Jim Rink (313) 336-1513
With the spring break season just around the corner, now is the best time to begin making travel plans, according to AAA Michigan.
Just in time to assist spring travelers, AAA’s Internet TripTik® travel planner, located at AAAmaps.com, links the auto club’s best-in-class mapping tool to anyone free of charge.
Travelers can now plan their driving route, obtain road condition information, find hotels and areas of interest and determine how much they will pay for gas along the way. Those flying can use the easy-to-navigate tool to get regional maps of their destination and quickly research hotels, restaurants and other points of interest they would like to visit.
Michigan travelers’ Top 10 driving destinations this spring (based on AAA TripTik® requests) are: 1) Orlando, FL, 2) Las Vegas, NV, 3) Nashville, TN, 4) Branson, MO, 5) St. Louis, MO, 6) Memphis, TN, 7) Atlanta, GA, 8) Yellowstone National Park, WY, 9) Grand Canyon, AZ, and 10) Denver, CO.
Michigan gas prices this spring are expected to be significantly higher than during last year’s spring break period. Motorists statewide will pay about $3.05 per gallon (as of February 15) for regular fuel, up 73.8 cents from last year.
AAA Michigan advises air travelers to anticipate heightened security at airports and allow extra time for check-in. At Detroit Metro Airport, travelers can call the airport 24-hour parking hotline (800) 642-1978 to determine parking status or visit the Detroit Metro Airport Web site at www.metroairport.com.
U.S. citizens traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda are required to present a valid passport. For more information and safety tips, passengers can check http://travel.state.gov and http://www.tsa.gov/ . Budget-conscious travel
For those traveling on a budget, AAA travel agents offer the following travel tips:
- Be flexible with travel dates; be willing to travel midweek versus the weekend.
- Travel during off-peak seasons.
- Book your trip early.
- Check on reduced airfares if booking a hotel or car rental at the same time.
- Investigate the costs of staying offsite versus onsite for theme parks.
- If flying try alternate airports.
- Pack snacks in a suitcase that can serve as a quick lunch.
- Review your insurance policies prior to departure to determine if you need to purchase extra coverage.
For added value, consumers might consider taking advantage of the services of a travel agent. “Travel agents are professionals who provide value by helping consumers cut through the clutter and save time and money,” said Claire Lockley, vice president of Travel for The Auto Club Group. “They also act as travel counselors, offering personal service for their clients.”
According to Lockley, competitive pricing in the cruise industry has made cruising more affordable than ever. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the cruise industry organization for 24 member cruise lines and 16,000 travel agency members, has predicted a record year for 2008, with its member lines projected to carry 12.8 million passengers.
To ensure highway safety this spring, AAA Michigan advises motorists and passengers to buckle up, with children properly secured in age-appropriate child safety seats or booster seats. Avoid alcohol, take frequent breaks and stay alert at the wheel.
More Spring Break articles:
Top 10 Spring Destinations
Tips For Student Travelers
Travel Bargains Often Scams
Ten Tips For Cruise Ships
Avoid Costly Pothole Encounters