Budget Travelers are not known for buying extras. Trust me, I usually never buy extra insurance or any kind of extended warranty.
Here is an exception though worth looking at. AAA has one product, AAA Premier, that's been a must have in my household for years. Believe it or not, it's their most expensive coverage. People who can benefit the most from it, skip it. They don't realize the true value it brings to Road Trippers that own older cars or travel with others that do.
Most travelers think of AAA and their discounts for hotels and attractions. Also, they think of their books and maps. Those things though are not what makes the Premier Coverage valuable. Those discounts can usually be found other places. And their guides and maps can be checked out at a library. What makes the Premier coverage valuable is the longer distance towing, plain and simple. It covers the member, not a particular car. The only requirements are that the car be licensed and the member be with the vehicle at the time of service.
If you purchase a Premier Membership, it costs about $126. You can buy extra family memberships for half that amount or less, depending on what sale they offer. The coverage entitles the member to 4 free uses. Those uses include tows, locksmith service, and fuel delivery. The towing on the Premier Membership is very generous. One use can be up to 200 miles. The other three uses can be up to 100 miles each. If you break down within those limits on a trip, you can tow the car home or to a home mechanic. A lot better than towing it to an unknown mechanic or fixing the car by the side of the road. Even if you are out of range of home, you can still tow the car to any mechanic within 200 miles(for one use) or 100 miles for the other uses. You also can get a ride from the tow truck driver as well.
I'll give you my personal story for 2013 to show how I've used the coverage and why it's been so valuable on my trip. Other years have been similar.
My son bought 2 memberships in June during a sale. One as a gift to me. He paid $150.00 in total for both.
In July we towed two cars when he moved to Jacksonville. A distance of 26 miles away. We used one use each of our coverage for those tows.
Then in August I used the service twice while I was in Tampa.The first was that I needed a locksmith after breaking my key in the door. The next use was my car was giving me trouble so I decided to tow it to Jacksonville,199.3 miles away. I even got a ride back. Even after all that use, I still have one use left. And my son has 3 uses left.
I think it would qualify as a true travel bargain. They do have trip interruption coverage included too but I have yet to use it. If I do, I'll follow this up.
Please share your feedback too. I'm curious if others are using AAA the same way as I have.