According to some extensive research I did (aka I found this info on Wikipedia), less than 6% of American families own a timeshare (Wikipedia). I think this is mostly because so many people have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to timeshares. However, you don’t have to own one to stay in one. That’s the best part!
Most people like to travel on a budget. So why not stay in a place with a full kitchen? Doesn’t mean you have to cook everyday. That takes the fun out of vacation, but depending on where you go having a full kitchen could be a great thing! Staying at the beach? Why not fill up the fridge with sandwich stuff for lunches? That way you stop by the condo, make a sandwich, wait 30 minutes like Mom always said, and then hit the waves again. In
? Before heading out to the theme parks why not have breakfast in the timeshare? Fill up before you go to the parks where it costs $7 for a soda. Or Vegas, great timeshare destination! Fill your fridge with liquid libations to enjoy (if you’re of age) before going out on the town. Then, keep some frozen pizzas on hand for when you return early the next morning. Orlando
My Mom’s side of the family gets together every other year for a family reunion. We always stay in a timeshare condo or rental house. Each family takes a different night and makes dinner for everyone else. That way we get to spend quality time together and we can all save a little cash by not eating out every night on vacation. It really does make things more fun! There’s no waiting for a table and if the kids get antsy they can be excused and go play. Can’t do that if you’re staying in a hotel. Not to mention that we’re all splitting the cost of accommodations, rather than each family booking a separate hotel room. It’s a win-win!
Another plus to timeshare resorts is the space. I grew up in a family of 5. They don’t make hotel rooms big enough. When we were traveling we stayed in a hotel room with 2 double beds and a roll-away. You can only imagine the bargaining that went on between me and my siblings for who got the roll-away bed. With a timeshare you can have multiple rooms, a living area, dining space, kitchen, multiple bathrooms, etc. Here’s the breakdown of timeshare unit sizes:
1 Bedroom: This unit size has 1 bedroom which is separate from the living/dining area. There’s typically a full kitchen too.
Most resorts have a combination of studios, 1BRs, and 2BR units. However, there are some resorts that go up to 3 and 4-bedroom units. I’m showing examples of all of those below.
There is one more type of floorplan that I want to explain and that is a lockoff unit.
Lockoff: This is typically a studio and a 1BR put together to form a 2BR (or it could be a 1BR and 2BR put together to form a 3BR, etc.). Here’s an example…
Now don’t you think a family of 5 would have been more comfortable in this?
So far I’ve discussed the pros, but of course there is another side. The biggest con for staying in a timeshare is the sales call. Usually once during your stay you will get a call asking if you want 4 tickets to do this, or a coupon for dinner. The trade-off? You spend all day in a high pressure sales pitch where they try to get you to purchase a timeshare week. The easiest remedy? Say no. I mean how badly do you really want to go to the Mystery Dinner Show? Save yourself a day and a headache… just buy the tickets yourself if you really want to go. No matter how hard they try to get you to go to the presentation (which they sometimes call a “welcome event,” “pool party,” “activities meeting” etc.) keep saying NO!
Now… how do you rent one of these? You could call the resort directly and book, but that’s not the best way to get a deal. Some of the fancier resorts will charge $200+ a night plus taxes. No thanks! I did some research into different timeshare rental options. (Resorts & Ports doesn’t actually rent out timeshare weeks, so I can’t recommend us. However, I do have some experience booking timeshares.) You could go directly through someone that owns the week and is looking to rent it. Sometimes these poor people want to rent their week so badly, that they’ll take a loss and give you a good deal. Don’t want the guilt or the hassle? I found a company that rents timeshares. The best part? They’ve got an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau. How many timeshare companies can say that? I’ll tell you… very few. Go check out
Timeshare Partners at http://www.timesharepartners.com/. They have some very nice properties! Another good rental company is Redweek.com, however there are fees required to place an inquiry.
Still not sure? Change is a scary thing. You know hotels, you know what to expect, and you know what brands you like. No problem! Most of hotel brands that you’re familiar with have timeshare resorts too. Marriott, Wyndham, Hyatt, Hilton, even Disney!
Next in the blog series… Common Misconceptions About
Timeshares. Have a specific question you’d like me to answer? Email me! Amy.email@example.com
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!