AAA Travel Tips / Let AAA Help You Travel and Make Memories with Family

Let AAA Help You Travel and Make Memories with Family

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By AAA Travel Editor Sherry Mims
June 10, 2019
There’s nothing more iconic than a family vacation, not only in pop culture but also at a personal level—whether it’s a AAA TripTik-inspired road trip or even a staycation. In a survey “Family Vacations Create Lasting Memories,” conducted by Harris Interactive for the U.S. Travel Association, 62 percent of adults report that their earliest memories from ages 5 to 10 included family vacations, reflecting the long-lasting effects of quality time together.
Here are a few ways to recharge and reconnect, as selected by AAA travel professionals.
Two children feeding seagulls on a cruise ship deck
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Ask the Family Travel Experts
Travel with kids can be tricky, so consult a AAA travel agent for a plan to suit your budget and situation. Do you need something manageable for babies or children? Check out the family-friendly cruise vacations offered by AAA Travel. Then there are theme parks, which offer things to do for all ages. Adventure travel enthusiasts might consider these 10 Best Ideas for Family Fun in the Smokies or pick a trail from 8 of the Most Awesome Trails in America’s National Parks.
Tourists taking a cell phone photo while on vacation
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Capture the Moment
More families than ever want to share their vacations with others. On social media, one can expect 58 percent of those 13-18 to share experiences, while 58 percent of 18-34 will share them in some format, whether in albums, blogs or social media platforms, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Engage your family (and their followers) by picking some memorable sights to see. Are you looking for places to photograph? Check out a few of our AAA Editor Picks, such as Best Scenery in Savannah, Scenic Places in Orlando or What to See (and Instagram) in Nashville.
Grandparents Running Along Beach With Grandchildren
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Incorporate Extended Family
With the growth of all-inclusive resorts, vacation rentals and theme park resorts, there are numerous options for group travel, which means adding grandma and grandpa is easier than ever—and meaningful as well. According to the U.S. Travel Association, “Children who traveled with their grandparents on family vacations reported that they get to spend quality time with their grandparents (78 percent), they feel closer to their grandparents (60 percent) and they like to remember stories about what they did with their grandparents after they return home (65 percent).”
Downtown Orlando sign
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Pick a Top Destination
Picking a popular destination might be helpful in getting your group on board, and AAA estimates Orlando will remain a best bet based on bookings for June 1-Aug. 15, 2019. It makes sense, too, with Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort offering not only dining and entertainment but also convenience with on-site resorts. Rounding out the list of top destinations for Summer 2019 are London; Rome; Vancouver; Dublin; Paris; Seattle; Anchorage, Alaska; Honolulu; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
For some people, the place to stay is what makes the vacation, especially if there are on-site features such as game rooms or lazy rivers. If you need some ideas of where to stay, consult our AAA Inspectors’ top picks for family-friendly hotels. (When you book, note if you plan to travel with a baby and need a crib. Most AAA Inspected & Approved lodgings can provide either a portable or a standard crib upon request.)
Shopping handing over her credit card to a cashier
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Save with AAA Discounts
It’s easier than ever to save on travel, especially when the tools are right at your fingertips. AAA members can save 15 percent off on shows or sporting events and up to 40 percent off tickets for attractions or movies on Ticket Monster. If you plan to shop during your trip, look up the nearest Tanger Outlets, where you can present your membership card and save up to 20 percent on brands ranging from Adidas to Zales.
Then there’s the time-honored AAA TourBook® Guide. Grab a copy, or visit AAA.com/travelguides to learn about things to do in your destination. Specific ideas on free or affordable places to go can be found at AAA.com/TravelTips.
Two children looking at an exhibit in a science museum
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Stay Present
Try to carve out some free time, even if PTO seems like a no-go; 22 percent of parents who work say it’s been more than a year since going on a family trip, according to Project Time Off’s “The Work Martyr’s Children: How Kids Are Harmed by America’s Lost Week.” A day trip to a local museum, an outing to a park or a brief overnight trip are just a few ideas, but where you go isn’t as important as why. In the survey, some 61 percent of children say they want a getaway to include quality time with their parents.
travel insurance policy
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Think Practically
In addition to securing travel insurance, which can protect your family from the unexpected, be practical when it comes to packing. Remember extra clothes, snacks, toys and devices like breast pumps or iPads. (Check out our “7 Best Travel Tips for Families” or “The Best Quick and Dirty Tips for Traveling with Kids” for more on how to travel with kids.) Also think about what problems might pop up at a destination. At a theme park for instance, it might be necessary to check out height requirements, pack ponchos for rain or map out special quiet rooms that some attractions, such as Dollywood and Legoland Florida Resort, provide for children with special needs.
With just a little planning, travel with kids can go beyond a “break” and make lasting memories for the whole family.
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Start Your Next Vacation with AAA
AAA Travel provides peace of mind when you travel—before, during and after your vacation! Members enjoy the advantages of membership including exclusive benefits, savings, map routing and travel planning, plus additional travel needs such as AAA Travel Guides, TourBook® guides, passport photos, International Driving Permits and travel insurance. Your next vacation starts with AAA—your complete travel solution. Visit AAA.com/Travel.
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