The Bottom Line
In anticipation of this move from paid to free, the AAA tool has been enhanced. Thanks to sophisticated mapping, users now can get maps and directions even when they are unable to start with an exact address. Plus, they can pull up proprietary information on the 32,000 AAA-approved lodgings, which are inspected and rated annuallly.
- Free! Previously this service was exclusively for AAA members
- The most comprehensive routing service online and off
- Directions are more reliable than competitive services
- Calculates cost of fuel for trip, but not tolls (yet)
- Not compatible with in-car navigation systems
- First-time users may find the interface unwieldy (take the demo if you get confused)
- Users can plot trips with up to 20 stopovers
- Mapping options include fastest route, avoiding toll roads, scenic route
- Includes alerts regarding road construction, winter road closures, and traffic congestion
- Users can book AAA-approved hotels from the site
- Don't know an exact address? Use the drop down: It identifies locations of airports, attractions, colleges, hotels, more
Guide Review - Free AAA TripTik Travel Planner
Like many drivers, I'd come to rely on the Web for maps and directions. I tried free sites such as MapQuest but never found them to be as reliable or offer in-depth information like AAA. Routes often turned out to be circuitous, and roads did not always connect where directions on those other sites said.
I've found the opposite to be true with the AAA TripTik. And now so can you, without paying the membership fee, which ranges from $38-80 annually. In addition to maps and driving directions within the U.S. and Canada, the free online tool has information on:
- location and current fuel pricing information for 100,000+ U.S. gas stations
- 32,000 AAA-approved lodgings, with their diamond ratings
- 28,500 restaurants
- 16,300 attractions
- 7,700 approved auto repair facilities
- 6,500 descriptions of cities, parks, regions with attractions, events, and recreational areas
Note: AAA's paper maps, tour books, customized paper TripTiks, hotel discounts, and roadside assistance are still members-only benefits. The organization believes that as more and more Web users come to appreciate the value and reliability of the free AAA TripTik travel planner, they'll decide to join the not-for-profit corporation, which will enable it to provide even deeper discounts to members.