AAA benefits are great — discounts, services, and free guides to all members. But have you ever taken the time to research just what is available to you as a traveler? AAA might just be one of your greatest resources!
Here are the 10 best AAA benefits to help you with travel…
Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m sharing it with you because AAA has been such a great resource for me. I’d be amiss if I didn’t share it with you too.
1. Free maps and guides
This might seriously be my favorite of the best AAA benefits. Yes, most people travel via GPS navigation these days, but there’s something wonderful about having a paper map in your lap. Seeing the bigger picture of your entire route is nice, plus maps also come in handy for some fun craft projects when your trip is over!
And the guidebooks AAA produces are super helpful. Tips on where to go, where to stay, where to eat, how to save money, opening hours, and current prices of attractions — all found in city guidebooks that are totally free for members. These are guides that might cost anywhere from $10-$20 in a bookstore.
2. Foreign currency
Want to be more prepared for your travel abroad? You can exchange money before you arrive, with good exchange rates. Simply make an appointment at a local AAA office and order the foreign currency you need. Or you can order your foreign currency online. There is no fee for the service, only a delivery charge. Such a deal if you can avoid exchanging money at an airport where exchange rates are less favorable. It’s more convenient to have this taken care of before you travel. At the very least, you can have enough to get you started.
You can exchange any amount between $250 and $3000 USD worth of foreign currency in your oder. When you return from your trip, you can even sell your excess currency back to Travelex, the service AAA uses.
3. Hotel discounts
Did you know that with your AAA card, you have access to a 10% discount at most hotels in the United States and many worldwide? Select the “AAA rate” when making your reservations and then just show your AAA card when you check in. That’s an easy 10% savings. On a one-week vacation, the savings could easily be over $100 — money you can use on other fun activities. (If you’d like to see other ways to save for travel, see How to Save Enough Money to Travel).
4. Restaurant & entertainment discounts
These are discounts you can benefit from whether you’re traveling or not. A long list of restaurants that offer AAA discounts can be found here. An even longer list of entertainment and attraction discounts can be found here, at places like Knotts Berry Farm, Colonial Williamsburg, and even Walt Disney World.
5. Access to a AAA Travel Agent
This might seem a little old-fashioned to you, since it is so easy to book your own travel online these days. However, using travel agents can actually save you money since they have access to discounts you can’t get on your own. You don’t have to be a AAA member to book through AAA travel agents, but you will receive greater discounts with a membership. You will also have the advantage of being able to meet with a travel agent in person and totally customize your trip. For anyone who feels less than comfortable with planning and booking travel details, this is a stellar benefit!
6. Rental car discounts
Not only do you receive discounts on car rentals booked through AAA, but your regular AAA benefits like roadside assistance apply whether you are driving your own car or someone else’s. Should you get a flat tire or lock your keys inside a rental car, AAA would still be there to help you out!
7. International Driving permits
Did you know that an International Driving permit will show your name and driver information in ten different languages? Might come in handy if you get pulled over while driving abroad. Plus some countries don’t recognize your US drivers license. AAA can advise you on whether or not an International Driving permit is required and issue one for you as well. In fact, AAA is one of only two organizations in the US authorized to issue them. The fee is only $20. You’ll also need two passport photos, but AAA can help you with that, too!
8. Passport photos
It makes sense that AAA would provide this convenient service. You can get the two passport photos that are required for a passport application at any AAA location, for only $10 with a classic AAA membership. Non-members pay $15.
9. Road-trip planning
With helps like their gas price finder and road conditions, to pre-planned road trip routes with tips for accommodations, sites, and attractions, there’s probably no better resource for taking a fantastic road trip. Road Trip routes include notes about locations along the way, including phone numbers, addresses, hours, and admission prices.
And if you should end up with a flat tire or a battery that needs recharging, AAA totally has your back with roadside assistance. I can’t tell you how many times I have breathed a sigh of relief when I realized I’d be able to get a tire repaired or a tow to the closest service station with AAA. ‘Cause stuff happens…
10. Travel insurance
Another of the best AAA benefits is the ability to purchase travel insurance for travel within or outside the United States. Travel insurance can cover trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, and emergency medical coverage. Having this insurance can give you peace of mind. I know I’ll be buying some for my next big trip.
There are actually quite a few more than just 10 best AAA benefits. You can book flights & cruises on AAA, use the AAA app to find discounts on the spot, and receive roadside assistance, too. If you’re wondering how anyone can afford a AAA membership when it includes so many benefits, think again. My membership only costs $51.00 per year. If you were to sign up today, you’d also pay a one-time $20 admission fee. But keep in mind, you receive all the benefits listed above, plus many others, including 4 free tows per year!
I once cancelled my AAA membership because my auto insurance company offered roadside assistance at a slightly lower cost. However, within the year, I had signed back on with AAA because I missed all the other benefits! I’ve been a loyal member ever since, and even purchased memberships for my kids when they started driving.
AAA benefits are not limited to the United States. Many discounts will be available to you in international countries as well. I hope you consider AAA as a great resource for your travels!