August 12, 2018

AAA Trip Tik Booklets

One of the services that AAA offers is a TripTik, a booklet that helps you plan your long drive to your vacation destination. AAA has been providing travel assistance for more than a century - so they know the best route to get to your destination.

Trip Tik Booklets

2002 - Old Travel TripTik

In 2002, I traveled from San Jose, California to Boston, Massachusetts. (Read my trip notes.) I used AAA TripTik to help navigate the southern route so that I could stop in the right cities and not miss any roadside attractions.

I remember sitting with an agent and walked through the trip. A few days later, I got a nice spiral bound copy of my trip with additional maps of my location, should I want to know more about the city.

2018 - Visit to Pennsylvania

This year we are traveling to Pennsylvania for a fun trip to Hershey Park. I thought it would be worth getting a new TripTik and seeing what has changed in 16 years - after all in the world of Waze and Google Maps, do you still need TripTik?

Short answer - it appears that Waze and Google Maps don't have to worry about AAA as a competitor. AAA TripTik falls short of expectations

Six Things I have learned

  • The 2018 version of TripTik is a bunch of pages of Google Maps with additional information on road constructions and Driving regulations.
  • When I made my TripTik this year, I wasn't asked any specific details about my trip. For example, we planned to bypass the George Washington Bridge and the Tappen Zee Bridge - basically, we didn't want to go anyplace near New York City.
  • I wasn't asked about when I wanted to take breaks. In 2002, AAA told me that they recommend stopping every 400 miles. In 2018, I wasn't advised on any places to take breaks.
  • In 2002, I was talking with a travel agent. In 2018, I was talking with a person at the front desk taking my order. Both the 2002 and the 2018 books are comb bound.
  • The 2002 book had interesting facts for example: "Boston (pop 574,300). Many scenes from the beginning of the Revolution were played in Boston. While preserving its historic landmarks, the city has maintained its position as governmental cultural educational and commercial capital of the state."
  • When I got my book in 2002, they walked through the book with me. They highlighted the trip and showed how to use it. In 2018, I picked up the book and was asked if I had any questions - I simply said that I'll look through the book and come back with any questions.

Should You Get a TripTik?

Since the books are part of the AAA membership, it doesn't hurt to get one made for a long trip. In the rare case that the car GPS goes out, at least you'll have a map available.

I think most people will just rely on services like Waze to give them the most up to date best route to their destination. Waze is adding additional information such as locations to popular restaurants nearby and local attractions.

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