While traveling can be a lot of fun, planning the perfect vacation can be a stressful chore, which is why travel agents are so useful. There are several advantages of working with a travel agency, including the superior industry knowledge and insider tips on wherever you happen to be visiting, but not all travel agencies are the same.
Finding the right travel agency to match your travel needs can feel like a significant hurdle, but for AAA members, AAA travel agents and their expert advice take care of all the tricky parts as a free bonus to your memberships.
Benefits of Working With AAA Travel Agents
Seeking additional help planning a vacation — whether it's for your whole family or you alone — is something many veteran travelers do, even in the age of the internet and the endless array of booking sites it offers. No matter how tech-savvy you may be, sometimes things go more smoothly when you ask a professional to help you out. But deciding who to choose can be a feat on its own, which is why AAA offers its members access to a range of benefits, including experienced travel agents.
Check out the video below to learn about how when you choose AAA, you don't just get one travel agent, you get a whole team working to make your trip memorable.
Some other benefits of using AAA travel agents include the following.
- Saving time: You likely need a vacation because you're so busy and your everyday routine is hectic. Squeezing in the planning and research required for a relaxing getaway can add to your stress, cut into your free time and leave you even more exhausted. Travel agents have their fingers on the pulse of the industry. They can provide suggestions and recommendations based on your unique interests and specifications to help ensure you get the vacation you deserve, without the stress of planning it.
- Reducing stress: The nitty-gritty details can give some people anxiety when planning a vacation. Ensuring passports are up to date, visa applications are getting processed and reserving hotels or tours as needed can take up a lot of time and energy. Luckily, AAA travel agents can handle the details for you, letting you know exactly what needs to happen and when, so you can easily fit it into your schedule.
- Advocating for you: Sometimes the universe throws a wrench in even the most detailed plans, including a long-awaited vacation. Whether it's delays or cancellations due to the weather or personal emergencies, one of the perks of using a travel agent is you'll always have someone looking out for your best interests. They'll help you make any changes needed while guiding you through any challenges that may pop up along the way.
- Finding deals: Because travel agents are industry insiders, they're often privy to exclusive deals and discounts that aren't available to the public. Travel agents can offer you these finds, which can help you stretch your dollars to take advantage of a richer vacation experience. Similarly, travel agents can often provide upgrades and other unique perks — another reason to opt for an agent to plan your vacation.
- Personalizing trips: If you're still wondering, "Should I use a travel agent?" consider the fact that travel agents can curate each vacation according to their clients' specifications. That means if you're concerned about dietary or accessibility issues, the travel agent can take care to ensure your vacation has everything you want and nothing you don't.
In addition to all that, travel agents are often well-traveled people, and may have visited the city where you're planning to vacation. They can provide expert recommendations on everything from which sites to see, how early to arrive to avoid long lines and which areas are unsafe. They can also recommend specific spots to eat or shop, which is valuable if you're visiting somewhere for the very first time and don't know anyone else who has been there.
What Can AAA Travel Agents Do for You?
While you can get a travel agent consultation anywhere, there are distinct benefits to using AAA travel agents to plan your next trip. In addition to all the advantages you get from an average travel agency, AAA travel agents can offer members extra perks, such as the following.
- Hotels: Being a AAA member and taking advantage of AAA travel agents can score you substantial discounts that are only available to patrons who book through AAA. That means saving up to 10% on nightly fees at top hotels, like the Hilton and Best Western.
- Rentals: If you're looking to drive for some or all of your vacation, AAA travel agents can help you find discounts for car rentals from Hertz. These include perks like a waived additional driver fee for qualified AAA drivers, discounts of up to 20% and a free child or booster seat as needed.
- Parks: Theme parks are a popular destination, especially for family vacations, and AAA members can take advantage of discounts to some of the country's most beloved theme parks, including Disney and Universal.
- Tours: AAA partners with various tour guide companies to offer members discounts and coupons, as well as Visa gift cards.
- Currency: Instead of lining up at the bank and hoping they have the foreign currency you need for your vacation, AAA members have the option of picking up the foreign currency at their local AAA location before their trip or obtaining a prepaid AAA MemberPay debit card.
- Passport: Aside from AAA travel agents being able to help you with your passport renewal or applications, AAA members can also take advantage of getting official passport photos taken at local AAA offices, allowing them to tackle the entire process in one place before sending out the application.
- Driving: If you plan to drive while on an international holiday, you may need an international driver's permit (IDP), which AAA can provide to members. For as little as $20, AAA — one of two organizations to offer IDPs — can set you up for the permit and even provide additional discounts if you obtain it through Hertz.
- Cruises: As part of their AAA benefits, members can enjoy the ease of booking cruises with a AAA travel agent for free. On top of that, AAA travel agents have insider access to extras provided by the cruise companies themselves, which are only available to professionals. These include free room upgrades and onboard credit.
- Insurance: Many people forget or ignore travel insurance when planning a trip — after all, who wants to get bogged down in the potential negative events of a vacation? Insurance can provide immeasurable peace of mind and will make it easier for your agent to advocate on your behalf if you ever find yourself in an emergency.
And, of course, roadside assistance is still a signature service offered to all AAA members, no matter where they vacation.
Book Your Next Vacation With AAA Travel Agents
If you're ready to jet off to your next vacation, take advantage of AAA travel agents and make the process smoother. Providing ease, convenience and peace of mind, AAA travel agents can help you plan the vacation you want — whether for your whole family or just for yourself — without burdening you with the hassle of the nitty-gritty details.
Get in touch with your local AAA office and start planning your dream vacation today.