Hilton Hawaiian Village

Does Costco Travel Save Money On Hawaii Vacations?

Costco Travel has a range of offerings that are worth checking into for a Hawaii vacation. While we reported the savings at Costco Gas in Hawaii were less than expected, the same is not true with their travel program. Costco Travel sells Hawaii vacation packages, hotels, and car rentals. So just how well does this work on saving you money when planning a Hawaii vacation?

Who doesn’t like a deal, especially a Hawaii travel deal. In theory, Costco uses its bulk buying power we’re all familiar with at its warehouses to offer deals better than can be obtained in retail. We decided to do a price comparison of some Costco Hawaii Travel offers and see how well they fared. The results were very interesting.

In addition to the price comparison, we gleaned a lot from the exercise, which may be helpful in your Hawaii vacation planning. Let’s start there.

  1. Who is Costco Travel? It is a true division of Costco, rather than a third party. You may be familiar with the airlines’ vacation packages, and those are different. For example, a travel agency owns Southwest Vacations. “Southwest Vacations is the leisure vacation package product for Southwest Airlines and is operated by ALG Vacations Corp.” The same is true of virtually all airline vacation packaging. But not so with Costco. Costco says, “Costco Travel is a division of Costco Wholesale headquartered in Issaquah, Washington.” The people you deal with there are actual Costco employees.
  2. How to use Costco Travel. You start by choosing your Hawaii destination, and you can be as specific as you’d like. Then enter travel dates and get to the first question, which is whether or not you want to include flights. You will be presented with their offers sorted by lowest priced first. Each comes with a preview from which you can drill down. As you go through the process, you’ll also be offered airport transfers and car rentals, in addition to choosing your specific accommodation. Each choice updates the total price and total amount due to reserve, shown in the upper right.
  3. What kinds of offers are and aren’t included in Costco’s Hawaii travel. The range of hotels was quite large, from modest to luxury, and everywhere in between. There are many choices. What isn’t included, however, and this is big, are most Hawaii vacation rentals. Those are incredibly popular for a variety of reasons including location and amenities. When it comes to accommodations with kitchens, however, we did find a number of those listed on Costco Travel.
  4. Should you include Hawaii airfare in your package? Our opinion is definitely not, and for these multiple reasons. First, airfares change up to 5 times daily, and Costco Travel can’t keep pace with that. Also, airlines aren’t going to give Costco a better price than they do you; it just doesn’t work that way in air travel, and hasn’t for years. Also, in our current situation of Hawaii flight delays and cancelations, you’ll want to have a direct relationship with the airline just in case you run into trouble and need to change anything. Lastly, should you want to make changes or try upgrading, you may only be able to do those when booking directly with the airline.

Sample Hawaii Costco Travel Savings.

For our trip plans used to compare prices, we chose the travel dates of September 14–21, 2022. We selected two guests, and the lowest priced accommodation (garden or interior view). We selected compact as the type of rental car.

1. Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki: Costco saved $308.76.


Costco.com: 2,463.40

Hilton.com $2,701.76.

Savings: Costco saved 12%

Shuttle to/from airport.

If you choose to use a shuttle to the hotel and back (viable in Honolulu, especially since Hilton charges from $55 to $65 per day for parking).

Costco.com included at no charge. Costco also provides free lei greeting.

Speedyshuttle.com $70.40.

Savings: $70.40.

Optional Compact car rental (not included in savings calculation).

Costco.com Alamo compact car $510.13

Kayak.com Hertz compact car: $290

Savings: -$220.13 (Costco costs more as they don’t respond as quickly to market changes as the provider).

Total savings $308.76

2. Residence Inn, Wailea Maui. Costco saved $1,276.28.


Costco.com #3,906.72 (4,166.72 -$261 Costco gift card, and -40.50 to downgrade to compact car).

Marriott.com  $4,893 (or $4,649 if prepaid).

Savings: Costco saves 20%

Compact car rental.

Costco.com included at no charge.

Kayak.com Hertz compact car: $290

Savings: $290.00

Total savings $1,276.28

3. Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort (previously Marriott), Lihue Kauai. Costco saved $2,629.25.


Costco.com $2,358.75 ($3,451.75 -$191 Costco gift card, -$100 food credit, -$201 resort fee, and downgrade car to compact).

Sonesta.com $4,601.

Savings: Costco saves 49%

Compact car rental.

Costco.com included at no charge.

Kayak.com Dollar compact car: $387

Savings: $387.00

Total Costco savings: $2,629.25

So just how much can you save in total on a Hawaii vacation with Costco.

1. Accommodations. Savings varied greatly, but in every case we checked, Costco Travel was lower priced to a greater or lesser degree. We checked prices both on the official hotel website as well as at Expedia, Priceline, and others. At Royal Sonesta on Kauai, the accommodation savings amounted to a whopping 49%.

2. Costco Hawaii vacation package bonuses. We calculated these into the savings shown. Those include gift cards, resort credits, free airport transfers, and free Hawaii car rentals.

3. Additional Costco savings not calculated. There’s also the 2% reward you can get based on an executive ($120) annual Costco membership and an additional 3% savings on travel when using a Costco-branded Visa card.

4. Things to check. Refund and cancelation policies. This varies by location and provider. Frequently, the Costco Travel terms such as cancelation policy, were better.

Bottom line. The savings we found on Costco Travel, were better than expected, and make sense even if you aren’t already a Costco member.

We welcome your input.

26 thoughts on “Does Costco Travel Save Money On Hawaii Vacations?”

  1. Just booked Royal Hawaiian suite promotion. For 6 nights, deal came out roughly $4500 total for Historical ocean view suite (730 sq ft) . But on marriot.com and other hotel booking sites, it’s quoting $3100/night for the same room!

    Is the deal too good to be true or is it a system error or glitch? Should I be worried?

  2. I used Costco for a family trip to Maui recently. It was a package deal inclusive of airfare, hotel and car rental. We had a great time but I never received the advertised ShopCard after our return. When I inquired, they said no, not all of their vacation packages include this. So I feel that was misleading and disappointing.

  3. The savings work for mainland visitors. Same cannot be said for Kama’aina looking to travel to Fiji for example. The price included airfare from LA. When I asked for a stay-only rate, the rep. said that it could not be unbundled. He even expressed frustration because they get this request a lot.

    As for booking hotels, when we fly to Oahu, we book ahead. Then a day or two before departure we’ll go through a third party source (eg. Booking.com) to check on last minute price offers. On our last trip the rate went from $267 to $99. That rate waived resort fees and gave us club privileges. Those were access to a private breakfast room, free breakfast and free drinks. This tactic has worked every time.

  4. Costco is a great tool for booking travel.

    Pricing isn’t the only reason I book travel with Costco it’s also their exclusive perks that attract me to their packages. I look for no resort fee’s, free parking, resort credits, free breakfast & no additional charge for room upgrade.

    The ability to cancel and re-book is a real plus for me.

    I also like the small upfront refundable deposit fee, usually 200.00, and how they layout the cancellation policy for your trip. As an executive member that 2 percent kick back is nice.

    Over the years I’ve learned some really neat tricks that have secured me some awesome resort stay deals using Costco, none that I’m willing to share.

  5. Mahalo for the info. It’s not the way in which we go or rent in Hawaii. However, it could work for Tahiti. We plan to be in Maui later this year.

    1. Hi Lynn.

      Thanks. We’re very happy that you found it useful. We were pleasantly surprised ourselves.


  6. Great Hawaii travel info!!!
    My observations:
    1-On Costco hotel/resort offerings, many properties that charge a “resort fee” to the general public often do not do so when the property is offered by Costco.
    2- The Sonesta Kauai Hotel should be distinguished from most of the accommodations on this property which is known as Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club and shares the property’s common areas (pools, garden, beach access, etc.). Aside from the Porte cochere and 3-story escalator entrance, the entry for Marriott timeshare owners is the tall oceanfront building near the entrance to Dukes Restaurant.
    Jim E

  7. I recommend checking Costco Travel frequently. We got a fantastic deal on an upcoming club-level stay at Outrigger Reef that includes resort credit and (as always with Costco) no resort fees. It was only on the website for about a day and a half before the offer disappeared.

  8. I got the deal of a lifetime through Costco last year.
    $4500 for 12 nights at Westin Hapuna, premium ocean view, resort fee, parking, rental car and get this $200 a day resort credit, so $2400! I felt like they were paying me to come. Those days are gone though. Paid almost double this year for much less but still got a good deal through Costco. The beauty of Costco is if you book and a better deal comes up you just cancel and rebook (Hapuna has a very generous cancellation policy via Costco).

  9. Costco Travel tip: Work from the bottom up when booking a package online. Costco has a specific order on purpose to charge you more for any changes.

  10. Your Costco rental comparison is incomplete and missed one of the biggest benefits of using Costco-you can book, cancel, and then rebook again-all at no charge until you pick it up. And that is awesome. Most people book a trip and either don’t look back or can’t because they can’t change their reservations. On my last trip to Maui in May I rented a minivan from the 8th to the 22nd. I cancelled and rebooked my reservation 5 times. Costco allows you to do this and I save a lot of money every trip.
    Costco price changes
    Enterprise $1175
    Avis $1014.90
    avis $947
    avis $901.22
    avis $879.22
    alamo $874.43

    On this trip I saved $300. And that is the out the door price – no extra or hidden fees

    1. From what I see with costco is the rental cars save you money, two drivers are free.. and you can book and rebook if you see a better price or a car, this works anywhere you go. The hotels however aren’t a great deal, you get a lesser room, but if that’s ok with you, then thats great. Most can’t (won’t) afford the cost of a hotel in Hawaii… crazy $$

  11. Last fall we used a COSTCO package without air as your comparisons. We stayed at the Westin in Kaanapali and saved +$1300 for our gang of seven. We would have saved a couple of hundred dollars more if we didn’t have to make last minute changes requiring us to rent an extra car and paying for an extra night’s lodging.
    BTW Southwest cancelled our return flight home that stranded us in Las Vegas (the 9th island) overnight. Their vouchers enabled us to get to NYC this spring. Mahalo

    1. Hi Brad.

      Thanks for letting us know how things went for you here and sit your free trip to NYC.


  12. I booked three Costco hotels and car rentals this past April and saved a ton of money! Booking through Costco saved us the daily resort fee too which adds up quickly. The free airport transfer was so worth it for the Waikiki hotel. We stayed at the Royal Sonesta on Kauai and then had two bookings at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki. Totally recommend Costco Travel for Hawaii.

  13. I use Costco travel exclusively when booking my Hawaiian vacations, one more advantage of using them is all resort fees are included or greatly reduced in the total price for hotel stays, you will still have to pay cleaning fees for condo stays however, as far as airfare is concerned, Hawaiian airlines allowed us to upgrade to comfort plus seat with no problem, we even bid on first class seats as well, just use your Costco confirmation number when making changes on the airline website, one more thing to add, always check the modify room option when booking, sometimes a cheaper room will be hidden there, when booking a car as well, the package price always includes a full size car, but you can sometimes downgrade to a smaller car for cheape

  14. Did you forget about the Costco cash card Costco sends after your travel! Depends on the cost of your entire trip but for us it was about $700

  15. Aloha, we cannot wait for our stay on Kauai in August! I thought you might like to know that the $1068 fullsize car I rented from Costco in April has now gone down to $698! I will continue to check prices because they may continue to go down. Mahalo for your great newsletter. I look forward to it every day!

  16. Aloha, we cannot wait for our stay on Kauai in August! I thought you might like to know that the $1068 fullsize car I rented from Costco in April has now gone down to $698! I will continue to check prices because they may continue to ho down. Mahalo for your great newsletter. I look forward to it every day!

  17. I saved over 50% a few years back staying at the Kahala. Plus free breakfast Buffett which is expensive like $80 a person. no resort or parking fees. Gotta hit the dates right.


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