Orlando, Fla. – AAA says that with some advance research and planning, consumers can turn their daydreams about fabulous trips into unforgettable memories. Even in the currently difficult economy, it is possible to set vacation goals and achieve them by following five steps recommended by AAA’s travel professionals. Special deals and discounts available now for a limited time also make planning an ideal vacation especially attractive.
“The world’s most fabulous locations and experiences are far more accessible and affordable today than ever before, and in today’s economy many are true bargains,” said Betsy Sell, managing director, AAA Travel Services. “What has not changed is the need to work with a travel professional to select the right destination and discuss the important trip details that create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Consumers can go online today to learn more about dream vacations during AAA’s Virtual Travel Show at www.AAA.com/virtualshows . During the show, participants can interact with travel experts and fellow travel enthusiasts, see live webcasts, learn about the latest trends in travel, traveling tips and travel requirements, and explore dream vacation options!
Show times are anytime between:
6:00 p.m. and Midnight Eastern
5:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Central
4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Mountain
3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Pacific
AAA has been America’s domestic and international travel expert for more than a century. AAA operates the largest leisure travel agency network in North America and has unique relationships with the world’s most trusted travel providers, allowing AAA to offer exclusive packages with deals and perks not available elsewhere.
Five Steps to Making Travel Dreams Come True
AAA recommends the following five steps in achieving a dream vacation. They are:
1. Conceptualize Your Vacation
2. Research costs and financing
3. Develop a daily Vacation Plan
4. Equip yourself for the journey
5. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally
“By separating the steps needed to have a dream travel experience, consumers can more easily understand how they can make it happen and have the experience they were hoping for,” Sell said. “Although some fantastic travel experiences are the fortuitous result of a spontaneous or last-minute decision, most happen because they were planned for with the help and guidance of a knowledgeable travel professional.”
AAA Can Help Consumers Each Step of the Way
AAA club web sites at AAA.com, and local AAA travel agency offices are good places to begin gathering ideas and thinking about your dream destination. The aim is to identify several possible dream trips and begin filling in the most important details such as whom else would go, the best time of year to go to those destinations and how long you can be gone.
Researching costs and financing is an essential step. Considering all-inclusive cruises and resorts and other forms of package travel are good ideas, as well as using rewards points for airfares, car rentals or hotel rooms. Getting the best value for your travel dollar should be more important than getting the cheapest deal, AAA advises. There a range of options when financing a dream trip. These include credit cards and consumer loans, but investing in vacation memories can also mean opening a money market fund or putting money in a certificate of deposit. AAA offers products to help savers at www.AAA.com/Deposits .
Developing a daily vacation plan means researching the things that are special and unique about your destination or destinations and pre-planning enough of your trip to make sure every day brings delightful experiences and surprises. AAA travel guide books and other vacation planning tools can be a huge help. Knowing what to expect and how to budget time also cuts down on travel stress and fatigue. If you are traveling with friends or family, agreeing in advance on the most important parts of your daily itinerary can be a trip saver.
Equipping yourself for the journey means everything from having passports to personal communication devices. Every ambitious trip should involve a detailed list of all the things you will need along the way. The key is take what you really need, but not become bogged down with bags that are too heavy, equipment you can’t keep track of, or clothing that is never worn. Shoes deserve very careful consideration as well.
Preparing mentally and emotionally to really relax and enjoy a grand vacation is one area many travelers overlook. Rather than hoping to calm down and unwind after the cruise ship sets sail or your airplane lifts off, plan to begin your trip in the a frame of mind that will maximize the time you spend unplugged and untroubled. Taking care of as many of the big and little things as possible before you go and paying special attention to your sleep, diet and exercise in advance of the trip will go a long way toward ensuring a pleasurable journey.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
Nikki is a writer and editor for Do It Yourself RV, RV LIFE, and Camper Report. She is based on the Oregon Coast and has traveled all over the Pacific Northwest.