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> Aspen to Steamboat Springs
> Save on train travel
> Save on home security
> Where are you going?
> >Did you know?
> New AAA travel blog
>Credit Gard program to end
> Getting the most for your insurance dollar
> Recycle old car batteries

Aspen to Steamboat Springs

Time for a road trip? AAA Drive Trips are free, detailed itineraries for recommended drive vacations all over the country. Each trip includes a map, estimated drive times and distances, photos and detailed information about the route. This issue's featured route covers 156 miles from Aspen to Steamboat Springs. It is part of the "Heart of the Rockies" Drive Trip, a 528-mile loop from Denver.

From Aspen, take SR 82 northwest to Glenwood Springs. From Glenwood Springs, travel on I-70 east to SR 131, then SR 131 north to Steamboat Springs. Drive time is approximately 3.5 hours.

Although Aspen has its fair share of powder days, some folks never make it to the slopes and just come to bask in the social scene. Four ski resorts round out this ruggedly mountainous area: Aspen Mountain is a haven for expert skiers, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass have enough diversity to challenge all ability levels, and Buttermilk satisfies the intermediate and novice skier. A shuttle service connects the four resorts.

Glenwood Springs is next on the route. Stop and soak at Glenwood Hot Springs Pool or the Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves. White-water rafting is popular on the nearby Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers. Hikers may want to venture 10 miles east on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon, where a steep 1.7-mile trail leads to Hanging Lake, a water-filled rocky bowl literally clinging to the face of a cliff 1,200 feet above the canyon's floor.

Steamboat Springs has been a winter sports mecca since Carl Howelsen, called the "Flying Norseman," introduced ski jumping to the town in 1913. The high school marching band performs on skis, and Steamboat Springs Ski Area offers challenging runs with 3,600 vertical feet. Although best known for excellent tree and mogul skiing, the mountain has lots of groomed intermediate runs. Howelsen Hill is the training site of the U.S. ski jumping team, and the Ice Arena features an Olympic-size ice rink for hockey and public ice skating August through May.

Find this complete trip and others at Choose "AAA Drive Trips" from the left menu.

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Save on train travel

In 2008, Amtrak reports, almost 26 million people traveled by train in the USA. That's the highest annual figure since the National Passenger Railroad Corporation started in 1971.

Amtrak offers AAA members a 10% discount on the best fare available at the time of reservation, if booked at least three days in advance of the travel date. For a complete list of companies that offer AAA discounts, see or call 877-244-9790.

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Save on home security

According to the FBI's National Crime Report, a burglary takes place every 14 seconds. Is your home protected? AAA has partnered with Brink's Home Security, a nationwide company with more than 25 years of experience, to provide members with discounts on home security services. Until the end of 2009, AAA members who are new Brink's customers can get a standard Brink's security system installation for $29, plus a free second keypad installation. That's a savings of more than $200.

Monitoring fees and other costs apply—call 800-45-BRINKS for complete information and ask about the AAA Member Premier Offer.

A monitored home security system can also result in saving up to 20% on homeowner's insurance. Ask your insurance agent for details of how upgrading your home's security features can affect your policy and premiums. For a complete list of companies offering AAA discounts, visit or call 877-244-9790, ext. 2054.

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Where are you going?

Each month, thousands of members visit the AAA Colorado website,, to plan and book travel. Here are the top four destinations members researched in January:

1. Denver
2. Colorado Springs
3. Fort Collins
4. Pueblo

1. Orlando
2. Phoenix
3. Las Vegas
4. San Diego

1. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
2. Cancun, Mexico
3. San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
4. Minsk, Belarus

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Did you know?

AAA's goal, whenever possible, is to get members back on the go instead of simply towing a disabled vehicle. Statewide, AAA Colorado's roadside assistance providers have a 57% "On the Go" rate. In some parts of the Denver metro area, it's as high as 74%!

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New AAA travel blog

Members now have a place to read and share the latest travel information online at AAA's new travel blog, The blog features travel experiences and tips from AAA writers, club travel counselors and other AAA staff-including personal stories from professional inspectors who approve lodgings, restaurants, attractions and campgrounds.

Readers can comment on blog posts, which are updated daily, or search the archives for a particular topic. Photos and maps are a part of each story, and special travel offers for members are often featured adjacent to the articles. Readers can also ask questions for response from AAA travel professionals. Links to AAA travel booking, mapping and reviews are provided. Visit today to join the conversation.

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Credit Gard program to end

AAA continually updates the products and services offered to its members. Based on low utilization, the Credit Gard program will be discontinued on March 31, 2009. This program allowed members to register their credit cards, so that in the event of loss or theft, Credit Gard would immediately notify issuing credit card companies.

This will not affect the use of any credit cards you may have registered under the program, but if any of your cards are lost or stolen then you will need to notify the issuing company yourself.

Please note that the Credit Gard program is separate from any payment or credit card information associated with your AAA membership. For example, if you are automatically renewing your AAA membership with a credit card, this payment method is not affected.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Credit Gard program, call toll-free 888-516-0786. AAA will continue to offer relevant financial products and services to members. For example, AAA offers two different credit cards, both with no annual fee and 100% fraud protection:

For more information on these credit cards or other financial products and services, go to the financial page at or call 303-753-8800.

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Getting the most for your insurance dollar

The current economy has consumers searching for ways to cut costs and save money. Fortunately, there are a number of proven ways to save on auto insurance. Here are six tips from the Insurance Information Institute for getting the most for your dollar.

1. Ask for a higher deductible.
With a higher deductible, you may be able to lower your costs substantially. Keep in mind that claims occur on average only once every 11 or 12 years.

2. Before you buy a car, compare insurance costs.
If you are in the market for a new car, get an insurance quote before you buy. Your premium is based in part on the vehicle's sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record and the likelihood of theft, so some cars cost less to insure than others.

3. Reduce coverage on older cars.
As a general rule, it does not make sense to pay for comprehensive or collision coverage if the car is worth less than $1,000. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the value of a car, or look it up online at Kelley Blue Book,

4. Buy homeowner's and auto coverage from the same insurer.
Many insurers will give you a discount if you buy two or more types of insurance from them. Also, you may get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. Some insurers reduce premiums for long-time customers.

5. Maintain good credit.
Your credit rating may affect what you pay for insurance, so keep a close eye on it. There are various Internet services that allow you to check your credit rating and provide tips on how to improve your score.

6. Inquire about discounts.
Companies offer discounts to policy holders who have not had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. Lower premiums may also be available for those who have recently taken a defensive driving course, those who drive a lower than average number of miles per year, or students who maintain good grades.

For more information on auto insurance, talk to your insurance agent or visit

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Recycle old car batteries

AAA Colorado is supporting Earth Day by again sponsoring a battery recycling effort. From Wednesday, April 22 through Saturday, April 25, used car batteries will be collected by a number of AAA battery service providers, auto repair facilities, towing contractors and Show Your Card & Save partners across the Front Range.

A typical car battery contains 21 pounds of lead, plastic and sulfuric acid, and improper disposal can put these toxic substances into landfills and groundwater.

The good news is that almost all materials in a car battery can be recycled and reused in new batteries.

"Ninety-seven percent of every car battery can be recycled indefinitely and stay out of our landfills, yet some five million batteries are not recycled each year," says Scott Soper, AAA Colorado's battery service manager.

For updates, including additional drop-off locations that may have been added since EnCompass went to print, visit or call 800-222-4357, ext. 8113.

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