Costco keeps managing to collect new members to the tune of a 6%+ increase every year for the past several years, so it only makes sense that new stores are popping up all over the country and even on other continents. And Costco’s deals aren’t confined to their 150,000-square-foot-or-more warehouses—any Costco member can tell you that.
But while people seem to love Kirkland products and Costco’s infamous rotisserie chicken, Costco Travel doesn’t get as much recognition as you might think. That is, unless you know just how much time and money you can save on vacation packages, hotel stays, and more through Costco’s very own travel platform.
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to Costco Travel to make planning your next trip a bit easier and help you get the best possible deals on travel next time you take to the road, skies, or seas.
What Is Costco Travel
Costco Travel is Costco’s travel department promising deals on trips and the winning service long-time customers have come to expect from the Costco Wholesale Corporation. Costco Travel employs travel experts to help customers plan trips and features a suite of discounted travel products including flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.
To find out if Costco has the lowest prices on travel, we’ll compare costs with Expedia, a well-known online booking platform, throughout this article.
Who Is Eligible to Use Costco Travel?
As you might expect, you need to be a Cotsco member to be eligible to book travel services through this retailer. You also need to be a U.S. resident.
A Costco membership will cost you at least $60. There are three types of Costco memberships, and these are:
Gold Star Membership:
- Membership fee of $60 annually
- Valid at all U.S. locations and online
- Includes one card for the primary cardholder and one Household Card (eligible to be used by family members)
- Membership fee of $60 annually
- Valid at all U.S. locations
- Includes one card for the primary cardholder and one Household Card free
- Can add more cardholders for $60 each
- Can be used for resale
Gold Star Executive Membership:
- Membership fee of $120 annually
- 2% annual reward on all Costco Wholesale and Costco Travel purchases, limit $1,000
- Exclusive discounts
- Costco Connection magazine subscription
Please note that all Costco membership levels have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Many Costco Travel packages and bookings are extra-discounted for Executive members and may come with complimentary perks and benefits on top of this. Plus, elite members earn 2% annually on all Costco purchases including travel (with exceptions for fees and service charges), so it may be worth it to splurge on that higher membership level if you do a lot of traveling.
Costco does not, unfortunately, price match its travel products.
How to Open a Costco Travel Account
You do not automatically have a Costco Travel account when you are a Costco member, so you need to sign up. And while not you’re not required to have a Travel account when booking travel and can check out as a guest, you can make things a lot easier on yourself in the future by opening an account and saving your information and preferences.
To create a Travel account, you need to go to the Costco Travel website and first enter your membership ID number. You can find this 12-digit number on the back side of your membership card or on your Costco Anywhere Visa Card, if you have one.
Then, you will need to provide the email address linked to your Costco account and create a unique password just for Costco Travel purposes. To finish, just select “Create Account.” You will receive an email to confirm your registration. There is no additional fee for a Costco Travel account and your account will stay active as long as your Costco membership remains open and in good standing.
Can You Book Travel for Someone Else?
Yes, Costco Travel lets members use their accounts to book some travel, such as vacation packages and rental cars, for non-Costco members. This is allowed even if you will not be traveling with them. And, such trips are still eligible to receive the annual reward of 2%.
You just need to provide a name and date of birth for everyone in the party and you will be responsible for any fees your travelers may incur by failing to provide the necessary travel documents. Otherwise, there are no additional costs when you book for someone else.
Vacation Packages are Costco Travel’s bread and butter. With an impressive range of package types and locations, there’s something for everyone. You need to be 25 years old or older to book most packages.
Costco vacation packages include everything from air travel to hotel or resort bookings. Each package comes with unique perks, like complimentary massages, and exclusive discounts and coupons such as food and beverage credits, Costco Shop Cards, and recreation credits.
Vacation packages are priced per person and default to double occupancy. However, many are family-friendly, and some even let kids stay at discounted rates or for free.
With all vacation packages, the prices you see are based on a preselected room type. You can change this or even add additional destinations and excursions not included in the base vacation, but you will almost definitely end up paying more.
Where Will You Go?
Want to travel but don’t know where to go? There are several ways to go about narrowing down your choices.
To book a vacation package, you can start by choosing your destination. Curated packages are available in the following locations:
- California (including Disneyland)
- Las Vegas
- New York
- Florida (including Universal Studios and Walt Disney World)
- Costa Rica
- Cook Islands
- Europe and
Alternatively, you can search packages by vacation type. For example, you can filter for only getaways that are family-friendly, search the limited-time deals section, or see what’s most popular.
The “What’s New at Costco Travel” section will show you the most recently added vacation packages. These vacations won’t have as many member reviews yet, but there’s a chance they won’t sell out as quickly and you save a bit of money.
All-Inclusive Resorts, Adult Escapes, Hidden Gems, and Romantic Getaways are favorites among travelers.
All-inclusive resorts promise comfort and convenience in exotic destinations. Many of these vacation packages come with Costco Shop Cards and added perks such as free nights for kids and tour credits.
Some also come with benefits just for Executive members. For example, a stay at Majestic Mirage Punta Cana, a 5-star hotel in the Dominican Republic, includes a $100 spa credit for Executive cardholders (per room).
We’ll also tell you more about all-inclusive cruise packages, with durations from seven to 16 nights, later on in this article.
Each all-inclusive vacation package has a minimum number of nights you must stay and may specify a date range you must travel within.
Some of these packages are family-friendly and others are exclusively for adults. If you’re looking for an adult-only experience, you probably want to browse the Adult Escapes category.
Vacations in the Adult Escapes category are exclusively for people over the age of 18. Available resorts include but are not limited to the Hotel wailea, Relais & Chateaux resort in Maui, the Hammock Cove Resort & Spa in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Grand at Moon Palace resort in Cancun.
Possible perks such as $100 tour credits, $50 resort credit per day, Costco Shop Cards, and complimentary breakfasts may come free with your booking. Some but not all Adult Escapes are all-inclusive.
Hidden Gems vacation packages are for travelers who want to have remarkable experiences in places near and far.
From New York City to the Caribbean, these packages tend to be a bit more luxurious than others but still come with benefits like massage and tour credits, Costco Shop Cards, and complimentary meals.
Finally, there’s the Romantic Getaways category. These packages feature experiences curated specifically for two adults in tropical locations such as Costa Rica, Jamaica, Maui, and Aruba.
If you’d rather stay stateside, check out the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Phoenix package or the W Fort Lauderdale luxury hotel package in Fort Lauderdale.
How to Book a Vacation Package
Once you’ve decided where you’re going, you’ll select your package and read through all of the package details to make sure you’re happy with your choice. You’ll see what’s included in the reservation and any additional Costco member benefits that may apply.
Then, scroll down to the “Available Dates and Prices” section. If the “Valid for Travel Through ___” date works for you and the minimum number of nights you must stay is good, you can click “Continue.”
Word of Caution
Pay close attention to the “Valid for Travel Through ___” date . If you need to make a change to your reservation later on, Costco does not guarantee that you will get your money back and you will need to adhere to rules set by the hotel or resort you’re booking with. This goes for flights too.
Next the system will take you to the Flights section. If you don’t want a flight included in your package, uncheck the top box that says “Include Flights with your package.” If you do want a flight, enter your departure city and choose your service class, if you have a preference (otherwise, the site will show you all available flights). All flights are round-trip for vacation packages. Finally, select your dates and the number of adults and children in your party and hit “Search.”
Costco will automatically select a flight for you by choosing the option with the least amount of stops and layovers and the shortest duration. You can see this flight at the top. If you want this one, just select “Continue to Hotel” in the top right corner of the screen and you will get this flight. Please note that this is not necessarily the most affordable option.
But if you don’t like the one chosen for you, just scroll down to see your choices. The section that reads “Additional Flights Available” includes a number of filters you can use to customize your flight. You can select a narrower departure and/or arrival time window, specify which airlines you want to use, and choose how many stops you are willing to make.
Flights other than the one pre-selected for you may cost more, less, or the same as the one Costco recommends. You can find the price difference by looking for “+$” or “-$” next to the Select button. If you see a negative number, it means that flight is cheaper than the one in your bag. If you see a positive number, it means that flight is going to cost you more. Some will say “No Change in Price.”
Under each available flight, you can select the link “Preview Seat Availability, View Details and Baggage Fees” for a complete description of flight times and layovers. Airline taxes are included in the prices for all flights.
Costco Travel lets you buy flight tickets from American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, and many other major carriers. If an airline you like is not available or doesn’t have your desired flight class, try choosing a different airport for your departure. After booking a flight, you may have the option to reserve seats, but not all airlines allow you to make pre-reserved seating arrangements.
Hotel or Resort
Once you’ve picked a flight, select “Continue to Hotel” in the top right corner of the screen. The option that you see at the top is the room that is included in the booking at the price shown when you selected the package. In almost every instance, this is the best possible price. To see other options, select “Modify Room.” This will show a list of larger or more deluxe rooms with the added cost to the right.
The Costco Shop Card included in many vacation packages is calculated based on the price of your room. You will be able to see what the total amount of your card would be under “Included Extras” for each room. Please note that any room other than the one included in the original vacation package may have different cancellation and refund policies.
Finally, select “Continue to Transportation.” This section shows you how you will be getting to your hotel from the airport. Most of the time, the pre-selected choice is in a Shared Vehicle, which is the most affordable option and will not increase the price of your trip. But if you prefer a private vehicle, you can scroll down to “Additional Transportation Options.” If a private vehicle is available, it will show up here.
All that’s left to do is select “Continue to Recap.” Take your time reviewing your entire reservation, from the Flight to the Required Documents you’ll need to take with you (note: COVID-19 restrictions require all international travelers to test negative for coronavirus and bring their test results when arriving at their airport).
Costco also arranges for free ground transportation such as shuttles and taxi cabs from your flight to your hotel and back on packages.
Can You Use Airline Points?
Unfortunately, you can’t use your airline points when booking through Costco. The booking process doesn’t allow it.
How to Build Your Own Vacation Packages
If the premade vacation packages just aren’t doing it for you, you can always create your own. All you have to do is choose what you want your bundle to include. The choices are:
- Hotel, flight, and car
- Hotel and flight
- Hotel and car
Then, enter your destination and departure locations and your date. There are more than 2,000 destination cities to choose from. Some major cities such as Chicago, Boston, and Seattle are eligible to be bundled for discounts.
If you’d rather start your search with the best Costco Travel has to offer, scroll down the web page to the featured sections. Featured Hotels and Featured Cities highlight unique, tourist-friendly destinations—like Key West, Florida, and Los Angeles, California—and award-winning hotels and resorts like the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa and Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach in California.
The Interests section lets you explore your options according to what you most want to do on your trip, whether that’s hiking national parks, lounging on the beach, or exploring historic sites. You can even sort by Hotel Brands, which would be a good move if you’re an elite hotel rewards member (who ever said no to more rewards?). You may be eligible to earn points on these stays, but you won’t be able to use your points when booking with Costco (see “Can You Use Hotel Reward Points?”).
The process of creating the perfect vacation package yourself is much the same as when booking a pre-made package in terms of choosing your flight, room, etc.
Best Deals on Vacations
Does Costco have the best deals on vacation packages? We compared a few Costco trips with trips you can book through Expedia to find out.
Atelier Playa Mujeres is an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico. It is a popular and highly-rated vacation package on both Costco Travel and Expedia. This 5-star hotel is family- and even pet-friendly and has beach access as well as a massic pool.
Here’s what you will pay for a basic economy flight ticket from JFK airport through American Airlines and four-night stay in a Junior Suite (two queen beds), non-ocean view room when you book with either travel site at the end of August.
|– $2827.55 (including some tax and resort fees)||– $3,431.78 (including tax and resort fees)|
– Room service and housekeeping
– Unlimited food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and snacks
– Parking on the premises
– Gym access
– Bathrobes and slippers
– 1 50-minute massage (limit one per room, per trip)
– Room service and housekeeping
– Unlimited food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and snacks
– Parking on the premises
– Gym access
– Bathrobes and slippers
These two packages are almost identical. As you can see, Costco Travel is the more economical option by not an insignificant amount. The Costco booking also comes with more complimentary upgrades and perks than the Expedia package.
However, because Costco’s price is a limited-time deal based on a negotiated room rate, the cancellation policy is stringent. You must cancel no later than two weeks before you are scheduled to travel to get your money back. Otherwise, you’ll owe a 100% fee.
But are Costco vacation packages always less expensive? Let’s take a look by comparing a trip to New York City and a stay at the luxurious Towers at Lotte New York Palace hotel. If you were to stay for two nights, checking in on September 16 and checking out on September 18, in a room with two queen beds, this is what you can expect to pay.
|$1,318.73 (including tax)||$2,583.14 (including tax)|
– Transport in private vehicle from EWR airport to hotel
– $25 food and beverage credit (limit one per room, per stay)
At the contracted rate Costco managed to negotiate for this particular room, you can save over $1,000 by booking through Costco rather than Expedia or the hotel itself. Plus, you’ll get a food and beverage credit and transportation from the airport if you need it. If you modify your room, you will not get this rate.
Say you’re going to be taking a trip in early October to the W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal, a sprawling top-rated resort. You’ll be taking a non-stop, round-trip flight through Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles (LAX) to Liberia (LIR) in economy class and you’ll stay at the hotel for seven nights in the Wonderful Escape Room with one king bed. For the same exact trip, flight, and room, here’s what you’ll pay.
|$3,311.05 (including tax and daily resort fee of $40)||$3,986.43 (including tax but not including daily resort fee)|
– Free parking
– $75 spa credit (limit one per room, per stay)
– Unlimited access to driving range
– Ground transportation to and from airport
– Free parking
– Free WiFi
Again, the Costco vacation package is cheaper and comes with more perks. But at the end of the day, it makes the most sense to compare all of your options before booking a vacation. There will be times when Costco costs a lot less than Expedia and times when it costs more.
Keep in mind that sometimes what you gain in savings you lose in flexibility when booking Costco vacation packages. Costco doesn’t book flights on budget carriers, doesn’t let you use rewards points to save money, and often has very limited times and availability on its best-priced vacation packages.
There is a Limited-Time Deals category where you can see all of the discounted vacation packages on one screen. Deals might come in the form of complimentary added perks or discounted rates. These trips have short booking windows, so you have to act fast. Here are a few examples of the discounts running now:
- Four nights for the price of three at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa in Oahu
- Complimentary room upgrade at the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in Cancun
- $200 instant savings on a tour through Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete (in free amenities and experiences and reduced booking rates)
H2. Save More With the Costco Credit Card
To save even more on Costco vacation packages, you can open a Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi. This credit card offers:
- 4% cash back annually on Costco fuel purchases (first $7,000)
- 3% on dining and travel
- 2% on all Costco purchases
- 1% on all other non-Costco purchases
There is no annual fee for this card. You must be a Costco member of any tier to sign up.
If you’re just looking for a place to stay and don’t need the whole package, head over to the Hotels section of the Costco Travel website. Costco Travel lets you book hotels by four different brands: IHG (including Holiday Inn, Regent, and more), Fairmont, Hyatt, and Swissotel.
With thousands of locations including luxury resorts and more modest hotels, you won’t have any trouble finding a place to stay.
How to Book Hotel Stays
The first thing you’re going to want to do when booking a hotel through Costco Travel is enter your destination and dates into the search tool. A page will automatically populate with hotels that have rooms available when you will be traveling and in close proximity to your destination.
From the results page, you can enter minimum and maximum prices to see only hotels that fit your budget and sort results by distance to city center, price high to low, or price low to high. You can also filter results by distance from your destination, member reviews, hotel star rating, hotel brand, or area.
Once you’ve chosen a hotel, the next screen will auto-select a room type for you at the price point shown when you chose the hotel. But if you want a different room, just select “Modify Room.” This will show you all of the available rooms for your stay and how much they cost in relation to the total price in the top right of your screen. Once you’ve chosen a room, select “Continue to Travelers.”
But before moving on, make note of two things: how and when you will be required to pay for your room (i.e. advance purchase, non-refundable or reserve with credit card and pay later) and included extras such as food and beverage credits or complimentary breakfasts. Advance purchase rates are always lower but may not allow for cancellations or changes.
On the next page, you will enter the names of each person traveling in your party including the Lead Traveler whose name will appear on the booking (this must be a Costco member). Be sure to enter your hotel rewards ID number if applicable.
Then, select “Continue to Special Requests.” If anyone in your party needs a specific room type such as accessible or non-smoking or you want to let the hotel know that you’re celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon, make those requests here by checking the corresponding boxes and entering comments. Costco Agents monitor requests for accessible rooms and contact members for additional details.
Finally, you can select “Continue to Payment.” If your booking requires you to pay in advance, you will need to pay in full online before finalizing the booking. Otherwise, just enter your credit card information and personal details to reserve your room and bring the same card with you to pay for your room in person.
Does Costco Have the Best Hotel Prices?
You will need to log in to your Costco account to see prices and availability on hotels. If you have a Costco Travel account, use your login information to sign in. If you don’t have a Travel account, you can choose “Continue without an account” on the right and enter your Costco membership ID and last name. Again, let’s make a side-by-side comparison of Costco and Expedia’s prices.
This time, you’ll be staying at the Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort and Convention Center in sunny California. This booking is for an accessible room with one king bed where you will be staying for two nights.
|$396.21 (including taxes)||$449 (including taxes)|
– Free WiFi
– Daily buffet breakfast
– $12 food and beverage credit to be used at the hotel’s bar or pantry (limit one per room, per stay)
– Free WiFi
– Daily buffet breakfast
If you were to book this reservation through Costco, you’d be about $50 richer. However, one thing to note about the Costco booking is that it is non-refundable. This is an advance purchase rate that is not eligible to be modified or refunded in the event of cancelation.
Adding Flights and Car Rentals to Your Hotel Booking
You can easily add other travel items onto your hotel booking if you’ve found your ideal hotel by following the above steps. Just go back to the search tool and this time choose the “Hotel + Flight,” “Hotel + Flight + Car,” or “Hotel + Car” option from the top. Then input your destination, dates, etc. to create a package.
This is the same as creating your own vacation package except that you can center the whole trip around your hotel of choice instead of viewing all of your choices at once. Just enter the name of the hotel you want in the “Hotel Name” filter on the second page and add a flight or car rental to the booking.
Featured Hotels and Cities
If you’d prefer to leave your options open, you can look through Featured Hotels, Featured Cities, or National Parks sections. This is where this site starts to feel a little like a travel agency and can help you decide where to go.
Costco also makes it easy to book stays in areas surrounding the following national parks: Yellowstone, Zion, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Indiana Dunes, and Joshua Tree. Just choose a park to see nearby accommodations.
Can You Use Hotel Reward Points?
Costco Travel does not allow users to use hotel rewards points when booking hotel reservations, but some hotels such as Hyatt do allow you to enter your loyalty number to earn points on your stays. You can also use your Costco credit card to make sure to get 2% cash back on your hotel bookings.
Don’t skip cruises if you like sightseeing and packed itineraries. Costco cruise packages are available in every corner of the globe, with many family-friendly options and opportunities to save money.
Sail to destinations around the world including domestic waters, international waters, and even rivers. Choose from the following destinations:
- Hawaii and the South Pacific
- Australia and New Zealand
- North America
- Panama Canal
- South America
- Europe and Mediterranean
And of course, you don’t have to choose just one location—these are cruises, after all. Choose “World Cruise” from the destination dropdown in the search tool for trips featuring multiple stops.
Costco Travel supports travel through 12 major cruise lines. These include:
- Celebrity Cruises
- Crystal Cruises
- Disney Cruise Line
- Holland America Line
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Royal Caribbean International
- Uniworld River Cruises
How to Book Cruise Trips
As with other bookings offered by Costco Travel, there are a few ways to go about booking cruise travel. You can start with the trusty search tool and select a destination and your departure month. Keep in mind that cruise dates are not as flexible as other trips and are dependent on when a ship is scheduled to arrive and depart; Costco has no control over these dates.
Or, you can browse by category: Kirkland Signature, Buyer’s Choice, Explore Alaska, Grand Voyages and World Cruises, Discover a Private Island Paradise, and Getaway Cruises. Kirkland Signature and Buyer’s Choice cruises have some of the best discounts and exclusives for Costco members.
You can also search cruises by six major Departure Ports in the U.S. and Canada: Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Vancouver. Finally, you can explore by cruise line to get started.
If you choose to begin with an “explore” category, the site will take you to the top deals in that category. These cruises are discounted and may include complimentary amenities.
Click on a cruise and scroll down first to the “Sailing Itinerary.” This gives a general schedule for your trip. Then go to the “Onboard the ___” section and expand the list items to get a better idea of what will be included on your trip.
Finally, view the “Available Dates & Prices” section. Confirm that these dates work for you then sign in to view prices. The rooms will be arranged from least expensive on the left to most expensive and inclusive on the right. Choose a date then a room and select “Continue.” On the next screen, select the number of staterooms you need and provide the age of each person in your party.
Don’t forget to fill in the “Savings Opportunities” section to see if you qualify for additional savings. Then hit “Continue to Stateroom Type.” This page will automatically highlight the room you already chose when you began booking, so feel free to just continue on to Stateroom Location to pick which part of the boat you want your rooms to be on (a room should already be selected for you; if you don’t like it, you may need to choose a different kind of room).
To complete the booking, just choose “Continue to Add-Ons.” Here, you can add items such as flights onto your package. After this, just continue through the steps on the screen to finalize your trip.
Can You Book Group Cruises?
Cruises are actually the only type of travel that allow for group bookings. You can book travel for large groups on most cruise trips. And in fact, you may get freebies and perks on group cruises such as a guest sailing free, extra amenities, and private dining experiences.
How many staterooms you can book at once depends on the cruise line. Uniworld Boutique River cruises allow for bookings of five or more rooms; Crystal Cruises and regent Seven Seas Cruises allow for bookings of six or more rooms; and Azamara, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International allow for bookings of eight or more rooms.
Only the lead traveler needs to be a Costco member.
Best Deals on Cruises
Enter your Cruise Line Loyalty information when booking for additional savings.
Costco works with four different car rental agencies to provide customers with cars when traveling: Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise.
How to Book Car Rentals
Booking a rental car through Costco Travel is simple. Just enter your dates and locations into the Low Price Finder and the site will find you the most inexpensive cars available.
From this page, you can choose up to four different locations to easily compare prices across brands. This will bring you to a chart that shows you different car types and rates for each brand. You can also see what make and model of vehicle to expect. Choose a car and hit “Continue” to see Optional Equipment and Upgrades. Add the renter’s personal and contact information to finalize the reservation.
Best Deals on Car Rentals
Let’s compare prices once more, this time for car rentals. Here’s what it would cost you per day to rent a Midsize/Intermediate SUV (Mazda Cx-5 or similar) from the same Avis location in New York City.
Costco Travel wins again, and its optional upgrades are cheaper too ($14 for an infant child seat from Costco compared to $17 from Expedia). Just note that this price doesn’t include any additional fees for additional drivers, drivers under the age of 25, etc.
AARP members may be offered extra savings.
Can You Use Car Rewards Points?
Unlike flights and hotel bookings, you actually can use loyalty points when reserving car rentals through Costco Travel. However, only Enterprise, Avis, and Budget are eligible (sorry, Alamo loyalty members).
Theme Parks and Specialty
Theme park and specialty vacation packages are the last kind of trip you can take through Costco Travel. These packages include everything from flights to car rentals and may also include VIP experiences such as tours, photo opportunities, and private dining.
How to Book Specialty Travel
Specialty trips include African Safaris and Guided Vacations. Choose from Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and Universal Orlando for a theme park vacation. Or, go to the Vacations of a Lifetime category for luxury experiences currently being offered.
Booking many specialty trips is the same as booking any vacation package, so head back to that section of this article for a detailed, step-by-step guide through the process.
However, for some specialty travel such as Adventures by Disney packages, you may need to call for details and help booking. Other trips such as African Safaris may require you to visit an external website and work with an agent to put together a package.
Costco is known for delivering a positive consumer experience overall, and its travel agency is no exception.
If you ever want to reach a customer support representative for questions about your booking or help scheduling a trip, call one of the following numbers.
Before your trip/during booking: 1-866-921-7925 between 7 am and 7 pm Monday through Friday or between 8 am and 5 pm PT Saturday and Sunday
During your trip: 1-866-317-4711 (same hours as above)
If you need to report an issue with your trip after the fact, submit a form through this page.
Pros and Cons of Costco Travel
One of the primary benefits of Costco Travel is convenience. You can book an entire trip from start to finish through one website (for almost every trip) in a matter of minutes without having to worry about arranging for a car to pick you up from the airport or reserving a room with the accommodations you need.
But this brings us to our first disadvantage, which is that there isn’t a lot of wiggle room when booking packages through this agency. You can’t shop around for the cheapest flights or bookings to the same extent that you’d be able to if you were making individual reservations for each item. So even though a package from Costco may cost less than a package from another travel shopping company like Expedia, you may not be getting the best price possible across the board.
You can, though, score some pretty amazing prices in the limited-time deals and sale sections of Costco Travel. For this reason, it makes a lot of sense to use this service when you can play around with your dates and destinations. However, the good prices you can get when booking travel through Costco don’t come without some drawbacks. Sometimes you’ll sacrifice reservation flexibility to save money and other times you may need to fly much earlier or later than you’d prefer in order to cut costs.
After reviewing prices, we think it makes the most sense to leave flights out of your Costco Travel purchases. You’re better off shopping around for flights and booking these with travel points whenever possible, and reserving Costco for hotel bookings and rental cars.
Your best bet, if you have the time, is to build vacations from scratch and compare prices on each component from the flight to the rental car rather than comparing vacation packages (which tend to come with a lot of upgrades you may not actually want to pay for).
Another advantage of Costco Travel is the annual reward. If you’re going to be using Costco Travel, it’s probably worth the added price of $60 to be a Gold Star Executive member so you can cash in on that 2% travel reward. Unfortunately, there are no membership tiers within Costco Travel, so you won’t save more the more you travel.
Costco Travel is impressive in a lot of ways. Booking travel through the warehouse’s travel agency can save you big money and a lot of hassle that often comes with going on trips. Flexibility is going to be your friend when booking trips through Costco Travel. The more flexible you can be with your dates, departure locations and times, and room types, the more you can save. Otherwise, it’s always best to hunt around for the best deals.