I love traveling? Here are 3 massive benefits of a Costco membership.

Family on a road trip with the blinds up and the windows down.

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Who knew that Costco could improve all kinds of travel experiences?


Key points

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

As part of a frequently traveling couple, I realize that Costco has offered us some pretty great perks over the years. Without even mentioning the benefits associated with its travel services, here are three ways Costco has improved our lives.

1. Provide a taste of home

Costco has 583 locations in 46 US states and Puerto Rico, but did you know it also operates in 13 foreign countries? Here is where you can find Costco stores around the world:

  • 107 locations in Canada
  • 29 in the UK
  • 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 wanted 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 had enough American items for me to make an American dish or two.

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

If, like us, you find yourself settling into new countries or simply enjoying international travel, you’re much more likely to find familiar staples at your nearest Costco.

2. Save money on vacations

I find that some expenses are easier to budget for than others while on vacation. For example, I know how much airfare, lodging, and car rental will cost. The wild card is the meals. For one, I’m never sure how many meals we’re going to want in a day, and I rarely know anything about the cost of food in the area we’re visiting. I can try to budget itBut I usually find I’m too far away

We learned a trick from my son and his family after a recent excursion to the United States. 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 pre-ordered groceries.

Time Costco does not offer curbside pickup, you can order anything you need at the store closest to your accommodation and pick up your order inside the warehouse once you arrive. You can also order snacks for the kids, cheap water toys, or any other item you’re likely to pay too much for in a touristy area.

3. It makes road trips a little less annoying (and expensive).

If you’re like me, you like the idea of a road trip, but the reality ends up being a sickening mix of motion sickness and dietary regrets. For years, I bought the same junk food every time we stopped to fill up a tank. Knowing that I would feel like garbage an hour later, I continued to fight boredom by eating things I would never bring home.

And this may be the main reason why I like Costco so much. A trip to the grocery store a day or two before a road trip means I can stock up on healthier snacks. It also gives me the chance to buy bottled water, paracetamol, and the all-important Dramamine that I’ll surely 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 get 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 go. Stopping by Costco means getting a chance to buy them a new, healthy dog ‚Äč‚Äčtreat that isn’t as guilt-inducing.

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

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