May 1, 2011
By Kathy Dondzila
You’ve decided to really do it this year—fly the family to your vacation spot. Like most of us, you are looking for ways to keep the expense down without sacrificing the fun. AOPA can help you with all your vacation planning—from aviation services such as flight planning, airport information, and fuel prices, to non-aviation services offering hotel and rental car discounts and online stores with everything from restaurant coupons and discounted event ticket to gift cards, sports and leisure equipment, and more. These purchases can save you money and also generate support for general aviation. And there is no enrollment fee for any of these programs—participation is free as part of your AOPA membership.
AOPA’s Internet Flight Planner (AIFP) allows you to plan routes, view real-time weather maps, obtain FAA-certified weather briefings, check for temporary flight restrictions, and quickly file flight plans. AIFP features a route planner that computes distance, time, and fuel usage based on cruising speed and type of aircraft. Also, thanks to integration with AOPA Airports, another highly-valued AOPA member resource, pilots using AIFP have easy access to information on airports and nearby businesses including terminal procedures, fuel prices, aircraft services, vehicle rentals, hotels and more. AOPA’s Internet Flight Planner is free for AOPA members.
AOPA’s Lifestyles Collection offers discounts for restaurants and ticketed events. For instance, at the time of this writing, the Lifestyles Collection is offering a 60% savings on restaurant gift certificates and other $25 gift certificates for $10. Many other products can be purchased through this program and each purchase initiated from the Lifestyles page will generate support for general aviation. These are not just high-end stores—for example, if you were going to do some camping at your destination, you could buy fishing poles and a tent through Amazon, and some other camping supplies at Walmart. By linking to these stores from the AOPA Lifestyles page, a portion of each purchase will support general aviation—and you will pay no higher price. Check it out and see how it works.
AOPA’s Online Travel Program through Orbitz, offers discounts on airfare, hotel accommodations, and cruises, and the AOPA Car Rental Discount Program gives you a break on rentals from Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz.
If you are still debating which inviting destination you’ll visit this year, you can get some idea by viewing our recent Webinar on Flying Vacations. We highlighted some fantastic, aviation-friendly destinations both within the U.S. and across the borders. Special guest panelists from Pilot Getaways and Air Journey talked about some of the wonderful aviation-friendly places waiting to be discovered by you, your family, and friends. If you missed it, or want to listen, again, you can view the recorded Webinar online.
Questions? Give us a call Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) to talk about your vacation planning.
Technical Communications Manager, Kathy Dondzila, joined AOPA in 1990 and is an instrument-rated private pilot.
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