Summer Road Trips Extend to Fall
Summer Road Trips Extend to Fall
The final long holiday weekend of summer is here, but that doesn’t mean that road trip season must end with Labor Day. This summer, road trips reached the highest level on record for Independence Day as summer travel returned to pre-pandemic levels. AAA is already seeing high demand for fall travel with interest in wine trails and fall foliage tours. In fact, the Route Production department at AAA Western and Central New York is fielding unprecedented fall requests for Maine and Acadia National Park. That means there’s still plenty of time to hit the road!
Whether you’re a leaf-peeper or if you’re just looking to get away, there are a handful of tools I tested out this summer to make road travel more enjoyable.
Looking to squelch boredom? I had my doubts about “TableTopics” as I’m usually able to easily strike up a conversation, but these portable on-the-go conversation starter card sets did come in handy on a family road trip from Buffalo to Cleveland. With questions like “What’s the secret to being happy?” or “If you were given the opportunity to appear in a talent show what would you perform?”, not only did it make for fun banter, I actually got to know a lot more about my own family.
If you’re not up for conversation, how about Road Trip Bingo? It’s one of the many items at AAA Travel & Insurance Centers that make time fly on a road trip. The good old-fashioned atlas was also a top seller this summer as road trips reigned supreme. AAA also carries E-ZPass, which is the most convenient toll payment to avoid bill-by-mail from the NYS Thruway, which is now 100 percent cashless tolling. According to the Thruway Authority, Erie and Monroe Counties are among the highest bill-by-mail areas, and a missed bill can lead to hefty penalties and late fees. E-ZPass is available for purchase at all AAA Travel & Insurance Centers with a retail price of $25, which includes a $25 preloaded balance. AAA members can save $1.
Travelers on the NYS Thruway will also notice that ten service plazas are now closed for reconstruction as part of a $450 million project. AAA wants travelers to be aware that only gas services will be available at those ten plazas – restrooms and food and beverage services will not be available. AAA recommends that travelers use TripTik.AAA.com to plan road trips in advance and pre-determine rest stops. Taking this into consideration, along with CDC guidelines to avoid exposure to COVID, families should pack snacks and refreshments to avoid unnecessary stops on a trip.
My advice is to plan ahead to keep the driver pleased and well-fed. On a trip to the Jersey Shore this year, my husband said, “You let me eat chips and didn’t tell me you had beef jerky?” after realizing I had a bag of low calorie, high protein Old Trapper Beef Jerky in the picnic basket. And if you’re traveling with pets, keep their needs in mind too. Be sure to pack pet treats and fresh water, and use AAA to look for pet-friendly lodging at https://www.aaa.com/pettravel/.
Shoppers should also think of items that are convenient when arriving at their destination. If you’re a fan of coffee cocktails for fall camping, Cask and Kettle offers ready-to-brew pods with flavors like Irish Coffee or Mint Patty. Just make sure your fellow travelers know that they already include alcohol, and never drink and drive.
If you’re looking to stock up on grocery supplies for a trip, use your AAA membership to save on groceries. With over 200 new deals each month, including many healthy options, the AAA Grocery Savings Program makes it easier than ever to earn cash back on items you shop for regularly.
And you can use all your grocery savings on discount theme park admission and more from AAA!
Enjoy the fall travel and stay safe!
If you’re ready to take that road trip, feel free to reach out to a AAA Travel Sales Advisor! AAA’s expert travel consultants can help travelers plan their perfect getaway – simply stop by a AAA branch, call (888) 320-3163, or visit: