Understanding Timeshares and Your Vacation Ownership

Vacation ownership has become the fastest growing segment in the U.S. travel and tourism industry, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). It has grown at a rate of nearly 16 percent each year since 1993. According to ARDA, owning a timeshare is “your ticket to better vacationing”. Timeshare owners have the ability to tailor their vacations with a choice of over 5,000 resorts in almost 100 countries worldwide.

Why to Buy

A timeshare is a home away from home, with high quality accommodations such as: Spacious floor plans, fully equipped kitchens, washer and dryers, stereos, televisions, DVD players/VCRs; and more. Resorts often include: Swimming pools, tennis courts, Jacuzzi, spa, fitness facilities, golf, boating, skiing, water sports, planned children’s activities, and amusement or theme parks on-site or nearby.

How It Works

Owning a timeshare is basically paying today for future vacations. Over time you are paying for a fraction of whole ownership costs of the unit, plus an annual maintenance fee. Each unit of a timeshare resort is divided into weeks. Often the amount of time you purchase is expressed in terms of "points". A points system aimed at increasing the range of options in which you can use your timeshare interval. You may purchase points that can be redeemed for: accommodations, resort locations, amenities, number of days used, and other travel services. Many timeshare resort developers link their points and timeshare program with other loyalty travel programs, which allows you to maximize your purchasing power and travel choices.

Timeshare Owner Testimonial

“We have taken more vacations in the last five years than we did in the 25 years before that. It’s the best purchase we ever made!” Harvey - Oregon

For more information, visit ARDA.org to download or request a free brochure entitled Understanding Vacation Ownership and learn how to “own the fun!”

Marriott Vacation Club Announces Change to their Timeshare Points Program

Starting on July 16, 2009, the Marriott Vacation Club will be adjusting the number of points required for redemption stays at Marriott Vacation Club resorts. The properties will be assigned category levels, and each level requires a certain number of points before the free night can be redeemed. Guests must reserve a stay for a minimum of 5 nights to receive the fifth night for free, which will be automatically applied. This new policy will apply to all Marriott Vacation Club redemption reservations booked on or after July 16.

Reservations are for Deluxe Guest rooms, unless an upgrade is desired. An additional 5,000 points per night are required to upgrade to a 1-bedroom, 10,000 for a 2-bedroom, and 15,000 points are needed for a 3-bedrooms villa. Not all properties have the same room types, which is why the new category levels per location has been assigned.

For those who wish to redeem their points at the current award schedule, you should make sure to book your accommodations AND order your certificate from Marriott Guest Services on or before July 16, 2009. Blackout dates will apply. Unused Marriott Vacation Club certificates cannot be redeemed for stays that haven’t been completed by July 16, 2009.

For a list of the new properties category levels and points chart, see the complete article.

How to Rent Your Timeshare

If you are considering renting your timeshare, you’re not the only one. Below is a list of questions and steps to help you successfully post and rent your timeshare online.
  1. Check With Your Resort

  2. Each resort has different policies and procedures. You’ll want to take the time to call your resort with the questions listed below to avoid any surprises down the road.

    Questions for the Resort:

    • Am I free to rent my timeshare to anyone, or are there restrictions I should be aware of?

    • Are there any transfer fees if I rent my timeshare myself (i.e. commissions, guest certificate fees, transfer fees, etc.)?

    • What is the process for transferring the use of my timeshare week into a guest's name?

    • Does the resort send them a confirmation directly? Or, will it go to me and I send it to them? How much lead time do you require?

    • What weekly rate does the resort itself charge renters for the week and unit size that I own? (this will help you with step #2)

  3. Post Your Timeshare Online

  4. You’ll find many resources available online. Most require a nominal membership and posting fee. When creating your listing, you’ll want to include as much detail as possible about your timeshare unit and the surrounding location so your renter can paint a mental picture of your offering. The great thing about online posting is that you control the entire process. Members interested in your timeshare rental will e-mail you directly through your posting page to arrange the payment. You’ll just need to answer e-mails and proceed with finalizing the transaction, once you've found your renter.

  5. Finalizing the Rental

  6. When utilizing an online service for timeshare rentals, the financial portion of the transaction typically takes place between the members themselves. You can conduct a privately managed transaction, or use a vacation escrow service for added security with your agreement and payment due. If you choose to conduct business privately, it is wise to have a signed agreement of the terms of payment, date of stay, resort location, etc… All details finalized in writing will protect you in the long run. Also, once you’ve completed the transaction, be sure to take your posting off the timeshare website.

Oyster Bay Timeshare Resort Unveils 40 New Ocean View Rooms

If you’re looking to travel to St. Maarten this year, you won’t want to miss the luxurious accommodations at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort timeshare . Their dramatic upgrades, improvements and 40 new rooms offer guests a travel experience to remember.

“The new timeshare units will enhance the quality of the resort by allowing more families to enjoy the oceanfront at Oyster Bay,” says Jan Borsje, General Manager of Oyster Bay Beach Resort. “Also, by adding 20% more capacity, it will be easier for owners and Interval International exchangers to get the date and location they want,” he said.

Some of the upgrades at the resort include beautiful granite kitchen and bathroom countertops, spacious tiled showers, new plumbing fixtures and top-of-the line cabinets. “The units are really quite beautiful and are equal or better than any top-rated hotels in the Caribbean” said Jan. “The view of the Atlantic ocean from the spacious, private balconies is unique and makes the resort a treasure.”

For those travelling with a group, you’ll appreciate the new four-story timeshare pavilion which features “flexible room configurations” that assemble into efficiency, one- and two-bedroom units. These units are very unique with the added convenience of a full-size kitchen and refrigerator, four burner stove and plenty of kitchen space for food preparation. Some of the rooms are also equipped for those with special needs or physical impairments.

A recent guest to the resort had this to say:
“It is absolutely spectacular and in the perfect location. The rooms are beautiful as are all of the common areas. The resort is everything you could possibly want in a boutique, high end, luxury resort and keeps getting better. It is by far one of the most desirable resorts to stay on the island. You won’t be disappointed!”

How Timeshare Rental can Save you Hundreds of Dollars

It’s that time again. Vacation time!! The weather is getting warmer, those tropical destinations are calling you. Fun and relaxation await, but, this year you might be finding that you travel budget is reduced. What’s a traveler to do when looking for discounts and deals on accommodations? Timeshare rental is the answer, because it can save you hundreds of dollars over the publicly quoted prices on travel web sites, like Travelocity and Expedia.

Don’t believe it? Just try this exercise for yourself to see how the savings stack up. Search for a timeshare rental online and then go to a travel web site for the same dates and resort and continue through the process (as if you plan to book), so, you can see the very last page. What you’ll find on that last page is the FULL price for that booking, which INCLUDES taxes and fees, (some of which can be over $80 per night!). That may not be what you expected when you did a simple room rate query for availability. Don’t be surprised by hidden fees. Try a timeshare rental, right from the owner, and pay the rate they’ve listed. Period.

As VacationBetter.org reports, there are more than 5,000 timeshare resorts in 100 countries. You’re sure to find a timeshare owner looking to rent their resort at just the destination you were looking for, and at a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere. Do yourself a favor and take a look at what timeshare rentals have to offer. With the money you save, you’ll be glad you did.

Save Money with Timeshare Rental for Your Next Vacation

Have you ever considered timeshare rental for vacation travel? In a new article from KOMOnews.com entitled “5 Secrets for Cheap Travel”, renting a timeshare was 4th on the list of ways to save money.

“A timeshare is like a shared ownership in a condominium except it's often at a resort hotel.” Says reporter Matt Markovich. “Many timeshare owners are very willing to rent their unused weeks. “Redweek.com is like the Switzerland for renting, buying and exchanging timeshares. It is a subscription based service, not run by any of the big hotel chains or timeshare companies. You can browse timeshare resorts located all over the world, see descriptions of the properties, availability, and rental prices. The information is posted by the timeshare owner. But if you want to make contact with the owner, you need a subscription with Redweek.com, which costs $15 per year. Its well worth it when compared to the savings you'll get. By renting a timeshare directly from owner, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the nightly prices the resort charges for the same exact unit.”

Here’s what a RedWeek.com member had to say:
"We were skeptics of course on renting from a timeshare owner. BUT, we stayed at The Omni Cancun for 5 nights and [the timeshare owner] was a wonderful owner to work with. Everything went according to plan, no problems what so ever. Just want everyone to know that we had a pleasant experience using this website and quite honestly could not have taken such an expensive vacation without the affordable rates timeshare owners can offer by renting out their weeks. I say a big thank you to this website and all the owners." – Gaye M.

When it comes to planning your vacation this year, do yourself a favor and look into timeshare rentals. You’ll find beautiful resorts available all over the world at a fraction of the cost you’d find a typical travel web site. Save money today.

Don’t be a Victim of Common Timeshare Scams

Timeshare con artists are at it again. A news report this week told about how a woman who was looking to sell her timeshare found an online company who said they could do it and of course, asked her to pay up the money up front. Two months have passed and her $1,800 is gone with no timeshare sale.

It’s terrible to hear of stories like these where good, honest people are robbed of their hard earned money. The best way to keep from being a victim is to be armed with information.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to protect yourself and ensure a safe transaction in the rental or sale of a timeshare.

  1. Use an escrow account. There are many escrow companies available that that will hold funds until the delivery of the deed. First American Title Insurance Co. is a great resource.

  2. Do your research. Below is a list of questions and things to do:
    Contact the resort to verify ownership status of the person you are buying/renting from:
  • Is that person indeed the owner?
  • Do they own the week/unit they have advertised?
  • Are there any unpaid maintenance fees/assessments that would:
a. prevent a renter from checking in to the unit, or
b. transfer to the new owner

For Rentals:
  • Ask the owner for a list of references from past renters

  • Complete and sign a rental agreement

  • Never pay 100% of the rental price up-front (depending on how close the transaction is to the check-in date)

  • Pay 50% of the rental price up-front, and the remaining 50% when you receive written confirmation FROM THE RESORT that the reservation has been placed in your name (it's also a good idea to phone the resort to ensure your reservation is secure)

  • Never pay via wire transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). For more details on payment methods and comparisons visit your favorite timeshare site.

Fraud is serious business. Don't make quick decisions when it comes to your hard earned money. Take the time to conduct your own research, ask questions, and go with your instincts. See the largest timeshare marketplace online for more information on ways to protect yourself from timeshare scams and fraud.

Use Your Timeshare this Summer Without Guilt

In a new study from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), ninety percent of people are suffering from “Guilty Vacation Syndrome” (GVS). Instead of looking forward to and enjoying the idea of their annual summer vacation, a recent survey conducted on ARDA's consumer Web site, VacationBetter.org, shows that people are either not taking or are delaying their summer vacation this year because of guilt. People these days are really being affected by the negative economic news. Even if their own financial situation is stable, hearing about companies cutting salaries and laying off employees leaves people feeling uneasy.
The biggest problem for those who are timeshare owners is that they already have their beautiful vacation resort waiting for them and they really want to go, but guilt and indecisiveness are taking their toll, making them feel they shouldn't take a vacation at all.
Here’s what one survey participant had to say:
“We always take two weeks at the beach each year to refresh and rejuvenate," says Pete J., a GVS sufferer. "This year we've decided to cut back since we don't want to appear insensitive to the economic situation."
"People with 'Guilty Vacation Syndrome' must put their health first," said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. "There has been substantial research affirming the physical and mental benefits for taking time to get away and recharge. And in stressful times like these, it's even more important." It's proven that one to two weeks away from the daily routine leads to better job performance and productivity. And, happy, motivated employees are a great way to do your part to help the economy.
What ARDA’s survey is helping us understand is that stressful times call for relaxing measures. People need good thoughts and a positive outlook that planning for and using their timeshare resort can provide. Research shows that vacations are a necessity and not a luxury. Those who invest in their personal happiness reap the rewards of reduced stress, better health and stronger bonds with family and friends. So, forget the white out and keep your vacation penciled in on the calendar this summer.

Timeshare and Travel Information Source

Welcome to the new Timeshare-info.org blog. We will be bringing you the latest information on the timeshare and travel industry as well as offering you a wealth of news and information about what you need to know as a timeshare owner, as someone considering buying a timeshare, or as someone who enjoys using timeshare rentals for vacation travel.

Timeshare owners already know that vacationing in a timeshare is the best way to travel, and so much different than a hotel experience. When you travel with timeshare, there are no surprises, so it takes the stress out of vacation planning and ensures your vacation needs are met. With more than 5,000 resorts in 100 countries, timeshare owners and renters can reserve their favorite vacation spot to return to year after year or exchange their week for a different location and a new experience.

With a standard hotel you get just one room with a bed and a bathroom. Those who travel with kids or as a group of four or more, know that cramming into a single hotel room or trying to arrange adjoining rooms can be a challenge. Plus, this setup is particularly difficult for families with small children. When the kids go to sleep, mom and dad's options are limited, as the whole family is sharing one room. But with a timeshare you typically get a full condominium unit with: one, two, or three bedrooms; a central living room (usually with a sleeper sofa); dining area; a complete kitchen (with full-size stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher, as well as dishes and utensils); washer and dryer; one, two, and sometimes even three full bathrooms. This difference can really enhance your travel experience by making you feel at home with the additional space and privacy. And for families, mom and dad can put the kids to bed in one bedroom and continue to enjoy themselves in the spacious living areas.

Also for family travelers, many timeshare resorts offer complimentary children's activities, such as arts and crafts, pool games, t-shirt making, karaoke, and more, giving parents a chance to spend some quiet time together. And, typically, great activities are close by the resort as well: water parks, miniature golf courses, bowling, family game shows, and movie nights, in addition to the standard tourist attraction or theme park you may have travelled to see.A timeshare resort also opens up a host of options that are not available at a hotel. The full kitchen allows guests to eat meals in their unit, rather than in restaurants every night, for a major cost savings. The washer and dryer in the unit means you don't have to pack as many clothes, which means less bags to haul around for an improved travel experience. Plus, many timeshares offer movie rentals on-site and VCRs or DVD players in the units, so you can save money on entertainment as well.

Timeshare usage for vacation travel is truly the best way to go. You can simply focus on relaxation, spending time with your family, and making memories -- which is what a vacation is really all about.