Love to Travel? Here Are 3 Massive Benefits of a Costco Membership

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  • Costco operates in 14 countries around the globe.
  • It's easy to order ahead from any Costco store worldwide and pick up when you arrive.
  • Eating healthy is easier when a Costco run is scheduled shortly before a road trip. 

Who knew Costco could enhance all types of travel experiences?

As part of a couple who frequently travels, I realize that Costco has offered us some pretty massive benefits over the years. Even without touching on the perks associated with its travel services, here are three ways Costco has made our lives better. 

1. Provides a taste of home

Costco has 583 locations in 46 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, but did you know it also operates in 13 foreign countries? Here's where you can find Costco stores around the globe:

  • 107 locations in Canada
  • 29 in the United Kingdom
  • 14 in Taiwan
  • 18 in Korea
  • 31 in Japan
  • 14 in Australia
  • 40 in Mexico
  • 4 in Spain
  • 1 in Iceland
  • 2 in France
  • 2 in China
  • 1 in New Zealand
  • 1 in Sweden

Several things happened when my husband and I moved to Central Mexico. We fell in love with the people, the culture, and the food. Oddly enough, though, I eventually found myself missing American food. I didn't want it for every meal, but I longed to buy the ingredients for some of our favorites. 

Fortunately, there was a Costco in our town. While most of the groceries available there were Mexican staples, they also carried enough American items for me to cobble together an American dish or two.

As I look back at our early days living in Mexico, I realize how nice it was to have one familiar touchstone, even if it was a box store that looked just like the one we shopped at back home. 

If, like us, you find yourself settling in new countries or you simply enjoy international travel, you're far more likely to find familiar staples at your nearest Costco. 

2. Saves money on vacation

I find that some expenses are easier to budget for than others on vacation. For example, I know how much airfare, lodgings, and a rental car are going to cost. The wildcard is meals. For one thing, I'm never sure how many meals we're going to want a day, and I rarely know anything about the cost of food in the area we're visiting. I can try to budget for it, but I normally find that I'm way off. 

We picked up a trick from my son and his family after a recent U.S. excursion. They decided in advance how many meals they would eat out. Then, in anticipation of the meals they would eat back at the hotel, they ordered groceries ahead of time. 

While Costco doesn't offer curbside pickup, you can order anything you need from the store location nearest to your lodgings and pick your order up inside the warehouse once you arrive. You can also order snacks for the kids, cheap water toys, or any other items you're likely to pay too much for in a tourist area. 

3. Makes road trips a little less queasy (and expensive)

If you're anything like me, you like the idea of a road trip, but the reality ends up being a disgusting mix of car sickness and dietary regrets. For years, I purchased the same junk food any time we stopped for a fill-up. Knowing that I would feel like garbage an hour later, I continued to fight boredom by snacking on stuff I would never bring into my house. 

And this may be the primary reason I'm so fond of Costco. One trip to the warehouse a day or two before a road trip means I can stock up on healthier snacks. It also gives me a chance to buy bottled water, acetaminophen, and the all-important Dramamine I'm sure to need on a winding road.

We almost always take our two dogs on road trips, strapped into their dog seats, excited to see what we buy them to snack on. Now, I'm not sure how healthy gas station meats of any kind are, but I've never felt good about what I allow them to eat on the road. Stopping by Costco means having the chance to buy them a new, healthy dog snack that doesn't elicit so much guilt. 

Hitting Costco shortly before travel with a clear plan in mind and list in hand has gone a long way toward making travel easier. It also allows us to leave a little more money in our bank account

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