Stressed by Vacation Planning? These ‘Travel Clubs’ Promise VIP-Style Service and Perks

MARY-FRANCES DALY has a subscription for most everything. The McLean, Va., life coach uses her Amazon Prime membership for shopping. Netflix and Hulu entertain her on demand. Blinkist keeps her informed by sending summaries of nonfiction books, and Insight Timer, a wellness app, keeps her centered. And this winter, when she takes three of her children to Paris for a stay at the sumptuous Hotel Regina Louvre, she’ll rely on yet another subscription—to the travel service Inspirato. For $2,500 a month, Inspirato’s Pass program gives upscale travelers access to thousands of homes and hotels, with extra perks and anything-anytime-anywhere concierge service. “I was debating buying a beach condo somewhere, which would have been about the same price as Inspirato,” said Ms. Daly, “but I didn’t want to be tied to one property.”

Beyond Inspirato, airlines, hotels, trip-planning services and booking platforms have taken to offering subscription models in recent years, rolling out even more during this period of pandemic-related upheaval. For many people, paying monthly or yearly for access to exclusive lodgings, services or discounts frees them of the analysis paralysis that comes from trying to make sense of a maddeningly complex, crowded marketplace. They are, in effect, paying to have fewer but better choices in their travel planning.



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