A $120 Costco membership is worth it for the travel discounts

  • Costco Travel offers hotel stays, vacation packages, and car rentals, often at deeply discounted rates.
  • However, you must be a member. So even though I rarely shop there, I paid $120 to sign up.
  • The cost was more than worth it: I saved over $1,000 on a trip to the Dominican Republic.

With hotel prices and airfares up 28% higher than pre-pandemic prices, comparison shopping for travel is now more important than ever. High prices or not, there is no reason to pay more than you have to for a vacation with friends or a family vacation, especially when shopping at basic rates helps you find a better deal based on your destination and dates.

Fortunately, I’m pretty accustomed to shopping for deals whether I’m planning to book a flight with cash or pay in whole or in part with credit card rewards. Depending on the flight, I usually compare similar options on three or four comparable destinations for several sets of dates that fit our schedule.

That’s exactly what I was doing earlier this year when I was shopping for the June 2022 family vacation. That’s when I started delving into Costco Travel and all that this portal has to offer.

Joining Costco saved me $1000 on a trip to the Dominican Republic

I wasn’t a Costco member at the time, but my job as a travel writer meant I was familiar with checking the portal for different vacation packages and rental car deals. Once I started looking at all-inclusive resort deals on Costco Travel, I was hooked.

Several Costco searches for different destinations and dates yielded less expensive results than booking direct or through travel booking sites such as Expedia and Travelocity. Not only that, but many vacation packages through Costco came with rewards like a Costco gift card, resort credits, or free airport transfers to boot.

The Dominican Republic was among the destinations I was considering for an all-inclusive resort vacation, and I quickly focused on a vacation package at Royalton Bavaro, which is just 30 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport.

After searching several sets of dates for this resort, I found that I could book the exact room I wanted with the upgraded Diamond Club facilities for as little as $1,000 through Costco Travel compared to other travel sites.

During my favorite set of dates, it was eight nights in a deluxe presidential one bedroom with access to Diamond Club for $6,252.40 on the Royalton reservations website.

Screenshot of a website showing the cost of a hotel room


Royalton Bavaro


Meanwhile, the selected room with Diamond Club access was less than $5,000 ($4,967 to be exact) at Costco Travel including taxes and fees. On top of that, this holiday package by Costco also came with a $438 Costco store card which we received a few weeks after we got home from our trip. We also got a private airport shuttle from the airport to our resort which is included in the package.

Screenshot of a website showing the cost of staying in a hotel by costco travel


costco


When comparing the cost of these packages, the cash price difference is a whopping $1,285.40. Add the value of a Costco store ticket ($438) and a round-trip airport shuttle ($100+), and the disparity on the two vacation packages extends even further.

Of course, I wasn’t a Costco member at the time, but that quickly changed once I found this vacation package. I quickly headed over to my local Costco to join and chose the Executive Membership ($120 per year) because this level of membership would earn me 2% of the rewards on the flight and everything else I buy. Booking this vacation package alone would net me nearly $100 in cash, which almost paid my full Costco membership fee.

I rarely shop at Costco, but my membership is worth every penny

Since I found out that Costco has such amazing deals on resort accommodations, I’ve found many other great deals similar to this one. In fact, I’ve already booked the Royalton Bavaro through Costco Travel for spring break 2023 at a similar discount, and I’m keeping an eye on other reservations in destinations like Antigua, Hawaii, and Mexico.

Although I rarely make it to Costco to shop, getting to Costco Travel has already proven to be worth the cost of admission. If you are looking for ways to save money on your next vacation, you should definitely check this out.

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