10 travel memberships that are worth the money – USA Today 10Best

November 11, 2021 // By
November 11, 2021
The Salon at PSThe Salon at PS — Photo courtesy of PS at LAX
We live in a subscription-obsessed world and there’s a subscription for everything you can imagine, from razors to clothing and even hot sauces. Travel memberships are on the rise, providing new ways to ease some of the stress that comes with traveling these days and help make the journey more seamless.
Whether you’re willing to pay a premium for exclusive travel experiences that provide a little more privacy or you’re more budget-conscious and want to find the best travel deals, there’s a membership for every type of traveler. Here are 10 travel memberships that are worth considering.
Wheels Up King Air 350i on runwayWheels Up King Air 350i on runway — Photo courtesy of Wheels Up
Wheels Up offers private jet charter memberships so travelers can access a fleet of aircrafts, including a King Air 350i, an 8-passenger Citation Excel/XLS, and one of the fastest aircrafts, the Citation X. Wheels Up uses a dynamic pricing model offering competitive rates, so members can book flights on-demand with the flexibility to pay as they go.
Additional membership benefits include invites to signature events, President’s Circle status with Hertz, a complimentary trial of Inspirato Club subscription for 12 months (Core members only), certain perks at select Waldorf Astoria hotels across North America, a partnership with Delta SkyMiles, dedicated partnership rates with Porsche and more.
Membership cost: Three membership options are available – Connect, Core and Business. The Connect membership requires a one-time initiation fee of $2,995 and annual dues of $2,495 which begin on year two. The Core membership has an initiation fee of $17,500 and annual dues of $8,500 which begin on year two. The Business membership requires an initiation fee of $29,500 and $14,500 for subsequent years and includes up to six lead passengers.
A private suite at PS at LAXA private suite at PS at LAX — Photo courtesy of PS at LAX
Getting through airport security lines can be a drag, especially during holiday weekends and a pandemic that has increased the demand for more seclusion when traveling. PS (formerly known as Private Suite) is designed for first and business class travelers who are seeking privacy and convenience, allowing them to bypass LAX altogether.
Travelers check into a private terminal where they can relax in a fully-stocked luxury private suite that includes complimentary in-suite meals catered by h.wood Group, as well as additional services upon request such as in-suite massages, manicures and detailing services for personal cars. PS also provides a designated on-site TSA and Customs agent for expedited screening.
Upon boarding, travelers are transported across the tarmac directly to their aircraft in a BMW 7 Series sedan. Earlier this year, the Salon at PS launched, which features a new full-service lounge at the terminal for travelers who want the same benefits of PS but seek a more social experience.
Membership cost: Annual membership costs $4,500, which gives members access to a preferred rate of $3,250 for a one-way Suite experience for up to four travelers. The Salon is available to members and non-members for $695 per use per person.

Vail Grand View Great RoomVail Grand View Great Room — Photo courtesy of Inspirato
Inspirato is a subscription-based luxury travel service that gives members exclusive access to over 150,000 luxury vacation homes and resorts around the world that are staffed by Inspirato. There are two membership types: Inspirato Club and Inspirato Pass. The former gives you access to the luxury residences and hotels around the world, on-site concierge and daily housekeeping with additional benefits such as late check-in and check-out, room upgrades, spa credits and more. However, members also pay nightly room rates.
With the Inspirato Pass, you automatically get the benefits of Inspirato Club plus nightly rates are already factored into the price of membership, so you can book as many vacations as possible in one month with one active reservation at a time. There is also no long-term commitment, so you can cancel the membership at any time.
Membership cost: Inspirato Club membership is $600/month plus a $600 enrollment fee and you pay nightly rates as you go. Inspirato Pass is a flat rate of $2,500/month which includes all hotel stays.
Scott and BrianScott and Brian — Photo courtesy of Scott’s Cheap Flights
A membership to Scott’s Cheap Flights includes flight deals and “Mistake Fares” accidentally published by airlines sent straight to your inbox. The team scours the internet for the lowest published airfare rates to popular destinations and shares them with members.
Subscribers can also track deals from a specific airport close to home or destinations of interest. A membership to Scott’s Cheap Flights is best for travelers who have flexibility on the destination and dates and are willing to fly based on low airfare rates. Flight deals don’t last long so you’ll have to act fast.
Membership cost: There are three membership tiers including Limited which is free, Premium costs $49/year and Elite $199/year.
PRIOR was started by a former travel editor who saw a gap in the market for travelers wanting a more immersive experience during their vacation. A team of experienced travel editors and local tastemakers on the ground design itineraries for curious travelers.
A PRIOR WORLD membership includes access to curated destination guides, unique local experiences in cities around the world, pre-planned group trips led by experts and for an additional fee, the team can create a custom itinerary based on your interests.
If you’re a frequent traveler, PRIOR BESPOKE might be the membership better suited for you. For a flat fee per year, members get unlimited trip planning by their expert team of travel editors and membership managers.
Membership cost: PRIOR WORLD membership costs $249 per annum. PRIOR BESPOKE is $5,000 per annum.
The Club MCO Lounge at Orlando International Airport, accessible via Priority PassThe Club MCO Lounge at Orlando International Airport, accessible via Priority Pass — Photo courtesy of MCO Lounge
Airport terminals may have come a long way in the last decade, but killing time for a three-hour layover in a crowded airport isn’t exactly on anyone’s list of things to do, especially on vacation. Trade the busy terminals for private lounge access with Priority Pass and enjoy guaranteed Wi-Fi and snacks.
Members of Priority Pass receive access to over 1,300 airport lounges globally, including several airline lounges such as Virgin Atlantic, Air France and Turkish Airlines. Several credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express offer free Priority Pass memberships as part of their member benefits.
Membership cost: Choose from three membership tiers which start at $99/year for the Standard membership plus $32 per visit and go up to $429/year for the Prestige membership which includes unlimited lounge visits.

CLEAR touchless identificationCLEAR touchless identification — Photo courtesy of CLEAR
TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry are services that allow travelers to expedite the security screening process upon departure and arrival. With CLEAR Plus, enrolled members get escorted to the front of the security line once they’ve been verified using facial recognition or fingerprint scans, so they no longer have to verify identification at security. However, for expedited clearance through security screenings, TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry are still required.
CLEAR uses biometric identifiers to create a unique ID assigned to each member that is used for verification at stations across airports, stadiums and other major venues nationwide.
Membership cost: A CLEAR Plus membership is $179 per year. American Express Platinum Card Members receive a $179 statement credit and United MileagePlus members receive a discounted membership rate.
Well Traveled ListsWell Traveled Lists — Photo courtesy of Well Traveled
Well Traveled is a members-only social and booking platform that allows members to connect with friends to find and share travel recommendations. The community-driven platform is intended to make travel planning easier by allowing you to follow people in your network that you trust, in addition to other like-minded travelers who share similar budgets and travel preferences.
Members can also take advantage of the personalized booking service that includes perks like exclusive rates, room upgrades, food & beverage credits, complimentary breakfast and more. Currently, membership is invite-only but you can also apply to be considered.
Membership cost: $150 per year.
T+L Club loginT+L Club login — Photo courtesy of Travel + Leisure Club
Travel + Leisure Club is a new travel subscription service offered by Travel + Leisure Group. Members can pay a monthly fee for access to preferred pricing on curated itineraries and an average of 25% savings on hotels, resorts, car rentals and activities that are listed on Travel + Leisure GO, the online travel booking site. Plus, members get a subscription to the glossy print magazine.
Members also get access to a personal concierge that can assist with travel planning, scoring tickets to sold-out events, making dinner reservations and more.
Membership cost: Travel + Leisure Club is currently offering an introductory rate of $9.95/month.
Lake Tahoe Northstar Mountainside TreehouseLake Tahoe Northstar Mountainside Treehouse — Photo courtesy of Exclusive Resorts
Designed for families who value privacy, Exclusive Resorts is a small community of members (only 150 new members accepted each year) that get access to over 350 luxury residences around the world including the Amalfi Coast, Barcelona, Deer Valley, Kaua’i, Los Cabos, St. Barts and more.
Guests enjoy a more personalized experience with a dedicated on-site team who can assist with pre-trip planning details such as stocking the fridge with your favorite snacks, booking a massage or private chef, and housekeeping services.
Membership cost: There is a one-time, non-refundable initiation fee of $150,000 for a 10-year membership. Annual dues are $1,395/night and members travel 15-30 nights per year.
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About Leila Najafi
Leila Najafi is a luxury travel writer based in LA who is a member of more subscription services than she’d like to admit.
Read more about Leila Najafi here.
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