Thanks to AAA Travel, We Are Heading to Jamaica!

I am a pretty frugal guy so when it comes to travel, I like to shop for it myself. However, over the past few months, I just couldn’t focus on planning for our honeymoon (which is in July). We knew for sure that we wanted to go someplace tropical and that was about it. When looking for places to go, I always had questions running through my mind like these:

  • Is the local neighborhood safe?
  • Is it all inclusive or do we have to pay for food?
  • If we have to pay for food, how expensive is it?
  • Where do we need to fly out of and do we have long layovers?
  • Do they allow kids at the resort?
  • Etc., Etc., Etc

See how that can make someone like myself go INSANE! To help thwart off the straitjacket, we decided to go to a travel agent and couldn’t be happier.

Our Decision to Use AAA

As soon as I received my drivers license at 16, I joined AAA. It was a pretty easy decision for me as my grandparents were members for over 50 years (they now receive a free membership because of that) and my mother has been with them for quite a few years as well. However, when I moved to Texas for graduate school, I let my membership expire and I have not renewed.

When we were looking for a travel agent, I really could not find anything in the area that looked reputable. All of the local companies websites looked like they used a computer running Windows MS DOS to set it up. They also probably worked out their home which I wasn’t completely comfortable with. I then thought about my AAA days and remembered that they offer travel services so we decided to give them a try. The greatest part about them was that you do not have to be a member to use their services!

Our Travel Agent

When we got to AAA, we were immediately greeted by the receptionist. She told us that it would be about a 15 minute wait (there were only two agents) and we said that we didn’t mind. When the agent, let’s call her Pam, became available, she was was very professional and asked us the typical questions. What was nice about using Pam’s services was that she had been to most of the places we were looking at! She told us the places to avoid (ironically the ones we were looking at) and where the best deals were at. Of course, the best deals right now are in Mexico. We kindly said no thanks to that! Oink, Oink!

Overall, the experience was great and we are glad that we went. We ended up going with an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica that also has a “clothing optional” beach. Don’t worry, you won’t catch me there! 😉 She also helped us with the flight and got us a non-stop out of Baltimore. I would have never been able to do all of this on my own (without spending HOURS). The resort allows us to drink, eat, etc. as much as our hearts desire. The All-inclusive part just relieves the stress of having to watch every penny you spend on those things.

We didn’t make a decision while there (she didn’t pressure us at all) so we could go home and check stuff out on the web. I ended up searching for a lower price for the resort and could not find one. That was the deciding factor right there and I called back and booked. We even got a free one year membership to AAA out of it!

Have any of you had a similar experience with a travel agent? You like booking travel yourself? Tell us your story!

8 thoughts on “Thanks to AAA Travel, We Are Heading to Jamaica!

  1. Steve Rhode

    Great deal and have a good time.

    There are some fun things to do in Jamaica, like the zip line through the jungle. Wow!

    Just a word of warning, watch out for the drug scams. They are selling drugs everywhere on the street and some visitors have gotten a little too close and wound up shaken down by the cops. Last time I was there I was standing in front of a bank with a police officer with a shotgun next to me and this guy came up to me and tried to sell me some weed. Seriously. I just turned and looked at the police officer and he shrugged his shoulders at me.

    If you go to a Margaritaville down there that has a little creek that empties out on their beach. Don’t go in the water. That creek is more like an open sewer only the tourists don’t know it.

    Steve

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  2. Adam Post author

    @Baker – I think we will have a great time too. I actually cannot wait until you start posting about Australia. Are you starting a blog about your adventure or not? I think that would be great!

    @Steve – Sounds like you were all over the country! Things like you described are the reasons we are staying on an all-inclusive resort. We do not plan on leaving it either! I think we are just going to relax by the ocean, sip some beverages and engage in some water sports (that are free).

  3. Bible Money Matters

    I’ve been a member of AAA in the past for the roadside assistance part of the deal, but since my auto insurance now has the coverage built in, i don’t need to double up on that. I would consider joining up again if we were going on another big trip, like our cruise to the mediterranean last year. AAA trip planning and free travel guides can be invaluable for those big trips.

    Bible Money Matters’s last blog post..New Details About Making Home Affordable Program And Second Mortgage Modifications

    1. Adam Post author

      @BMM – I too now use the roadside assistance on my auto insurance as it’s quite a bit cheaper. You also have to remember that AAA is not just about towing. As you mentioned, they do travel services including discounts at hotels, etc. Those discounts can easily pay for the membership if you travel often. They also offer insurance, financing and more. It’s not that bad of a deal but it seems like their members are getting older and older. If they want to survive, they need to start marketing to the younger generation.

      @MLR – The travel agent didn’t even mention the DR. I wonder why? Maybe she didn’t go there. However, once she showed us the resort in Jamaica, we were satisfied so maybe she stopped looking as well.

      Even if we could get a cheaper flight out of Dulles, it would just be a big pain in the butt. We live about 15 minutes from BWI and it’s just more convenient. We are taking a cab there so we don’t have to drive/park. That should save us some money too.

  4. mccain blogs

    Thanks for sharing. Not all of us have been so fortunate with our travel agents. Being someone who loves to travel, i’m glad to hear that there are travel agencies that still go the extra mile.

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