(LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2008) - With summer around the corner and an Economic Stimulus Package check of at least $600 in the mail in May or June, travel options have suddenly expanded for many Americans. The Automobile Club of Southern California's AAA Travel has several suggestions for family getaways costing $600 or less.
"Travel is one of the best ways to create long-lasting family traditions and memories, and it doesn't have to break your budget," said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. "Southern Californians are fortunate to have several world-famous destinations within driving distance, which also helps to cut down on transportation costs to and from vacation."
The following packages can be booked through AAA Travel at any Auto Club office or online by selecting "AAA Exclusive Getaways," unless otherwise noted. Optional add-ons are Show Your Card & Save attractions that can be purchased and reserved directly through the attraction.
For a family of four (two adults and two children), $600 vacation ideas include:
- San Diego: Two nights at the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Old Town, San Diego Zoo admission, all state and local taxes = $564
Optional add-ons: Purchase SeaWorld San Diego admission at the gate and ask for Auto Club "Adults pay Kids' price and Kids are half price" discount valid from May 24 through Sept. 1, 2008. Price for two adults, two children = $147 (Certain restrictions apply)
San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park Best Value Package admission with Auto Club discount at the gate for two adults, two children = $104
LEGOLAND California admission with Auto Club discount at the gate = $10 off admission through Aug. 31, 2008 = $180 for two adults, two children
- Palm Springs: Two nights at the Best Western Inn, Palm Springs; Palm Springs Aerial Tramway admission; all state and local taxes = $208
Optional add-ons: Auto Club-discounted admission to Knott's Soak City Palm Springs and parking = $93 for two adults, two children
Auto Club-discounted admissions to the Covered Wagon Tour in Indio; includes a desert tour of local flora and fauna, natural oases and the San Andreas earthquake fault, plus a Western Barbecue dinner under the stars = $162 for two adults, two children
Magical Adventures Balloon Tour at sunset or sunrise; includes champagne toast for adults, appetizers, commemorative flight certificate with picture = $520 with Auto Club discount for two adults, two children
- Monterey: A two-night stay at the legendary Asilomar Beach Resort originally designed as a YWCA retreat by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan and adjacent to Pebble Beach Golf Course, plus Monterey Bay Aquarium admission and all state and local taxes = $480
- Anywhere: For a family of four or more, El Monte RV has Auto Club-discounted weekend rentals for as little as $300 and five-day rentals for as little as $600., excluding mileage and gas costs. Any Auto Club office can reserve an El Monte RV for you, or call El Monte RV at (800) 337-2156 and ask for the AAA discount.
- The OC: Any weekend in 2008 (subject to availability). Two nights at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa adjacent to South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Artscenter; lunch at Quattro Caf in South Coast Plaza; dinner at Pinot Provence; Sunday brunch at Scott's South Coast Plaza; spa privileges at The Spa at South Coast Plaza; and a VIP Passport of savings for shopping at South Coast Plaza. Total cost = $519 for two people. To reserve, contact a travel agent at any Auto Club office.
- Rails to the Rim tour of the Grand Canyon: Two nights at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, AZ; two dinners, one lunch and two buffet breakfasts; round-trip train transportation and park admission to Grand Canyon National Park; a Grand Canyon Rim motorcoach tour; two $20 gift certificates for use in the Grand Canyon Railway gift shops and caf car, and all taxes. Reserve online at the Auto Club's Rails to the Rim site, or go to any Auto Club office. Total cost = $566
- Las Vegas: Two-night hotel stay at the Luxor Las Vegas or the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, admission to "The Rat Pack is Back" tribute show at the Plaza Hotel and Casino. Cost: From $438
Optional add-ons: AAA members receive a free seating upgrade when they purchase a Front Balcony ticket to BLUE MAN GROUP at The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino (subject to availability).
Papillon Helicopters offers a 25 percent Auto Club discount on Las Vegas Night Flight Tour, and 20 percent off helicopter trips from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
- Wine Country: Two-night hotel stay and two-day Wine Country Explorer Pass providing free admission to top Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries, museums and tastings, plus all state and local taxes. Cost = $318 for the Best Western Garden Inn Santa Rosa, and $558 for the Napa Valley Marriott.
- San Francisco: Two-night hotel stay, admission to Alcatraz Island boat trip and tour, all state and local taxes. Cost = from $490 for the Radisson Fisherman's Wharf, from $578 for the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and from $589 for The Westin St. Francis.