Being a Costco member definitely has plenty of perks. Where else can you buy eggs, milk, a kayak, a pressure washer, and 50 pounds of rice all in one trip to the store? Aside from its bulk savings, Costco has several benefits for those of us who want to save money on traveling – enter Costco Travel.
Costco Travel is your one-stop shop for all things travel. You can rent cars, book vacation packages and group tours, and find discounted hotels on one site. The perk is that Costco Travel includes touches like free breakfast, upgrades, and extras like bottles of wine or spa credits. Also, there are often deals and discounts throughout the year, including free upgrades, Costco cash cards, and credits towards activities.
If you’re a Costco member and you want to travel on a budget, I will teach you about Costco Travel’s greatness.
- Trips with Costco Travel
- My Review of Costco Travel
- Costco Travel Packages
- Theme Parks
- Rental Cars
- Prices, Payments, and Rewards
- The Verdict
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. I paid for all trips noted below with my own money.
Trips with Costco Travel
My first trip with Costco Travel was to Jamaica in 2016 and now it’s my first resource for travel. In my quest to travel more, I’ve used it for rental cars, all-inclusive packages, and European trips.
|Trip||Cost||Details and Inclusions|
|Negril, Jamaica in December 2016||$5,006.94||– 2 roundtrip economy flights on American Airlines|
– 7 nights in a Beach View Suite at Couples Swept Away, an all-inclusive and adults-only resort
– $100 tour credit
– Club MoBay Lounge Access in MBJ Airport
– Hotel included shuttle from MBJ Airport to resort
|The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas in April 2017||$660.85||– 3 nights in a Luxury Suite|
– $46 Costco Shop card
– $15 daily mini-bar credit
|Paris, Seville, and Madrid in May 2018||$4,464.72||– 3-week trip to Paris (8 nights at Hotel Le Littre), Seville (5 nights at NH Collection Sevilla), and Madrid (5 nights at Mercure Madrid Plaza de España)|
– All hotels included breakfast
– Paris hotel included free bottle of wine and fruit basket
– Private airport transfers in Paris and Madrid
– First class train from Seville to Madrid
– Intercity flights from Paris to Seville
|Disney World and Universal Orlando in November 2018||$2,657.08||– 8 days in Orlando|
– Two-bedroom villa at Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas (Costco had a promotion for a free upgrade from a one-bedroom. The two-bedroom included a full kitchen and washer/dryer.)
– 2 two-day Park-to-Park tickets to Universal Orlando Resort
– 2 five-day Park Hopper tickets to Disney World
– Full-size rental car through Budget
|Cabo San Lucas – Marquis Los Cabos Resort & Spa for Thanksgiving in November 2018||$2,460.13||– 6 nights in a Junior Ocean View Suite (all-inclusive and adults-only)|
– $100 resort credit per room
– Shared vehicle airport transfers
|Rome, Italy in March 2019||$2,113||– 2 round-trip flights from San Francisco to Rome|
– 8 nights at Hotel Morgana (included breakfast and bottle of wine)
– Private airport transfers in luxury vehicle
|Disneyland in November 2019||$1,624.15||– 5 nights in a Studio Suite at Staybridge Suites Anaheim Resort Area (4th night free promotion) |
– Hotel included free breaksfast)
– 2 five-day Park Hopper Disneyland tickets
– $145 Disney Gift Card
– 2 five-day passes for Anaheim Resort Transit
I have also booked rental cars five times through Costco Travel. Costco Travel’s prices are always much less than on Hotwire, Expedia, and the individual rental car companies.
My Review of Costco Travel
Costco Travel Packages
Costco Travel has some of the best trip packages around. I usually use Costco Travel’s package prices as a litmus test for other website’s prices. Usually, I find that Costco Travel has the best prices, especially with all of the inclusions.
Easy Planning and Logistics
Most importantly, having all of the logistics on one itinerary through one site makes organizing so much easier. Several Costco Travel packages include airport transfers and intercity transportation such as first class train tickets or economy flights. Also, it’s simple to customize packages based on your interests, such as combining Ireland and London, or picking which Greek islands that you want to visit.
For example, the package to Paris and Spain made it easy to plan our first trip to Europe, especially in a time crunch. We originally planned to go to South Africa at the time, but we postponed it because the country faced an extreme drought. Since we already had the money saved, we decided to go to Europe about three months before our scheduled time off. Consequently, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to plan all of the trip’s logistics and activities.
Then, I browsed through Costco Travel and found an incredible package for three weeks in Paris, Seville, and Madrid for less than $5,000! The package made planning simple because it included smaller details like the flights from Paris to Seville and first class rail tickets from Seville to Madrid. Since it was my first time to Europe, I was glad to have it included in my Costco Travel package to avoid having to do the research myself.
For our flights to Paris and from Madrid, we transferred 120,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines for roundtrip flights from San Francisco.
In addition, I appreciate the perks that often come with the travel package. Seemingly small things like breakfast, bottles of wine, and activities can add up quickly and also require more time to plan. During our Europe trips, we appreciated having breakfast at the hotel before we started our day.
Likewise, in Jamaica, we used the $100 tour credit for a horseback riding tour in Sandy Bay. The original cost was $178 ($89 each), so with the credit, we basically only paid for one person. I haven’t found many other travel sites that include perks like this, aside from Southwest Vacations, which has limited destinations in comparison.
Before you book, compare the price of booking the trip’s components separately, including any perks that were included in the package. Check if the hotels or airlines have any sales that make their prices more competitive.
Dedicated Customer Service
Lastly, it is easy to reach a Costco Travel representative either before, during, or after your trip. I’ve had questions about airline baggage policies, Costco Travel deals, and even price adjustments, and the representatives were efficient and helpful.
For instance, a couple of weeks before our Disney World trip, I noticed that Costco Travel had a promotion for a free upgrade to a two-bedroom room at the Sheraton Vistana Villages. I originally booked a one-bedroom, but I wanted to upgrade because the two-bedroom included a full kitchen and a washer and dryer. I called and asked if I could take advantage of the promotion, and they quickly upgraded me with no questions asked.
Above all, the rare times that I’ve had an issue, Costco Travel representatives were extremely helpful. If you have issues during your trip, you can call the customer service line to assist (make sure you’re on Wi-Fi to avoid cellular charges).
Case in point, we ran into an issue flying to Rome where our arrival flight to London was late, thus causing us to have only a 30-minute layover. We made the flight, but we discovered our bags would arrive about two hours later. After some back and forth with the driver, we ended up paying €80 for a separate cab ride to the hotel.
Needless to say, I wasn’t excited to spend an additional €80 on a cab ride late at night and two hours after our expected arrival. After we checked into the hotel, I called Costco Travel and they quickly contacted the private transfer company and mailed an $80 Costco gift card to cover the cab ride.
Want to visit the happiest place on Earth or get your thrills on crazy roller coasters? Costco Travel has you covered! We’ve used Costco Travel to book trips to Disneyland, and to Disney World and Universal Orlando and loved every second. Costco Travel packages for Disney parks often include Disney gift cards, free room upgrades, and deeply discounted rental cars. You might also receive coupons, and fun freebies like lanyards, luggage tags, and pins. You can also customize theme park tickets like removing the Disney Park Hopper option or adding the Disney Max Pass.
I’ve used other sites to book Disney trips, including Getaway Today, but I find myself returning to Costco Travel because of the extra perks and the competitive pricing.
Usually, I skip booking the flights to Disneyland and Disney World through Costco Travel. I find better flight deals on Southwest Airlines, especially if I’m booking with my Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
Additionally, you use Costco Travel to book discounted Disney Cruises, Adventures by Disney trips, and the Aulani Disney Resort & Spa.
Finally, rental cars are Costco Travel’s sweet spot. I book cars primarily through Costco Travel because I rarely find a better deal somewhere else. Booking a rental car is simple thanks to the Low Price Finder. Once you select your pick-up location and dates, the Low Price Finder shows a graphic comparison of rental car companies and prices.
As you can see above, the Low Price Finder highlights the lowest price in each car class in red. You can also see each rental car company at the top of the grid, including its hours and location.
In addition, Costco Travel usually includes an additional driver in the cost and unlimited mileage. You can also add extras such as GPS, car seats, ski racks, etc. for an additional cost. Most importantly, Costco Travel does not require upfront payment. You pay when you pick up the vehicle.
In the example above, I chose a one-day rental car from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The intermediate car is $66 and includes unlimited mileage and an additional driver. When I checked Expedia, the cost is $73-81 for the same car class and dates.
Prices, Payments, and Rewards
Competitive Prices for Luxury Travel
And now you’re thinking, “Costco Travel sounds great, but it seems pricey.” Don’t let the initial cost of the travel package alarm you. You can customize each package by choosing your flights (including class), hotels, rental cars, and activities (if applicable) to fit your budget.
For instance, when I first selected the Paris, Seville, and Madrid package, the initial price was $8,710.56 for three weeks. This does not include roundtrip airfare.
Then, I chose different hotels that fit my budget. As a result, I was able to lower the price to $5,793.84 (for 2020 dates). The price is more acceptable when you look at all of its benefits and inclusions.
The package includes:
- All hotels
- One complimentary ticket to the Georges-Pompidou Centre per person (Paris)
- 2 tickets for intercity flights from Paris to Seville
- 2 tickets on first class train from Seville to Madrid
- Private airport transfers
Another example of Costco Travel’s competitive prices for luxury travel are trips to Bora Bora. Typically, a 5-night stay in an overwater bungalow can cost more than $6,000. And that’s without flights and transportation to the island! On Costco Travel, you can find packages with roundtrip and intercity flights, airport transfers, meals, and overwater bungalows for $6,500-8,000.
Keep an eye out for deals on Costco Travel vacation packages, cruises, and rental cars! They often have sales that include discounted prices, free upgrades, and meals.
When you book a Costco Travel package, you don’t always have to pay the entire cost upfront. Most packages require the balance paid in full 30 days prior to your trip and a $200 deposit. And Costco Travel does not apply interest either. However, your package may require upfront payments for airfare or theme park tickets.
Costco Travel accepts popular credit cards, debit cards, and even Costco gift cards (for certain packages). It also codes as a travel purchase for Chase credit cards that have rewards for travel category spending.
Also, it’s easy to cancel most Costco Travel trips. You can simply cancel rental cars online and call to cancel packages. Of course, if you booked airfare or a cruise, the company’s cancellation policy may apply.
Rewards for Executive Members and Citi Cardholders
Lastly, Executive Members receive a 2% reward for Costco Travel purchases. You can receive an additional 3% cash back if you have the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi.
However, I suggest paying for your travel packages and rental cards with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, or another travel rewards credit card. Unlike the Costco Citi card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred includes trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
Costco Travel is a great resource for travelers who want to experience luxury on a budget. While it might be more expensive than some vacation websites, Costco Travel is the secret to plan easy trips that include everything on one itinerary. From its extra perks, inclusions, and deals, to its excellent customer service, Costco Travel is the best membership benefit for those of us ballin’ on a budget.