(LOS ANGELES – April 25, 2011) – With summer vacation season around the corner and gas prices tightening many people’s budgets, the Automobile Club of Southern California has negotiated significant discounts and benefits with its cruise vacation partners and is hosting a one-week cruise sale at its branch offices.
Today through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 2, members who book selected domestic or international cruises and cruise tours at any Auto Club branch will receive discounts or shipboard credits of up to $150 per person, depending on the cruise line and sailing date. Additional member benefits may be available for select cruises and cruise tours. Sale prices apply to new bookings only.
“This week’s sale is a great time to lock in a discount price on a future cruise vacation or to book a last-minute deal,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “Travelers can choose from departure dates between May and the end of the year.”
Among the cruise lines participating in the sale are Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International, Andre said.
The Auto Club offers several tips for vacation planners as the summer season gets closer:
Do your research – or have someone do it for you. Those who want to pick up last-minute bargains should probably get in the habit of looking for them on a regular basis. Web sites like AAA.com have sections devoted to last-minute bargains, or you can ask your travel agent to alert you to your preferred deals. Travel agents are great resources for both plan-ahead and last-minute travel because they can advise clients of a good deal when it comes up. In most cases, travel agents don’t charge for their services, and using them can save you money and time.
Take advantage of special promotions. Rebates, upgrades and credits abound in the travel industry. Travel providers want you to book early, so incentives are more plentiful for “early birds.” The key to getting an upgrade or rebate is to know about it, and a reliable travel agent or travel Web site can be an excellent resource.
The lowest price isn’t always the best deal. Make sure before you book your trip that your travel providers have a good reputation. Take advantage of AAA’s lodging ratings, available to members in complimentary TourBooks® and on AAA.com, to make sure your accommodations are in a quality hotel, motel or inn.
Consider trip insurance for big-ticket vacations. An unexpected illness or tragedy can force you to postpone or cancel travel either before or during your trip. Trip insurance protects you financially in many of those instances, since most tours and cruises are non-refundable. Several levels of insurance are available – ask your travel agent.