What travelers should know about booking a trip with Costco Travel

When Cathi White books a visit, she all the time checks Costco Journey first. For over a decade, she has booked a variety of holidays with the wholesale retailer, from theme parks to island getaways along with her household.

“Locations like Disneyland are very, very costly, however they’ve all the time received some type of deal going,” mentioned White, 50, who lives in Indianapolis.

On a visit she booked via Costco to Grand Cayman in 2019, she estimated she saved $2,000 through the use of the service.

Very similar to packs of paper towels or jumbo jars of mayonnaise, Costco Journey can provide customers offers on all the pieces from cruises to rental vehicles. However vacationers and journey consultants say the service has some limitations as properly.

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How does Costco Journey work?

Costco Journey provides a variety of choices for vacationers trying to ebook a visit. “We use our purchasing authority to barter one of the best worth within the market, after which move on the financial savings to Costco members,” the service mentioned on its website.

These embrace curated trip packages to pick out locations around the globe, which can embrace mixtures of flights, lodge stays, automobile leases and extra, in response to Assistant Vice President and Normal Merchandise Supervisor Chris Hendrix.

“In these bundled packages, our patrons vet and hand decide every resort and element. … We restrict our choice to make sure the very best quality and worth,” he mentioned in an e mail.

What are you able to ebook via Costco Journey?

Vacationers also can ebook cruises, rental vehicles and construct their very own journeys to varied U.S. cities, reserving lodge stays or bundling them with flights and automobile leases, in response to Hendrix. These making bookings can achieve this on-line or by telephone, and the service has reservation brokers that may help vacationers earlier than, throughout and after their journey, he mentioned.

Can Costco Journey exchange a journey agent?

Brian Ayers and his spouse booked a Costco Journey bundle for his or her honeymoon in Greece partly due to the comfort. The 2019 journey, which took them to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos marked his first time in another country, and he mentioned it “was going to be a lot too complicated for us to measure it out, simply because reserving ferry occasions and resorts, there have been simply so many selections.”

Even when their plans hit a snag after a ferry was canceled, leaving them “hanging out on the ferry station for a few hours,” the 29-year-old mentioned, Costco Journey was a useful middleman. Ayers, who lives in Lewisville, Texas, and works for a semiconductor chip producer, known as the service, which confirmed with the ferry supplier that their tickets could be legitimate on the subsequent one out there.

Nevertheless, Kerry Mooneyham, proprietor of Midwest Journey Options mentioned reserving via Costco Journey is just not the identical as working with a journey agent that can provide extra customized steering.

This is a Costco Warehouse in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023.

“You are going to have the identical cruise whether or not you ebook it instantly with Carnival, you ebook it with Costco, otherwise you ebook it with me,” she mentioned. “The cruise is strictly the identical. … It is behind the scenes that we do issues to make it higher.”

She mentioned reserving with Costco Journey might make extra sense for some journeys than others.

“I feel possibly once you’re not precisely positive what’s the best choice for you is mostly a time when you ought to be reaching out to an knowledgeable that understands the variations between cruise A and cruise B,” Mooneyham mentioned. “But when precisely what you need, that is a time the place you may solely be taking a look at, , ‘What’s one of the best worth for me?'”

Nevertheless, Hendrix mentioned the corporate has greater than 1,000 Costco Journey workers with consultants in varied focus areas, together with cruises, Hawaii and Europe.

However vacationers might not all the time discover what they’re on the lookout for. Hendrix mentioned Costco solely provides automobile leases with Avis, Alamo, Finances and Enterprise, for instance, and it has a restricted number of resorts and lodge manufacturers. Sure locations may additionally not be out there for his or her trip bundle and build-your-own-trip choices.

Are you able to ebook flights with Costco Journey?

“Flights can be found as a part of our trip packages or our build-your-own choices,” Hendrix mentioned. Nevertheless, vacationers can’t at the moment buy flights alone via Costco Journey.

Do you need to be a Costco member to make use of Costco Journey?

Sure. Vacationers should be lively Costco members to make use of the service. Relying on the tier, Costco memberships value between $60 and $120 per yr – earlier than any relevant gross sales tax – in response to its website.

“Lots of our applications provide Costco Journey members an unique Costco Store Card for his or her journey buy, which they obtain as soon as their journey is accomplished, and can be utilized within the warehouse or on-line at Costco.com,” Hendrix added.

Costco Government members additionally get an annual 2% reward – as much as $1,000 – on qualifying purchases made via Costco Journey.

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Is Costco Journey an excellent deal?

Some vacationers have discovered vital financial savings utilizing the service. Ayers booked a 2022 journey to Spain with Costco Journey after pricing the journey out themselves.

“The associated fee for simply the airline tickets would have been the fee for your complete Costco bundle,” he mentioned, which included flights, resorts and extra.

White additionally famous that resort fees have all the time been included when she has booked via the service. When potential, Hendrix mentioned Costco Journey’s patrons work to incorporate these charges “or negotiate the waiving of these charges.”

And regardless of its budget-friendly repute, White has booked luxurious resorts similar to the Ritz-Carlton via the service.

When she does not ebook with Costco, she mentioned it is normally simply as a result of they do not have what she’s on the lookout for. “However they do have a tremendous choice,” White mentioned.

Nathan Diller is a client journey reporter for USA TODAY based mostly in Nashville. You’ll be able to attain him at [email protected].

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