Advertiser Disclosure: Travel Freedom has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Freedom and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Travel Freedom may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
You’re probably familiar with the Costco brand due to how prevalent they are in many places. Costco is a membership-only wholesale store that sells things such as electronics, furniture, appliances, and much more. You can buy bulk products at a steep discount and it has become one of the go-to stores for many people. People pay a yearly membership fee in order to enjoy these discounts at the Costco warehouses. Anyway, we’re going to be doing a Costco Travel review. Maybe you’ve heard of their travel program, but maybe you haven’t yet.
Costco does allow some non-members to shop at certain locations but that situation varies depending on where you live. What we’re going to be talking about today is the intriguing Costco Travel program. If you haven’t heard of this before, then it may seem a bit unusual that Costco offers a travel program at all. This is usually a wholesale store so travel booking may seem a bit outside of Costco’s wheelhouse.
Today we are going to do an in-depth Costco Travel review. You’ll be able to learn about what the program offers as well as whether or not it is worth your time. This is a travel program that has some interesting features and you’ll need to really dig into the particulars to see if it’s going to work well for your situation. Read on and you’ll be able to learn everything about this program.
Costco Travel Overview
Those who make use of the Costco Travel program are going to be able to book themselves luxury vacation packages. The idea behind this program is to save money by buying in bulk. That is the general philosophy of just about everything that Costco does. If you’re a Costco member, then you’ll be able to take advantage of this.
Costco Travel sells these vacation packages exclusively to Costco members. You also have to be a current member who is residing in the United States. This works a bit differently than a standard vacation package booking agency. Costco is actually going to be using their expertise and position to negotiate the best possible price on the market.
Trained travel professionals will be helping you to plan and book your vacation. It will allow you to choose from many of the most sought-after destinations in the world. There are cruises, fabulous hotels, and much more. Costco offers travel packages that will guarantee you a quality vacation experience.
More Than Just Travel Packages
With Costco Travel you’re able to book more than just vacation packages. You can also book a few things separately. The two main bookings are for hotels and car rentals. I’ve found that Costco Travel often has very competitive prices.
Booking Rental Cars through Costco Travel
At Travel Freedom, one of our favorite places to book car rentals is through Costco Travel. Their selection is great and they often have the most affordable pricing. I typically will check both Hotwire and Costco Travel to get my comparison started.
Booking Hotels through Costco Travel
The hotel feature on Costco is lacking a bit. It seems that as of now, they only feature hotels within the Hyatt brand of hotels. It does although have very good prices on those hotels compared to the competition. Another option to compare when booking a hotel is Hotels.com.
Pros of Costco Travel
There are actually many benefits to making use of the Costco travel program. This is going to allow people to book travel in a very convenient and hassle-free way. If you like being able to take care of things quickly, then this way of booking travel is ideal. You’ll be able to enjoy simple 24/7 booking that is very streamlined.
Picking a location is going to be quite simple too. Costco Travel offers many great destinations that are all of the highest quality. For the most part, the offered packages are all going to be at big vacation resorts. The cruise packages are going to be booked with renowned cruise lines as well so you’ll be getting a proven travel experience that should meet your expectations.
To add to this, there are many great perks that you’ll be enjoying as part of the overall package. You should be able to receive free breakfasts, various tour credits, and Costco vouchers. This can all help you to stretch your money as far as possible. If you’re looking to book a luxury vacation without having to spend an abundance of money, then this is going to prove to be an ideal option.
You may even wind up receiving some nice perks such as convenient theme park tickets. If you’re visiting a location that is near an amusement park of some kind, these packages will often include free tickets to the park. If you were planning on going to the amusement park anyway, then this can save you some cash. It’s a nice little perk that will make the whole family happy.
If you pay with your Costco credit card, then things are going to be even better. You’ll be able to receive an additional discount that can help you to lower costs further. If you already have this credit card, then booking your travel through Costco Travel is an even more practical option.
One of the biggest positives about using Costco Travel is simply the cost-effective nature of everything. This is a good way to save yourself an ample amount of money. Travel packages such as this would likely be a lot more expensive when they’re booked through a traditional travel agency. Being able to go on a luxurious vacation without having to break the bank is a nice touch.
- It is a very convenient way to book your travel.
- Picking a location is easy.
- All of the vacation packages offered will be with large and proven resorts or cruise lines.
- You may receive special perks such as amusement park tickets.
- Paying with Costco credit card allows you to receive a further discount.
- This is a very cost-effective way to book a vacation.
Cons of Costco Travel
There are going to be some people that won’t find Costo Travel to be entirely appealing. One of the problems that you’ll encounter when booking travel through Costco is that the options are a bit limited. There are many good places that you can book vacations at but they’re all going to be large resorts or cruise lines. If you want to vacation at a smaller spot with a different aesthetic, then you may find the options to be lacking.
You’ll also be limited to one travel destination for the most part. Cruises may be a somewhat different experience due to the nature of going on a cruise. When you’re booking a vacation at a resort, you won’t have the option to book multiple destinations on the same trip. If you were hoping to see multiple places when visiting a certain country, this travel package plan may not be the best option for you.
Some users have also reported some issues with not being able to book certain activities ahead of time. For example, if you want to book a tour of the area, you may wind up having to wait until you’re actually there to do so. This may not be a huge deal but it can still be a bit of an inconvenience. It could be more of an issue if you’re traveling with many companions as you might have a hard time booking a spot on some tours.
Also, the fact that the tour packages being offered are so curated does limit the scope of what is available. A traditional travel agency is going to be able to offer you more options for places to visit. The trade-off is that you won’t be saving the same amount of money that you would if you booked a vacation through Costco. This is a good option as long as you go into things with the right expectations.
It’s also worth noting that Costco Travel only works with four different car rental companies. If you’re loyal to one of the other car rental companies, then this might not be ideal for you. You may also simply prefer another car rental company.
Finally, you should know that these packages do not include many extra expenses. Things such as alcohol purchases and dinners may come out of your own pocket. You need to make sure that you budget enough money to be able to have a good time while you’re at the resort.
- Vacation packages are limited to large resorts and cruise lines.
- You’re not able to book multiple destinations for your trip.
- You might not be able to book certain tours before arriving.
- The available vacation destinations are somewhat limited when compared to a traditional travel agency.
- Costco Travel only works with four car rental companies.
- Not all expenses are included in the vacation package.
No Need to Worry About Logistics
When you book your travel through Costco, you’re going to be able to book everything that you need in the same place. You won’t have to worry about renting a car once you get to your destination. Likewise, you won’t be buying your airfare separately. This is going to be a convenient way to buy the entire vacation package so that you won’t have to worry about a thing.
If you want to have the most convenient vacation experience, then this is going to be ideal. You won’t have to worry about handling the particulars. All you really need to do is pack for your trip and get ready to enjoy yourself. For vacationers who just want to unwind, this is going to be beneficial. It’s also great when it comes to allowing you to keep your costs low.
Somewhat Customizable Travel
Once you have booked your travel, you’ll be able to enjoy customizing your trip a little bit. The vacation package that you’ll be purchasing is going to have a basic itinerary that you can follow. It’s also possible to tweak little details to make them more to your liking. For instance, you can upgrade your room or try to change aspects of your flight if you wish to do so.
Being able to customize your travel experience a little bit can ensure that you’ll be happy with the vacation. The basic package that is being offered is likely to be sufficient for most people. It is possible to upgrade the flights to first class or to ensure that you’re booking a more luxurious room at the resort that you picked out. This isn’t a simple generic vacation package that has no wriggle room to make changes.
Also, once you arrive at your destination, it’ll be up to you to pick out what you want to do. You’ll be the one who is planning your activities. Most of the vacation packages will give you access to many things that you can choose to do. You might be able to take a tour of the area or you might even want to find a very adventurous activity such as a nature hike.
What you’ll want to do will depend on your personal tastes. This is your vacation and you’ll be able to determine how best to spend your time. Most large resorts will have plenty of on-site activities for you to participate in but you can also venture out into the nearby towns.
Alternatives to Costco Travel
The most logical alternative to Costco Travel is going to be booking a vacation with a traditional travel agency. Doing so is going to make it easier to book vacations just about anywhere in the world. Costco is going to have a somewhat limited scope in comparison to some of the large travel agencies out there. You should know that you’ll be able to customize your experience better at most travel agencies.
You’ll also be able to book a vacation that suits your tastes more perfectly. If you’d prefer to stay at smaller bed-and-breakfast accommodations rather than a resort, then you’ll be able to book something such as that at a normal travel agency. You won’t be limited to the resort experience or booking a cruise. If you like the idea of having more options on the table, then a travel agency is the way to go.
Our Costco Travel Review Final Thoughts
Depending on what you want, Costco Travel will either be a great experience or a bad one. If you’re looking to book a luxury vacation for a reasonable price, then this is going to be appealing. Costco Travel allows people to book vacation packages at the most competitive prices. It’s always going to give you a good deal and it’ll give you many top-tier vacation options to consider.
This isn’t going to be the most flexible experience, though. Sometimes it isn’t going to be the most cost-effective either. You could book a vacation where you stay at a smaller hotel and save yourself some money. It also might be more practical to pay with travel rewards points from your credit card or airline. This can make booking with another service a better way to go.
If you’d like to enjoy the most convenient way to book a nice vacation, then Costco Travel is a good bet. It just isn’t perfect for everything. This will give you an overall good experience but it isn’t going to be the only option that you should consider. Think about looking into various travel agencies so that you can weigh your options.