What is timeshare?
Originating in Europe, Vacation Ownership (Timeshare Resorts) has become a popular form of family vacations. Timeshare, or Vacation Ownership, offers consumers the opportunity to own fully furnished vacation accommodations.
Sold in a variety of forms, such as weekly intervals and Points-based systems, for a percentage of the cost of full ownership. For a one-time purchase price and a yearly maintenance fee, timeshare owners own their vacation either in perpetuity or for a predetermined number of years.
Why Consider Timeshare?
Imagine the expenses of owning your own vacation property or vacation home. Besides the actual purchase cost, you have other expenses to consider. You will pay taxes, insurance and maintenance costs, all for something you might use once or twice a year.
Now imagine purchasing only the time you plan to spend at your vacation home and share the expenses with other owners via a yearly maintenance fee.
Vacation Around the World
Additionally, through vacation exchange networks, owners can exchange their time for other popular destinations around the world and enjoy a variety of different types of accommodations and amenities.
Traditionally, an exchange is done by depositing your week(s) in an ‘Exchange Bank’ that would allow you to reserve a comparable week in another resort destination. This means that if you owned an ‘Off Season’ week, you could only exchange for other resorts during what that location considers off-season. This can really cause a problem if that destination has no off-season. (Note: there are exceptions to these exchange restrictions)
However, with the popularity of Points based programs, timeshare owners/members now have the opportunity to travel without seasonal or other typical exchange restrictions. Points also allow an owner/member to travel for varied lengths of stays.
Attend a Presentation
Most resorts offer some type of promotional offer in order to market their resort and affiliated travel program. In the past, these sales presentations could be very ‘high pressure’ and the promotional gifts offered were, at times, somewhat worthless. Today, due to consumer protection laws, these companies have stopped this practice.
Consumer protection laws are not the only reason resorts are changing their sales policies. The biggest reason is common sense. We live in a very consumer educated age and can research just about anything we wish to, before we decide to purchase a product or service.
The process of the presentation goes something like this. . . .
- Meet your resort representative.
- Discuss your vacation and recreational interests.
- Learn about the resort and affiliated network.
- Tour the resort facilities.
- Have any of your questions answered.
- Lastly, you will be asked if you wish to become an owner or member.
OK, lets talk about number six. I can already here some saying, "I thought there was no obligation to purchase! . . . " There isn't.
Resorts usually offer a couple of options. One that can be purchased anytime you like, and a promotional offer while you're visiting the resort or during another predetermined time frame. If (and only if) you find you have some interest in the resort and their service, hear them out. You might be surprised at what they have to offer!
Again, there is No Obligation to Purchase! The choice is, of course, entirely up to you.
The author of this article has worked with timeshare, private RV membership resorts and other related travel programs for 17 years. More information, as well as marketing promotions, can be found at Find Cheap Vacations .