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Old 02-26-2010, 08:29 AM
 
9,029 posts, read 16,438,315 times
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i've had mixed results, but it's worth checking out - especially for things where you want to be able to reach a voice should something go wrong

i'm not sure what trip tics used to look like, but i've still had them made up recently

my brother was moving from phoenix to orlando and we went in and the AAA guy helped map the route (which was pretty curent with roadwork, etc) and he had a map of the whole route complete with ideas for rest areas, restaurants, points of interest, etc

my wife had something similar done when she moved from mpls to phx
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:25 AM
 
3,956 posts, read 6,937,751 times
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If you have them map you out, double check their work. I've had some take me way out of my way and even had me go through some very heavily populated areas during a travel-through.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:36 AM
 
28,243 posts, read 39,914,600 times
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We use AAA for our cruises and have been very happy. On our last one they got us an upgrade to a larger balcony cabin for $200 less.

When traveling and using hotels use this simple trick to find out what the area is like where the hotel is. Go to the website for the specific hotel and look for the section about attractions in the area, or nearby restaurants, etc. They all call it something different but you get the idea.

Look for national chains. Applebees, Chilis, etc. If you see them in the list odds are the area is okay since these chains only place their stores in "good" areas.

This has had a 100% success rate for us.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Orlando
8,178 posts, read 16,553,343 times
Reputation: 49786
I haven't found that their prices are any better than anyone else.

That being said...if I were to travel outside the USA I would use them because I trust them not to steer me wrong.

I keep my membership mainly for the roadside assistance.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:18 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,147 times
Reputation: 23
I am a AAA Travel Agent and we still do TT's, we do not charge for our services and we do not set you up in substandard accommodations. It simply will not be done. AAA has standards and does not provide anything but great service. AAA prides itself on this. That is why all locations are rated and reviewed by AAA and these properties and vendors have to meet all the requirements set in place to be AAA approved, not an easy status to retain. My fellow Travel Agents and I work diligently to find the best fit for our members needs. The old adage, you get what you pay for; IS exactly that. So, if an Agent comes back with a quote and you try to nickle and dime them understand you are only going to end up with a down grade or have to give up some amenities because we will be forced to eliminate something(s). Rest assured we will do our best to get the best for your money and make every effort to meet all requirements. We are working with a live system that shows us what is available based on travel dates, rate of hotel 1-5 diamond, property accommodations(concierge, restaurants, kids programs, pet services, beach front etc) and of course property location; prices are already set. Often times air fare is what jacks the cost up and this is not flexible, that is set in place by the air industry, AGAIN you get what you pay for (IE Southwest Vs Virgin). Also, keep in mind if you are offered a package this is often the better of choice, there are many more options. The agent has the ability to build an ideal vacation that is overseen and you can be assured that you will have an enjoyable experience. Allow your agent to do their research for you (at zero cost to you, REALLY) and I am positive you will be pleased. Not only will you prevent frustration, save time and money, you WILL get the vacation you are looking for. RE: Doing it myself vs travel agent: AAA invests in every agent's knowledge and are trained very well and it is a long process they are also sent on Familiarization Tours in order to gain first hand experiences with various packages, this benefits YOU the member and AAA if an experience is great or not so great (we won't offer it). So, in comparison there is no reason to spend countless hours on airfares, property locations, destinations, travel insurance and the list goes on etc when we at AAA travel can comprehensively advise all of that and more to you and give you the necessary publication you need to be prepared for your desired destination (IE proper information to contact the consulate to remove a 30 year old DUI so that you may enter Canada). SO...don't hesitate, stop by AAA for your vacations arrangements!

BTW: I think our maps are great. I use them daily.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:25 PM
 
70 posts, read 89,122 times
Reputation: 119
Back in the late 90's I graduated from travel college and my first job was at the AAA "Auto Touring" Department. This was one of my favorite jobs since I love to travel and enjoy research.

Every customer request was a fun challenge to see how to help them plan an auto tour around the United States. We had a huge file cabinet full of maps by state, region, city, and theme tours like touring the Southwest deserts.

Yes, the trip-tiks were a very busy department! We had to put all the driving route pages in the right order into the booklet. I can still see myself going through each page with a magic marker to trace the correct route for each part of the drive! We also had to double check to see if any routes were closed and provide the detour options.

The tour books were very popular and I can remember many people saying (including myself) how the passenger would read the historic information aloud while driving through a certain part of the country. Especially helpful when you're taking a long, long drive across the country. I still have a complete set of the current tour books on my shelf.

We also had to book hotels and that was probably the biggest challenge. You have different types of customers and you learn what makes a happy vacation for them. The corporate travelers were very busy and were happy to have a good hotel booked and never asked about the price. It was just date, location, and hotel name for reward points. The budget travelers are a little trickier. I certainly love a bargain (Yankee Girl here) by getting a great value for the dollar but I agree with the previous travel agent poster (Maggie77) about being open to paying a little more for a better budget hotel. We would get tons of feedback from our customers and would take it seriously. Maybe families are raving about a certain hotel with a great pool their kids love or management changes and the staff is really great and serves a breakfast buffet with wonderful food. We want to pass that inside information on to our customers!

The AAA Travel Agents I worked with enjoyed their job. The most popular types of travelers we had were people either taking their very first cruise or it was an international tour. It's great to know you can walk into a brick and mortar store and speak to a real person! It's great to know when you travel that if an emergency comes up or you have questions you have your own personal agent working for you. And if they are not available another agent will be there to help you. It's a nice secure feeling to have that support and we had a lot of solo travelers who loved it. I would have loved to move up into the Travel Agent department but after two years I relocated to another job opening.

Still a lot of great memories though!
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,265,187 times
Reputation: 31763
You might also want to check out SkyMed.com in case of a medical emergency, especially if you are traveling outside of the US.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,986 posts, read 83,671,479 times
Reputation: 41793
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I haven't traveled much for pleasure and am wondering about this. I have AAA and could use their travel agent service but do you pay a lot for that convenience? How much cheaper is it to try to book airfare and hotel and car on your own? Do you not have to worry so much about ending up in a crappy hotel with AAA?
normally speaking you do not pay any travel agency. Sometimes there is a small fee, like $25 or a slightly larger one for the research, but if you book with the agency, the fee is removed..Again, I say, normally. I do not think AAA charges anything. If you are not an experienced traveler, booking through an agency is the best way and AAA is a good one to use. No, you will not get stuck with crappy hotels, in fact you probably stand a better chance of getting what you want by booking through them. This is just my opinion. You can pretty much tell just by talking to an agent. There are some agents that are not experienced and are nothing but order takers, others have traveled a lot themselves, love the business and are worth their weight in gold.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
2,289 posts, read 2,952,098 times
Reputation: 3948
We let the AAA travel agent book our Disney World trip. They did a great job for us and we had a great time.

We've let them book a few rooms for us since and they were lower than us just booking a hotel.

Give them a chance.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:00 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,127 posts, read 17,152,817 times
Reputation: 9981
I've Found that AAA is good for pre-packaged, and Disney level Booking. Give them something hard the TA are clueless on how to do it, all they push is a pre-packaged tours.

I Don't like Group/pre packaged tours, Gave my AAA TA what I wanted to do on a tour of South America. Told her I don't want group/pre packaged. She gave me a pre-packaged tour with 1 on your own side trip. Send it back saying that not want I wanted, and more or less go same thing back for 2nd look. Told her I felt it was outside her area of expertise and asked her to pass it to someone else. She felt insulted that I told her to pass me on to someone who had a clue.

Talked to the manager of the Office and he basically told me that they can't do what i want, They do easy/packaged trips.
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