Besides saving on paper towels and generic-brand Grey Goose to fill bathtubs, you can use Costco to save on your next luxury vacation. Here are four tips for extra savings through Costco Travel.
Shopping at Costco can be a lot of fun, and it can help you pay less for nearly everything you buy. And, even better, it preserves the most valuable asset you have: time. After all, buying large quantities of household essentials can leave you making fewer trips to the store. And who doesn’t want that?
Wait … Costco has a travel site?
Crazy enough, Costco also has a popular travel site that works similarly to Expedia or Priceline. While anyone can use Costco Travel to search for trips and compare prices, only Costco members can book hotels, airfare, and Costco travel packages through the portal.
Not only does Costco Travel offer upfront pricing for hotels, cruises, rental cars, and more, but their prices can be significantly better than booking direct. Plus, many Costco travel packages come with a Costco gift card to boot.
Tips for booking travel with Costco
How much can you save with Costco vacation packages? That depends on where you’re going and when, as well as whether Costco is offering the best price for the package you’re after.
That said, it’s easy to find examples that show how you could save money with Costco Travel. Let’s say you want to take your partner on a getaway to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. Search Costco Travel for your dates in June, and you’d find that seven nights at an all-inclusive resort called Barcelo Bavaro Palace would set you back $1,480.08. You would also receive a $126 Costco shop card after you completed your trip.
If you check pricing directly with the hotel for the same dates, you’ll see that the same resort and same room type (Superior Room) would set you back $1,641.04. In this case, booking with Costco Travel would immediately save you $160 on your week-long getaway, and that doesn’t even consider the $126 Costco gift card you will receive to boot.
Splurge for an Executive Membership
If you’re not a Costco member already, you should know you can choose from two tiers of personal membership. You can become a Gold Star member for $60 per year, or you can become an Executive member for $120 per year.
The biggest difference between the two memberships:
- Executive members earn 2% back on all Costco purchases, including vacation packages booked through Costco Travel.
- Put another way, booking $5,000 in vacation packages every 12 months would net you $100 in cash back — almost enough to cover your membership cost for the year.
Always compare Costco prices to booking direct
Costco frequently has better pricing on hotels, resorts, and cruises, but not always. Compare prices with booking direct to know for sure. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take the time to shop around.
Be sure to factor in other benefits you get with Costco Travel as you compare pricing, such as gift cards or airport transfers. Many Costco hotel and cruise packages come with resort credits or spa credits, and these extras can make booking your trip through Costco a better deal.
Be flexible with your travel plans
Finally, getting the most out of Costco Travel requires flexibility, both in your destination and travel dates. If you’ll consider multiple destinations, hotel brands, cruise lines, and more, you’ll get the maximum amount of savings possible.
This is especially true since, unfortunately, Costco Travel offers savings on a limited number of worldwide destinations. For the most part, you can only find resort stays in destinations throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, French Polynesia, and Europe.
As you shop for travel through Costco, keep an open mind and consider types of travel that may not have been on your radar before. As you compare options and shop for deals, you can discover savings in places you would least expect.
Can you save money with Costco Travel?
At the end of the day, your potential travel savings through Costco will depend on where you want to go and when. Either way, Costco members should make sure to always check this portal before booking a hotel stay, a cruise, or a full-fledged vacation package.
While you can always use Costco to shop for things like toilet paper and giant bags of chips, you could be adding a dream vacation to your shopping list in no time.