AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

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Barefootgirl
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AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Barefootgirl » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:35 pm

I have started to travel extensively and expect to be doing a lot more over the next few years - by car, by plane, by ship, by foot.

I'm already signed up with the hotels and airline programs.

I've started to familiarize myself with hotels.com and priceline.com.

Are AAA and AARP worth the membership fees, for any travel benefits, based on your experience?

Are there any other worthwhile programs, not mentioned here, that I should look into? THANKS
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123
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by 123 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:52 pm

Whether AAA or AARP travel discounts can help largely depend on what other travel benefits you could qualify for. I've noticed that hotel discounts for senior, AAA, and AARP are pretty much the same at a lot of places. If someone is a senior than AAA or AARP might not get them anything much different. So someone (!!!) who's a youngster not eligible for AARP membership or senior status due to age could use AAA. I've had AAA for a number of years and when I check the alternatives it doesn't seem like there's any any advantage to reaching a mature age. I've primarily used AAA for car rental (primarily Hertz) and hotel discounts.

In my area I think AAA is about $56 yearly, If I use it for a couple of hotel stays or rental cars a year I'm money ahead.

I would never join AARP for anything due to the junk mail that seems to be tied to them. It was a struggle to get them to stop sending their annoying membership offers so they are dead to me.
Last edited by 123 on Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:56 pm

AARP is good for car rentals and occasionally for hotels, but I am not impressed with the travel benefits overall.

squirm
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by squirm » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:39 pm

yes, aarp is good for the car rentals.

JBTX
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by JBTX » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:54 pm

AARP is really cheap. I dont utilize much but certainly get more than what I paid.

I have AAA also. It's debateable whether the benefits are worth it, but we take several long road trips per year, and I occasionally get some hotel benefits.

TravelGeek
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:17 pm

I have both. No complaints; I get my money’s worth.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:27 pm

We have both. I find that AARP results in slightly larger discounts than AAA when I am paying for hotel/motel rooms.

However, we find AAA to be well worth a family membership for emergency auto services.

denovo
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by denovo » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:07 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:35 pm
I have started to travel extensively and expect to be doing a lot more over the next few years - by car, by plane, by ship, by foot.

I'm already signed up with the hotels and airline programs.

I've started to familiarize myself with hotels.com and priceline.com.

Are AAA and AARP worth the membership fees, for any travel benefits, based on your experience?

Are there any other worthwhile programs, not mentioned here, that I should look into? THANKS
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ABQ4804
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by ABQ4804 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:15 am

Our family also uses AARP exclusively for best car rental prices, at least domestically. Make car reservation months in advance, then check website again right before travel; often there’s a price drop and you can make a fresh reservation. 🚙

Barefootgirl
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:44 am

I do not have a Costco Membership? Can you provide details on your own experience with it?

My understanding is that they have really good car rental rates.


I have done very well on auto rentals with AutoSlash.com


As well, I am finding that since becoming a fan of Uber & Lyft, I tend to rent vehicles far less often. Depending on the details of a particular trip. this can save a lot over renting a car.
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carolinaman
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:23 am

I use AAA and AARP discounts for hotels. It is usually 10% and can probably get that elsewhere.

We have obtained free travel books and maps from AAA for long trips. That was a lot more useful before the Internet and GPS, but still has some value. I have checked AAA travel for international hotel bookings and found I could do better on my own, but for someone who does not want to spend time on Internet to find deals, it is useful.

A few years ago I attended a free travel seminar by AAA on packing for long trips. I was going to Italy later that year and found this seminar really helpful. They also had a lot of travel accessories, some of which could be really handy.

Another source to consider for travel information is Tripadvisor.com. This is an extremely valuable source to get information about traveling: hotels, restaurants, tours and attractions. Information from that site can help you find the best hotels, restaurants and sites. IMO, I would rather pay the going rate at a good hotel than get a great discount at a substandard hotel.

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midareff
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by midareff » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:01 am

Between AARP, AAA, Senior and Government/Military there is almost always a discount around somewhere for hotels and many restaurants.

bob60014
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by bob60014 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:39 am

It really depends on your type of travel. We are retired, travel often, domestic/international and can often go on a trip at a moments notice. We have compared prices and overall have found AAA/AARP benefits not to be of value and surprisingly have found their rates to be higher at times for hotels. We are in a few loyalty programs and we normally get better rates just by being a member, looking at specials, packages, last minute deals and by pre-paying rooms. Add to that the credit card points earned, we have benefitted from some nice discounts. As always, ymmv!

rotorhead
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by rotorhead » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:27 pm

Long term member of AAA here. Discounts offered by hotels, rental cars, etc, are OK; but we have it for the roadside assistance. If you're ever a long way from home with a major auto malfunction, you'll be happy you have it.

denovo
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by denovo » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:53 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:44 am
I do not have a Costco Membership? Can you provide details on your own experience with it?

My understanding is that they have really good car rental rates.


The car rental prices are rock-bottom , also cruises if that's your thing. I have not used them for flights or hotels though. I also note that AutoSlash lets you select Costco to help you shop for the lowest price.
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denovo
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by denovo » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:03 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:35 pm
I have started to travel extensively and expect to be doing a lot more over the next few years - by car, by plane, by ship, by foot.



Are AAA and AARP worth the membership fees, for any travel benefits, based on your experience?

There have been a few long threads on AAA. I honestly think it's a horrible service, but you can find opposing views on those threads. But what it comes down to for me is you can get emergency roadside service from your car insurer for a fraction of the cost of AAA and usually get the same or better travel discounts from other services, YMMV.
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RudyS
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by RudyS » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:21 pm

I find autoslash.com to be a useful site to compare car rentals. You tell them the trip details, and any discount programs you are a member of. They send (in a few minutes) an email with prices for virtually all rental companies. Links are provided so you can easily reserve via priceline. This is a specific reservation, not blind. I have never found better prices going direct to the car companies. You can verify the reservation through the car rental site itself. I've done this a few times and always very satisfied.

Live
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Live » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:28 pm

I have both AAA and AARP for different reasons.

AARP does have good car rental benefits but I agree that many hotel discounts are similar to AAA. Remember that AARP can be obtained quite early, I think at age 50, so one may not otherwise be old enough for senior benefits.

AAA covers road emergencies and makes me feel a bit more secure about the other drivers in my family. Has many discounts across many organizations. But I agree about AARP redundancy for discounts at hotels.

Costco car rentals sometimes beat the other options but sometimes do not. I typically use one of the travel discounters like Travelocity to identify the best car rental deal and then try Costco for comparison, but then try again a few days before renting to see if non-Costco prices have dropped.

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KSOC
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by KSOC » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:24 pm

Please add carrentalsavers.com to the mix of checking car rentals. I have used the Visa or MasterCard discounts for the last 3 years and find them hard to beat.

I recently booked a trip on Amtrak and was disappointed to find there are no longer any discounts for AAA or AARP. There is a Senior Discount for over 65.

AAA is my go to for hotel discount. I prefer the Hilton chain (Hampton in particular) & Marriott chain hotels.
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carolinaman
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by carolinaman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:51 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:44 am
I do not have a Costco Membership? Can you provide details on your own experience with it?

My understanding is that they have really good car rental rates.


I have done very well on auto rentals with AutoSlash.com


As well, I am finding that since becoming a fan of Uber & Lyft, I tend to rent vehicles far less often. Depending on the details of a particular trip. this can save a lot over renting a car.
Our daughter used Costco for an anniversary trip to the South Pacific and was very pleased with everything. I checked them out for hotels in Rome. They offered some good hotels at good prices, but I wound up at a hotel recommended by tripadviser experts. If you lean towards DIY and are willing to do the research, you can do better yourself. However, if you want someone else to do all of that, Costco is a very good choice.

Freefun
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Freefun » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:13 am

aARP members qualify for a large discount on Medjet Assist. Been using it for years.
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GAAP
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by GAAP » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:50 am

kayak.com to see what's available in general: airlines, hotels, etc. You don't have to use the site to buy anything. You may still have to use an airline site to see everything (Southwest Airlines, for certain).

https://matrix.itasoftware.com/ This is what drives the Google Flights search engine, but if you really learn to use it, you can find alternative flights a lot more easily -- there are some good tutorials online.

Roadtrippers.com if you want to explore an area -- also to plan a roadtrip, discovering points of interest along the way.

All of the hotel programs, not just the majors -- especially if you are truly on the road and not flying somewhere.

Depending on your travel style, perhaps Hosteling International -- not all of those hostels cater to college kids, and in some places the money saved and/or access to transportation are worth it.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:07 am

I first joined AARP when we found that a vacation hotel we were going to stay at offered discounts for AARP but not AAA. Besides that, Dunkin Donuts gives me a free donut when I buy a large coffee. I don't eat donuts but I have kids. Honestly, that's the only AARP benefit I've ever used.

We've used AAA for numerous hotel discounts, and attraction discounts (Busch Gardens, 2nd day free, Lego Land, 2nd day free, Lime Rock Park, $5 off each ticket, Southwick Zoo discount). It's sort of show my AAA card everywhere because there might be a discount. I've used auto services with AAA as well. One tow refund in a blizzard, lockouts for both me and my wife, change a flat when I was home from back injury. I do also get a decent auto insurance discount. I believe it's 3 or 5%, so even at 3, that's $60.
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goodlifer
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by goodlifer » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:27 am

I have noticed that I get larger discounts when booking online and choosing the pay in advance, no refund option instead of AAA or AARP. I have had AAA in the past and canceled when I realized that I could add roadside assistance and car rental to our auto insurance for about $10 a year. They would call the same towing companies AAA would call, so why pay more. I'm also canceling AARP this year. Like someone else mentioned, you get FLOODED with all kinds of "special offers" both at home and via email. I still get renewal notices and cards from AAA and I haven't been a member for several years, but AARP takes the grand prize when it comes to junk mail. I also use Costco for car rentals. The savings basically pay for my executive membership, a second driver is free, and I have noticed that we are treated better at the rental agency. I rent several times a year, so it adds up.

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gasdoc
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by gasdoc » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:53 pm

We keep AAA for the hotel discounts (Hilton Hotels) and Hertz discounts. Also, the roadside service is a plus.

gasdoc

Trism
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Trism » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:23 am

123 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:52 pm
So someone (!!!) who's a youngster not eligible for AARP membership
I've been a member of AARP (mainly for the travel discounts) on and off since my mid 30s.

If you are old enough to pay the membership fee you are old enough to become a member.

I'm not currently a member because I've gotten better at travel shopping in recent years.

Recent non-AARP travel booking: 3 nights at the Fairmont in downtown Chicago in early September for $199/night. Booked through hotels.com (their loyalty program gives you one free night for each 10 nights booked through the site) and paid with the Capital One Venture for 10% back on hotels.com bookings.

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Peter Foley
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by Peter Foley » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:35 am

While it has been a few years since our last car rental, AARP was better than AAA. Better than both if you are flying to the location is to tie the car rental to the airline. When I followed the airline's link to the car rental the rate was much lower than either of the above.

brajalle
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Re: AAA & AARP = Travel Benefits?

Post by brajalle » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:13 pm

I haven't seen these AARP discounts mentioned yet -
15% off Dennys
10% off Carabas, Bonefish, Outback, Rainforest Cafe (there's more, that's just the larger chains)
British Airways - $65 off economy, $200 off business (US origin only)

Someone mentioned MedJet Assist - it's up to 18%, which is pretty nice (can pay for your AARP membership many times over each year). Most people won't need MedJet ever in their lives, but if you're serious travelers you know what it is and why you need it already most likely.

AARP has sometimes teamed up with Walgreens for a free year of membership after spending like $15 at Walgreens - usually sometime in Sept/Oct. They didn't do it last year though, but had for several prior years. Maybe they will again this year.

For a decent discount on AARP membership, when you don't renew, just wait for the renewal letters. I think the best offer I've seen so far is $52 for 5 years, which seems pretty cheap if you even use a single of those discounts a year.

AAA (these may vary by state) -
10% off Hard Rock Cafe, Landry's
25% off full-price Papa Johns
Alot of other travel, auto, etc discounts

Note - For all of the above restaurant discounts, they sometimes don't apply to special promotions (ie Papa Johns deals & a few Outback specials I've run into).

As far as value of AARP and AAA - It all varies for the individual. Unlike many posters here, I've found that many of the hotels I've wanted to stay at only give AAA discounts instead of AARP. I've also found that in a few cases, you can get better discounts via other means (example - patient traveling to Mayo or Cleveland Clinic, many local hotels have steeper discounts for those patients than AAA). I think some of the higher levels of AAA membership can be uniquely valuable to people who commute or travel regularly in their vehicles or RVs. While many Credit Cards and Auto Insurance roadside assistance programs read like they provide similar benefits, I've read a few too many stories where they had a bit more trouble than AAA seems like it would have. Additionally, there's some (minor) AAA insurance benefits with their higher level memberships that may come in mildly useful. I still have trouble finding the value in AAA membership personally - we just don't travel enough, even if we do make 12hr round-trips monthly on average. Luckily my parents have a higher level membership, and added me - I chipped in the extra membership cost - we're all pretty happy with that arrangement. Once we start doing more traveling with a camper, I may upgrade to the highest level membership, but for most people, you have to carefully weigh the value you receive.

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