But what about other travel?
I thought I would compare. For the sake of this post I used October 15-22. It’s a date I was helping someone book a trip for and yes, its off peak, but let’s take a look anyway.
In addition, keep in mind if you have Costco executive membership you are earning 2% back or $20 on every $1,000 spent. Sometimes Costco offers cash cards too as an incentive for booking with them.
This comparison is strictly for the cash buyer (credit card etc.) that has no points or hotel status to take advantage of.
Costco- $2611.70 and included a rental car. It did not include the resort fees ($210) so 2821.70 total.
Marriott- with AAA showed $2,875.25 which included resort fee but no car. Also keep in mind I have never been asked for my AAA card. I’ll leave it at that.
Marriott also had a special package for anyone which included airport transportation and that was $2,538.92
Winner? Marriott, or is it Costco?
Why you ask? I can book my own car (through Costco) if I want for $254 so total is $2,792.92 for a savings of $28.78
Obviously if you have executive and get 2% back you save or just want the convenience of all together. But I always prefer booking direct if prices are comparable.
How about adding flights and making it a package?
Costco $ $3393.62 plus the resort fee so $3,593.62
Alaska Airlines- $2,626.35 plus resort fees (website claiming only $180 instead of $210) so I will call it $2,836.35. This appeared to be a sale, but again that’s why you always check a few places as it might save you hundreds of dollars.
Winner? Alaska Airlines
Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Costco-$978.78 plus resort fees ($15 per night) so $1083.78
Marriott-$116 a night plus resort fees and taxes. $1091.23 for the week
They also had a deal where you paid $116 a night but got up to a $200 resort credit which makes room about $891
Winner? Marriott. Take the deal that includes resort credit. Also, I have found that Puerto Vallarta prices at the hotels aren’t crazy high like some destinations.
Through Costco it makes the price $1,705.00. Now when I added flights this time it stated resort fee was included and you get a $50 resort credit. Based off the original Costco hotel only price, this values the flights at around $700 or $350 each. It also included airport transfer. In Puerto Vallarta Ill value that at about $30 total.
Also, as a tip, always remember to check southwest airlines for flights, especially if you have Southwest points or Chase points which can transfer.
In this case the cheapest flight I could find was $375 per person or $750 total
Winner on Package? Costco
On the package deal I would take Costco. But its splitting hairs here. I could book separately my self-taking the $1091 deal with $200 in resort credits and probably come out a little less. If it was me I would do direct but I have points and Marriott status at my disposal too. For pure convivence and price take the Costco deal.
Also, don’t forget with these package deals you essentially have to take the flights they offer otherwise you are paying more. Take that into consideration too. Its not always a possibility on international due to limited flights into these areas, but I like taking flights with less layovers and better arrival times to maximize my time.
Disneyland- A trip like this really depends on your needs, wants, and preferences. I don’t care to spend $300-500 a night on a Disney hotel room that isn’t much better than your standard hotel room anywhere else. Therefore, I searched for partner a hotel off site. Also, I didn’t include rental car into this comparison, but a car is usually needed but don’t forget about parking fees.
Costco- I picked a 7 day stay with 3 days in park for 2 adults. That gives you pool days and days to see everything else. This package includes 3-day park hopper with magic morning and premium character dining. It also mentions some discount book but never really specifies the discounts.
I stuck with Marriott brand and went with the Residence inn Main gate. It’s a studio site room. The package is $2528.12
To add airfare, it made the package $3068.12 or $540 for the flights. They only offered a direct non-stop flight one of the directions as well.
I found a round trip ticket for $187 per person or $374 total
I found the hotel for $1,732.66 booking direct
Park tickets are $660 for two to match the Costco offer
Winner? Costco for this hotel
Book the package with hotel and park tickets. Book your airfare separately.
My winner? Look for a different hotel and book separately. I had some hotels as cheap as $1100.00 for the 7 days. This is what I would do. Take the less expensive hotel. I would do 3 or 4 days around the park and then go out to the coast for a few days or somewhere else.
Book 4 nights at lower cost Marriott hotel for $595
Book your other 3 nights closer to LA or somewhere else for $600
Your park tickets were booked separate for $660. You Also may be able to save 5% through certain sites but overall, there are not many true discounts on park tickets.
Your flight was booked separate for the $374
Now you have done your 7-day trip for $2,200, for two. You have saved about $800 off the total Costco package price.
Overall, each situation presents many different options and comparisons that need to be made. There is no one perfect answer when comparing Costco to other travel options. I think Costco offers better deals than an Expedia and perhaps better customer service. Just remember when booking any package, if something goes wrong, the airlines and hotels will direct you to who you booked through which lead to many hassles.
I’m all about savings so I tend to book separate to save the money and have the travel protections in place. However, for pure convenience sometimes a package seems like the easy choice. If you are trying to earn hotel points, then booking direct is the way to go. On a package deal, you will still earn airline miles, but make sure they add your number to the reservation or you do it right after the trip.
One thing is for sure. Spending the extra 15 or 20 minutes to research all options may save you hundreds of dollars.