20 June 2011



For your local media contact visit www.AAA.com/Media

Jessica Brady, manager, AAA Public Relations, (813) 288-7294 office, (813) 532-5327 cell, JBrady@AAASouth.com


More than half of Tennessee residents plan to take a summer vacation of four days or more through September

TAMPA, Fla. (June 20, 2011) — Although Tennessee residents (55%) plan to take a vacation of four days or more this summer, more than half (54%) plan to spend $1,000 or less on leisure travel in the next three months, shows a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey. Tight budgets have many travelers searching for the best deals available, but for many that can be labor intensive and confusing. The use of a travel agent can streamline the vacation planning process by pulling together the best deals and offers, while helping travelers make the most of their budget.

Consumers who use a AAA travel agent to help plan their vacation can save up to 35 percent on average with hotel, rental car, and inclusive packaging. With the majority Tennessee residents (77%) planning to drive to their destination, the amount saved with the use of a travel agent can allow for more disposable income.

High gas prices aren’t expected to deter too many travelers, instead Tennessee residents said they will cut back on other expenses (43%), stay with family or friends (29%), or take a shorter vacation (25%), according to AAA’s Consumer Pulse™ survey.

“AAA travel agents are a real benefit to all travelers, not just AAA members, since our travel experts can help find the best vacation to fit anyone’s budget,” said Brent Hubele, vice president, AAA Travel. “Travel agents have access to better deals than many travelers can find online. Visiting a travel agent at a AAA branch is often times faster than spending hours searching for deals online, whether it’s booking a cruise or planning a road trip.”

Drive trips are popular this summer, despite the increased gas prices. AAA highlights Heritage Tours that are drive trips from one to four days in length with a key city hub as their starting point. AAA Drive Trips are also available to consumers and offer an overview map of the route, estimated driving time, mileage count, photos, detailed narratives, and direct links to hotel bookings.

“Consumers can download AAA’s TripTik Mobile app to help plan their trip to locate gas station prices and other points of interest, such as hotels, restaurants and attractions, near a user’s location or any user-specified location,” said Hubele.

AAA Auto Club South is the fourth largest affiliate of AAA, with 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle/West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety. 

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in AAA Auto Club South territory from May 2 – 5, 2011. A total of 304 Middle/West Tennessee residents completed the survey with 157 planning to take a vacation of four days or more this summer. The survey has a maximum margin of error of +/- 7.8 percentage points.  Overall survey responses were weighted by age and income to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Tennessee.


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