How to use Costco to find great travel packages
Besides saving money, booking a trip through Costco Travel sometimes comes with extra perks. For example, you can get a resort credit or room upgrade, which may not be available when you book through an online travel agency like Orbitz, Expedia, or Priceline.
And Costco Travel makes it convenient to book a vacation because in one quick search, you can get upfront pricing for airfare, hotels, rental cars, and excursions to destinations like Disney World, Europe, Hawaii, and many others. So not only can you earn travel rewards with many of the best cards for travel, you can save time and money planning your getaway.
I’ll share the pros and cons of booking a Costco Travel vacation package and compare prices with other sites for a couple of different trips.
Costco Travel Packages
Costco negotiates prices with hotels and travel destinations around the world to arrange discounted vacation packages for members. And many times, you can book a trip that includes added perks like:
- Free breakfast
- Resort credits
- Room upgrades
- Shuttle transportation
- Costco cash card
Costco Travel is a one-stop resource to book an entire vacation because after you enter your destination, travel dates, and departure city, you can get an all-in price, which includes taxes and fees, for airfare, hotel, and a rental car.
And you can filter vacation packages based on your desired travel preferences, such as hotel rating or location.
While booking a Costco Travel vacation package has its advantages, it might not be for everyone. For example, you’re unlikely to earn hotel points or credit toward elite status when you book through Costco because it’s a 3rd-party site.
And folks who already have elite status usually don’t receive the perks unless they book directly with the hotel chain. This isn’t an issue if your vacation package includes a stay at a boutique hotel without a loyalty program.
At the same time, you should earn airline miles for flights that are included as part of a Costco Travel package as long as you link your frequent flyer number. And booking flights through Costco Travel is optional, so folks with miles can book award flights and still use Costco for the hotels.
To see the potential savings and perks you can get with Costco Travel, I researched vacation packages to three destinations. Here’s what I found:
Family vacation to Disney World
I searched a Costco Travel vacation package to Disney World for two adults and two children. The sample package includes round-trip, non-stop airfare from Chicago to Orlando and:
- 5-nights at Walt Disney World Swan Resort
- Four, 5-day ticket with Park Hopper option
- Room upgrade
- Extra Magic Hours Benefit
- Disney FastPass+ (as long as you’re booking at least 60 days in advance)
- Complimentary transportation to all Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, Disney’s Water Parks and Disney Springs®
- Daily resort fee included
- Walt Disney World® Theme Parks and Disney Springs® complimentary parking
The total cost of the package is ~$3,300, which includes all taxes and fees.
I checked Priceline to compare the price of a similar hotel stay. But you’d also have to separately purchase tickets to enter Disney World. Here were the prices I found:
- ~$1,832 for the hotel stay
- ~$1,756 for four, 5-day tickets
So you’d save ~$288 by purchasing through Costco Travel. And this doesn’t consider the added Costco Travel benefits like a complimentary room upgrade and FastPass+ perk.
All-inclusive trip to Cabo
I found a five-night stay at the all-inclusive Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa for ~$2,652, which is the total price for two adults. This hotel ranks highly on TripAdvisor for excellent food and service.
And booking through Costco travel comes with these perks:
- Complimentary transportation from the airport to the hotel
- $200 Costco cash card
- Resort coupons worth $100+
So you’re getting at least $300 worth of perks, which effectively reduces the price of the package to ~$2,352.
I checked the cost of booking the same trip directly through the hotel. The price is ~$2,685, which is $300+ more than Costco Travel. And booking directly doesn’t include transportation from the airport or any extra perks.
Earn bonus travel rewards on Costco Travel purchases with these cards
When you book a cruise through Costco Travel, you can earn bonus cash back, miles, or points when you pay with a card that includes travel as a bonus category. Here are a few to consider:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points
- Citi Premier℠ Card – 3X Citi ThankYou points
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi – 3% cash back on eligible travel purchases
The information for the Citi Premier and Costco Anywhere Visa cards has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Costco members can take advantage of the Costco Travel program to save money on vacation packages.
I like that Costco Travel is a one-stop tool to quickly book an entire vacation, including airfare, hotel, rental cars, and excursions. Plus, the pricing is transparent, which allows you to see the total cost of a vacation upfront, including all taxes and fees.
Besides saving money on vacations to destinations like Disney World and Cabo San Lucas, Costco typically offers extra perks you can’t find on other online booking sites. For example, you can get resort credits, room upgrades, and Costco cash cards.
Keep in mind, when you book through Costco Travel, you’re unlikely to earn hotel points or credit toward hotel elite status. And the hotel might not recognize your elite status because you’re booking through a 3rd-party site.
Have you booked a vacation package through Costco Travel? We’d love to hear about your experience!