It goes without saying that a lot has changed over the last few years, including the appetite to travel. Now more than ever, people around the world are looking at travel as an essential investment – and many Americans are hitting the road for their getaways.
As you plan your next road trip, here are Best Western® Hotels & Resorts’ top 10 travel tips to help you make the most of your well-deserved vacation.
Take advantage of AAA rates.
Savings on hotel stays is one of the top benefits consistently noted by AAA members, who can save up to 15% at Best Western® Hotels & Resorts when booking online or through a AAA Travel Advisor.
AAA members are also offered special promotions. This summer, AAA members who stay two nights with Best Western now through September 4 will receive a free night for future fall/winter travel. Advance registration is required on AAA.com/BestWestern.
Consider your travel companions.
If you’re heading out with your family, consider having shorter drive days, making frequent stops and ending your day in the late afternoon rather than in the evening. Choose hotels that will be a welcome destination at the end of the day. Consider family-friendly brands that offer pools, hot tubs or water slides. With a shorter drive day, you can arrive with time to relax and enjoy the hotel amenities.
Do any research ahead of time.
Have you ever arrived at your destination after a long day of driving only to spend hours looking up restaurant and attractions? Researching these things before you hit the road will save you a great deal of time, stress and frustration. The more you know, the smoother the ride!
Be aware some things have changed.
The pandemic changed how businesses – especially those in the travel landscape – offer some of their services. While some of these changes were temporary, some look like they’re here to stay. For example, daily housekeeping services at many hotels may not be standard and may be by request only. While housekeeping staff may not be permitted to enter your room for daily standard service, think about requesting additional linens or garbage pickup when needed.
Enjoy the journey – not just the destination!
The magic in road trips is often found in the memories made along the way. Consider stopping at scenic lookouts, family-friendly attractions or a new place to eat. Sometimes it’s the smallest moments that make the biggest memories.
And don’t undervalue the importance of rest. Stop at a rest stop and give yourself time to stretch your legs, close your eyes and take any necessary breaks. It’s a good idea to stop every two or three hours when driving for an extended time.
Disconnect. Don’t text and drive.
Few things are as dangerous as texting and driving. Every day, distracted drivers kill an average of nine people and injure more than 3,000 people in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Put your phone down and consider using the “do not disturb” feature when you’re behind the wheel.
Leverage loyalty programs for added value.
Many attractions, restaurants, gas stations and hotels offer loyalty programs. Find the programs that are right for you and make sure your loyalty pays off. Consider planning hotel stays and other stops along your route with just one brand so that by the end of your trip you’ll have enough points for an excellent reward!
The AAA PreferredSM Best Western Rewards® program offers an upgrade to Gold member status and bonus points that never expire and can be redeemed for free nights and more.
Don’t forget the snacks and cooler … and masks and sanitizer.
Stock up on everyone’s favorite snacks and drinks for an easy way to stick to any budget and time restraints. Consider a mix of both healthy snacks – like fruits and veggies – as well as special treats and sweets – like cookies and chips. It is a vacation after all! And as you travel outside your local area, protocols may be different from what you’re accustomed to. While many businesses have lifted mask requirements, remember to bring COVID-related items in case they’re needed to keep your family safe and healthy.
Remember that a great day always starts with a great breakfast.
Did you know that breakfast is the meal people skip most? Don’t miss a good start, particularly when preparing for a day of driving with the kids. Look for hotels that offer breakfast –either complimentary continental, hot or from an on-site restaurant. If you’re planning an early departure, many hotels offer a grab-and-go option.
Bring your dog along for the ride!
With the prevalence of road trip travel this spring and summer, rest assured you can take your four-legged friend along, with many hotels offering pet-friendly rooms. Consider bringing along your pet’s bed, a favorite toy or a special blanket so they feel right at home.
Visit AAA.com/BestWestern to book your next stay.