(BPT) - Spring has finally arrived and the warmer weather has Americans eager to plan their next vacations, from Spring Break trips to weekend and summer beach getaways. Whether it’s a solo trip or travel with friends or family, there are many things to consider when planning a vacation, including choosing the destination, lodging, transportation and more. For AARP members, a wide range of benefits and discounts can help you plan an affordable getaway and enjoy a trip to a new or favorite travel destination.
“Now, more than ever, Americans are eager to get back on the road, into the air and out on the water to discover and revisit the places and people that bring us joy. And this spring and summer there are so many options for traveling smart, safely and affordably, so you can make the most of every minute of your vacation time,” said Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, travel expert, JetSetSarah.com.
Here are four steps to consider as you plan your next vacation:
Step 1: Book your travel.
There are myriad travel sites you can use to book airfare, lodging, car rentals and more. Consider using the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia, a one-stop shop where you can book flights, hotels, rental cars and more to plan your upcoming trip. AARP members can earn a $50 Visa® Prepaid Card when they book a flight vacation package, which can be used for a fun family excursion or a dinner with friends during your trip. Vacation packages vary from flight and hotel, flight and car, and flight, hotel and car.
If you’re interested in train travel, which is increasing in popularity, Vacations By Rail offers itineraries for escorted train tours to the Canadian Rockies, America’s National Parks & Monuments and more, or independent train trips to the Grand Canyon, Alaska or the California coast. AARP members can save 5% on worldwide rail vacations, tours and select train tickets in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond.
Step 2: Find lodging.
Once you’ve decided on the perfect location for your next trip, it can be equally as important to find a safe and clean rental or hotel. After long days of sightseeing, swimming, hiking, shopping or exploring a new or familiar city or beach town, it’s nice to find a comfortable place to relax and unwind.
With over 900 locations in the U.S. and Canada, La Quinta® by Wyndham offers AARP members 10% off the best available rates so you can vacation in comfort and style while spending time with your loved ones.
AARP members can also take advantage of 10% savings at one of Holiday Inn’s 2,900 locations worldwide.
Step 3: Plan transportation.
It’s important to assess your transportation needs when planning your next vacation. If you’re flying or traveling by train to your destination, will you need a rental car? If your itinerary keeps you within a city or town with good public transportation or one that’s walkable like New York City or Washington, D.C., there’s no need to rent a vehicle. However, if you’re planning to do some sightseeing outside the city or town you’re visiting, like Las Vegas or a beach town, a rental could come in handy.
If you’re driving to your destination but don’t want to put miles on your personal vehicle, renting a car is also a good option. AARP Members can enjoy savings of up to 35% off with Budget PAY NOW rates when renting a vehicle from a participating location in the contiguous U.S. and Canada.
Step 4: Fill up your gas tank.
If you’re driving to your destination, don’t forget to stop at an Exxon™ Mobil™ to fill up your gas tank. While you’re there, pick up your favorite road trip snacks and beverages. When you link your AARP membership with your Exxon Mobil Rewards+TM account, you earn extra points every day on the things you already buy, like fuel, car washes and convenience store items, and 2x the points on fuel on member days. Every 100 points you earn is the equivalent of $1 in savings on eligible purchases. And when you become an Exxon Mobil Rewards+ member, you receive a 500-point welcome bonus — that’s a five-dollar value — after your first fill-up.
Regardless of where you go on vacation and how you get there, don’t forget to optimize your next trip by taking advantage of the benefits and savings available to AARP members. If you’re an AARP member you can learn more about discounts available for your next trip by visiting https://www.aarp.org/benefits-discounts/campaigns/roadtrip/.