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AAA Savings Links

Automobile Association of America

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AAA is a decent discount deal for US travel, though you may do better with an ISIC card and hostel stays if savings is all you seek on US road trips. However, AAA offers roadside assistance, which may be the key to a successful road trip if you have to pay for towing yourself (there would go the budget).

AAA membership costs may vary; in 2008, a basic AAA membership in Colorado, for instance, cost $69 and came with four miles of towing, while a premium membership at $117 offered 100 miles of towing. AAA can also save some scratch on lodging (usually about 10%), though Priceline is also a good way to go if you've time to plan, and US hostels are largely extremely reasonable places where you'll also find like-minded travelers (i.e. have tons o' fun). And there's always Couchsurfing, which unites world travelers with free couches on which to flop.

Things you'll like for which you don't need an AAA membership: AAA maps are handy -- preset maps of some cool drives -- and the AAA triptik is a fun road trip planning tool (love playing with that thing).

Weigh whether a AAA membership is worth it using AAA's savings calculator and noting what a membership will cost you. A little looking may save you more in some cases -- as an example, Amtrak is 10 percent off with AAA but 15 percent off with a student ISIC card.

Note: AAA is also the place to get an international driver's license or permit.

Related: Road Trip Planning | Amtrak | Top 5 Money Saving Road Trip Tips

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