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Triple A

This is going to sound like a paid endorsement, but it isn’t.  This is a “because I really like it and want to share with you” post.

I was prompted to write this particular post because my son is going off to college, and he’s taking his car.  Setting him up with Triple A was sort of a no-brainer for me.

The official name of Triple A is American Automobile Association, or AAA for short.  I joined this “motor club and leisure travel organization” in 2004, during a time in my life when finances were extremely tight and I had to make tough choices on where to spend my very limited funds.  Each year since then, this has proven to be a very good choice for me.

AAA has several membership and service levels, but so far, the basic (translation: least expensive) option has met my needs.  I would guess that when most people think of AAA, they probably think of it for the roadside assistance.  I have had to call on them for those services a few times in the past, but I find the greatest benefit in the discounts I receive as an AAA member.  Every year, the savings from those discounts have more than covered the cost of my annual membership fee.

Truth be told, I’m not one of those people who will go too far out of their way to shop at a place just because it offers a particular deal, but, if I happen to need the service anyway, and there’s an offer for an extra discount – BONUS!

In past years I have used their discounts for air travel, hotel stays, rental cars, moving trucks, and storage.  So far this year I have spent six nights in hotels, with an average savings of six dollars per night.  At Universal Studios I saved 10% off my lunch, and my Uncle used his AAA card to purchase the theme park tickets at a savings of fifteen dollars each!  I even managed to save twenty-five dollars on two car rentals, and the year isn’t over yet.

TripTik(R) is another service that I have found useful.  If you are a pre-planner, you can let AAA know where you want to go – at least ten days in advance, and they will create and mail a detailed set of text and graphic driving directions to you.  If you’re anything like me, with a penchant for doing things at the last minute, you can print your own TripTik(R).  I just saved the PDF file on my computer and then picked the pages I wanted to print – the pages that described a couple of tricky turns and complex interchanges.

I readily admit that I have barely scratched the surface in taking advantage of the wide variety of discounts they offer, so I can’t address everything.  You can visit the official AAA site for yourself to see if any of their services meet your needs.  A lot of the discounts are state specific, so be sure to indicate your state of interest.  Don’t bother telling them Gert sent you, they will have no idea who I am.

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