Road-Tripping? Pack These Travel Tips With You!
Including how to save money at your hotel.
It goes without saying that a lot has changed over the years, including the appetite for travel. Now more than ever, people around the world are looking at travel as an essential investment—and many Americans are hitting the road for their getaways! The quintessential road trip is all about making memories, exploring new terrain and having fun. As you plan your next road trip, consider our top 10 travel tips to help you make the most of your well-deserved vacation!
1. Consider your travel companions.
If you’re heading out with family, consider having shorter drive days, making frequent stops and ending your day in the late afternoon rather than in the evening. Choose hotels that will be a welcome destination at the end of the day, particularly family-friendly brands that offer pools, hot tubs or water slides. With a shorter driving day, you can arrive with time to relax and enjoy the hotel amenities.
2. Research before you leave.
Have you ever arrived at your destination after a long day’s drive only to spend hours Googling what attractions to visit or which businesses have survived the pandemic? Researching these things before you hit the road will save you a great deal of time, ease stress and reduce potential frustrations. The more you know, the smoother the ride!
3. Be aware: Some things have changed.
The pandemic changed how businesses—especially those in the travel landscape—offer some services. While some of these changes were temporary, some look like they’re here to stay. Daily housekeeping services at many hotels, for example, may not be standard and may be by request only. While housekeeping staff may not be permitted to enter your room for daily standard service, think about requesting additional linens or garbage pickup when needed.
4. Enjoy the journey—not just the destination!
The magic in road trips is quite often found in the memories made along the way. Consider stopping at scenic lookouts, family-friendly attractions or a new place to eat. Sometimes it’s the smallest moments that make the biggest memories. And don’t undervalue the importance of rest. Stop at a rest stop and give yourself time to stretch your legs, rest your eyes and take any necessary breaks. It’s a good idea to stop every two or three hours when you’re driving for an extended time.
5. Take advantage of AAA rates.
Savings on hotel stays is one of the top benefits consistently noted by AAA Members, who can save up to 15% at Best Western Motels & Resorts: Book online or through your local AAA Travel Advisor. Best Western has been named the AAA Lodging Partner of the Year every year since 2008.
6. Disconnect. Don’t text and drive.
Few things are as dangerous as texting and driving. Put your phone down and consider using the “do not disturb” feature when you’re behind the wheel. Every day, distracted drivers kill nine people on average and injure more than 3,000 people in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
7. Leverage loyalty programs for added value.
Many attractions, restaurants, gas stations and hotels offer loyalty programs. Find the programs right for you and make sure your loyalty pays off. Consider planning hotel stays and other stops along your route with just one brand so that, by the end of your trip, you’ll have enough points for an excellent reward! The AAA Preferred Best Western Rewards program offers bonus points that never expire and are redeemable for free nights and more.
8. Don’t forget the snacks and cooler . . . and masks and sanitizer.
Stock up on everyone’s favorite snacks and drinks for an easy way to stick to any budget and time restraints. Consider a mix of both healthy snacks—like fruits and veggies—as well as special treats and sweets, like cookies and chips. It is a vacation after all! And as you travel outside your local area, COVID-19 protocols may differ from what you’re accustomed to. While many businesses have lifted mask requirements, remember to bring COVID-19-related items, in case they’re needed to keep your family safe and healthy.
9. Remember that a great day always starts with a great breakfast.
Did you know that breakfast is the meal people skip most? Don’t miss a good start, particularly when preparing for a day of driving with the kids. Look for hotels that offer breakfast—either complimentary continental, hot or from an on-site restaurant. And know that if you’re planning an early departure, many hotels offer a grab-and-go option.
10. Bring your dog along for the ride!
Many pets found new homes over the past couple of years, as people looked for companionship and comfort. With the prevalence of road trip travel this spring and summer, rest assured you can take your four-legged friend along, as many hotels offer pet-friendly rooms. Consider bringing along your pet’s bed, a favorite toy or a special blanket so they feel right at home.
Coming soon: Limited-time summer offer for AAA Members
Stay two nights and receive a free night voucher (max. 1).
June 6–Sept. 4, 2022
Visit AAA.com/BestWestern to register. Terms and conditions apply.