« on: April 22, 2011, 02:33:28 pm »
AAA and the America the Beautiful Pass seem complimentary.
When we needed motel rooms in the east, AAA typically saved us $10/night; in the west, I was told a couple of times that "Everybody has AAA, so the price we quoted you is for AAA -- and we can give you the same price without it."
On the other hand, the bigger National Parks in the east (Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway) have no entrance fees, so the pass doesn't save you money here. Go west, and you have to pay to get into most (if not all) national parks. Yosemite used to charge the full "car" price for each bicycle, although I've read they backed off that recently. (I wondered if it wouldn't be worthwhile for cyclists going into Yosemite to hitchhike through the gate, offering to pay the entrance fee if that pickup/RV could carry two or more bikes.)
It's not all bad, though. Hiker/biker campsites were available at Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier, and all of those were less than half price compared to drive-in sites. I think they were $5/night, or $5/night/person, a couple years ago.
You'll miss the fun of trading, though. A couple of cyclists flagged us down going into the Tetons, and had a 7-day pass that was still good for 4 more days. I took it, bought one for my daughter, and then we paid it forward with another pair leaving Yellowstone a few days later. Two chances to stop and swap "over your shoulder" stories with two-wheeled tourists!