Cathi White regularly checks Costco Travel before making travel arrangements. She has booked a variety of trips with the wholesaler for more than ten years, including family outings to amusement parks and island retreats.
The 50-year-old White from Indianapolis added, “Places like Disneyland are extremely, very pricey, but they’ve always had some type of offer going.”
She figured she saved $2,000 utilising the programme on a trip she booked through Costco to Grand Cayman in 2019.
Costco Travel can offer customers discounts on everything from cruises to rental vehicles, just like packs of paper towels or large jars of mayonnaise can. Travelers and industry professionals agree that the service has several drawbacks.
The operation of Costco Travel.
For those wishing to make travel arrangements, Costco Travel provides a variety of choices. The company claims on its website that it “uses our buying authority to negotiate the best value in the marketplace, and then passes on the savings to Costco members.”
According to Associate Vice President and General Merchandising Manager Chris Hendrix, those include carefully crafted vacation packages to particular locations across the world, which may include combinations of flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and more.
What can you reserve with Costco Travel?
According to Hendrix, travellers can also book cruises, rental vehicles, and design their own itineraries to other U.S. locations by booking hotel stays or combining them with flights and auto rentals. Bookings can be made over the phone or online, and the service has reservation agents who can help visitors before, during, and after their trip, the speaker stated.
Can a travel agent be replaced by Costco Travel?
In part because of the ease, Brian Ayers and his wife decided to arrange a Costco Travel package for their honeymoon in Greece. His first overseas trip was in 2019, and it included stops in Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. He noted that it “was going to be much too hard for us to measure it out, merely because scheduling boat times and hotels, there were just so many alternatives.”
The 29-year-old said that Costco Travel was a helpful middleman even when their plans ran into trouble when a ship was cancelled, leaving them “waiting out at the ferry station for a couple of hours.” Ayers, who works for a company that makes semiconductor chips and lives in Lewisville, Texas, called the service, and it confirmed with the ferry company that their tickets would be valid on the following one.
But, engaging with a travel consultant who can provide more individualised advice is preferable to booking through Costco Travel, according to Kerry Mooneyham, owner of Midwest Travel Solutions.
Whether you reserve your cruise through me, Costco, or directly through Carnival, she assured her, it will be the same cruise. “The cruise is the same exact thing. We work on improving things in the background.”
For other vacations, she noted, reserving with Costco Travel might be a better option.
When deciding which choice is ideal for you, Mooneyham suggested that you speak with a professional who is knowledgeable about the distinctions between cruises A and B. Yet, if you are certain of what you want, then you might merely consider, “What’s the best value for me?”
Hendrix asserted that the business employs more than 1,000 Costco Travel staff members who are experts in a variety of emphasis areas, such as cruises, Hawaii, and Europe.
But, it’s possible that visitors won’t always find what they’re looking for. Hendrix claimed that Costco has a small range of hotels and hotel brands and only offers automobile rentals through companies like Avis, Alamo, Budget, and Enterprise. Also, some places might not be accessible through their build-your-own-trip and vacation package alternatives.
Can you purchase tickets through Costco Travel?
As part of our vacation packages or our “build-your-own” options, flights are an option, according to Hendrix. Costco Travel does not, however, currently allow customers to book flights on their own.
Is membership with Costco required to use Costco Travel?
Yes. To use the programme, users must be current Costco members. Costco’s website states that annual membership fees range from $60 to $120 depending on the tier, before any relevant sales taxes.
In addition, Hendrix noted that “many of our programmes provide Costco Travel members with a unique Costco Shop Card for their travel purchase, which they receive after their trip is over and may be used in the warehouse or online at Costco.com.”
Also, Costco Executive members receive an annual 2% return on eligible Costco Travel purchases, up to $1,000.
Is Costco Travel an excellent value?
Some passengers who used the service discovered significant discounts. Ayers priced out a trip to Spain for 2022 and made a travel reservation with Costco Travel.
He said that the price of the complete Costco package, which included travel, lodging, and more, would have been the same if just the airline tickets had been purchased.
White added that whenever she has made a reservation using the programme, resort costs have always been included. Hendrix claimed that Costco Travel’s purchasers attempt to incorporate these fees whenever possible or “negotiate the waiving of those expenses.”
And despite the service’s reputation as being cost-effective, White has used it to reserve stays in upscale hotels like the Ritz-Carlton.
She claimed that the main reason she doesn’t make reservations with Costco is simply that they don’t carry the items she needs. White remarked, “But they do have an unbelievable selection.