Going on holiday is always a big event. From the planning stages to saving your spending money, purchasing new flip-flops, packing and travelling to your destination, holidays are often the highlight of the year for many people. That’s why you want to make sure you’re getting the holiday that is flexible, suits your needs and is within budget - and that’s where timeshare comes in.
Timeshare is a fantastic way to holiday no matter what holidays you enjoy. With more space than a standard hotel room, better on-resort facilities and being budget-friendly for families, there are so many perks to holidaying in this way.
Here are my top five reasons for owning timeshare.
The extra space
When you have a family, space is so important - and a luxury when travelling. If you are holidaying in a hotel, all the family will typically be squashed into one room, usually with one bathroom between everyone - that’s a really long week or two! However, with timeshare accommodation, everyone gets their own space to breathe. Two- and three-bedroom apartments are the norm, with spacious and separate living areas so families can enjoy their time together without being cramped. The extra room means the little ones can run around without you tripping over them and their toys, and any older children have their own space to chill out and, as an added bonus, no one has to use a suitcase as a chair! This makes for a much more relaxing holiday for everyone.
For couples, it means that you can invite friends and family on holiday with you at no extra cost due to the spare rooms on offer. Being able to take others along on holiday with you - without any of you having to dig deeper into the holiday funds - is a real gift of happiness.
"Space on holiday is very valuable to us, as I think it is to most families. I didn't want to have the whole family all in one bedroom. With timeshare ownership I have never had to do this, because even when exchanging, my membership enabled me to access two- or three-bedroom apartments. I often bring my Mum on holiday with us." - Donna Merrick, RCI Member, of over 20 years.
Timeshare resorts often come with fully-equipped kitchens for that home-from-home feel. This is great for families because if the children are tired at the end of a busy and exciting day, you don’t have to drag them out again in the evening to have dinner. You can just enjoy a quiet night in your self-catering apartment, without having to deal with tired and grumpy little ones in a restaurant. I know what I’d prefer!
A lifetime of holidays
Owning a holiday home sounds like a dream, but in reality it isn’t ideal unless you can really make the most of it by living in it for a large proportion of the year. Many of us, due to our financial situation, work commitments and children’s school schedules, can only get away for a few weeks each year, which means for the rest of the year, the holiday home you worked hard to buy will be sitting empty.
With a timeshare property, you don’t have to worry about arranging year-round cleaning, security and maintenance, as this is all covered in the timeshare resort’s annual maintenance fees. Instead, you get a guaranteed holiday every year where you can just turn up, unpack and have fun - sounds good, right? For the one-off payment for your timeshare, you get a lifetime of stress-free holidays, and you don't have to spend your well-deserved holiday cleaning, cutting grass and sorting the pool out - if you have one. With a timeshare holiday home, all you need to do is put your swimsuit on and jump into the pool - bliss!
"I bought my timeshare to be able to make holiday exchanges. If you make a good purchasing decision and deposit with RCI as soon as you can, you will get the maximum benefit from your timeshare and it will open up a world of adventure. I do the majority of my holidaying with RCI, because I want stress-free holidays, and the quality is always the same and I've come to rely on that. I don't want to have even the slightest concern before my holiday about what to expect when I arrive. Will it be clean? Will there be anyone on reception if I'm arriving late at night? With RCI accommodation I don't have these worries." - Maria Musgrove-Wethey, RCI Member.
There is a myth that timeshare ownership is very inflexible and means you're stuck having to go back to the same resort year after year, during the same weeks each year, for the rest of your life. Of course, if that’s what you would like to do - and many people do love holidaying in the same resort each year - you can, but there are other options.
One of the best ways to get the most out of your timeshare purchase is to take a membership out with a holiday exchange company, such as RCI. With RCI membership, you can deposit your week at your home resort and then choose a completely different destination for your holiday, instead of returning to the same destination each year. Why visit one holiday destination when you can enjoy holidaying at more than 4,300 resorts in over 110 fabulous countries using RCI membership?
If you own timeshare and want complete flexibility, or have grown a little tired of visiting the same resort and would like to try somewhere new, this is the best way to widen your holiday horizons. It also means you get to travel the world and experience new cultures and destinations, all still while having your guaranteed timeshare holiday. You will always get the same level of service, quality and space that you are used to. You can also swap the week during which you want to holiday - it doesn't have to be the same week year after year. So one year you could be lounging on the lakeside beaches of Lake Balaton in Hungary in July, and the next year you could be strapping on a pair of skis in January in the Alps.
"This year my husband and I got four weeks holiday in Portugal, four weeks in Madeira and three weeks in Spain at an RCI Gold Crown resort - all out of our Kilconquhar Estate and Country Club (0493) in Fife, week ownership and the deposit trading power it gives us to use. Last year we went to Florida for seven weeks using our combined trading power to book multiple Exchange Holidays, plus additional weeks of holiday booked with RCI Extra Holidays." - Susan Collie, RCI Member.
Susan Collie is an expert in exchanging with RCI and knows exactly how to get the most out of her timeshare weeks. She often trades down, by swapping into resorts with less trading power than her home resort to get more holidays, or purchases RCI Extra Holidays, which are cash-only holidays that don’t use up your weeks or points. There is so much choice!
If you are a timeshare owner, you will come to expect a certain level of quality in all aspects of your holiday. The accommodation’s cleanliness and facilities are often of a higher standard than a usual hotel holiday that can be booked with a high street travel agent. Quality of accommodation ranks highly with RCI members.
Timeshare properties are often located in gated holiday resorts in prime locations, enjoying a range of amazing facilities to keep guests entertained, day and night. You’ll find swimming pools, pretty gardens, excellent entertainment teams, children’s clubs and babysitting services, on-site bars, restaurants, spas, gyms and beauty salons. Many resorts even give guests access to a variety of great sporting amenities for the active members of your group, such as diving schools and watersports equipment hire, as well as golf, tennis, football and a variety of other sports and games on offer.
RCI also has its own set of quality standards by which we rate the resorts in our exchange programme, to ensure our members know exactly what they are getting. We use member reviews and feedback, look at resort facilities - such as whether the resort has a 24-hour reception, as well as RCI staff inspections of the quality of the resort. All this different criteria is collected and collated to enable RCI to award three different quality rating tiers.
“RCI has an excellent grading of apartments at resorts. RCI has Gold Crown, Silver Crown and Hospitality Awards to highlight resorts with high member ratings. Even the standard grade of apartment and resort is still better than you can get in a travel package.” - Gail Wrigg, RCI Member of over 23 years.
There are some incredible experiences out there for those who own timeshare. It isn't just about long, lazy days by the pool sipping cocktails, though that does sound dreamy. There are lots of other things to do out there for all types of holidaymakers. Also, it’s worth noting that if you have young children you don’t need to avoid going on long-haul holidays. Little ones are great at adapting once they’re over the jet lag and will get so much out of being surrounded by new cultures and enjoying different experiences you can only get by flying to far-flung shores.
“When our daughters were aged 14 and 12, we all went to Las Vegas for a week. Although it’s not a typical family destination, we loved it. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Desert Club Resort (0110), close to The Strip. We then hired a car and travelled via Henderson to visit the Grand Canyon and then on to the Hoover Dam; both were fascinating to see. We then spent a further week in Sedona Pines Resort (4968), which was the complete opposite to the hustle and bustle of Vegas, perfect for hiking, walking and horse riding.” - Donna Merrick, RCI Member of over 20 years.
As the accommodation is paid for upfront, it means this frees up some spends to put towards holiday fun, such as day trips to interesting sights or enjoying a variety of exciting activities. It really makes a difference and means that your holidays will all stand out for different reasons. Whether it is dirt bike safaris in Tenerife, vineyard tours on the Algarve, or world-class shows in Las Vegas, there’s no need to be bored on holiday.
Different types of ownership
There are many different types of timeshare ownership, and not the dreaded 'sign up for the rest of your life' contract it once was when shared-holiday ownership became popular back in the 1980s. There is much more flexibility making the product more appealing.
There are shorter term ownership contracts for three to ten years, meaning you can dip your toes in and see if timeshare holidaying is for you. It also means your ownership term can be slotted in around your personal circumstances and lifestyle before you make any long-term commitments. Many of these shorter term ownerships include the resort maintenance levy for the duration of the ownership period in the initial price.
RCI is also offering short-term and Lite memberships, to give those new to this type of holiday home ownership a taste of the holiday swap lifestyle without a longer term commitment and significant financial exposure. At the close of the set period purchased, you can either extend your ownership or simply walk away completely free of any further financial liability.
With no two holidaymakers looking for the same getaway, timeshare, alongside RCI membership, is great value for money. With the introduction of greater flexibility and choice when it comes to the different types of memberships and ownerships on offer, this is a way of holidaying that suits everyone.
If you own timeshare but are not yet a member of RCI, you could become part of our holiday exchange community today. Click on the Join RCI button below and sign up in just a few simple steps.
For those who are already RCI members and are looking for your next holiday, check out our Holiday Ideas page for some inspiration on where to go next. To search over 4,300 RCI resorts in more than 110 countries, click on the RCI Resort Directory button below.