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Home Vacation We’re Not Using Costco Travel for a Vacation We Have in the Works. Here’s Why

We’re Not Using Costco Travel for a Vacation We Have in the Works. Here’s Why

by Staff

I’ve been a Costco member for about 18 years now. But there are certain membership perks I’m less familiar with than others.

For example, I know a lot of people love Costco’s optical center. I’ve never gotten my glasses there, though, since I’m a Warby Parker fan. And while I know Costco’s pharmacies can be a source of savings on prescriptions, because I’m able to order most of mine in bulk through my insurance, I find that my current system is cost-effective. 

One service of Costco’s I’ve only used once is its travel service. And that trip didn’t even end up happening because it was scheduled for the summer of 2020 and was subsequently canceled due to COVID-19.

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Since then, I’ve tried using Costco Travel for different vacations. But the nature of Costco Travel is such that it hasn’t been a good fit for the trips I’ve taken recently. And it’s not a good fit for the summer vacation I’m trying to plan.

A wide range of options — if you want a certain type of trip

If you look at Costco Travel, you’ll see a host of options for booking cruises, hotels, and resorts. Some of the deals look pretty awesome. 

Here’s the problem, though. Costco’s travel packages tend to target popular destinations — think resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Disney. But I specifically like to plan trips that are off the beaten path and not so loaded with tourists.

Last summer, for example, I spent a week in Northern Michigan, during which time my family had multiple hiking trails and beach spots to ourselves. This summer, we’re hoping to do some hiking in Northern Maine. And while I don’t expect to have the area to ourselves per se, it’s not an area that draws nearly the same crowds as a place like Disney.

Costco Travel doesn’t really offer much in the way of trips like that, though. If you search through Costco’s list of destinations on its site, Maine isn’t one of them. Neither is Michigan. That’s not shocking. But it also explains why using Costco Travel often isn’t feasible for me. 

Be mindful of Costco Travel’s limitations if it’s a draw in signing up

If you’re someone who enjoys traveling, you may be inclined to join Costco to gain access to its travel service. But if you’re someone who prefers to steer clear of crowds and carve out your own adventures, then Costco Travel probably isn’t going to be your go-to source for trip planning. 

Now, I’ll admit that I’m not someone who feels a big need to plan trips down to the details. I like to wing it while traveling and get tips from locals once I’m at my destination. Last year, for example, while hiking in Michigan, we ran into some random people at a trailhead who told us about an amazing spot we were able to check out later that day. 

I should also mention that I’ve been to Northern Maine before and already have a few spots in mind. So frankly, not being able to plan my trip through Costco Travel is no big loss. 

The benefit of booking a vacation package through Costco Travel is that all of the details will be sorted out for you. You can get away with doing very little research if that’s what suits you. And sometimes, it’s nice to be able to swipe your credit card and hand the planning over to someone else. But unless Costco Travel widens its scope, it’s probably not going to be a service I use often. 

Also, while you can save some money by booking trips through Costco, there are other tactics you can use as well. On my end, I tend to choose cheaper destinations to begin with. I also tend to pick destinations that are accessible by car so I’m just paying for gas and tolls instead of springing for flights. 

I may end up booking a trip through Costco Travel at some point. But that’s not an option for this summer.

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