When it comes to savings, Costco members have it all. Beyond major discounts on food, electronics, furniture and much more, there’s an often overlooked avenue of bargains all deal hunters should know about. Enter the retailer’s unbeatable travel deals.
And with the world opening back up, there’s no better time to learn of this hidden gem. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly all-inclusive vacation for your squad or an affordable rental car to finalize that family vacation, Costco Travel has everything you need and more. You’ll be shocked at the range of deals available with your membership. Level up and start enjoying your Costco membership perks in ways you likely never have before. And if you’re not already a Costco member, we wouldn’t be surprised if you signed up after reading this.
What is Costco Travel and How Does It Work?
First things first, let’s break down exactly how Costco Travel can be useful for travelers. Members can click through the site to find lower prices on hotels, cruises, rental cars and, if you prefer, vacation packages with all of the above. You’ll be able to browse by destination and indicate if you want to go to a theme park, beach or other destinations.
To put it frankly, what we love about Costco Travel booking is the transparency, convenience and simplicity.
- Transparent Fees: Costco Travel makes it very clear what you’re paying in total with transparent fees, so there’s no surprise attack on your wallet in the future.
- Aggregate and Compare Trips: The site conveniently compiles the most dependable brands you would likely book a stay or trip with, so you’re not spending hours rummaging through different sites to get prices that might only be a tiny bit cheaper with random companies you’ve never heard of but, of course, have terrible reviews.
- Easy Navigation: The simple layout of Costco’s travel booking website is very easy to use and navigate, and everything is neatly categorized into “Packages,” “Hotels,” “Cruises,” “Rental Cars” and “Theme Parks & Speciality.”
- Build Your Own Package: You can also build your own package and still enjoy great savings for many popular destinations. The website has a “Featured Destinations” section that currently highlights places like Los Angeles, San Antonio, Nashville and more.
Don’t worry, there are no gimmicks or fine print catches when you opt for Costco Travel. Costco’s community of members is what makes these deals possible, as apparently, the company “uses its buying authority to negotiate the best value in the marketplace and then passes on the savings to Costco members.” You can trust that the travel package deals are just as good as when you shop their regular warehouse inside the store.
What do Costco vacation packages include?
You can customize your Costco Vacation Package to include any or all of the following:
And oftentimes, the package will offer resort credits, free breakfast, Costco shop cards and other free incentives. For instance, here’s a breakdown comparison for an Orlando family trip with Disney World tickets via Costco Travel vacation deals:
Example of a Costco Travel Vacation Package
For a family of 4, Costco’s Orlando: Melia Orlando Celebration Package has everything you need, including a suite just 5 minutes away from Disney World, for a total price of $4,730.39. In this example, we’re departing out of Chicago at the O’Hare airport, staying in Orlando for 6 days + 5 nights, and traveling with two kids—ages 6 and 10.
The package includes:
- Large one-bedroom suite at a highly rated property
- Roundtrip flights with United Airlines
- Daily complimentary breakfast for two
- $70 Costco shop card
- Five-day full-size rental car (one additional driver included) from Alamo
- 5-Day Disney Theme Park Tickets with Park Hopper option
- Accommodations at Melia Orlando Celebration
- Daily resort fees
- All applicable taxes
While the price through Costco Travel might not be the lowest, their packages are definitely the cream of the crop based on all the amenities you can get, the convenience, transparency, as well as the quality of the airline, hotel and/or cars. Keep in mind that you can also earn cashback if you are an Executive member.
Do you need to be a Costco member to book with Costco Travel?
It’s important to note that Costco Travel deals are exclusively for members.
If you don’t have a Costco membership, you can bypass this exception by having someone in your family or a friend book a vacation trip, cruise, or flight under your name with their membership info. There’s no caveat except you just need to get all the booking information and sort out the cost amongst yourselves.
The only disappointing aspect that can’t be worked around is that your card-carrying friend won’t be able to nail down a car reservation for you—whoever is picking up the car must show their own valid Gold, Executive or Business card.
Costco Executive Members Earn Rewards on TravelIf you’re not yet a Costco member, consider signing up for a basic Gold Star membership:
- The lowest tier card costs $60 a year. If you do the math, that’s as little as $5 a month and there are always promotions happening, like special student discounts, first-time member credits and more that the Slickdeals community never fails to point out.
- Both of these plans cost $120 annually, which only ends up being $10 per month. Executive members are eligible to receive a 2% reward on all Costco and Costco Travel purchases, which is applied once the trip is completed.
Keep in mind that 2% reward cannot be earned on the following:
- Any taxes/fees
- Trip protection
- Third-party extras
Rewards aside, Executive members also have the chance to enjoy room upgrades or exclusive food and beverage credits. If you’re still on the fence about the upgrade, check out this recent article to see if the Costco Executive membership is right for you.
How Do You Book with Costco Travel?
1. Opt for a Road TripMembers can potentially save big on car rentals at Costco Travel, and I can personally attest to usually getting the best prices via this website. In my dozen or so times since booking a vehicle through Costco, I’ve had no issue. Personally, I think one of the best features of booking a car through Costco Travels is the flexibility in not paying upfront and waiving cancellation fees.
The site is a catch-all for these popular rental companies:
But you won’t get the unheard-of rental sites that offers somehow incredible prices on cars but you have to go through hell to get it or wind up getting a dud of a vehicle. That’s why Costco Travel makes things easy as you won’t have to do multiple searches to find the best prices from reputable brands without the headache.
As of now, rentals are only offered in the following locations:
- Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
Remember: You just have to make sure that the primary driver is a Costco member and that you have your Costco card with you, as you may have to prove membership at pick-up. Executive members are able to add one additional driver to the reservation at no extra cost, alongside waived cancellation fees and a 2% reward.
2. Book a Vacation Package
Costco Vacation packages offer some awesome deals for every occasion, whether you want to get out of town with your spouse and kids or simply take your significant other out for some new memories. With a few clicks, you can quickly plan out a trip that would normally be a pain to figure out on multiple websites and constant cross-referencing.
The vacation packages include destinations like Costa Rica, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Europe or Africa.
Costco has even made it super simple to pick the next destination by breaking down vacations in categories:
- Family-Friendly Fun
- All-Inclusive Resorts
- Romantic Getaways
- Adult Escapes
- New Additions to Costco Travel
- Experience Luxury
3. Cruise With CostcoInterested in cruises? As a Costco member, brace yourself for the ultimate VIP treatment when you’re on board. There’s a separate Cruises tab that breaks cruises down by destination or cruise line.
- Typically, the listed prices include accommodations along with meals, snacks, entertainment and activities onboard.
- Spending increases when you factor in gratuities, specialty restaurants, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and everything in between, which are often not included with the base prices.
These benefits tend to be associated with Kirkland Signature Savor and Spa Cruises and Buyer’s Choice Cruises, which as of now, are Royal Caribbean Cruises with included extras.
SlickDeals Tip: These are exclusive, Costco member-only cruise prices. It’s a hack that’s not available to anyone else and is extra handy for last-minute deals, as cruise prices tend to drop the closer you are to the departure date. Just don’t wait too long as the best room options tend to go first.
4. Check-In at Highly Rated Hotels
And, of course, you can get hotels through Costco Travel, but there are fewer options for you to choose from.
Currently, these are the only hotel brands that are offered via the site:
- IHG Hotels and Resorts
- Fairmont Hotel and Resorts
- Hyatt Hotel and Resorts
- Swissôtel Hotels and Resorts.
We can’t help but also add that you won’t always get the best price or wide variety on hotels through Costco Travel. While Costco makes it very convenient to know exactly what you’re paying and getting, we’d recommend checking other places like Booking.com or Hotels.com for cost-friendlier hotel-only options.
Costco Travel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Costco travel offer the best deals?
Costco Travel offers the best deals on vacation packages and rental cars, but not always so for flights, hotels and cruises. But the price difference is oftentimes minimal if you consider the extra perks like food and drinks, as well as the 2% reward back for Costco Travel purchases you can earn if you use the Executive card.
Costco Travel does give you a lot of bang for your buck with the extra perks. On top of that, you get the simplicity and convenience of being able to pick from the most reliable companies when booking a trip.
How do I cancel my Costco travel booking?
We get it, things happen. If you need to cancel your trip for whatever reason, the Costco Travel team is here for you. Call the help center as soon as possible at 1-866-921-7925 and have your booking confirmation number ready. While cancellation fees may apply for vacation packages and cruises, you won’t have to bear any additional costs for rental cars.
In some cases, you may even be able to cancel things online, making the process a breeze. However, here are some terms and conditions to immediately keep in mind:
- Revisions, cancellations, and refund policies vary by airline, cruise line, hotel, and other suppliers.
- In all instances, no-shows are nonrefundable.
- Cancellation of your vacation package will result in supplier fees, if applicable.
- Cancellation of the flight(s) portion of your vacation package may be nonrefundable and nontransferable.
- Occasionally, the value on the canceled airline tickets may be used to rebook future air travel at a later date. Airline fees will apply on a rebooked ticket. The rebooked ticket must be on the same airline. Travel must be completed within one year of the date that the original ticket was issued.
Can I use Costco Cash Cards for travel?
Costco Cash Cards, or Costco shop cards, are essentially non-expiring gift cards ranging from the amounts of $25 to $2,000. You can get these when you purchase vacation packages, which will then arrive after you come back from your trip.
You can use Costco shop cards on warehouse purchases and even on future vacation trips to select locations like Hawaii, Europe, Carribeans, Las Vegas, New York and more.
However, you can’t spend Costco cash cards on these vacation-related expenses:
- Rental Cars
- Disneyland Resort Packages
- Guided Vacations
- Hotel (Room-Only) Reservations
- Any other vacation products
Is airfare included with Costco travel packages?
There is usually always an option to have airfare included with your Costco vacations. Plus, the vacation packages are easily customizable to pick what time you fly out, where you’ll fly out and when you’ll want to come back home.
And if you’d like, there’s an option to only pick flights from Costco Travel, but we recommend against this as the prices are usually higher than we’d like. Instead, check out Google Flights to compare flights and find less expensive routes.
Check Out Costco’s Current Travel Deals
Are you ready to dive into the deals? Costco Travel is currently slashing prices on highly coveted vacations with instant savings of up to $250. From Mexico to Hawaii, these vacations couldn’t be more perfect for summer or even later on in the year, especially if you live in a place with freezing winters.
Want to make sure you don’t miss out on any new Costco Travel packages or deals? Set a Deal Alert and we’ll keep you updated the moment a new discount hits our forums.