Pack Your Bags: AAA Offers Summer Travel Preview

AAA Travel shares top destinations for Arizonans, vacation planning tips

Phoenix, Ariz. April 5, 2012. While the official start of summer is weeks away, Arizonans have already started making travel plans. As the largest leisure travel provider in the state, AAA is revealing its summer travel preview to provide insight into where Arizonans are going and what travelers need to know in the vacation planning process.

“While some Arizonans may modify their travel plans due to rising fuel costs, our booking data indicates that many folks are still choosing to embark on a much-needed summer vacation,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel services for AAA Arizona. AAA Travel bookings have increased more than 5 percent to date in 2012 compared to last year. According to bookings, the top summer destinations for Arizona travelers by category are:

Land & Tour Cruise
San Diego Alaska
Las Vegas British Isles
Grand Canyon Mediterranean
Canada Baltic
National Parks Greece

“Because of proximity to the state, San Diego and Las Vegas are hands down the most popular summer destinations for Arizonans,” added Moreno. “In fact, these destinations comprise well over half of AAA Travel’s bookings for the drive, fly and tour market.”

Planning a vacation can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned traveler. To aid Arizonans in the vacation planning process, AAA travel pros recommend four key tips to ensure a successful summer getaway:

  • Budget for fees. From airports and rental car counters to hotels and cruise ships, travelers will encounter fees on nearly every leg of their vacation. These extra costs can result in an actual trip price exceeding the budgeted price, and leave travelers feeling like they’ve been taken for a ride. To help uncover and budget for these additional expenses, consumers should research travel carriers to understand true travel costs before booking, or better yet, enlist the help of a travel agent who is privy to the ever-changing industry.

  • Search out savings. With savings at more than 130,000 participating locations, AAA’s Discount program helps members save more than $100 per year, which can help make the most out of any travel budget. This includes discounts on attraction tickets across the country, including more than 45 attractions in Southern California, Arizona’s most popular summer destination. In addition, consumers should seek savings during their trip planning process. Many hotels and resorts, for example, offer incentives such as free breakfast, gas cards and credits that can be redeemed for spa services, golf or other activities.

  • Take advantage of technology. Smartphone applications are invaluable travel tools. AAA has a variety of free iPhone and Android apps including TripTik® Mobile, a GPS-based app that offers door-to-door directions, maps showing gas stations and pricing and points of interest such as AAA-rated hotels, restaurants and attractions, near a user’s location. The AAA Discounts app also uses GPS technology to display nearby discount locations, while AAA Roadside enables members who require roadside assistance to send their breakdown details directly to AAA. In addition, many travel carriers, such as airlines and hotels, also have free apps that can aid travelers on the go.

  • Take extra precaution if traveling abroad. If your travel plans include an international trip, take added precautions to ensure your health and safety. AAA’s partnership with Passport Health assists travelers with destination-specific travel information and immunizations through their travel agent. Abroad-bound travelers should also register their travel with the State Department and consider investing in short-term supplemental medical coverage, as many U.S. health insurance plans are not designed for international travel and do not typically cover medical emergencies or health needs abroad.

AAA releases three travel forecasts each summer. The first, which will be released in advance of Memorial Day, will provide additional insight into Arizonans summer travel intentions.

For more information on AAA Travel, visit
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.