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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
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AAA: College Basketball Fans ‘Score’ Tournament Travel Tips

Villanova and Temple a road trip away for fans; be flexible, avoid scams.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 18, 2019) – The brackets are (just about) set and college basketball fans are anxiously awaiting tip-off of for their favorite team.  Though many fans will be glued to their TVs over the next few weeks, with many rounds of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments within driving distance or a quick plane ride, some fans are ready to travel to cheer on their team in person.

Local college basketball fans will likely be heading to Hartford, Connecticut or Dayton, Ohio to see Villanova and Temple, respectively, compete this week.

Local Teams

The Villanova Wildcats, defending National Champions, will head to Hartford, Connecticut to take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Thursday, March 21.

  • Hartford is a 200-plus mile drive from Philadelphia (3.5 hours) – a one-tank road trip.

    The Temple Owls will face the Belmont Bruins in an NCAA Tournament play-in game on Tuesday, March 19, in Dayton, Ohio.  A win would send the Owls to Jacksonville, Florida to take on Maryland on Thursday, March 21.

  • Dayton is a 500-plus mile drive from Philadelphia (8.5 hours).

“Whether you’re a die-hard Villanova or Temple fan or just a die-hard college basketball fan, the next few weeks will be very exciting, especially if you plan to take in the action in person,” says Karen Fisher, AAA Senior Travel Agent. “If you’re planning to travel to any of the game locations, whether regional or across the country, AAA advises travelers to consider all modes of transportation, consider flexibility to save money, and avoid travel scams.”

If you have plans to travel to see your favorite team, AAA Mid-Atlantic has some helpful tips.

Game Tickets

AAA Members save 15 percent or more on all Ticket Monster sporting event tickets. To purchase tickets, AAA members can visit and enter their valid 16-digit membership number at checkout to receive their discount.

Air Travel

The inventory is there, however last minute air travel is typically much more expensive.  Direct flights will likely be more expensive than connecting flights.  Know the options.  The sooner you can book the better.


Hotel options are plenty and available for all price points, however booking now may be within the non-cancellation period, meaning charges (typically one night’s stay) for any cancellations.

Road Trip

Depending on your destination, you could be planning a one-tank trip (Hartford, CT) or a half-day (Dayton, OH) adventure.  Before hitting the road, AAA recommends the following tips to get your car road trip ready:

  • Tire Pressure Check and adjust tire pressure, including the spare. Always inflate tires to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended settings - not the maximum pressure molded on the side of the tire.
  • Tire TreadCheck the tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into a tire groove with Washington’s head facing outward. The tread should cover part of Washington’s head. If any of the area above Washington’s head is visible, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.
  • BatteryHave your battery checked, especially if it is over three years old. Winter’s cold breaks down the battery internally and accelerates the rate of corrosion on battery terminals.
  • Windshield Wiper Blades – Worn, cracked or rigid windshield wiper blades will not adequately remove rain, grime and other debris that can obscure driver vision. If the wiper blades are sufficiently deteriorated, the metal wiper blade frame could contact and damage the windshield.
  • Winter Vehicle Emergency Kit – When driving long distances pack an emergency kit before heading out. Include deicer, shovel, ice scraper, sand or kitty litter (for traction), a blanket, extra gloves and hat, non-perishable snacks and water, and have a backup power source for your cell phone.

All AAA Car Care Centers in the Philadelphia 5-County, South Jersey and Delaware regions will check your vehicle’s battery and tires for free, even if you’re not a AAA member.

AAA Tips for Avoiding Travel Headaches and/or Scams:

  • Making your travel plans with a travel agent is a good idea, especially when there are so many potential scams.
  • Use your credit card when purchasing to give yourself a good way to have money returned if you need to cancel.
  • Read hotel/airline policies carefully so you understand what cancellation policies entail.
  • Call the air/train/bus company you will use to get there personally. Leaving your reservations and hard earned dollars up to an emailed confirmation number can be risky. Do the same with hotel reservations. Try to talk to a live person who can confirm what you’ve just paid for.

2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Schedule




Play-In Games

March 19-20

Dayton, OH

1st/2nd Rounds

March 21/23

Hartford, CT

1st/2nd Rounds

March 21/23

Salt Lake City, UT

1st/2nd Rounds

March 21/23

Des Moines, IA

1st/2nd Rounds

March 21/23

Jacksonville, FL

1st/2nd Rounds

March 22/24

Tulsa, OK

1st/2nd Rounds

March 22/24

Columbus, OH

1st/2nd Rounds

March 22/24

Columbia, SC

1st/2nd Rounds

March 22/24

San Jose, CA

South Regional

March 28/30

Louisville, KY

West Regional

March 28/30

Anaheim, CA

East Regional

March 28/30

Washington, DC

Midwest Regional

March 28/30

Kansas City, MO

Finalists/National Championship

April 6/8

Minneapolis, MN


2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Schedule*




1st Rounds

March 22/23

Campus Sites

2nd Rounds

March 24/25

Campus Sites


March 29/31

Albany, NY


March 30/April 1

Chicago, IL


March 30/April

Greensboro, NC


March 29/31

Portland, OR

Finalists/National Championship

April 5/7

Tampa, FL


*Brackets announced Monday, March 18

AAA Member Travel/Auto Discounts

AAA member benefits include travel and automotive partner discounts:

  • Airport parking with The Parking Spot who is offering through 3/31/19, 25% off with a Saturday night stay. Plus there is no charge for reservations (a $4.95 value).
  • Members can also save 10% on airport transportation with SuperShuttle.
  • Best Western: Members save up to 15% and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards points when booking AAA/CAA rates.
  • Hyatt: Members save up to 10% and earn World of Hyatt points when booking AAA rates.
  • Hilton: Save up to 15% at Hilton Hotels and Resorts
  • MGM Resorts: Save up to 15% and earn MGM Resorts M life tier credits when booking AAA rates.
  • NAPA Auto Parts is offering double the savings in the month of March. Members can save 20% off in-stores nationwide. Details can be found at
  • Shell & Fuel Rewards – Members can save $0.30 per gallon on their first fill up at Shell when they join Fuel Rewards at now through 4/30/19. With each additional fill up, members will save $0.05 per gallon through 12/31/19.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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