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!
I’ve had AAA for years but didn’t know about a few of these benefits. The currency exchange and travel insurance were new information for me. I also didn’t know that they offered discounts outside the US.
I have AAA and only use it for roadside assistance, I never remember to use them for all these other benefits. Clearly I am missing out and need to use them more, especially the foreign currency exchange which I do a lot and I didn’t know about!
I remember how valuable the AAA atlas books were when I was growing up. We always kept one in the car. I’ve used AAA for many things in the past, including booking our first 10 or 20 cruises, but after a big mistake in a very expensive trip to Scotland that cost us a bundle and was inexcusable, we haven’t done business with them in ages. Good to know the perks though, some I wasn’t familiar with.
So sorry you had an expensive and negative experience with AAA. That would turn me off as well.
My husband finally discovered these benefits at 75. He used to think the money was used for politics.
In addition, we love the articles they print on their newsletter/magazine. They are so relevant for all seniors.
True. I love their articles, too!
I thought AAA was charging for their guide books, so happy to know they are not and will definitely start grabbing them again. I have used them to get an International Drivers License and the process was super easy. Hadn’t thought to check out their travel Agents while planning a DIY trip
I have AAA and agree with all the above! I got my international driver’s permit from them as well as my passport photos. I really love that they provide paper maps free. Not some cheap map either, full-blown legit travel maps. Good call 🙂
AAA seems to be a great resource for travelers. I am glad to know that even international travelers can enjoy the benefits of AAA. I would like to book flights and cruises seamlessly, get help in road trip planning, find discounts on the spot, and receive roadside assistance. Hence AAA seems apt for me.
Quite impressive. Didn’t know AAA offered all these benefits. In fact, I just learned about the international driver’s license recently and will be getting one through them soon. I do like the idea of the free maps even in this day of Google maps. A great perk with the foreign currency exchange. Thanks for sharing all the different AAA benefits. Cheers.
This is just not fair: since I’m not driving, I’m missing out on all these great benefits! Seems like triple A totally has your back when travelling, that’s so great!
There are still so many benefits you can enjoy, even if you’re not a driver: foreign currency exchange, access to travel agents, and of course, the discounts!
I had no idea there were so many discounts associated with AAA. Definitely worth it especially if you love to travel as much as I do! xo – Kam
Wow!! I am super impressed with the benefits of AAA. The road side assistance is such a big plus, seeing your name on driver license, international driving permits, road trip planning, travel insurance all these options have already excited me to check this out. Thanks for sharing.
Aha. I actually didn’t know that AAA offered this much benefits. Thanks for listing them down. The international driving permits are particularly really helpful for me if ever. I guess I’ll have to consider them this time.