RCI member, Janine Hemblade, and her husband John, bought timeshare at Sunny Coast Resort Club (1201) in Malta 20 years ago, purely so they could become RCI members. Once they caught the exchange bug, they joined the RCI Points programme using another ownership with TradeWinds catamaran cruises, as Janine explains.

John and I exchange every single year and have never been to our home resort. We bought timeshare so we could join RCI to travel all over the world with it, from the US to mainland Europe, and beyond.

We live on a boat in Kent, as we have always loved the water and sailing, which means for us our RCI exchanges on the catamarans have been some of our best holidays. TradeWinds is a brilliant way to holiday.

The catamaran is crewed, so you have a Captain and a First Mate who do all the cooking, making it an all-inclusive holiday. The food and service is like a first-class experience at an upmarket resort, with as much to drink and eat as you like. It's so laid back - all you need to pack are your swimsuits, shorts and flip flops!

Janine and John on board a TradeWinds' catamaran in the Grenadines.

Janine and John on board a TradeWinds' catamaran in the Grenadines.

The great thing about RCI is the flexibility. For our holiday this year, we are getting the best of both worlds by exchanging into a resort and going on a catamaran for the second week. We’re visiting the Caribbean island of St Maarten, which we discovered after visiting it while out on a cruise, and loved it so much we wanted to go back to explore the beautiful island properly.

We plan to do the same thing in November, only we will be staying in Orlando for a week on an exchange, and then flying to the Bahamas. From there, we will take a TradeWinds' catamaran to cruise for a week.

Cruising around the Grenadines - what a fabulous way to experience the Caribbean.

Cruising around the Grenadines - what a fabulous way to experience the Caribbean.

We have had so many amazing exchange experiences with RCI - on dry land too. Vancouver Island, out in the north eastern Pacific Ocean, is another RCI exchange that stands out for us. The scenery there is idyllic, we found so many wonderful parks and gardens to wander around and explore.

Victoria Harbour is known as one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, and it really is spectacular. From there, you can take a boat out on whale-watching trips, where you will spot a number of marine animals and sea birds. For wildlife lovers, you’re never far away from a beautiful animal, so make sure you take a camera so you don’t miss anything!

The vibrant lights of Vancouver Harbour on Vancouver Island, just off Canada's Pacific Coast. An RCI Exchange Holiday to this destination stands out for Janine as one of the best holidays she has enjoyed..

The vibrant lights of Vancouver Harbour on Vancouver Island, just off Canada's Pacific Coast. An RCI Exchange Holiday to this destination stands out for Janine as one of the best holidays she has enjoyed.

We holiday a lot in America as a family, but we love Orlando the most. Although my daughter, Laura, is now 32, and my niece, Emily, is 26, we all still go to Orlando together. Laura and Emily head straight off to the Walt Disney World and Universal Studios parks, but John and I enjoy shopping, sunbathing, and visiting Wild Florida, which is a small park just outside Orlando, with a zoo where you can have one-to-one encounters with the animals. There are some unusual creatures there and I actually got to hold a sloth, which was an incredible experience! We love Wild Florida because it is so quiet and laid back, in contrast to the busy theme parks.

I recently took five of us out to Orlando on a girls' holiday for lots of fun in the sun. As well as myself, Laura and Emily, two of my best friends, Donna and Anne, came too. We had such a great time together, and we had such comfortable accommodation using our timeshare.

Take a visit to Wild Florida, it's a great day out - Janine had such fun meeting the sloths!

Take a visit to Wild Florida, it's a great day out - Janine had such fun meeting the sloths!

We try to make the most of our timeshare weeks, as family holidays are really important to us. We are planners, so we always deposit as soon as we can and start to plan our RCI Exchange Holidays a year in advance to get the best possible resorts, in the destinations we really want.

In all the years we have been travelling with RCI, we have never had a bad experience with our accommodation or destination; they have all been exceptional. We definitely prefer being in an apartment, rather than a hotel - it's just much easier and a more comfortable experience. You can please yourself when you get up, and take your time about starting the day; you can cook in your resort or choose to go out to a restaurant for dinner, the options are endless. It is such a relaxing way to holiday.

Janine and John taking a selfie at Victoria Harbour on Vancouver Island.

If you own timeshare and are a member of the RCI holiday exchanging community, then check out our online Resort Directory. You may well be surprised to see where you could end up...

RESORT DIRECTORY

If you do own timeshare but have only ever returned to your home resort, then you should be thinking of getting more value for your money and making your holiday horizons that bit more exciting by using your timeshare ownership, with RCI Holiday Exchange membership, to travel to new places while still holidaying in the comfort you expect of timeshare accommodation. Click on the button below and you can Join RCI in a few simple steps and start planning your next getaway to a fresh destination where new adventure and exploration await you.

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If you need some more inspiration for booking your next RCI Exchange Holiday, visit our Holiday Ideas page to see some more fantastic destinations.

HOLIDAY IDEAS