The agents know their stuff, as Costco Travel
makes continuing education a priority. “It’s very
important that our reservations agents are always
kept current and knowledgeable on all our products
to offer the best possible service,” says Shannon.
And Costco Travel truly delivers on the travel
Value-added inclusions are affixed whenever
possible at no additional cost. Extras might include
hotel-room or stateroom upgrades, resort or shipboard credits, and savings on golf or spa services.
For instance, when the hubby and I booked our
Egyptian vacation last year through Costco Travel/
Trafalgar, an escorted guide was included. Imagine
our thrill at being led through the cradle of history
by a real-life Indiana Jones, complete with a master’s degree in Egyptology and deep knowledge of
many ancient Egyptian civilizations and languages.
Costco’s private label, Kirkland Signature™, is
given only to those products that have met Costco’s
strict standards of quality and value. Introduced a few
years ago by Costco Travel, Kirkland Signature vacations are held to those same high standards and are
often one-of-a-kind, offering exotic destinations and
unique experiences, and reflecting 20 percent savings
or more off the price of an equivalent vacation.
Past Kirkland Signature vacations have included
packages, cruises, cruise tours and escorted vacations spanning the globe, from Alaska, Hawaii and
Tahiti to South Africa, China, Costa Rica, Egypt
At the moment, Costco Travel Kirkland
Signature offers include a Trafalgar-escorted United
States Wild West Adventure (see story on page 87)
and a luxurious South African package featuring
the elegant Rovos Rail and game drives.
Let your fingers do the planning
Costco Travel is always on the go, and new offer-
ings pop up almost daily. To stay abreast of what’s
available, visit Costco.com and click
on “Travel.” All offers, last-minute
deals, updated pricing and addi-
tional information are available here.
Spend time at “Hot Deals” in the center of
the home page. Selected weekly by a panel of
Costco Travel buyers, these sizzlers provide significant value to members.
“Buyer’s Choice” packages can include various
components such as accommodations, transportation and/or tours at particular destinations that are
especially negotiated by Costco Travel buyers, generally reflecting savings of at least 15 percent.
The Costco Connection
For more on reservations, inquiries and assistance,
call 1-877-849-2730 toll-free Monday through
Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.
to 5: 30 p.m., Pacific time, or visit Costco.com and
click on “Travel.”
A special getawayfor Costco couples for Costco couples
WHILE I WAS VISITING the folks at Costco Travel, they
told me about one of their latest offerings at the all-inclusive Couples Sans Souci Resort, nestled in Ocho
Costco members can get a one-bedroom beach-front suite with an oceanfront view and Jacuzzi tub,
plus unlimited meals, horseback riding, golf, scuba
diving, windsurfing and tennis instruction, and more.
For Costco members, Costco Travel has carved
out a room-rate reduction plus an exclusive triple room
upgrade and a $100 tour credit for a Chukka Caribbean
Adventure (zip-lining, etc.) at savings of $1,240 per
couple, hotel taxes and gratuities included.
Book this five-night package for $955 per person
from January 1 to 31, 2010, and travel anytime from
January 2 to April 3, 2010.
At Costco Travel, romance is alive (and
“Your Way” is where members pick and choose
elements. It’s fun and informative to plug in variations
and watch the price change to meet budget needs.
Click on any of Costco Travel’s home-page
menu selections and you will find booking options
plus a wealth of destination and travel information, including maps, detailed hotel descriptions
For example, a quick search of the site recently
showed swift getaways to Paris or London, snorkeling in Tahiti, collecting leaves in New England next
fall, sipping a pint in Ireland on a Trafalgar tour,
living the good life at the new Kauai St. Regis
Princeville Resort, eating gelato in Italy or sailing
off on a lengthy cruise to exotic ports in Africa,
Asia or South America.
Online cruise bookings
The Costco Travel Web site’s latest launch, with
a gradual rollout over the next few months, is online
cruise bookings. When complete, nearly all of
Costco Travel’s vacation offerings—including
Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean, Europe, Las Vegas,
Desert Resorts, Disneyland® Resort and rental
cars—will be bookable online.
The new cruise search engine is exceptionally
shipshape. You can search using a wide set of
cruise parameters, including destinations, month
of travel, embarkation city and cruise line. You can
then sort your search results by price, sail length
or ship ratings (provided by Berlitz) and select an
exact deck and cabin.
Best of all, the site can calculate a past-passenger rate. This is for those who may have traveled on
a particular cruise line before and may be entitled
to past-passenger benefits. So you can add this in
the calculator and Costco Travel honors this.
Entering its 10th year, Costco Travel has provided members with a decade of great travel experiences and a lifetime of memories.
And with the kind of value Costco Travel provides, they make it remarkably easy for anyone—
savvy traveler or not—to create a lifetime more.
Happy travels! C
■ Executive Members
receive special benefits on
many offerings. Look for
the Executive Member
■ All members receive 2%
cash back for any Costco
Travel purchase made
with the True-Earnings®
Card from Costco and
■ Travel Guide to Savings,
focusing on a selection of
Costco Travel’s best deals,
is distributed each May,
July and November at warehouse service kiosks.
■ Many packages allow you to
customize your travel dates,
length of stay and room category to suit your needs.
■ Alamo, Avis, Budget and
Enterprise car rental rates
reflect up to 25 percent
savings. Seek out special
coupon offers too.
■ If you receive a mailer,
e-mail, catalog or past-passenger discount from one of
Costco Travel’s partners, you
might be able to combine
Costco member benefits.
■ Sign up on Costco Travel’s
site for Hot Deal instant
notification via Twitter and