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      19.10.2008 22:58
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      A great site for route planning, but also does breakdown cover, insurance and advice

      This particular site has become very handy for me to use especially for the route planning application it has within this site. Whenever i go away to a new place that i have never been to before i always type in my current location and the destination of where i need to travel to. It's really easy to use, it's free compared to me forking out for a sat nav and it's constantly updated and very accurate. You can choose several different types of routes you would want to take for instance the quickest or what preference of roads you want. It even shows you where all the speed cameras are and all those "blackspots" on roads.
      It's really easy to follow the instructions to what you are given and it even gives an estimated time for your journey and when you have four children like me who are constantly asking "are we nearly there yet?" then by showing them the map it makes them understand better that not all journeys are with 15 minutes of being in the car!

      It's not the only feature they have on this site. They have other topics/advice like; breakdown cover, motor insurance, driving tuition, events around the country, parking charges at airports, home insurance, and other financial services.

      I have not used this site though for any other reason apart from the route planner but that's because i've had no need for it.

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        21.10.2001 05:09
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        Gone are the days where you have to pay to have route planning software on your PC. Rather than shelling out your hard earned cash you would be better advised to pay a visit to the AA (at www.theaa.com) where route planning advice is totally free and fully up to date. The AA's route planner can be found via a box at the bottom centre of the home page of the their web site, amongst a myraid of other motor related links covering the vast array of services that this company offers. However, as this category is specifically about the AA's route planner, it is this aspect of the web site upon which I will concentrate. You can, if you wish, go directly to the route planner section by following this link: http://www.theaa.com/travelwatch/planner_main.jsp You will be faced with a page containing some boxes into which you should enter your requirements. First of all you can select from Great Britain, Ireland or Continental Europe from a drop-down menu, giving you flexibility to plan your journey whether you are staying at home or going abroad. As well as asking you for a start point and destination, you may also, if you wish, enter 'vias', which are places that you need to pass through on your journey. This can be very useful as under normal circumstances the selected route would not go near to these places, but using vias stipulates that they are places the route should pass through. It is also possible to specify that you wish to avoid any combination of motorways or toll roads, or to only use routes that are suitable for caravans or trailers. In many instances there will be more than one match for the places that you have typed. The site tries to second guess you, and tends to get it right most of the time, although there is a drop-down box to make changes if it failed to guess your selections correctly. Once you have checked that the details are correct, and have clicked on the yellow 'Proceed'
        button, you will be taken to a page that displays the results. As an example, I chose to go from Land's End in Cornwall to John O'Groats in the far North of Scotland, via my home town of Barrowford in Lancashire. This journey, according to the AA is 871.1 miles long and would take just over seventeen and a half hours. It is also likely that I would need to fill up with petrol a couple of times en route as well, although the site doesn't remind me of this! The instructions are very clear with details of all the road names, which exits to take on roundabouts and very detailed information for each leg of the journey. For ease of use, the journey is split into many legs - there were probably around 120 for the particular one that I looked at. Motorway services stations, if you opted to use motorways, are also clearly marked along the route, as are the motorway junctions that you should use. In addition to the details of the route, the site also generates a map. For longer journeys it is possible to zoom in and then print off particular sections in more detail. For example, you may wish to concentrate upon the last few miles of your journey, close to your destination, as this is usually the bit where most people get lost - me included! It is also possible to reverse the route, giving you details of how to make the return trip. You may not think that this is necessary, although many of the details for roundabout exits will be different and sometimes the motorway junctions you need to use also change for a return journey. For a free route planner this utility is marvellous, I recently printed off journey details for a trip that my parents took to the South Coast, and they found it extremely useful and very easy to interpret. The site is updated constantly as routes change, and the AA has a good reputation for this type of information. So next time you're off on your travels remember to ask the AA for your route planning advice -
        you won't regret it! {An original Dooyoo opinion © Blackjane 2001}

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          16.09.2001 19:05

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          Several years ago - the state of the art in route planning was to call the AA (if you were a member), tell them your route and a few days later a print out of a route would arrive in the post. Nowadays, you can now do this online at theaa.co.uk website. As far as I can see they are using the same route planner system as in the old days, but this works very well. The routes are detailed yet concise enough to be easy to follow, and give clear instructions which should hopefully prevent you from getting lost. The biggest bonus of the new online version is that in the past you had to be a member to get route plans, now anyone can use it, regardless of whether you are a member of the AA or not. It also means you can get more route plans than before, and get them when you want (if you want a route plan at short notice waiting three days is not exactly helpful). I have tried other planners, but the directions are not eas easy to follow as the AA's, recommended.

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          04.05.2001 18:59
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          I have been a member of the AA for over 20 years and have always been very pleased with the service I have got from them. The on-line route planning package is a terrific addition to their traditional services and one that I have used over and over again. This gives the option to print out a detailed route of your journey showing every junction or change in direction, so you should never get lost on a journey again. There is an option to enter travel route details on the home page (http://www.theaa.com) or you can click on the link to the travel route planning section. Personally I always click on the Advanced Route Planner link to take me to the route planning page. You just need to enter the name of the place you are starting your journey from, and the name of your destination. You can also choose to avoid motorways or toll roads and to display roads suitable for caravans or trailers. If you wish to travel via anywhere on your journey you can also add that choice. At this point you also need to state if your journey is in the UK, Ireland or Continental Europe. There is not an option for planning a journey from mainland Britain to Continental Europe. For such a journey you need to plan two routes. One in the UK and one for the journey in Europe. This is a little bit annoying, but if you were going on a long journey abroad then it would probably would be more convenient to have two printouts anyway. If there is more than one place with the same name, then on the next screen you will get a message telling you that and against the name that is duplicated there will be a pull down list to select the correct choice. If you are not sure which choice to select then you can click on a map request to see where each choice is. The detailed route is then calculated. The route you will be given will show every change of direction or major junction and I have always found the details very accurate and up to date. There are
          also totals showing the mileage and the estimated time for the journey. I have found that this journey time assumes no traffic and no stops. So obviously if you are travelling during the rush hour, or at any other busy time then you will need to add on an appropriate amount of time, plus any planned stops. You can then click on an option to show the return route and both of the routes have a printer friendly option. You can also see a map showing your route. You can zoom in or out of this map to show different amounts of detail. From a local point of view I know that a new road opened near us was included on a route I calculated within a fortnight of the road being opened. The detail and the accuracy that I have found from this site mean that I now regularly use this route planning service and so far I have not found any errors on any route. I can highly recommend this service.

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          31.03.2001 02:53
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          The AA's website offers the widest range of facilities I have seen on-line, including: Car Insurance (with 5% discount for on-line booking); Home Insurance; Travel Insurance; Motorcycle & commercial vehicle insurance; A choice of details on 4,000 restaurants across the UK; A choice of details on 8,000 hotels and B&B's across the UK, and book. Route Planners across the UK and Europe, It allows you to be a specific as using the postcode details for both departure and destination; Days Out; Events; Driving Tours; Personal Loans; International Driving permit details Buy books, and you can also Join one of the best motoring organisations in the UK (£3 discount on-line, plus free membership for an additional family member) Get roadwork details e-mailed to your home/work at the time you require. Lots of links and information on the right car to buy etc etc. NAVIGATION The site is easy to navigate, fast and very reliable. I travel frequently with both work and personal life, and have found this site to be a lifesaver, when requiring a route to a new location, and needing somewhere to stay. It provides a wide range of 'AA' rated accommodation that you can book through the site; The main disadvantage with this is you have to enter your credit card details prior to establishing availability and confirmed pricing. The site does however provide contact details for every listed accommodation, and you can therefore book direct, if uncomfortable with sending your credit/debit cards details over the internet. There is little more that can be added to the above list, but if you require any of the services listed above, check it out. OTHER BENEFITS In addition to the peace of mind of knowing you care covered for breakdowns both at home and away, there are a whole host of benefits available from joining the AA, including discounts
          at Little Chefs (until June 2002), and upon joining, the organisation issues you with an offer book providing free child places at Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds, to a wide range of discounts at attractions throughout the UK. Following their merger with parent company Centrica, I wouldn't be surprised to see it expanding further, give them a visit.

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          11.10.2000 03:29
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          I used the AA Route planner a year ago, when I first went long distance to meet someone from the internet. I found their planner very good. The only thing that would improve the service would be postcode to postcode, but I am happy with the service of town to town. When I first used it, I was a member, and it was members only who could use the planner. Now it is available to anyone. The route is very detailed, and they even list all the Little Chef's. I would certainly recommend this, if you are planning a long journey, especially since it is free.

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          29.08.2000 00:44
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          The automobile association home page has a variety of options for you to choose from. The information covers Joining the AA Routes and traffic information Finding your next car A hotel guide and booking service Breakdown cover Motoring and travel Insurance and finance News and views In addition there is a search facility to speed up the process of what you are looking for. There are special offers available for joining the AA on line (you can save three pounds!!*G*)and at the moment you receive a free Great Britain and Ireland CD Rom. The breakdown section explains how you can make further savings or get discounts although they do say that some of these are in the form of vouchers that you receive when you renew your membership. Under the motoring and travel section are some very useful links including the one taking you to a page where you can conduct a search to find out if a car you are interested in has had an official recall. This section also covers things like buyers inspections, fuel price reports and the cost of motoring. The insurance and finance section cover home, car, travel and motorcycle insurance and the finance includes both motor finance quotes and personal loans. The AA not only offer the facility of being able to search for your next car online they can also arrange financing for it. There are over 8000 hotels and bed & breakfast places to choose from in the hotel guide and booking service area. The routes and traffic information offer free routing from one area to another. It also offers information on places of interest that you can visit with maps that you can access. In this section you can also look up traffic information. I have used the routes section and found it useful up to a point. The timings and sections that are set out within the directions are helpful as they break down the journey for y
          ou. The instructions are clear and easily understandable and they are set out in a way that is easy for a navigator to follow. I would certainly use this service again if I was travelling to an area that I had not been to before. My only negative point is that it is good for large scale directions but does not give the finer detail required to get someone to a particular place within an area. Overall this site is worth a visit. It has a lot of information about motoring and other associated activities.

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          24.08.2000 18:20
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          Several years ago - the state of the art in route planning was to call the AA (if you were a member), tell them your route and a few days later a print out of a route would arrive in the post. Nowadays, you can now do this online at theaa.co.uk website. As far as I can see they are using the same route planner system as in the old days, but this works very well. The routes are detailed yet concise enough to be easy to follow, and give clear instructions which should hopefully prevent you from getting lost. The biggest bonus of the new online version is that in the past you had to be a member to get route plans, now anyone can use it, regardless of whether you are a member of the AA or not. It also means you can get more route plans than before, and get them when you want (if you want a route plan at short notice waiting three days is not exactly helpful). I have tried other planners, but the directions are not eas easy to follow as the AA's, recommended.

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          15.08.2000 00:20

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          Using the AA's route planner is totally free and easy to use. You don't even have to be a member of the AA!!! I used this a week a go and found it very good. Even giving directions from traffic lights. You can choose to avoid motorways, etc and can opt to have an in depth travel report or just a summary. The route planner proved to be very accurate and very simple to use, taking less than a minute to type in all the details needed to create a route planner.

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          02.08.2000 05:50
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          I am quite a seasoned driver as I travel 120 miles a day to work and back not to mention the various weekend mileage I cover through visiting friends (and nightclubs) around the country, so as you can imaagine the motorways are both old hat and a second home to me. Recently I have found that friends tend to ask my advice on motorway routes, regardless of whether I have travelled them or not, and I find I can usually give them fairly comprehensive directions through the use of a road atlas and then I found the easy way! Theaa.co.uk has one of the most detailed and useful route planners I have seen, and what's more it is free to use, even for non AA members. The site is easy to navigate, with the route planner, residing in it's own free routes section, covering not only GB routes but also Ireland and Continental Europe!. The planner itself works on the basis of a simple form where you enter your departure location and final destination, then you can also add options such as destinations you wish to travel via, and whether you want to avoid moroways or are towing a caravan. The final route which is produced is a step by step breakdown of the journey which not only includes the milage and estimated time, but also points out landmarks along the way and gives you an approximate milage between these! I find this to be a particularly useful way to navigate, especially for those who are not so confident in their navigation abilities and need reassurance that they are on the right track. The information is so comprehensive that it even advises when you should move into the right hand lanes of the motorway due to the left hand lane peeling off to another route! In addition the site also provides an excellent traffic information service, plus a tourist information program on places of interest. This is altogether a top class service, which is only to be expected from such a reputable brand, but nonetheless d
          esrves praise for it's first rate information. *** Update *** The site has had a new funky 'makeover' and also seems to work a lot faster... Still no wap version though!

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            23.07.2000 18:37
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            I have to admit that I'm not the most confident driver when it comes to driving in areas that I'm not familiar with. Recently, I've had to do progressively more travelling to new areas and, after the first fiasco where I was three and a half hours late for a meeting because I got so lost, was seriously considering giving up the car and going on the train instead. However, I found the AA's route planning website by accident when looking for a town centre map and thought that I'd give it a go and I have to say that it has totally taken the trauma out of navigating to new places. Its so easy. You type in your starting town and your destination and answer a couple of questions such as whether you want to avoid motorways and in less than a minute you have a wonderfully detailed map. There is really no way that you can go wrong with this. It picks out landmarks for you and tells you how far it is to each in distance and approximate travel time so if you don't pass the right pub within five minutes you know straight away that you have gone wrong. I have to say that I did get lost once (my fault not theirs - I was looking at the scenary in North Wales!) and got into a bit of a panic. There was a helpline number on the route which I telephoned and someone worked out where I was and what I ought to do to get back onto my route. What more could you ask for! The AA can include recommendations about places to stay at a range of prices and places to stop and eat - recommendations are limited to AA approved hotels/B & Bs but it beats struggling round trying to find somewhere with vacancies at 11.30 at night. The only drawback that I have found is that you do have to keep checking it which can be tricky if you are driving on your own but I stick it onto my dashboard with bluetack which makes it a bit easily to keep an eye on. Best of all, you get an immediate idea of how far your journey is and how long it wi
            ll take you. If you want it tailored to more specific requirements, you can telephone the AA and they will customise the route for you (I think this bit of the service is only available to members though) So I would recommend this to everyone who is making a journey to an unfamiliar destination. It takes the stress out of planning a route and they are very helpful if you get lost. Its certainly made my journeys easier and less stressful.

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              17.06.2000 17:02
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              An excellent site. It looks the business, and gives the user a comforting feel, in a big yellow AA cocoon. Navigation is easy, and apart from all the usual corporate stuff, it actuall helps you out with quite a lot of things too! Route and traffic information can be obtained for free. Just type in the area you're interested in and it'll tell you whether you'll be sitting smoking exhaust fumes or not! Going on a journey? Enter you destination and start point and it'll work it all out for you. There's also a hotel database if you fancy a stopover on the way

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