The majority of timeshare owners buy timeshare with a view to using it - with a holiday exchange membership - to travel the world in comfort. There are several different exchange memberships and RCI Points is one of the most popular. Known for the flexibility it brings to holiday planning for RCI members, what might still surprise you is just how far you can go with RCI Points.

The story of Phileas Fogg and his quest to travel around the world in 80 days has inspired many a globetrotter over the years and it also prompted one of RCI's associates to embark on a virtual journey across the globe to see just how far a person could travel using RCI Points.

RCI invented the points holiday exchange system back in 2000 and it has become a popular way to holiday, giving RCI members lots of flexibility in their holiday planning and allowing them to travel the world, as this blog demonstrates.

RCI invented the points holiday exchange system back in 2000 and it has become a popular way to holiday, giving RCI members lots of flexibility in their holiday planning and allowing them to travel the world.

The rules

With Fogg's 80 days in mind, the team decided to make it their goal to get as far as they could on their virtual journey using RCI Points to book 80 nights of accommodation. And, incredibly, they proved that it was entirely possible, spending 80 nights across 13 different destinations!

The rules stated that the holiday exchange accommodation had to be selected from the RCI holiday exchange pool and be taken from real time availability in the RCI system, as shown on RCI.com.


Savvy RCI members add value to timeshare ownership by looking out for all the RCI special deals and discounts, as well as planning ahead and making use of the shoulder season months to take holidays in, all of which takes them further in their travels.

Savvy RCI members add value to timeshare ownership by looking out for all the RCI special deals and RCI Points discounts, as well as planning ahead and making use of the shoulder season months to take holidays in, all of which takes them further on their travels.

This blog demonstrates how, with a little knowledge of the RCI holiday exchange system, being savvy, being prepared to plan ahead and to look out for deals and points discounts, you can go a long way with a timeshare. For example, the team made great use of a 50 per cent points discount, applied when making a reservation less than 14 days before the check-in date.

If you haven't got children and aren't tied to the school holiday period, then you are lucky! Take advantage of the cheaper off-peak travel opportunities, which also apply to RCI accommodation availability too. The simple economic law of 'supply and demand' kick in and many members find they have greater choice and availability outside of the peak school holiday times.

The route

Umbria, Italy

The team didn't follow Fogg's route, across the world's oceans from east to west. Instead the 'virtual' route followed many of the holiday destination hot spots for timeshare owners, as the goal of this exercise was to see just how far an RCI Points member could go using their holiday exchange options.

This virtual points journey set out for Italy's Umbria region, known as the 'green heart' of Italy and now every bit as popular as Tuscany. Easy to explore, the region is peppered with pretty hill towns and has a real intimate feel. Among its perfect pastoral backdrop, visitors will find food, wine, architecture and culture to rival any in Italy. La Casella was the resort selected for this leg of the virtual journey, and Perugia and Assisi were just two of the wonderful towns close to the property.

Italy's Umbria region was the first port of call for our virtual travellers. This is a great value destination when compared to Tuscany, offering all that we have come to love about this beautifully romantic country.

Italy's Umbria region was the first port of call for our virtual travellers. This is a great value destination when compared to Tuscany, offering all that we have come to love about this beautifully romantic country.

Umbria is home to some wonderful Italian architecture and monuments, as well as stunning ancient towns such as Perugia and Assisi.

Umbria is home to some wonderful Italian architecture and monuments, as well as some stunning ancient towns, such as Perugia and Assisi.

Crete, Greece

In that first three weeks of travel, the journey took our virtual travellers from Italy's rolling hills to the sunny shores of Crete. The largest of the Greek islands, it is a treasure trove of ruins of ancient civilisations for the culture vultures, and the most beautiful beaches for the sun worshippers. This island also has its fair share of mountains and natural wonders to explore - and it is a very easy place to drive around if you want to hire a car to make the most of your adventure. Leoniki Residence was home in Crete, in one of the resort's studio apartments sleeping four people.

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is a treasure trove of antiquity and the perfect place for the historians among us to take some time out.

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is a treasure trove of antiquity and the perfect place for the historians among us to take some time out.

Away from the beaches in Crete, there are many colourful and charming villages to explore where the local people will welcome you warmly.

Away from the beaches in Crete, there are many colourful and charming villages to explore where the local people will welcome you warmly.

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Egypt's Sharm El Sheikh was the next stop, and Shores Amphoras, a one-bedroom apartment sleeping four, was chosen for the stay. This resort benefits from an extensive private beach and six pools, as well as a prime location on the shores of the Red Sea.

The Red Sea is the big draw for visitors to the resorts in Egypt's Sharm El Sheikh. The high-quality resorts in this tourist area of Egypt often represent good value for money in terms of their specification and on-resort facilities.

One of the iconic sights of Egypt - the camel! Out on the continent of Africa, Egypt is a destination that is uniquely characteristic of its region and is a rarified adventure if you wander beyond the resorts.

One of the iconic sights of Egypt - the camel! Out on the continent of Africa, Egypt is a destination that offers one-of-a-kind adventures if you wander beyond the resorts.

Goa & Hyderabad, India

By day 22, the exercise had taken our virtual travellers to India for some chill out time in Goa. Royal Goan Beach Club at MonteRio, again a one-bedroom apartment sleeping four, was the chosen accommodation. Goa is famed for its laid-back vibes and if it is the perfect beach holiday you seek - fly and flop - then this destination is made for you. Although you also won't want to miss the fusion of food and culture here which has much to offer the more adventurous who want to experience a place that is a world apart from anywhere else.
The journey continued across the Indian continent to Hyderabad, where a hotel unit sleeping two at the Bavarian-styled Amrutha Castle resort was to be home. Not known as a tourist destination, Hyderabad has some stunning architecture, unique to India, such as the Chowmahalla Palace and Charmina.

Goa, in India, is renowned for being the place to head to for a fabulous chill-out holiday - you would struggle to tear yourself away from those famed beaches.

Goa, in India, is renowned for being the place to head to for a fabulous chill-out holiday - you would struggle to tear yourself away from those famed beaches.

Away from the stretches of sand along the shores of the Goan beaches, old Goa is a cultural centre where you will find Portuguese influences - it was once a Portuguese province back in the 16th centurey, impressive architecture and a lively nightlife.

Away from the stretches of sand along the shores of the Goan beaches, old Goa is a cultural centre where you will find Portuguese influences - it was once a Portuguese province back in the 16th century, as well as impressive architecture and a lively nightlife.

Batam Island, Indonesia,

Indonesia's Batam Island - just a short 45-minute hop by boat from Singapore - was next on the virtual travel itinerary. A studio sleeping two at the Goodway Hotel provided a great value way to take a holiday that allows you to explore iconic Singapore. On the island, in the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, you can enjoy a game of golf on one of several golf courses; it offers lots of opportunities to go out on sailing excursions; and many activities for all the family to enjoy.

Batam Island, one of Indonesia's Riau Islands, is a quiet and peaceful retreat and something of a hidden holiday gem. It is also just a short boat trip away from Singapore.

Batam Island, one of Indonesia's Riau Islands, is a quiet and peaceful retreat and something of a hidden holiday gem. It is also just a short boat trip away from Singapore.

Singapore is one of the most exciting cities on the planet and the good news is - it can be enjoyed as a day trip experience - easily - from your resort on Indonesia's Batam Island which is just a short ferry ride away.

Singapore is one of the most exciting cities on the planet and the good news is - it can be enjoyed as a day trip from your resort on Indonesia's Batam Island which is just a short ferry ride away.

After the glitz and glamour of Singapore, Thailand's laid-back island of Phuket seemed the perfect place to kick back and relax. A celebrated beach paradise, Phuket has long been loved as one of the best sand, sea and sun holiday retreats. The area is also one of the most culturally colourful in South East Asia. Patong Bay Garden was the chosen resort, with a hotel room sleeping two.

Phuket in Thailand has featured in many films and is a popular 'flop and drop' destination for those seeking complete rest and relaxation on its exquisite beaches.

Phuket in Thailand has featured in many films and is a popular 'fly and flop' destination for those seeking complete rest and relaxation on its exquisite beaches.

Thailand is a destination that caters for the young, singles, couples, family groups and the older generation. The beaches in Phuket are best on its western shore, while Phuket City, the capital is a shopping and dinig mecca, and Patong's nightlife is a shining feature with its many bars and nightclubs.

Thailand is a destination that caters for the young, singles, couples, family groups and the older generation. The beaches in Phuket are best on its western shore, while the capital, Phuket City, is a shopping and dining mecca. Patong's nightlife is a shining feature with its many bars and nightclubs.

Las Vegas, The US

Leaving the east behind, the journey then crossed the Pacific Ocean with the bright lights of Las Vegas in view. The accommodation was virtually booked at the Grand View Las Vegas Nevada, with a one-bedroom accommodation sleeping four, for a week. It pays to be a savvy RCI member and to keep an eye out on RCI.com and in your RCI communications for the great value deals which come available throughout each month. Apart from the famed sights of Las Vegas itself to revel in, it is easy from this resort to get out to see some truly awesome tourist attractions, such as the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.

You know you've arrived when you see this sign! Las Vegas was one of 13 Holiday destinations virtually visited in our 'Around The World With RCI Points' challenge - which was completed with some of the 80,000 RCI points left over.

You know you've arrived when you see this sign! Las Vegas was just one of 13 holiday destinations we visited 'virtually' for our 'Around The World With RCI Points' challenge - which was completed with some of the RCI points left over.

Las Vegas, in the US, is one of the stately pleasure zones of the world, and a favourite playground of RCI Points members.

Las Vegas, in the US, is one of the stately pleasure zones of the world, and a favourite playground of RCI Points members.

Cancún, Mexico

Pushing out the 'points boat' a little, the next stopover was a stay in a stunning luxury resort. Cancún in Mexico is a holidaymakers' favourite which could not be left off this RCI Points adventure map! Seven nights at the Grand Mayan Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen resort in a hotel room sleeping two, gave the virtual travellers a luxurious stay experience to recharge their travel batteries. Tearing yourself away from the pampering at this resort, some of the world's greatest monuments are 'doable' as a day trip from here, including the ancient and mysterious Chichén Itzá.

Mexico's Cancun is one of the beachy best of holiday destinations. The resorts in Cancun spoil you just as much as its glorious sandy shores and sparkling waters. What more could you ask from a get away from it all holiday?

Mexico's Cancún is one of the beachy best of holiday destinations. The resorts in Cancún spoil you just as much as its glorious sandy shores and sparkling waters. What more could you ask from a get-away-from-it-all holiday?

Mexico's Cancun has a loyal following of RCI members and, with beaches such as this one, it's easy to see why.

Mexico's Cancún has a loyal following of RCI members and, with beaches such as this one, it's easy to see why.

Freeport, The Bahamas

Hitting Day 70 of this mighty around the world in 80 days with RCI Points, the pin stopped on the map in The Bahamas. Another ideal destination to simply relax and soak up the Caribbean sun, with cocktails and glorious surroundings that surely bring you closer to paradise! A hotel room sleeping two at The Marlin at Taino Beach was the chosen accommodation; which used up a good chunk of our points, but this hotel and destination combined are really something special.

Freeport is the major city on Grand Bahama, an island just off the Florida coast which, though beautiful, has a variety of activities to keeo you occupied on holiday, including some great shopping.

Freeport is the major city on Grand Bahama, an island just off the Florida coast, which has a variety of activities to keep you occupied on holiday, including some great shopping.

the Lucaya District of Freeport is the place to go if you are all about the beach, although when you fancy a change of pace, you will find the shops, bars and restaurants nearby.

The Lucaya District of Freeport is the place to go if you are all about the beach, although when you fancy a change of pace, you will find the shops, bars and restaurants close to the sands.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

The virtual around the world trip saw a return to Europe on day 77, as the adventure drew to a close in the Canary Islands, on Tenerife. Tenerife might be a small island, but it offers so much in the different holiday experiences to be enjoyed here, from its sunny southern shores to the enchanting verdant mountains to the north of the island. A comfortable four-hour flight from the UK and great value for money, no RCI points exchange member can love RCI membership and not have visited Tenerife at least once! A three-bedroom apartment sleeping eight at Apartmentos Tropical Park was available for this stay.

Day 80 was the day of the virtual flight home to London and our virtual travellers had completed their goal of travelling across the continents of the world in 80 days with RCI Points! I hope this blog has demonstrated both the power - and the appeal - of RCI Points membership. If you are passionate about travel, then you should be travelling using points.

Tenerife is the tiny Canary Island that packs a big punch! Home to many wonderful timeshare resorts and much-loved by RCI members, it was an apt and fitting place for this epic 'Around The World With RCI' challenge to end.

Tenerife is the tiny Canary Island that packs a big punch! Home to many wonderful timeshare resorts and much-loved by RCI members, it was an apt and fitting place for this epic 'Around The World With RCI Points' challenge to end.

If you own points and, after reading this blog, are thinking that you might like to embark on your own travel challenge to see just how far your points can take you and your family, then your first destination should be RCI.com. You will have the greatest choice of destinations and holiday stay options with RCI Points membership, as well as access to some great value deals. Click on the link below and sign in to start challenging yourself to get out and about, and around the world with RCI Points.

Travel With Your Points

For inspiration to see where your RCI Points could be taking you, click on the button below to browse the RCI Directory of Resorts - remember to visit regularly because availability changes every hour or every day, as our members deposit and exchange. Why not put an Ongoing Search in place and RCI will alert you when a match for your perfect RCI exchange is found?

View RCI Resort Directory