If you're only using Costco as a place to buy bulk groceries, giant food items, and the occasional tank of gas, you're missing out on a huge perk of your annual membership. Costco Travel, first launched in 2000, is here to help members book travel at a discount.
Chris Hendrix, who oversees the buying decision at Costco Travel, told CountryLiving.com travel agents negotiate discounts for members and are able to add in perks like Costco cash cards, daily breakfast buffets, food and beverage credits, rental cars, and more. Fans rave about the cost savings and help that Costco is able to provide when it comes to customizing itineraries. Here's what you need to know before you start planning your next trip.
Do I have to have a membership?
Yes-to access Costco Travel, you must be a Costco member. Plans start at $60 a year. Gold Star and Business Executive members ($120/year) can earn a 2 percent reward certificate. Anyone can browse the site, though, so you can get a sense of what vacation pricing is like before fully committing.
Where can I go?
Costco Travel plans trips all over the Caribbean, including islands like Aruba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Turks and Caicos. They also plans domestic trips to Florida, Disneyland, and Las Vegas, and international vacations to Mexico, South Africa, Europe, and the Pacific Islands.
What kind of packages can I buy?
Costco Travel offers full vacation packages which include everything from flights to transportation to meals. A trip to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, for example, comes with tickets to the park, free meals for kids ages 3 to 9, a Disney FastPass, transportation to and from the park, and parking.
Or, visit the beautiful islands of Bora Bora (and stay in a water bungalow like the ones shown above!). Costco Travel has a five-night package starting at $4,000 per person. It comes with airfare, transportation, breakfast and dinner, and internet access.
Costco Travel also books cruises with lines like Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Carnival. Alternatively, you can book components of a trip, like hotels or rental cars, separately. One customer told The Kitchn they found passes to the Napa Valley Wine Train for $100 less than other sites.
As NerdWallet points out, most of the hotels and resorts are large, all-inclusive facilities-so, if you're more into traveling off the beaten path, this might not be your style. But for those who like having everything planned out ahead of time, Costco Travel services may be exactly your cup of tea.
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