Common Cents
Jul/Aug 2008 Issue
AAA survey looks at vacation costs

According to the 2008 edition of AAA’s Annual Vacation Costs Survey, the recommended travel budget for two adults traveling together in North America is $244 per day for lodging and meals. The average cost for lodging is $164 per night. Plan on spending about $80 a day on meals, exclusive of beverages and gratuities.

However, there are ways to whittle down your vacation budget.

“While you can expect higher lodging rates in metropolitan areas and during peak travel seasons, travelers can save by making advance reservations and taking advantage of discounts,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA Tourism Information Development.

The survey also ranked the least to most expensive states, with Arkansas among the top 10 least expensive. Two adults can plan to spend $186.09 per day for lodging and meals.

Other affordable Southern states include Mississippi ($187.33 per day) and Alabama ($180.75 per day). North Dakota, with a daily cost of $158.75, is the most affordable state for vacations. Hawaii, at $792.76 per day, is the most expensive state.

AAA has been tracking vacation costs since 1950 when the average daily cost for lodging and meals was $13.

AAA unveils credit card

A new credit card from AAA combines user friendliness with unlimited points earned on everyday purchases, including gas.

The AAA credit card with WorldPoints® Rewards has no annual fee, a low annual percentage rate and 24-hour account access. Cardholders can earn one point for every $1 in net retail purchases for items like groceries or ongoing monthly bills. Double the points for every $2 spent on gas. Redeem points for travel (with no blackout dates), cash, merchandise or gift cards.

Access MyConcierge, a personal assistant service, and find the best seats at concerts or sporting events–even if it’s sold out. Get restaurant recommendations and reservations, too. Redeem Ultimate Access rewards and get high-demand event tickets, VIP access to special events and other luxury services.

For details, call (866) 665-3581 or visit

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