Would you pay $2,500 for an (almost) all-you-can-travel subscription? - The Points Guy (2023)

If the successes — and failures — of subscription-based businesses such as Rent the Runway, ClassPass, MoviePass and JetSmarter have proven anything, it’s that subscriptions aren’t just for magazines and newspapers anymore.

So, why not have a subscription for travel?

That’s exactly what Denver, Colorado-based luxury travel company Inspirato launched last year.

With Inspirato Pass, you can book a nearly endless number of stays or trips (transportation and incidentals are not included) for a monthly subscription fee starting at $2,500, or $30,000 for a year. There are no nightly rates, taxes or pesky fees to contend with, whether you stay in a luxury villa, high-end hotel or resort, or take a cruise or safari. There are more than 150,000 trips available for Inspirato Pass members to choose from — the catalog is updated daily — and you can book up to a year in advance. Inspirato also provides pre-trip planning assistance, access to a vacation advisor, on-site concierge service, partner privileges, housekeeping and discounts.

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This week, Inspirato announced some exciting new tweaks to the Inspirato Pass. Members will receive a complimentary membership to the Inspirato Club — with booking privileges and the ability to pay nightly rates — and there's no longer a long-term commitment. After paying a one-time enrollment fee of $2,500 (meaning you'll owe $5,000 the first month) you can now cancel your subscription at any time. Best of all, there are now trips with check-in dates as early as two days away: perfect for spontaneous weekend getaways.

Homes are owned and managed directly by Inspirato so, unlike Airbnb Luxe or most other luxury vacation rental providers, you’re not staying in homes that are managed by third parties or professional vacation rental managers. Hotel and resort partners include brands like Mandarin Oriental; Marriott's Ritz-Carlton and Edition properties; Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels by Hilton; Rosewood and other luxury independents. Cruises are from Silversea and Lindblad Expeditions, while safaris are crafted by andBeyond. The list of experiences also now includes bespoke, private dinners in New York City, an art tour in Marfa, Texas and trips to a luxury dude ranch in Colorado.

Related: 7 amazing hotels around the world you can book with points

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One catch, however, is that you can’t book your next trip until you check out of your current one. This conundrum can only be resolved if you purchase a second pass: $5,000 for two enrollment fees, $2,500 a month for the first pass and $2,200 for the second (or $4,700 per month) for two active reservations at a time. You can also share your subscription with family members for $300 a month.

Would you pay $2,500 for an (almost) all-you-can-travel subscription? - The Points Guy (1)

Last year, Mikki Cardoza, owner of Northern California-based MikkiMoves Real Estate, told TPG it “wasn’t such an easy decision” to purchase an Inspirato Pass “because it’s a pretty costly option."

Cardoza spent more to share the membership and "upgraded" to have two reservations at once, though these features no longer work quite the same way (the membership needs to stay in the family, for example). Still, she said she found herself using it all the time, for a weekend getaway to Carmel Valley with her dog and husband, and to stay at a Waldorf Astoria hotel during a work convention. “It was a fun upgrade for no stress," she said.

“When I’m looking at trips [available on Inspirato Pass], it really appeals to my personality because I don’t have to worry about the price and I can just take anything off the plate.”

Related: Making up for lost time: 2021 is gearing up to be an epic year for travel

“What you pay versus what you would be having to pay,” is what sold Michael Shaw, the owner of Colorado- and South Texas-based Mike Shaw Automotive dealerships on the Inspirato Pass. Like Cardoza, he opted for the Pass that allows two reservations to be booked at a time (travelers will now have to purchase two separate passes for this flexibility) and the option to share, and he’s been pleased with his trips to Jackson Hole, the British Virgin Islands and Park City.

“With the flat fee you don’t have to evaluate whether this place is too much or, if you have more people, will that be too much for them?” Shaw said last year. “You can just look at what you want to do, where are those days available and what’s the most I can get? Sometimes you get overvalued for the money you’re paying.”

But is it too good to be true?

That’s exactly what Cardoza initially suspected but, she said, she’s starting to understand how it works — and how it’s been designed so people benefit from the subscription, but also don’t overuse it to extinction so it experiences the same fate of MoviePass.

Cardoza said she kept a spreadsheet of her trips booked using Inspirato Pass. “At first I couldn’t understand how Inspirato is making money,” but, she said, she’s noted “some limitations,” especially that she can only have two reservations booked at any one time.

Would you pay $2,500 for an (almost) all-you-can-travel subscription? - The Points Guy (2)

“I have to wait until one reservation is completed in order to make the next one,” she explained. Juggling the timing of making a booking with availability can be a bit of a challenge.

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“In Vegas, I could see lots of places that met my schedule and needs, but by the time I could make the reservation, I had limited access,” Cardoza explained. “Things disappear because people are using them.”

Inspirato founder and CEO Brent Handler told TPG he and his team spent four years trying to come up with a high-end travel subscription model “that’s simple to buy, simple to use and simple to service.” Prior to launching the pass, Inspirato solely offered a more traditional luxury travel membership club, of which there are 18,000 members and counting.

What enables Inspirato to avoid the fate of a subscription service like MoviePass or JetSmarter, he said last year, is that Inspirato and its hotel and experience partners, more or less, own the inventory, and the subscription model they’ve designed helps them manage excess capacity. The hotel and resort partners also prefer working with a partner like Inspirato Pass to book up their unused inventory because the nightly rates aren’t displayed like they might be on a last-minute hotel booking site such as HotelTonight.

“Can we come up with a subscription where people would want access to our inventory that wasn’t all going to get booked? It’s not all low-season inventory,” Handler explained. “We figured out we could come up with a subscription where they’d pay a monthly fee and they would get access to this inventory, similar to how Rent the Runway or Disney FastPasses or Netflix works. As soon as you’re done with your reservation you can book your next one.”

Handler added, “Because hotels have inventory that isn’t going to get used, we can get that inventory and pass tremendous value along to our Pass holders. It might be that a Pass holder wants to go to Paris in a month and if they called the hotel, it might cost $5,000 a night but we, at Inspirato, might be getting that hotel for only $2,300 a night.”

In this instance, the customer doesn’t have to worry about the nightly rate, and the hotel drives up its occupancy.

Paul Tumpowsky, CEO of New York-based luxury travel company Skylark, said last year that Inspirato’s subscription model “is interesting and it does seem like, for the right type of flexible customer, they could probably take at least three to four really great vacations a year.” He added, “You’d have to be very flexible to make the most out of this,” but the way Inspirato has designed the subscription really maximizes their ability to fill the inventory it has in terms of homes and hotel rooms.

Would you pay $2,500 for an (almost) all-you-can-travel subscription? - The Points Guy (3)

Handler said Inspirato Pass “works really well for people who don’t have children in school, and have flexibility in their schedules. It also works well with families who do have children at home but can travel multiple times a year.”

And with so many people learning and working remotely due to COVID-19, it makes sense Inspirato would pick now to revamp the product.

“The pent-up demand for travel is increasing during these times of isolation and the need to book safe, reliable and flexible trips is paramount at this time," Handler told TPG. "By transitioning to a full subscription model across both Pass and the Club it helps our members prioritize their vacations in a stress-free environment."

Case in point: Pass reservations can be canceled at any time, up to 72 hours before arrival, with no penalty whatsoever. Inspirato has also introduced enhanced cleaning and safety standards that can be strictly enforced since, unlike a standard vacation rental property, Inspirato "manages and controls ... [its] collection of branded vacation homes."

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"With many people able to work remotely for the first time ever, Inspirato provides them with the reassurance that their health and safety will be maintained," Handler added.

Related: TPG’s safe travel guide: How to minimize risk on your summer vacation

Last year, Tumpowsky said, “In all honestly, maybe it seems like it could be a repackaging of the vacation club concept, but there are lower expectations because you’re paying less and making sure there’s tons of inventory,”.

Handler thinks Inspirato Pass, however, is not at all like a traditional luxury timeshare or membership club because the investment isn’t as high and there are no nightly rates, points or rules involved.

“Luxury travel, as a rule, is highly idiosyncratic,” Handler said. “It can be like airline tickets. Sometimes it’s $4,700 and other times, it might be only $1,800. When we did our research, we found that affluent consumers had high disdain for nightly rates. They didn’t understand them and they felt funny paying them. Why would a 450-square-foot hotel room cost $1,300 one night, and $2,000 another night?”

Handler says that during the beta testing of the Inspirato Pass, which took place in June of 2019 in Colorado and the Bay Area of Northern California, the company sold 100 passes. Following the launch in July of last year, the company was "selling north of 20 [passes] a day.”

Even now, despite travel coming nearly to a halt all over the globe, Inspirato says August 2020 sales exceeded the initial forecast.

Related: What will the future of travel look like? TPG asked 16 industry experts

Can the Inspirato Pass be improved?

As Cardoza noted last year, timing your trips as an Inspirato Pass holder can be a bit of a challenge.

She said while she finds value in being an Inspirato Pass holder, “It does take effort ... and there is a little bit of a stress factor that I have to pay attention to,” in reference to the booking and timing of trips.

Would you pay $2,500 for an (almost) all-you-can-travel subscription? - The Points Guy (4)

For more complicated trips, both Cardoza and Shaw said they were sticking with luxury travel agents instead, though they agreed that, increasingly, Inspirato Pass was becoming their first go-to option for booking most travel.

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“If I were to plan for a big trip with Inspirato Pass well in advance, I wouldn’t be able to make another reservation for a long time,” Cardoza said. “It would have to be something really amazing, otherwise I would feel like I’m just prepaying it.”

Shaw also said the number of available experiences on Inspirato Pass can be a bit overwhelming — and that was when the inventory was around 60,000. Over the last year, that number has more than doubled.

Unfortunately, Inspirato Pass still doesn't have the ability to connect with loyalty programs.

Last year, Handler said there was interest from hotel partners. “We would very much like to be loyalty positive, so to speak, from an earn standpoint," he said. But Inspirato confirmed that, like booking through any online travel agency or a third party, there's no link to a traveler's loyalty program memberships.

Advice for Potential Subscribers

Cardoza and Shaw both said that for anyone considering buying an Inspirato Pass, it’s essential that you make the most of your subscription.

Would you pay $2,500 for an (almost) all-you-can-travel subscription? - The Points Guy (5)

“Be diligent about scheduling the next trip — and the next trip,” Cardoza said.

“I would say check it out for sure, but just make sure you put it to good use just like any other subscription you’re paying for,” Shaw said. “It’s an incredible value if you use it. It’s been great so far," Shaw said last year, adding that he thought it would "only [get] better.”

Handler and his team said, “We’re hyper-focused on making the experience better and better, especially by adding more hotels, experiences, residences and continuing to grow the portfolio. The larger and better the portfolio, the more Pass holders, and the more inventory we’re able to acquire. There’s that network effect that’s happening. The better we make it, the more people want to be a part of it.”

And for those who doubt the soundness of this subscription model, Handler said, “There is a lot of inefficiency in luxury travel market thanks to high costs, low variable costs and low occupancy. We’re filling in the void of the excess capacity that exists in luxury hotels and homes and making them useful when they would otherwise be empty. It’s not dissimilar to what Uber did when people had excess capacity in their cars. We’re doing the same thing with unsold hotel rooms and homes.”

Additional reporting by Melanie Lieberman.


How much does an inspirato membership cost? ›

The Inspirato Club remains the preferred choice for safe, luxury vacations in our exclusive Inspirato homes around the world and for our unique travel experiences. Now you can subscribe for $650 per month (and a $650 enrollment fee) and travel as much or as little as you'd like, paying nightly rates as you go.

How does Inspirato pass work? ›

Inspirato Pass Days

Each reservation you book will put your Pass in use for a number of days where you won't be able to make another reservation. However, once those days are complete, your Pass will be active again. Choose how many days you're willing to wait to book your next reservation.

Who are inspirato's competitors? ›

Inspirato's alternatives and competitors

Inspirato's top competitors include Exclusive Resorts, and Quintess. Exclusive Resorts, a private residence club, offers members access to luxury vacation homes worldwide.

How do I cancel my inspirato membership? ›

You may terminate your Membership at any time upon thirty (30) days written notice to Operator at 1544 Wazee Street, Denver, Colorado 80202 or via email to memberships@inspirato.com.

How many nights can you stay at Inspirato? ›

An Inspirato Pass holder can choose from luxury hotels, vacation homes, and resorts to stay in for up to 60 days. The system will allow you to book your stay as soon as seven days before your trip starts or as long as a year in advance.

How many trips can you book with Inspirato? ›

One of the biggest complaints regarding the Inspirato Pass membership is that you can only have one reservation at a time. While you can, in theory, hold multiple reservations at once, you can only book one vacation at a time and then wait to book the next.

How many days do you get with Inspirato pass? ›

What are Inspirato Pass Days and how do they work? Every Pass subscriber has 370 Pass Days to use each year. Each trip can be searched by and reserved based on a specific number of Pass Days.

Is Inspirato owned by American Express? ›

About Inspirato with American Express

Inspirato with American Express is a private club for luxury travelers who expect exceptional experiences when they vacation. Our members enjoy exquisite vacation properties, highly personalized service and the luxury of certainty when they travel with the club.

Are travel memberships worth it? ›

Travel memberships are a great way to save money, give yourself a little peace of mind, and even find a community while traveling. There are memberships for pretty much every kind of traveler, and investing in a few of them can make your travels a more relaxing and fun experience.

How many employees does inspirato have? ›

Inspirato has 350 employees.

What is inspirato company revenue? ›

Inspirato Announces Third Quarter 2022 Financial and Operating Results
Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
Cost of revenue (including depreciation of $402 and $1,283 in 2021, and $520 and $1,390 in 2022, respectively)42,394110,106
Gross margin22,43056,284
18 more rows
Dec 19, 2022

Is Inspirato a good investment? ›

Inspirato could be a stable investment in a seasonal and sporadic segment. The company had strong Q1 numbers this year, reporting record quarterly revenue of over $82 million, a 67% year-over-year increase. This comes after a record-breaking 2021, when Inspirato reported $235 million in revenue.

Is Inspirato all inclusive? ›

We've just added eight new Inspirato Only all-inclusive luxury cruises—from member-favorite, bucket-list expeditions like cruising Antarctica to all-new cruises along the Nile and Mekong Rivers. Discover your favorite, and start planning an adventure for 2023 or 2024.

Can you share an Inspirato membership? ›

You may add your spouse or life partner to your Inspirato Pass as your “Co-Member.” Inspirato Pass trips occur over pre-selected dates and range from two (2) to fourteen (14) nights (you have the flexibility to book fewer nights within any available trip if you prefer) and can be booked up to one (1) year in advance.

Who bought Inspirato? ›

Denver – February 18, 2022 – Cooley advised Thayer Ventures Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company affiliated with Thayer Ventures, on its completed business combination with innovative luxury travel subscription brand Inspirato.

What are the benefits of Inspirato? ›

Inspirato members receive:
  • Exclusive access to the private wine country estate with personalized and intimate wine experiences, including wine pairings, estate tours, lunches, cooking classes, and private celebrations. Cost will vary based on experience type.
  • Complimentary shipping on all wine purchases over a case.

Is Inspirato profitable? ›

And it's worth noting that Inspirato is not yet profitable: Adjusted EBITDA is guided to a loss of $15 million to $25 million this year.

What is the cheapest way to book a trip? ›

More often than not, booking directly through the airline's website will give you the best price, or will at least be the same as the OTAs. Some airlines, like Southwest, won't even show up on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, so you have to book direct. It can also be the most simple way to book.

Can I book a flight with multiple stops? ›

Booking a multi-city trip is easy: Start with Google Flights. Select “Multi-city” instead of “Round trip.” From here, two sets of boxes will show up. You can fill in your cities here if you're booking an open-jaw itinerary (city A to B for flight one, and city C to city A for flight two).

What is an Inspirato lease? ›

Owners receive guaranteed rental income on their property without the stress of overseeing reservations and maintenance. A five-year lease agreement with Inspirato provides a fixed income and 24/7 full property management. Owners can use their property at no charge at various times throughout the year.

How does travel now pay later work? ›

After you are approved, Fly Now Pay Later will pay for the travel upfront and charge you monthly installments. You can choose to split up the cost of your trip over a time period of up to 12 months.

How many months out can you book DVC? ›

View Home Resort Rules and Regulations. Your Disney Vacation Club Membership allows you the privilege and flexibility to reserve accommodations at your Home Resort 11 months in advance of the Check-In date. When the online booking window opens at 8:00 AM Eastern Time, you can book a stay of up to 7 consecutive nights!

Why did Inspirato go public? ›

Inspirato (NASDAQ:ISPO), a subscription-based luxury travel company based in Colorado went public in March 2022, via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Thayer Ventures. When a private company goes public it marks the beginning of new opportunities, challenges, and growth prospects.

Why is American Express no longer accepted? ›

The different fees often make or break a deal for a merchant. This is why many merchants, especially small businesses, don't accept American Express. American Express' interchange fee is just too high. Providers like Visa and Mastercard charge between 1.15% and 2.5%, while Amex charges merchants between 1.43% and 3.3%.

Does Walmart use Amex? ›

Walmart accepts all valid American Express cards as payment, including credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards. Not only does Walmart accept American Express gift cards–they also sell them.

Where does American Express not accepted? ›

Where is American Express not accepted? One major retailer that doesn't accept American Express is Costco. Additionally, some small businesses may not accept American Express, since it tends to charge merchants higher fees than other major payment networks, like Visa and Mastercard.

What is the major disadvantage of timeshare membership? ›

Less flexibility for vacations – Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to owning a timeshare is that many of them don't allow much flexibility when it comes to planning your vacation. Every timeshare owner is allowed a certain time period each year to use the property.

Is Costco travel the same as Costco membership? ›

The travel program is offered as another service to your Costco membership. Our goal is to offer outstanding vacation value, with special offers and inclusions that are only available to Costco members.

What is the best travel club in the world? ›

5 Best Vacation Clubs to Join in 2022
  • Marriott Vacation Club. Forever a household favorite, Marriott Vacation Club is an incredibly popular vacation with so much to offer every type of traveler. ...
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club. ...
  • Wyndham. ...
  • Hyatt Residence Club. ...
  • Disney Vacation Club.

Did Airbnb buy luxury retreats? ›

Airbnb acquired Luxury Retreats, which is known for its high-end vacation rentals. Airbnb is puttin' on the ritz.

Where is Inspirato based? ›

Inspirato Incorporated operates as a subscription-based luxury travel company. It also provides affluent travelers access to a portfolio of curated luxury vacation options. The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Who is luxury travel? ›

The term luxury travel denotes travelling with a great deal of comfort and quality, without any stress or hassle whatsoever. It involves an elevated travel experience with minimum vexation and maximum amenities.

What is Inspirado travel? ›

Here's the idea behind Inspirato Pass: For a flat monthly fee (currently $2,500 per month), you can book luxury accommodation throughout Inspirato's global portfolio. You don't get charged extra fees, taxes or anything else — no matter what property you book.

Who is travel Web owned by? ›

Booking Holdings owns Booking.com, Priceline.com, Agoda.com, Kayak.com, Cheapflights, Rentalcars.com, Momondo, and OpenTable, Travelweb.com, Lowestfare.com, and Ctrip.

Is Inspirato publicly traded? ›

As a public company, we look forward to expanding our portfolio of luxury vacation options and introducing the benefits of Inspirato to more and more travelers throughout the world.”

What is the highest returning investment? ›

The U.S. stock market has long been considered the source of the greatest returns for investors, outperforming all other types of investments including financial securities, real estate, commodities, and art collectibles over the past century.

Which travel stock is best to buy? ›

Here are some of the top travel and tourism companies:
  1. Booking Holdings. Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) is one of the largest online travel portals. ...
  2. Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has endured the pandemic better than most airline stocks. ...
  3. Marriott International. ...
  4. Airbnb. ...
  5. The Walt Disney Company.

Who is the owner of Inspirato? ›

Brent Handler - Founder and CEO - Inspirato | LinkedIn.

Are there hidden fees in all-inclusive resorts? ›

Not only do most all-inclusive properties come without any hidden fees, but they also include your meals, drinks and some of your entertainment within the nightly rate. Best of all, you can book an all-inclusive resort stay for free — including without any resort fees — by using points and miles.

Should I bring cash to an all-inclusive? ›

Credit cards are gold around these parts but it's still a good idea to bring cash along when you travel, even on an all-inclusive vacation. While you won't be paying for meals or drinks, it's a good idea to make friends with your bartender at the beginning of the trip by leaving a tip up front.

Is everything free with all-inclusive? ›

An all-inclusive vacation is a vacation that includes all the essentials in the booking price. Besides accommodation, you can expect food, drinks, activities, and entertainment to be included, without having to pay extra for it.


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