Want a great deal on your next vacation? Don’t know where to go on your next family trip?
Well your search has ended. RSVP for the AAA Travel Marketplace and get the best prices on thousands of destinations.
Now in its 14th year, the AAA Travel Marketplace returns to the Putnam Club East at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., from March 3 to 5. The show runs from 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 3; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 4; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. And parking is free, by the way.
AAA’s expert travel counselors and more than 100 vendors representing thousands of destinations around the world will be there, answering questions and booking trips at incredible prices and exceptional values. Guests can expect on-site-only specials, giveaways, travel presentations and a free gift for anyone who books at the event.
Plus there’s a chance to win a seven-day trip for two to Hawaii, which includes airfare.
For a sneak peek at the great deals and special presentations, we spoke to Charlotte Nichols, director of business development and travel marketing at AAA Northeast.
Q: What Special Events Are Planned for the AAA Travel Marketplace in Foxborough This Year?
A: This year we will have seven theaters where members can attend presentations on destinations and types of travel that interest them.
And besides the chance to win a grand prize vacation package to Hawaii, attendees will be invited to swipe their membership card at places throughout the venue for a chance to win a number of special prizes and gift cards.
Attendees should look for the booth displays listing the best deals of the day and special offers we’ve negotiated with our travel partners.
Q: How Was Last Year’s AAA Travel Marketplace? How Do You Expect the Event to Be Bigger and Better This Year?
A: Last year’s Marketplace was record-breaking on many fronts – our expectation is to be slightly higher in attendance for 2017 as we continue to review floor plans, make adjustments to accommodate for more walking space and bring more tourist boards and destination information to the show. We encourage our partners to literally “open their books” and be ready to make on-the-spot deals and value adds for our members.
Q: What Do People Look for at the AAA Travel Marketplace?
A: Information, ideas, great deals, inspiration, knowledge and someone to talk to, face-to-face, who will assist them in booking a vacation. Our travel counselors have the expertise to recommend from personal experience as well as sort through the clutter of information to best suggest vacation options.
Q: What’s Your Favorite Part of the AAA Travel Marketplace?
A: Interacting with our members! Sharing in their excitement when they’ve found what they’ve wanted, just scored a great deal on a trip or perhaps finally hit a goal, such as visiting every continent. People travel for a variety of reasons. I love hearing the stories, and when they are happy, we’ve done our job. It’s truly satisfying.
Q: Any Cool Giveaways and Prizes in Store?
A: Yes! We have a grand prize – an air-inclusive vacation for two to Hawaii!
Make sure you keep your AAA membership card (or virtual version) handy for any of our prize stations or opportunities to swipe for entry into our special gift drawings!
Q: What Destinations Are You Most Excited About for This Year’s AAA Travel Marketplace?
A: Personally, I’m excited that my fellow New Englanders are discovering the beauty, culture and adventure in the Scandinavian countries. The nightlife, moon-like landscapes and geothermal waters of Iceland or the adventure, beauty, food and escapism of Norway. There’s also the unbeatable nine islands of the Azores. Just a touch over four hours nonstop from Boston and you are in a slice of heaven – it’s like Hawaii and Europe fused together. Green, lush, quaint, relaxing, the freshest seafood – a boutique-like vacation. Fantastic temperatures.
Q: Are There Any New Exhibitors You’re Excited About?
A: I’m excited about the new and emerging destinations and the new cruise ships that will be highlighted in the presentations. I strongly encourage attendees to review the presentation schedules ahead of time and plan their visits accordingly.
We repeat the presentations throughout the three days to help folks see everything they are interested in. We have found many people return later or the next day – we are happy to accommodate returns for no charge – just ask to have your ticket stamped at the exit!
Q: Which Presentations Are You Looking Forward To? Which Ones Do You Think Will Be Particularly Interesting for Travelers?
A: All of them! You will find me in the presentations throughout the event! I always pick something up from our presenters – and I’m a pretty seasoned traveler!
I’m really just excited about the variety of presentations we offer – from the mainstays such as cruising, family travel, Hawaii, national parks, Europe, Alaska, Caribbean getaways and the beaches and theme parks of Orlando, to the smaller and lesser-known like the Rocky Mountaineer rail tour. Here’s good tip that I find most folks aren’t aware of – the Rocky Mountaineer is a truly luxurious experience. You do not sleep on the train – you stay in beautiful hotels and the train is your exhilarating transportation from destination to destination.
Also, keep your eye out for Hurtigruten, which offers destination-orientated cruising experiences. My favorite is the coastal voyages of Norway. Imagine sailing from the northern wilderness, crossing the Polar circle on a trip through the western fjords of Norway, with 34 ports of call taking you to some of the most remote and awe-inspiring inlets of Norway. This is one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” journeys that I guarantee you’ll want to do again!
Q: Is the Travel Marketplace Only for AAA members? Do AAA Members Get Any Extra Savings?
A: AAA Travel Marketplace is open to everyone. Members do get the AAA member benefit with bookings – but in the rare case where someone isn’t already a member, we can offer membership on the spot so that they are still saving money overall and have all the benefits of membership! Winning!
Q: What Else Would You Like People to Know About the AAA Travel Marketplace?
A: We are in a great location and we have even more travel counselors available this year that can do it all – vacation planning from start to finish. We also offer passport assistance with photos, and passport forms are available to attendees. Major credit cards are accepted.
Here’s my tip for attendees: Visit booth No. 28 and ensure you sign up for the AAA Travel Club! Arriving soon! We are building from the ground-up a AAA Members-only travel program that will ultimately serve up customized travel product choices for you. There’s more to come, but do sign up to stay engaged with what’s happening, get travel tips and be the first to know about special opportunities.
Tickets for the AAA Travel Marketplace are $5 for AAA members and $10 for nonmembers. Save $2 by purchasing in advance online or at your local AAA location.