Ready to make a serious dent in your stockpile of vacation days? Enter Tripadvisor Plus, a membership that the travel company launched on June 16. For $99 a year, this subscription service promises the types of discounts and perks usually reserved for those with elite traveler statusâwhether itâs your first trip of the year or your tenth.
Itâs time to dust off your travel credit card. Before you get packing, hereâs everything you need to know about Tripadvisor Plus.
What are the benefits of Tripadvisor Plus?
Tripadvisor Plus members can receive discounts and upgrades on participating hotels, experiences, and car rentals all over the world. When you book travel through Tripadvisorâwhich is the only way youâll be able to redeem said discountsâmembers will see a full menu of savings and perks, with eligible properties denoted by a Plus logo. And weâre not just talking about a few chocolates on your pillow here. Perks could mean money off your overall hotel booking, complimentary spa services, or even a few meals on the house.
âTravelers coming out of this pandemic want to make up for lost time,â says Brian Hoyt, head of global communications and industry affairs at Tripadvisor. âYes, Tripadvisor Plus is about endless savings, but itâs also about applying those savings to get more value out of our your next vacation.â
Some of the more than 100,000 hotels opening their doors to Plus members include the French Colonial-style St. James Hotel in New Orleans, the award-winning Summit Lodge in Whistler, British Columbia, and Londonâs posh Chesterfield Mayfairâlocated a short stroll away from Buckingham Palace.
In addition, members have access to an exclusive concierge service, Tripadvisor Text. As youâre planning your trip, you can message with travel experts on weekdays between 9 am and 8 pm ET. They’ll respond, typically within one business day, with advice on hotels, top restaurants, and canât-miss experiences, plus info like local COVID-19 restrictions.
The first year of your subscription also includes Hertz Five Star elite status, which offers benefits such as car rental upgrades and priority services while youâre hitting the road.
How much money could you actually save?
According to Tripadvisor, Plus members will save an average of $350 per stay. (So, at least enough to earn back your $99 subscription fee.) Youâll also receive a 10% discount on select experiences booked directly through its website.
What are the limitations of Tripadvisor Plus?
This travel service can only take you so far, so to speak. Right now, the members-only perks apply to 100,000 hotels and 400,000 experiences worldwide, and Tripadvisor says these locations are based on where Americans travel most. While it plans to add properties in the future, if youâre dreaming of more off-the-beaten-path destinations, you might not get the most out of your membership.
And when it comes to experiences, Tripadvisor Plus isnât necessarily an all-access pass. There are exclusions, including skipping the line at the Louvre Abu Dhabi or getting a discount on that train ticket to Machu Picchu. You can easily find a list of exclusions, so be sure to check it out before filling your itinerary.
Is there a flexible cancellation policy?
According to the Tripadvisor Plus team, youâll receive a full refund of your $99-a-year fee if you cancel your subscription within the first 90 days. However, youâre only eligible for that refund if you havenât already booked a hotel or experience through your membership. Also, keep in mind that your subscription will automatically renew each year. We recommend setting a calendar notification to stay on top of the date.
So, is Tripadvisor Plus worth it?
If youâre planning on making the most out of your PTO in the coming year, this subscription service could be worth a serious look. (Or at least worth some complimentary spa visits.) Already got a future excursion in mind? Peruse the exclusions to see if your bucket list item is in the clear.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.