Are subscription services the new way to save money on your vacation?

With subscription services for everything from bath products to coffee now on offer, the travel industry is also getting in on the action.

Appearing all over the world, these services – including citizenM membership, Alaska Airlines Flight Pass and new start-up Ultimate Travel Club – promise to make travel cheaper so you can get away more often for less. money – consider Netflix for your vacation.

Even car rental companies have subscription offers that could totally change the cost of a ride.

According to Mastercard Economics, UK flight bookings are up 40% from 2019 levels in the space of six weeks and UK travel spending has increased month-on-month in 2022.

So, as the cost of living increases exponentially, could subscription services be the solution to our travel cost woes?


How do they help you save?

Subscription services allow businesses to charge recurring fees at regular intervals. The idea is that it’s convenient for the customer, while allowing businesses to grow with confidence in their revenue.

In doing so, they aim to be able to offer better long-term deals through better long-term relationships with consumers and businesses.

Ultimate Travel Club – which charges £99 a year for its service and claims it can save over 60% of your holiday costs – claims there are ‘over a million ABTA and ATOL protected hotels and holidays’ [on their site] to choose from and they do not charge any extra fees or make any profit from bookings.

Instead, members pay commercial prices – and the company says the £99 “could be recouped multiple times by making a booking”.

Even car rental companies now offer subscriptions (Alamy/PA)

Essentially, with your subscription covering running costs, services like this are able to offer the full discount with no discount, making it a pretty easy way to save.

Savings can also be made on different parts of a trip with these subscriptions, with Ultimate Travel Club promising to offer discounts “for hotel rooms, property rentals, car rentals and cruises as well as extras such as access to the airport lounge, 50% discount on restaurants, discounts on outings and 30% discount on cinema tickets”.

How much money can you save?

Subscription services offer substantial savings – over 60% in some cases – which makes the value for money quite impressive.

Ultimate Travel Club claiming their membership you could save almost £1,000 on holidays booked through them this week, for example, at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, a mountain view retreat in Iceland and a hotel four stars in Paris.

Alaska Airways was one of the first airlines to offer a subscription, and $49 (£39) a month gets you frequent and flexible flights.

There are advantages and disadvantages. Your trip may well end up being dictated by these offers, which is fine if these destinations are where you want to go, but if you want to go somewhere else, you might end up paying the usual price.

Likewise for flights and restaurants, your choice may be limited by supply.

However, Naveen Dittakavi, Founder and CEO of subscription service Next Vacay (, says: “Anyone who has planned a trip knows how difficult it is to find the best deals – from finding the cheapest airfares It’s a lot of time and commitment for the average person to plan, which is why subscription services offer so many benefits.

The help with organizing and making sure you stick to your budget might really appeal to those of us who are short on time.

He says, “Even if you only book one flight, you’ll likely get the entry fee back in savings compared to booking last minute or directly with the airline. Not only do subscription services help find the cheapest flights in the world, but you also won’t have to worry about getting anything mixed up while browsing travel deal sites. Instead, offers are delivered directly and correctly to you.

Subscription services could solve your family holiday cost problems (Alamy/PA)

“At the end of the day, you’re paying to have a team of people constantly looking for you. If you’re looking to save on flights so you can spend more at your destination, whether it’s for your hotel, upgraded experiences, or just to allow you to stay longer at your destination, then this is for you.

So if you’ve got all the time in the world to find budget vacation deals, or you’ve got your heart set on something very specific for your next vacation, you might not want to lock yourself into deals on holiday sites. ‘subscription. However, if you’re short on time and open to suggestions on where your next break might be, a subscription service could very well save you money.

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