Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Small Law Survivor
Posts: 570
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Small Law Survivor » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:53 pm

I was thinking of taking my wife to Italy this Fall, and lo and behold, I received an email promoting Costco Travel. Hadn't seen it before, but I checked it out and it has what appear to be some nice packages (13 nights, Rome/Florence/Italy). Checked out the hotels included in the packages on Tripadvisor, and they all have high ratings, lots of good reviews.

Pricing in early November is ~$5,000 for 13 nights, airfare and transport between cities, which seems pretty good. I think the overnight flight U.S. to Rome counts as one of five nights in Rome, though. Maybe that's so you can check into your hotel when you arrive early in the morning.

If you back into Sept/October prices go up significantly, so I'd be hoping for decent weather in early November.

Anyone had experience with Costco Travel?

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:06 pm

Well, we are doing the Costco Disneyworld travel package next week (5-nights/4 parks/flight/resort/car) for our family of 5 for just under 5k. Great deal and looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Rupert
Posts: 3737
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Rupert » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:11 pm

I would advise you to individually price the components of the trip and compare. I have done this a couple of times and found that I could book the same trip myself at a lower price by going directly to the airlines, hotels, etc. Of course, the Costco package does save you the trouble of doing that, which is worth something.

User avatar
Will do good
Posts: 686
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Will do good » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:16 pm

We have booked 2 international cruises with Costco and they where much better value than do it on our own. One travel agent of my sister say they can't match Costco's prices.

njdealguy
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:15 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by njdealguy » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:20 pm

Just did a sample search of a trip to Disneyworld Orlando for family of 3 including flights, rental car, hotel, and 5 day park hopper passes and the total price quoted in the Costco package was nearly $400 more ($2700 vs $2300) than booking the exact same flights, car, and hotel individually and purchasing the Disney passes separately. So not sure where it may be cheaper but would definitely price out the components of the package and compare.

Determined
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:43 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Determined » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:37 pm

My friends took one to Key West last month and highly recommended the service. I don't know anymore than that.

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: USA

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Cycle » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:48 pm

I costed out a trip to Peru, was cheaper to diy since we air bnb and are pretty frugal but frequent travelers. Do u have to travel with other Costco members? Like is it a land cruise?

noco-hawkeye
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:20 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:51 pm

We've used them a few times and been very happy with them. The customer service is very good if you have extra questions / requests as well.

We find the prices are similar to other travel sites, maybe a bit more than ala carte. I would not hesitate to use them again, especially if you are executive member with the credit card.

TravelforFun
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:54 pm

I buy Costco travel packages every year. They have quality packages, fair prices, and excellent customer service.

TravelforFun

LeviMama
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:09 pm
Location: Weird Place, TX

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by LeviMama » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:12 pm

We use Costco all the time for car rental bookings. They have, hands-down, the cheapest rates out there. We’ve used them a couple times for hotels and had zero issues. And just recently, we completed a Disneyworld package purchased through them for hotel + WDW park tickets. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria in a 900+sf suite (Costco stated upgrade) for 6 days/5 nights with 3 ppl x 3 days of base park tickets for $2050 incl. tax. Couldn’t beat that at ANY Disney deluxe resort. The park tickets alone are in the $900 range. Purchase experience was simple and straightforward, it was always clear at each step what options you were deciding between, and they sent detailed confirmation emails for everything. Our Disney park ticket voucher was delivered via email within the (48) hour period as promised and it was simple to link it to our Disney Experience account. Will be doing it again in 2020.

I’ve looked in detail at some of the Rome / Italian tour packages and they seem very price effective, especially in the shoulder/off season. I trust that Costco would not partner with any tour companies that could not consistently meet their high standards, and for that reason I would book through them with confidence.

shell921
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:13 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by shell921 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:15 pm

Love CostCo Travel packages. And Customer service is the best.
:D

EagertoLearnMore
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:21 pm

We have used Costco travel for European river cruises. They provide a few extra perks such as a stateroom credit you can use for on board purchases. They also have discounts and if you are an executive member you get 2% back (this is new, before you didn't get it on travel).
.
We had a friend who priced out a river cruise with Costco and AAA and he said Costco was the better deal.

No issues going through Costco and dealing with the cruise company. Everything went smoothly.

Nate79
Posts: 3583
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Nate79 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:27 pm

We used them to book all inclusive resort in Costa Rica a couple of years ago. The price was good and including the extra perks that they throw in when they are running deals it was a pretty good overall deal. I did not use them for flights because we use miles to fly free.

dekecarver
Posts: 297
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:24 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by dekecarver » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:16 pm

Depends on your objective. I'd price out simple trips and compare to package. We did a package for Aruba recently; nice but I would price out the next time just to compare what else is available.

TallBoy29er
Posts: 485
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by TallBoy29er » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:35 pm

I just rented a car through Costco and had a very good experience. I realize it's not a travel package, but they performed as promised.

carruthers209
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:35 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by carruthers209 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:35 pm

My husband and I did the Costco Italy Your Way or whatever it was about 10 years ago- for the 10 days and it was absolutely fabulous. We stayed in Venice in a hotel that was an old Doge's palace right next to San Marco's Square, took several tours-Murano Glass Factory, the lace making island, gondola ride, etc. Then on to Florence for another three great days-missed out on the Uffizi-didn't buy tickets ahead of time, did see the Pitti Palace, took a car ride through the countryside (Costco offering), walked all over Florence, and then went down to Rome. Did the the Pompeii tour (again signed up with Costco), visited the Vatican museums and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel (it's 40 feet or more on the ceiling-binoculars would have been good), and a car picked us up from the hotel to bring us to the Rome airport on the last day. Don't forget that you need to take the train from each city to the next destination and the train tickets were included. Every hotel was lovely and the breakfasts were delightful and memorable. The travel agent from Costco was very helpful and knowledgeable. What could have been a disaster was the fact that it looks like the Italian train employees go on strike on a fairly regular basis-so need to check into that issue.

shelanman
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:35 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by shelanman » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:47 am

I purchased a cruise through Costco Travel (on Norwegian, to Hawaii, in 2014), and had a fairly good experience. That won't help you evaluate the quality of their travel packages, but I can at least review the travel agency for you:

I researched everywhere, and basically everybody had the same prices -- but Costco was a few % less. (On expensive purchases, a few % is :moneybag :moneybag )

After I purchased (but before the deposit went non-refundable), prices fell further, and they were able to help me get the lower price. They were very helpful, *but* I had to do all of the changes over the phone, which meant somewhere around 3 hours on the phone with various customer service folks. They were polite, and everything was eventually perfect, but it wasn't efficient.

In the end, we had a fantastic trip, and I saved a bit of money using Costco. I would book with them again, if I found a similarly good price.

User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Stinky » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:54 am

Agreeing with responses above -

I've used Costco for car rentals for about 2 years. Always beat the price from other sources. Then I tried to book a minivan for a week in the San Francisco area and found that Costco's price was about double the price that I got by going to Enterprise website directly.

I'd expect that Costco generally delivers good prices. But I'd always check out the individual components, to the extent possible.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

Pacific
Posts: 1235
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:19 pm
Location: Lost in the middle of the Pacific

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Pacific » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:56 am

1. Wife and I have taken three consecutive Uniworld river cruises (Duoro in Portugal; Mekong in Vietnam & Cambodia; and Paris-Giverny-Normandy). We are doing another one nest year Lyon-Avingnon. In addition to whatever discounts we got from Uniworld, I got Costco cashback cards of around $900 for each trip.

2. Costco's car rentals are the cheapest about 80% of the time (Hotwire the other 20%), depending on where you are renting. For some reason, Hotwire almost always has the cheaper rental car charges in Honolulu.

3. You also get a discount from Travel Guard when you purchase travel insurance through Costco.

4. We took a 4 week trip to Italy (3 weeks) and Sicily (1 week) last month. The first two weeks were a land tour (sort of high-end) with Tauck. I was disappointed that Costco and Tauck do not have a relationship. I could have really used a big cashback card!

Balefire
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Balefire » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:55 am

I have used Costco several times for travel.
If there are promotions, the rates are often cheaper than DIY. But that is not always the case

anil686
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by anil686 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:20 am

We recently used Costco travel services to Costa Rica - family of four. The deal was about the same cost as booking it ourselves but we got a free breakfast per day (about $135/day value for the four of us b/c it was buffet at the resort) and transit to and from the airport in a private car. My sister has a friend who is a travel agent and she said she typically can match Costco pricing but not with the add on’s for the cost. BTW, this was not a guided tour - just a resort with options for excursions.

What impressed the most was the organization of the trip. There was relatively frequent communication and options to book excursions through them at a reduced rate. When comparing them to other excursions, we found their price better by about 20% for the excursions when items were the same (i.e. included guide, fees, transit, lunch, etc.). We could book our excursions via email ahead of time, and there was a dedicated Costco travel rep from a local partner company assigned to the resort with a What’s app number, email and local cell number for any issues, scheduling or travel recommendation requests. I realized after talking with other guests that our excursions were pretty seamless and we had a decent value with pretty nice transportation options.

We are also executive members and now receive 2% back on travel purchases which also helps. I think you can also get 3% additional on travel with their credit card but I don’t use that.

As others have said, I have used them for car rentals - spouses/partners always included even in states where it is not standard. I like their Hyatt rates as well and have used those as they are typically discounted about 10% or so and you earn Hyatt points as well. In addition, their rooms are not restricted discount rates, they also offer their higher level rooms at the discount so it is good virtually all of the time unless they are sold out unlike some discounted rooms which are limited to a certain number...

All in all, I would use them again for a trip - we had a good experience compared with arranging everything ourselves like I did to France last year and hope it helps...

carolinaman
Posts: 3289
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:54 am

My daughter and SIL used a Costco travel package for an anniversary trip to the South Pacific. It was a great trip and Costco did a great job.

I went to Italy in 2015. I was traveling with a group to Tuscany. They had been to Tuscany before and planned everything themselves. I spent a week in Tuscany and then went to Rome by myself. I considered using Costco for hotel and tours but in the end did everything myself with the assist of some Tripadvisor.com travel experts. They helped me find a good hotel and suggested numerous sites to see. While in Rome I did day tours to the Colosseum, Vatican and Amalfi coast.

I am retired and inclined to be DIY with this sort of thing. It required a fair amount of my time to research everything. Costco would have made it much easier and quicker and at a fair price. If you prefer a DIY approach, do your own research and use Tripadvisor.com (the bogleheads of travel). If you are more comfortable with a travel agency handling things, Costco is a good choice.

Small Law Survivor
Posts: 570
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Small Law Survivor » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:43 am

Thank you for all this feedback - there is nothing negative here, and I am reassured :happy

One question:
noco-hawkeye wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:51 pm
I would not hesitate to use them again, especially if you are executive member with the credit card.
I'm not very "Costco-aware", but I'm pretty sure I am an "executive member" (paid a higher price for membership, $55 more, I believe), but I don't have a Costco credit card. If we do book this $5,000 trip through Costco, do you recommend I get a Costco credit card in advance and pay for the trip with that card? Thanks.

noco-hawkeye
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:20 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:21 am

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:43 am
Thank you for all this feedback - there is nothing negative here, and I am reassured :happy

One question:
noco-hawkeye wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:51 pm
I would not hesitate to use them again, especially if you are executive member with the credit card.
I'm not very "Costco-aware", but I'm pretty sure I am an "executive member" (paid a higher price for membership, $55 more, I believe), but I don't have a Costco credit card. If we do book this $5,000 trip through Costco, do you recommend I get a Costco credit card in advance and pay for the trip with that card? Thanks.
Yes - I would definitely do that. The credit card has no annual fee, and can be used in place of your costco membership / id card. I believe you will pay for your membership just with this one transaction (3% back I believe). The credit card also provides extra insurance for rental cars - it's a decent credit card to have all in all.

Gnirk
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:11 am
Location: Western Washington

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Gnirk » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:35 pm

We booked a Viking River cruise through Costco several years ago. We saved on the price of the cruise ( I think it was a 10% discount from Vikings 2-for-1 advertised rate) , and after the cruise received a $600-$700 Costco gift card , based on our membership level with Costco. We booked our own airfare. Unfortunately, the Viking River Cruises have become so popular that they are no longer available through Costco.

I always book our rental cars through Costco Travel.
Note: we used our Costco credit card.

User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Stinky » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:46 pm

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:43 am
Thank you for all this feedback - there is nothing negative here, and I am reassured :happy

One question:
noco-hawkeye wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:51 pm
I would not hesitate to use them again, especially if you are executive member with the credit card.
I'm not very "Costco-aware", but I'm pretty sure I am an "executive member" (paid a higher price for membership, $55 more, I believe), but I don't have a Costco credit card. If we do book this $5,000 trip through Costco, do you recommend I get a Costco credit card in advance and pay for the trip with that card? Thanks.
Absolutely get the credit card. No extra cost, 3% on all travel and restaurant meals, 4% on gas, rebate paid in cash once per year.

What's not to like?
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

User avatar
WestUniversity
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:27 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by WestUniversity » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:13 pm

A friend of ours has used them on a couple of occasions and has nothing but good things to say...

killjoy2012
Posts: 1044
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:43 pm

OP - We used Costco Travel for a one week Walt Disney World vacation last December. The package included hotel and tickets - no airfare. We stayed at the Swan, and their price for the package was cheaper than my MegaCorp Disney ticket discount + booking a lower tier Disney hotel individually. It worked out well - their communication was very good, no surprises, etc. I'd recommend them if they have a something that exactly meets your needs.

That said, I travel to Europe once a year for vacation, and I've been to Italy including the cities you mentioned. While I have some faith in Costco Travel, I would probably be too "type A" in that I would want strategy/control over hotel placement in the cities WRT tourist areas, metro/subway access, etc. etc. I think I'd be too picky on all of the details that go into picking the hotel, more than just whether it's a "good" hotel or rated well. I'm not sure how much time you've spent in Europe, but quick and convenient access to public transit is my #1 decision point, followed by how central it is to the things I plan to do, followed by price/niceness. The Disney trip is easy to go through a travel agent since Disney tickets are Disney tickets, and staying at Disney hotel is all pretty much the same thing... at least within the same price tiers. But when you're out on your own exploring large cities, there's more to it... and unless Costco just so happens to have the same hotels I would've picked location-wise, I'd probably opt for booking my own hotels directly.

Also, keep in mind that you're looking at an off peak travel time. A round trip airline ticket (coach) between the US and Rome is probably ~$1500 now, during the summer, but can be found as cheap as $400 in the Fall. So I'd suggest factoring that into your financial assessment of their offering and pricing.

amitb00
Posts: 430
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:04 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by amitb00 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:32 pm

Recently I booked cruise ticket from Costco travel and after I accounted for Costco gift card, it was cheaper than any where else by around $100 for $2000 total price. Then few weeks later, I wanted to buy ticket on same cruise for my parents. Expedia was cheaper than Costco and I bought it from Expedia. So it helps to compare all sites. Experience was great.
I have booked car rentals from Costco. One benefit is spouse (or any additional driver) can drive free if booked via Costco travel. Costs are same as other sites. YMMV

User avatar
Go Blue 99
Posts: 829
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:42 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Go Blue 99 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:39 pm

We recently booked a Disney Cruise with Costco Travel. They came in at the same pricing as the official Disney booking site, but Costco throws in a $500 Costco cash card, so that made the decision easy. They also had great customer service.

Mr.BB
Posts: 628
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 10:10 am

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by Mr.BB » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:59 pm

We used them one time for a Maui trip. Got an excellent deal on the hotel and it included the rental car. It's not always the best deal or have what we are looking for but, they are always a good option for comparing with other travel offers.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

thomase
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:48 pm

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Post by thomase » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:44 pm

We just got back from a one week Maui trip through Costco travel, which included airfare, car rental, hotel/resort. I did a little research and could not piece it together separately for less. I could only get it less by getting a cheaper airbnb place to stay at. And that's not even counting the 2% executive card cash back, another 2% (or 3% I forget) using Costco Visa for travel, and another $78 (varies based on package price) reward card to spend at any Costco warehouse. You definitely should try and see if you can piece it together for less, but I would use Costco travel again.

Post Reply