million. Automobile travel remains the preferred choice of transportation for holiday travelers as it is often more affordable, convenient and flexible. The current national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is approximately $3.39 per gallon, about 50 cents more than one year ago.  However, the national average price is about 60 cents less than this year’s peak price of $3.98 on May 5.

Number of air travelers expected to increase despite higher airfares

Almost 3.4 million leisure travelers (eight percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a 1.8 percent increase from 2010. Fuel costs, combined with steady air travel demand and capacity cuts have resulted in rising airfares over the past year. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, Thanksgiving airfares are expected to be 20 percent higher than last year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $212 for the top 40 U.S. air routes. The combination of higher fares and lower availability of seats is expected to limit air travel growth this holiday to less than half of total traveler growth.

Two percent of travelers expected to select other modes of transportation

Other modes of travel (bus, trains, watercraft, multi-modal travel) will make up the remaining two percent of the total person-trips, with just over 900,000 people expected to travel by these modes, 14.7 percent higher than in 2010. Travel via these modes has declined significantly since 2008 and remains well below historical averages, so there is stronger pent-up demand from consumers that travel using these modes. In addition, economic conditions are dictating that those who otherwise might travel by air or automobile are traveling by alternative modes of travel.

Travelers to experience increases in hotel rates, car rental rates decrease

Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond or mid-range lodgings are expected to increase six percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $145 per night compared to $136 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay seven percent more at an average cost of $103 per night. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $37, an eleven percent decrease from one year ago.

Travelers stay closer to home as average distance decreases; median spending increases

According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to be 706 miles, which is a decline of 13.5 percent from last year when travelers planned to log an average of 816 miles. Median spending is expected to be $554, which is a 12 percent increase from $495 last year. However, Thanksgiving holiday travel is typically less expensive than other travel holidays because of the emphasis on the Thanksgiving meal and gathering of friends and family. Fuel and transportation costs combine to consume the largest share of holiday spending (33 percent), followed by shopping (18 percent) and food and beverages (18 percent. Other expenditures include accommodations (16 percent), entertainment and recreation (12 percent), and other costs (three percent).

Sixty percent of travelers report no economic impact on travel plans

Despite high levels of concern seen in some consumer confidence and consumer comfort surveys, intending travelers seem comfortable with the state of the economy with respect to their travel plans. Sixty percent of intending travelers feel the economy has either no impact on their travel plans or that things have improved for them. The remaining 40 percent do state an intention to scale back travel plans but in light of the current economic conditions, this is still a positive sign for the industry and an additional reminder of just how important traveling is to the American people.

Eighty AAA eTourBook Guides now available for members to download

For Thanksgiving vacation planning, members can download AAA’s free digital eTourBook guides for smartphones and ereader devices. Each new digital guide book highlights a top North American travel destination, complete with listings for AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants; AAA Editor’s Picks for attractions, events and nightlife; and other proprietary information available only through AAA. Top downloads from AAA.com/ebooks include Orlando, New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Mobile App helps travelers find directions and fuel prices on the go

Travelers concerned about how fuel prices will impact their travel budget can also use the free, GPS-based AAA TripTik Mobile app to compare prices for all grades of gasoline at nearby stations. All travelers may also use the app to get maps and directions and locate hotels and other points of interest on the go.

Consumer reviews added to AAA TripTik Mobile app and TripTik Travel Planner

AAA’s TripTik® Mobile application for Android and iPhones and the TripTik Travel Planner at AAA.com now include TripAdvisor reviews for AAA Approved hotels, restaurants and attractions alongside AAA Diamond Ratings, Inspector Notes and descriptions. The addition of consumer content complements AAA’s professional ratings, giving users more complete information to guide their travel decisions.

AAA makes trip planning tools accessible on the mobile devices travelers use every day. Along with the TripTik Mobile app, AAA offers iPhone and Android versions of its AAA Discounts and AAA Roadside apps. Using GPS technology, AAA Discounts displays nearby locations that offer AAA members a Show Your Card & Save discount, and AAA Roadside transmits a user’s location and details about a vehicle breakdown when a member requests AAA Roadside Assistance. Membership is not required to download and use AAA apps, but is needed to take advantage of the available AAA member features and benefits.

Travel planning can be a daunting task, AAA Travel offers solution 

Vacation planning can be a daunting task. Partnering with a professional travel counselor will save vacationers countless hours of research time, and provide access to additional vacation options sold only through travel agencies. Travel counselors at AAA Travel receive frequent travel updates and stay abreast of price changes, document requirement changes, travel alerts and continuously monitor the overall travel landscape. Their time, personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge to offer tips on places to shop, dine and sightsee adds irreplaceable value to the vacation price.

AAA Travel recently launched AAA Vacations® – a collection of escorted, hosted and independent tours, cruises and vacation packages to destinations throughout the world.  AAA Vacations are customized tours, cruises and packages designed to deliver unique, engaging and exclusive vacation experiences to AAA members.  Visit your nearest AAA office or AAA.com for more information.       

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 4, 2010

New app allows users to find and contact nearby AAA Approved lodgings and restaurants

Heather HunterWith the summer travel season in full gear, millions of Americans are on the road exploring the country. While some travelers plan every stop in advance, others prefer to plan as they go. AAA puts all of the tools needed for on-the-go travel planning into its new free application for Apple iPhone users.

AAA TripTik Mobile uses GPS technology to display AAA Approved hotels and restaurants near a user’s location. To help travelers make informed decisions, the hotel and restaurant listings include AAA Diamond Ratings and Inspector Notes, based on professional in-person assessments. Users can call to reserve a room or table and get maps and directions from within the app.

“Even the most thorough planning cannot account for a last-minute side trip to a special destination, unexpected detours, or unplanned events such as driver exhaustion,” said Bill Wood, managing director, AAA Travel Publishing. “AAA’s TripTik Mobile app gives travelers the ability to find and reserve a nearby room for the night or access updated driving directions remotely.”

AAA TripTik Mobile also provides maps and turn-by-turn directions to other AAA points of interest including attractions, events, AAA offices and Approved Auto Repair facilities as well as user-entered addresses. The app recalculates routes and provides voice guidance for the next maneuver at the press of a button or a shake of the iPhone. It’s the only free iPhone app that displays gas station locations with updated fuel prices from gas station data.

AAA TripTik Mobile uses the latest mapping data from the navigation market leader NAVTEQ. Full functionality on iPod Touch and non-3G iPad devices requires uninterrupted Wi-Fi access.

AAA TripTik Mobile is the third free app offered by AAA. The AAA Discounts app, which has been downloaded more than 860,000 times, also uses GPS technology to display nearby AAA Show Your Card & Save locations. AAA Roadside enables AAA members who require emergency road service to send their location, vehicle description and breakdown details directly to AAA. The apps are available for download at the iTunes Store.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more 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, FLORIDA,  May 17, 2010

AAA TripTik Mobile iPhone App also provides directions and information on restaurants, hotels and attractions

Heather HunterWith gasoline approximately 55 cents higher per gallon than this time last year and saving money still a top priority for many Americans, those with an Apple iPhone can use AAA’s TripTik® Mobile application to compare fuel prices at stations close to home or on the road. AAA TripTik Mobile is the first free app to offer access to frequently updated gas prices, as well as maps, directions and AAA travel information.

“For those considering a road trip this summer, a major expense to account for in a travel budget is the cost of fuel,” said Bill Wood, managing director, AAA Publishing. “AAA’s TripTik® Mobile app will be a valuable resource by providing the most up-to-date fuel price information available for free at your fingertips.”

The AAA TripTik Mobile app is a GPS-based, mobile version of AAA.com’s TripTik Travel Planner, and similarly shows fuel prices and spots AAA Approved hotels and restaurants, attractions, AAA offices and other points of interest near a user’s location. Hotel information includes AAA’s Diamond Ratings based on professional in-person inspections and the option to call for reservations with the touch of a button.

“Even carefully planned road trips can incur unexpected detours,” said Wood. “As the summer travel season approaches, AAA is pleased to provide motorists with reliable travel information on the go to assist them in finding fuel, a place to stay or updated directions. Armed with this information, motorists can take the stress out of road trip planning.”

As a full-feature on-the-go application, AAA TripTik Mobile provides maps and directions to get users to their destinations. The app can calculate and display the route to a selected AAA point of interest or to a user-entered address. It provides voice guidance for the next maneuver at the press of a button or by shaking the iPhone. The app requires uninterrupted Wi-Fi access for full functionality on iPod Touch devices. AAA TripTik Mobile uses the latest mapping data from the navigation market leader NAVTEQ.

AAA TripTik Mobile is the third free app offered by AAA, preceded by AAA Discounts and AAA Roadside. The AAA Discounts app, which has been downloaded more than 800,000 times, also 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 apps are available for download at the iTunes Store.

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.

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