Costco Hawaii Vacation Review: 9 Things to Know Before Buying - Hawaii Vacation Guide (2023)

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Sometimes it can feel like booking a vacation is a full-time job. You want to do your research, plan the best route and get a good deal. Especially if you're going somewhere as expensive as Hawaii. With all this work, you might wonder if using a travel agent like Costco Travel isn't a better idea.

Booking a Hawaii vacation at Costco is suitable for someone who wants to book flights, hotel and car all in one place for one great price. Costco Hawaii vacations aren't cheap, but you can get some great deals. But there are also a few reasons why you can skip it and book your own tour.

We've broken down an overview of the cost of traveling to Hawaii with nine things you need to know before booking.

Costco Hawaii Vacation Review: 9 Things to Know Before Buying - Hawaii Vacation Guide (1)

Costco Hawaii Vacation Review: 9 things you need to know

Considering a Costco Hawaii vacation? We went through the various options and found nine things you should know:

1. Holiday packages can save you money

A trip to Hawaii is expensive, so most people are looking for additional ways to save a few bucks on the trip. That's where Costco comes in: they offer Hawaii vacation packages that aren't cheap, but they offer good value for money.

To see how much you could save, we priced a week's trip to Maui in October 2020, staying at the Westin Kaanapali. The total cost for a Costco vacation package is $3,877 for flights for four people, a hotel room, and a rental car.

In addition to this fee, you also get a $100 Activity Credit and a $199 Costco Store Card.

If you book everything separately, the total cost will be $4,222 and you will not receive a credit card or purchase card. That's a saving of $345 just for booking through Costco.

2. Booking less than a full package may not save you anything

What if you want to handle the flight booking yourself? This is a great way to save money if you use airline miles.

But you may not want to use Costco for hotel bookings and car rentals; in fact, you may not save any money.

Using the example above and a week's stay at the Westin Kaanapali Hotel, booking a hotel and renting a car at Costco costs $2,602. Booking a hotel and renting a car separately, total cost is $2496 including $100 activity credit.

Yes, you read that right: using Costco to book your hotel and car rental actually makes you spend more.

We double-checked it at another hotel on the island, the Fairmont Kea Lani.

A six night package in October 2020 at Fairmont Kea Lani is $4,010 via Costco. This includes a rental car and a $100 activity credit.

Separate booking of hotel and rental car costs USD 4003. Yes, you lose $100 of activity credit but save $7.

Bottom line: real savings come when you book complete packages.

(Video) Hawaii Trip Planning 2023 | 9 Things To Know Before You Book Your Hawaii Vacation

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3. Additional rental car driver added at no charge

Are you coming with a friend? You can add an additional driver to your rental car booking for free if you book with Alamo or Enterprise. Since Alamo charges an additional $10 per day for an additional driver, this cost can add up.

If you're not booking through Costco but still want to add an extra driver at no extra charge, try our favorite rental car booking tool,Cheap car rental in Hawaii.

Costco Hawaii Vacation Review: 9 Things to Know Before Buying - Hawaii Vacation Guide (3)

4. Book easily and in one place

Price is not always the biggest motivator. Sometimes you really want a comfortable vacation in Hawaii. Costco Travel offers this.

Simply enter your departure dates and city in the booking portal and they will take care of the rest. Your flights, hotel and rental car will be booked in just a few clicks. In addition, everything is managed in one place. You don't have to dig through your email for different confirmations. Costco has you covered.

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(Video) The Best Time to Visit Hawaii | Best Weather, Smallest Crowds, and Best Prices are in this Month

5. Additional Refund

Do you have executive membership? You can get back 2% of your purchase. In a $5,000 vacation package, that's an extra $100 in Costco rewards. While 2% may seem like a lot compared to the total cost, you can add it to the savings you get by booking a trip with them.

If you have a Citi Costco Anywhere Visa card, you will receive a 3% cashback. On a $5,000 vacation, you get $150 back.

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6. Activities could be better

Hawaii really does have some of the best activities to do. Snorkeling, helicopter flights, hiking. The islands offer something for almost everyone.

And the Costco travel bundle includes a $100 activity credit. This activity credit is usually not enough to pay for an activity for one person. So if you want to take advantage of the loan, in many situations you will have to incur an additional cost.

That's the problem: the activities you can use the credit for are fine. However, these may not be activities you really want to do.

For example, the Pride of Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise is a good option to get out on the water and use up your credit. But if your heart was set on a catamaran, sailboat or smaller group, this is not the activity for you.

If you're up for a very specific activity, such as a sunset sail or luau, it's probably best to skip booking with activity credit and pay for the activities you actually want to do. You probably saved a few hundred dollars on a vacation package.

Related reading: Should I book a party at Lele or Old Lahaina Luau?

(Video) Waikiki Hotels: 7 Things to Know Before Booking a Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii

Costco Hawaii Vacation Review: 9 Things to Know Before Buying - Hawaii Vacation Guide (7)

7. Available hotels and holiday accommodation

We love a good hotel in Hawaii, but sometimes vacation rentals fit the bill better (especially when you're traveling with kids). Costco offers the possibility to book both hotels and vacation rentals, giving you great opportunities.

Costco Hawaii hotel options include some of the best places, such as:

Maui Hotels:

  • Westina Kaanapali
  • Sheraton Kaanapali
  • Fairmont Kea Lani
  • Double Ritz Carlton
  • Four Seasons
  • big wailea

Oahu Hotels:

  • aulani z disneya
  • Hotel w Waikiki
  • Waikiki Beach Marriott
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village
  • El Laylow
  • Surfer Moany
  • Turtle Bay Hotel

Kauai Hotels:

  • Playa de coco Sheraton Kauai
  • Kauai Marriott
  • Wielki Hyatt
  • Koloa Landing Facility

Hotele w Big Island:

  • Playa Westin Hapuna
  • Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa
  • Aldea Hilton Waikoloa
  • orchidea Fairmont
  • the sky is left

The only thing missing: access to boutique hotels on the islands. There are some great smaller or independently run hotels on the island. If this type of accommodation suits you better, booking with Costco is not the best option for you.

8. The cancellation policy is not good

If you're the type of person who doesn't do well with the early booking commitment (like me), Costco isn't a good choice. Once you've booked your tour, you're subject to a fairly rigid cancellation policy, with a maximum refund of 75%.

This is not a problem for everyone. But if you think there's a chance your plans might change, booking with Costco won't work in your favor.

I should also point out that Costco received terrible reviews during the first wave of vacation cancellations due to COVID. People have been left with no refund or waiting for hours. I think most tour companies have had trouble dealing with this situation, but negative reviews will make you stop. Sometimes in these situations it is better to book directly with the hotel or airline.

9. This is a prepayment

This can be good or bad depending on who you are. If you like to go on vacation knowing everything is paid for, Costco Hawaii vacation packages are for you. Everything is prepaid and you leave knowing you won't be coming home with huge credit card bills (well, except for food and activities, which can be very expensive).

But if you don't like paying for your vacation before you go, booking with Costco might hurt a bit. You can pay on a schedule so you don't pay the full amount right away, but you will pay the full cost of the booked package before you go on your trip.

Costco can be a great place to book a trip to Hawaii. You will probably save a lot of money by buying a complete package and taking care of all the details with just a few clicks and decisions.

But there are some distinct downsides to using them. Consider your options carefully and you'll book the trip you've been dreaming of, your way.

Whether you're planning a trip to Hawaii with Costco or not,our free routes will be of great help.

Related reading:

  • What is the cheapest Hawaiian island?
  • Hawaii Holiday Shopping List (with printable list)
  • The 14 best things to do on a budget in Maui
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(Video) Is Costco Hawaii travel a good deal?


Costco Hawaii Vacation Review: 9 Things to Know Before Buying - Hawaii Vacation Guide? ›

April thru June and mid-August thru mid-September are Hawaii's "low seasons," and airfares are lower then. No matter what time of year you travel, you may be able to score better deals if you travel midweek.

What month is the cheapest month to go to Hawaii? ›

April thru June and mid-August thru mid-September are Hawaii's "low seasons," and airfares are lower then. No matter what time of year you travel, you may be able to score better deals if you travel midweek.

How much does an average vacation to Hawaii cost? ›

How much does a trip to Hawaii cost? The average cost of a one week trip to Hawaii is $4000. Accommodation in Hawaii is the most expensive cost at an average of $275/night. Flights range from $500-$1000 roundtrip, and the average food and drink cost is almost $100/day.

What is the best month to visit Hawaii? ›

In the summer, it will certainly be more crowded, so early June is best, and during the winter, though typically wetter, we recommend January, especially if you want to see the humpback whales.

How much should I budget for a trip to Hawaii? ›

The average price of a 7-day trip to Hawaii is $2,023 for a solo traveler, $2,986 for a couple, and $4,371 for a family of 4. Hawaii hotels range from $96 to $433 per night with an average of $177, while most vacation rentals will cost $270 to $810 per night for the entire home.

How many days in Hawaii is enough? ›

How many days are enough in Hawaii? While you might never want to leave Hawaii, usually people plan to stay 7-10 days during their vacation to Hawaii. That gives enough time to get over jet lag, participate in a few scheduled activities, explore the Hawaiian island a bit, and have time to relax and unwind.

What day of the week is cheapest to fly to Hawaii? ›

Flights to Hawaii are more reasonable midweek

To get the best airfare prices, look to fly on Tuesday and Wednesdays. All summer long, midweek flights are a better price.

What time of year is Hawaii cheapest? ›

When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Hawaii
  • The Fall. September through the first two weeks of December are the off-peak or "low season" in Hawaii. ...
  • April and May. The months between the end of the winter rainy season and the start of summer offer great prices and fantastic weather.
Sep 19, 2021

What is considered low season in Hawaii? ›

Low season (April to mid-June; September to mid-December)

Interestingly enough, fall and spring are Hawaii's lowest travel seasons. April to the middle of June, and then again from September until the middle of December. There are two exceptions— the final week of April or Golden Week and the week of Thanksgiving.

Which Hawaiian island is least expensive to visit? ›

Due to the abundance of hotels, activities, tours, and attractions, Oahu is the cheapest Hawaiian island to visit. Between the competitive prices and myriad of things to do, those looking for a budget vacation to Hawaii will find that Oahu is exactly what they've been searching for.

Why is Hawaii cheaper in September? ›

You must consider several costs before traveling to Hawaii, including airfare, lodging, and the costs of activities like whale watching and snorkeling. With summer demands decreasing, rates for visiting Hawaii in September tend to be lower.


1. Which Hawaiian Island Should You Visit | Start Here for Your Hawaii Vacation Planning
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