Before we dive into that, it’s important to note the differences between Costco’s TWO non-business memberships, what the annual costs are per membership, and what travel benefits are included.
Either plan gives you access to Costco Travel services, but you’ll receive a 2% cash back bonus as an Executive memberon your first $50,040 in annual Costco and Costco Travel purchases. So if you max out the bonus, you’ll get up to a $1,000 certificate to spend on any Costco or Costco Travel purchase the next year.
While Costco Travel may seem like an obvious choice for Costco members when booking a vacay, it may not be the best option for every getaway. However, if you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, need to hit the road and drive to Florida, or just want to watch whales from an Alaskan cruise ship, Costco Travel offers great deals!
Check out the 3 best reasons to use Costco Travel:
Costco Travel’s daily car rental rates are some of the lowest you’ll find online. And if you’re going to have an additional driver, Costco Travel waives the extra driver fees (as an idea, most agencies charge an extra ~$12 per day for additional drivers). The only downside is that you can only book from the following car rental agencies.
BUT, if you’re planning on booking from one of these four agencies anyway, Costco Travel almost always offers the best rate. Plus, you can conveniently compare the prices of all four agencies on one page after entering your travel information. And, select agencies even offer bonus Costco Cash Cards from time to time!
As just an idea, a 1-week economy car rental from Alamo was around $304 with taxes and fees on the Costco Travel website. However, when booking directly on Alamo.com, the same size car for the same travel dates was approximately $342 – that’s a savings of $38! And remember, you’ll pay an additional $12/day for any extra drivers you add on through the agency itself.
Costco Travel specializes in vacation packages for theme parks and destinations to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, and other locations. However, we found that Costco Travel’s Hawaii and theme park packages (hello, Disney!) offered some of the most competitive deals! Keep reading to see what we mean.
As just ONE idea, a Melia Orlando Suite Hotel at Celebration Package with Disney World Tickets for a family of four with September 2019 travel dates came to around $3,650 from Costco Travel.
This package includes round-trip airfare, a two-bedroom hotel suite (parking, shuttle, and fees included), $49 bonus Costco Cash Card, full size Budget car rental, AND 5-Day Disney Theme Park Tickets with Park Hopper Option! Note that your total package price will vary based on where you are flying from and the dates you choose.
If you were to book each of these deals separately, here’s what the cost would look like for the same travel dates and similar hotel room, car rental, airfare, and Disney World tickets. Do the math! 😱
- Melia Orlando Suite Hotel: $630
- Budget Car Rental: $115
- United Airlines Airfare: $1,456
- Disney Tickets with Park Hopper: $2,050
- TOTAL = $4,251 (vs. $3,650 from Costco Travel)
Ready to cruise? Costco Travel offers various package deals with 12 of the most popular cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney – just to name a few). Plus, they offer competitive prices as if you were to book directly through the cruise line or from a third-party booking site like Priceline or Expedia!
Even better, they offer added perks like Costco Cash Cards or shipboard credit with every sailing. They also have Kirkland Signature and Buyer’s Choice sailings for exclusive events and amenities.
As just one idea, I compared prices for a 3-night Disney Cruise for 2 adults and 2 children (age 10 and under) with October 4-7, 2019 travel dates, round-trip cruise to/from Port Canaveral, Florida, and a deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah.
Here’s the price breakdown for the same trip from several agencies:
- 🏆 Costco Travel: $3,003 including taxes & fees (AND $215 Costco Cash Card)
- Disney Cruise Line: $3,198 including taxes & fees
- Expedia: $3,198 including taxes & fees
- Priceline: $3,210 including taxes & fees
NOTE: According to an online agent, the price of any cruise through Costco Travel includes the cost of your cabin, selected meals, selected beverages, entertainment onboard the ship, taxes, port charges, and use of many of the amenities onboard. Pricing does not include mandatory gratuities.
As always, prices and availability will vary, so be sure to do your own research based on where you live and where you’re wanting to travel. This is just an idea and not a definitive guide on the only ways to use Costco Travel.