Posts Tagged ‘TripTik Travel Planner’

Summer Travelers Seek Fun in the Sun

May 1st, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Julie HallORLANDO, Fla. (May 1, 2018) – Millions of Americans are counting down the days until their summer vacations, with most U.S. travelers planning trips to warm-weather destinations. Orlando has retained its top spot as the most visited domestic travel destination, while Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii, have both grown in popularity compared with last summer.

Additional Resources

  • Inforgraphics: 1 | 2

“This is shaping up to be another banner season for travel as Americans look to get out and enjoy themselves in the summer sun,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president, AAA Travel and Publishing. “Travelers are making plans now to visit theme parks, sail away on cruise vacations, relax at the beach and explore cities in the U.S. and across the globe.”

Domestic Travel

The top domestic summer travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings for trips June 1 through August 15, are:

  1. Orlando, Florida (1)
  2. Honolulu, Hawaii (4)
  3. Anchorage, Alaska (2)
  4. Seattle, Washington (3)
  5. Los Angeles/Anaheim, California (5)
  6. Maui, Hawaii (7)
  7. Fairbanks, Alaska (6)
  8. Las Vegas, Nevada (8)
  9. Boston, Massachusetts (13)
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah (14)

*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2017 ranking.

Road trips remain the most popular family vacation option for those staying stateside, despite higher gas prices. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a family trip are expected to hit the roads this year.

International Travel

“Many Americans, including those traveling as a family, will venture overseas for their summer vacations,” continued Sutherland. “More than one-third of families who are planning a trip together this year will visit an international destination.”

Rome has regained its standing as the most popular locale for international summer vacations, while Dublin and Paris both continue to climb in the rankings. Beach destinations in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico can also expect an influx of travelers this summer.

AAA’s top international summer travel destinations include:

  1. Rome, Italy (3)
  2. Vancouver, British Columbia (1)
  3. Dublin, Ireland (4)
  4. London, England (2)
  5. Paris, France (7)
  6. Montego Bay, Jamaica (8)
  7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (5)
  8. Calgary, Alberta (10)
  9. Cancun, Mexico (6)
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands (9)

*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2017 ranking.

Summer Travel Tips

AAA’s travel experts offer their top tips for travelers planning summer vacations, including:

  • Plan ahead – Book early for the best deals and availability on hotels, airfare, car rentals and more.
  • Work with a travel agent – Travel agents often have access to extra amenities and added benefits to help plan the perfect summer vacation. They can also be a tremendous help in the event something changes or goes wrong on your trip.
  • Be flexible – If your schedule permits, avoid traveling during peak times this summer, including Memorial Day weekend and around Independence Day, to encounter less congestion and fewer crowds.
  • Safety first – If driving, get plenty of rest before setting out on your road trip. Schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles to remain alert and avoid driving drowsy.
  • Make sure your vehicle is road trip ready – Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Pack an emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.
  • Pack your patience – Summer is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Expect heavy crowds and allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely.

To help travelers plan their summer vacations, AAA’s professional inspectors have assessed nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Every AAA Inspected & Approved hotel and restaurant is acceptable for the type of experience it provides. Ratings, from One to Five Diamonds, help travelers find the level of services, facilities and amenities they’re looking for on their vacation. Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments in the AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides and TripTik Travel Planner.

For more information and to begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/Travel.  

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 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. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Move Over Baby Boomers, Millennials Embrace Family Travel

March 15th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Julie HallAAA survey reveals an estimated 88 million Americans will take family trips this year.

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 15, 2018) – Led by millennials, some 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations this year. According to the latest research from AAA Travel, 44 percent of millennials are planning a family getaway, more than members of Generation X (39 percent) or baby boomers (32 percent).

“Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. “No matter their age, families are going on not just one, but multiple vacations throughout the year to revisit favorite destinations and experience new places.”

Additional Resources

  • Infographics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

As travelers seek new sights, AAA expects family trips abroad to be a hot trend in 2018. Of families who will take a trip this year, 35 percent plan to visit an international destination – a nine percentage point increase from just two years ago. Based on advance travel bookings, AAA predicts the top five most likely international destinations for families will be:

  1. Cancun, Mexico
  2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  3. Montego Bay, Jamaica
  4. Rome, Italy
  5. Dublin, Ireland

“We’ve seen increased demand for international travel overall, and that trend is now starting to appeal to families,” continued Sutherland.

For families staying stateside, expensive gas prices – the highest prices seen since 2014 – are not stopping vacation planners from packing up their cars for a road trip. They remain the most popular option for family vacations, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a trip expected to hit the roads.

Additional AAA family travel highlights for 2018:

  • Families are taking more trips per year. One in four (27 percent) traveling families is planning to take three or more family vacations in the next 12 months, 12 percentage points more than in 2016.
  • Family travelers are looking for new experiences. Three-quarters (73 percent) of families that are planning a vacation this year are seeking a destination they have not previously visited.
  • Families are seeking R&R. When looking for these new experiences, families are choosing destinations with attractions such as beaches and mountains (61 percent), opportunities for sightseeing (59 percent) and relaxation (56 percent).

AAA’s travel experts recommend that families plan their trips with AAA’s Diamonds in mind. AAA’s professional inspectors assess nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to assign AAA Diamond Ratings. Every AAA Inspected & Approved hotel and restaurant is acceptable for the type of experience it provides. Ratings, from One to Five Diamonds, help travelers find the level of services, facilities and amenities they’re looking for on their vacation. Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments in the AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides and TripTik Travel Planner.

To help families even further, AAA’s inspectors have identified some of their favorite family-friendly hotels for 2018. To learn more and begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/TravelTips.

AAA’s family travel research is the result of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,005 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted January 26-28, 2018. This study has an average statistical error of ±7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 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. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Even 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.

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. – 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.

ORLANDO, Fla. , May 23, 2007

With soaring gas prices squeezing many household budgets, AAA is helping consumers with tips on how to save gas, Web sites dedicated to fuel information and a gas rebate credit card. 

Troy GreenWhen fuel prices rise to new record levels, motorists have an understandable interest in finding out why, and need information on what they can do to stay within the family budget, according to AAA.

To help consumers make better decisions regarding their fuel consumption AAA began posting localized, up-to-date fuel information on the Internet in 2000, and now has two Web sites devoted to fuel issues as well as other online tools for consumers.

Perhaps the best known site is AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That site – a natural extension of the reports AAA has issued in some form since the 1970s – averages prices paid at 100,000 gas stations across the country and posts national, state and local averages daily for each of the major grades of gasoline.

AAA Fuel Cost Calculator helps users understand and budget for the amount of fuel they are likely to use on a long-distance trip. After entering the trip’s origin and destination, and the type of vehicle being driven, the site calculates the miles driven, the amount of fuel that will be used and the cost. It also can tell motorists the difference in fuel costs for various vehicles, helping them to determine which vehicle is most cost effective to drive.

Earlier this year, AAA enhanced its online trip planning tool, TripTik® Travel Planner found at www.AAA.com, with location and fuel pricing information for more than 100,000 U.S. gas stations. Using the planner, travelers can note the locations of convenient fuel stops along their vacation driving route.

To help counteract the effect of high gas prices on family budgets, the AAA Visa® credit card offers a rebate of up to 5 percent on gasoline purchases made at the pump. The more cardholders use their card for everyday, non-gas purchases, the greater the rebate will be for gas purchases. Since its inception in 2003, cardholders have saved $142 million on gas purchases.

AAA provides fuel-saving tips and advice to consumers through many local AAA club Web sites (www.AAA.com) as well as on its AAA Exchange site (www.AAA.com/publicaffairs) which includes fuel conservation information in a downloadable brochure titled, “AAA Gas Watcher’s Guide.”

Some tips from the guide include:

  • Stick to a routine maintenance schedule. Keeping tires inflated, moving components properly lubricated and ignition and emission systems operating properly will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle.
  • If you own more than one vehicle, use the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.
  • Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and miles traveled. When possible, combine them with your daily commute.
  • If you are going somewhere new, get a map first from an online source such as AAA TripTik (www.AAA.com). Getting lost wastes gas as well as time.
  • Comparison shop by phone or online if possible before heading out on the road.
  • Slow down. For most vehicles, fuel economy drops off significantly when traveling more than 60 miles per hour. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
  • Avoid quick starts and sudden stops. They waste fuel, are harder on vehicle components and increase the odds of a traffic crash.
  • Lighten your vehicle by cleaning out the trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments. A heavier vehicle uses more fuel.
  • Keep your eyes open for low fuel prices but don’t waste gas driving to a distant filling station to save a few cents.

AAA Fuel Gauge Report and AAA Fuel Cost Calculator are based on data from Oil Price Information Service, the nation’s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 50 million members with travel, insurance

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