A $120 Costco Membership Is Worth It for the Travel Discounts

  • Costco Travel offers hotel stays, vacation packages, and rental cars, often at highly discounted rates.
  • However, you have to 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 prices for hotels skyrocketing and the cost of plane tickets up as much as 28% when compared to pre-pandemic pricing, comparison shopping for travel is more important now than ever before. High prices or not, there’s no reason to pay more than you have to for a getaway with friends or a family vacation, especially when some basic price shopping can help you find a better deal based on your destination and dates.

Fortunately, I am very much accustomed to shopping for deals whether I am planning to book a trip with cash or paying fully or partially with credit card rewards. Depending on the trip, I usually compare similar options in three or four comparable destinations for several sets of dates that work with our schedule.

That’s exactly what I was doing earlier this year when I was shopping for our summer family vacation for June of 2022. And that’s when I started digging deeply into Costco Travel and all this portal has to offer.

Joining Costco saved me $1,000 on a trip to the Dominican Republic

I was not a Costco member at the time, but my work as a travel writer means I was acquainted with checking the portal for various vacation packages and car rental deals. Once I started looking at all-inclusive resort deals on Costco Travel, however, I was hooked.

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

One of the destinations I was considering for an all-inclusive resort getaway was the Dominican Republic, and I quickly zeroed in on a vacation package at the Royalton Bavaro, which is just 30 minutes from the 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 upgraded Diamond Club amenities for more than $1,000 less through Costco travel than through other travel sites. 

During my preferred set of dates, eight nights in a Luxury Presidential One Bedroom with Diamond Club access was going for $6,252.40 on the Royalton booking website.

a screenshot of a website showing the cost of a hotel room



Royalton Bavaro


In the meantime, the exact room with Diamond Club access was going for less than $5,000 ($4,967, to be exact) on Costco Travel including taxes and fees. On top of that, this vacation package through Costco also came with a $438 Costco Shop Card that we received a few weeks after returning home from our trip. We also got private airport transfers from the airport to our resort included in the package.

a screenshot of a website showing the cost of a stay at a hotel through costco travel



Costco


When you compare the cost of these packages, the price difference in cash is a whopping $1,285.40. Add in the value of the Costco Shop Card ($438) and the round-trip airport transfers ($100+), and the disparity in these two vacation packages stretches even further.

Of course, I was not a Costco member at the time, but that changed quickly once I found this vacation package. I quickly headed to my local Costco to join and I opted for the Executive membership ($120 per year) since this tier of membership would net me 2% back in rewards on the trip and everything else I buy. Booking this vacation package alone would net me almost $100 in cash back, which almost paid the full Costco membership fee.

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

Since finding out Costco has such amazing deals on resort stays, I have found several other awesome deals similar to this one. In fact, I already booked the Royalton Bavaro through Costco Travel for spring break of 2023 with a similar discount, and I have my eye on other bookings in destinations like Antigua, Hawaii, and Mexico.

Even though I rarely make it to Costco to shop, having access to Costco Travel has already proven to be well worth the cost of admission. If you’re searching for ways to save money on your next getaway, you should definitely check it out.

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