Travelers who planned to visit national parks and monuments this month are now looking at changing their plans in the wake of the federal government shutdown. AAA Hawaii travel experts can help take the sting out of vacation plan changes.
Experienced AAA travel agents are adept at changing plans to create a vacation alternative that meets or exceeds travelers’ expectations.
“When any event forces a change of travel plans, AAA travel agents can assist with viable alternatives that still fall within travelers’ budgets,” said Liane Sumida, AAA Hawaii general manager.
Some alternative vacation recommendations from AAA travel agents include:
- Battleship Missouri Memorial instead of USS Arizona Memorial. Visiting family and friends can still view part of the Pearl Harbor historical experience at the privately funded Battleship Missouri Memorial. The private memorial is now offering free interpretive tours on its pier overlooking the USS Arizona.
- Sedona, AZ instead of the Grand Canyon. A thriving art scene, luxurious spa resorts, and access to nearby state parks with numerous hiking trails are among the assets of this unique desert community.
- State parks instead of national parks. Most major national parks are located adjacent or close to state parks with similar terrain and hiking opportunities. The Woodall’s/AAA campground guides, available at branches, are a good resource for alternative parks and camp sites.
- A cruise instead of a land tour. While some U.S.-based cruises have stops at national parks and monuments that are now being rerouted to alternate destinations, international cruises are mainly unaffected (You can still get a passport application or renewal processed during the shutdown, according to the US State Department.)
Other trip planning resources available at the AAA branch at 1130 N. Nimitz Highway, Suite A170, Honolulu, include:
- AAA TripTiks – these are custom strip maps created for your vacation at the branch, or you can create and print your own at AAA.com/TripTik. They include information about attractions and AAA-rated lodgings and restaurants along or near your route.
- AAA TourBooks – these regional books give you great ideas to plan your itinerary and include extensive information about popular areas to visit, attractions and events. They also include complete listings of AAA-rated lodgings and restaurants with a price guide to help you budget.
- AAA Maps – Paper maps are handy for road trips and a fun tool for family vacation planning.
- International Driver Permits – In many non-English-speaking countries, an IDP is recommended for tourists who plan to drive because it provides a translation of your valid driver’s license for local authorities.
For more information about vacation planning, visit AAA.com or the AAA Hawaii branch, or call (808) 593-2221.