Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The 'New Look' AAA TourBooks

A few years back, I posted a list of AAA TourBooks by state. For example, if you want the TourBook for Indiana, then you get Illinois and Ohio along with it - whether you like it or not - as part of the standard issue "Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio" TourBook.

Well, throw that list out the window! Because when I went to the local AAA office last week looking for the latest edition of the Alabama TourBook and expected to get an updated "Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi" TourBook, this is what I got instead:


I also got a Georgia TourBook in case we didn't make it all the way to Alabama or something last weekend, and thus discovered that Georgia is now riding solo rather than being grouped with the Carolinas like it used to be.

I think the theory is this. Most people probably just go vacationing in one place at any given time, rather than go crazy all over the place like we do. Your typical vacationer may not need tourist and hotel information for Connecticut and Rhode Island to go along with the Boston and Cape Cod stuff they're really interested in. So this way, AAA saves a little money by reducing the total number of TourBook pages it needs to print. Since any one TourBook covers less area, they are much smaller than they used to be. (Note - this isn't really the most dramatic comparison, because the old AL/LA/MS TourBook was one of the smallest ones to begin with.)


Another TourBook change: used to be, they would have tourist attractions in the front and hotels/restaurants in the back. Now, the attractions and hotels/restaurants are listed together for each city. (For example, Mobile attractions are immediately followed by Mobile hotels/restuarants, which are then followed by Montgomery attractions.) I think this makes more sense.

Does anyone even get TourBooks anymore? Or does everyone just do all of this stuff online these days. I get TourBooks more so for the road than for when we're planning at home. On many of our road trips, we never really know where we're going to end up, so having the appropriate TourBooks with us can come in handy.

Regardless of whether TourBooks are still "a thing", I know that paper maps are being phased out thanks to GPSs and the like. But today, you can still go to your local AAA office and get an on demand paper map of some random American city or state. Need a map of New Hampshire? Montgomery? Salt Lake City? BAM! They have everything you need right there in the office. Unfortunately, I think these days are numbered.

1 comment:

James Allen said...

I just got a South Carolina and North Carolina Tour Book for...some...reason. They are good for finding things to do if you don't know what to do.