Travel Resolutions for 2015

While you are making your 2015 New Year resolutions think about including your travel resolutions too. Here are a few to help you get started.

Resolutions for Travelers

  1. Travel more often – By now you've probably read a number of articles about the benefits of travel. It's true that vacationing is good for you. Taking a vacation reduces stress, prevents burnout and makes you more productive when you return to work. A vacation also helps to increase happiness and boosts creativity. 
  2. Experience new places – Travel to a place that you have never been to before. There's nothing like a new environment to stimulate and inspire you. Get out of your comfort zone. Try an exotic location and make it a point to meet the locals. Prepare yourself by learning a little of the language before visiting so you can impress the natives.
  3. Make it a giving experience – You can make a difference while on vacation. There are travel companies that specialize in philanthropic, service travel or stewardship travel. These companies offer the opportunity to learn about and share with other cultures, as you also donate your time to help. Pick a cause and destination that interests you and use your skills to make a positive impact on areas such as the environment, public health, education and wildlife care and conservation. Check out,, or
  4. Leave technology behind – Try really disconnecting while on vacation. Leave your devices at home, or at least try a destination remote enough where they won’t work. You might discover something about yourself that you didn’t know and you’ll be better able to entirely immerse yourself in your surroundings and enjoy your trip without distraction.
  5. Rent a condo for a week with multi generations – Vacationing with the family is good for the soul. Sharing the travel experience with family members of all ages is the ultimate quality time. Work, school, chores, commuting and more leave little opportunity to spend meaningful time with loved ones. Vacationing together gives you that time to leave the distractions at home and really communicate with each other as you also develop lasting memories.

Resolutions for Timeshare Industry Professionals

  1. Speak to at least one owner a week – Just as you need to communicate with your personal family, it’s also important to communicate with your timeshare family too. Make it a point to get to know your owners. A friendly hello, how are you is fine, but real communication includes finding out what’s going on in their lives and how they feel about their ownership. Personal contact allows owners to share what they like about their timeshare, but also to give feedback on what they would like improved.
  2. Visit a competitor’s resort – What better way to keep up on what’s going on at your competitor’s resort, but by experiencing it firsthand. Schedule a friendly visit, or even a short stay. Find common ground and see what you can both do to improve.
  3. Cross train yourself or a staff member – Train sales people to work in operations, or accounting staff to work at the front desk, and vice versa. That way, you'll always be prepared and able to jump in and help in an emergency, or when staff is on vacation or out ill. 
  4. Take at least one ARDA Webinar – Knowledge is power. As professionals, it’s important to keep learning. ARDA Webinars offer the convenience of learning new information or a skill without having to leave the office, or from the comfort of your home. (
  5. Become an expert on the area where you work – Learn everything you can about your resort's area. Search for fun, unexpected, or out of the way places that you can recommend to owners and guests. Be the one that owners go to when looking for special places to visit or things to do that enhance their stay.

Thinking about Traveling for the Winter Holidays?

There may still be time!
It's holiday time and our thoughts turn to family and friends and the inevitable questions of where and when to get together. If you’ve waited this long to decide, you might be considered a bit of a procrastinator, but there still may be time to pull it off.  Just so you know for next year’s plans, the optimum time to book flights for Christmas travel would have been October 8th. According to Orbitz, that’s when prices were 5% below average for the time period, and they then rose slowly to more average holiday prices by Oct. 28th. So what’s a procrastinator to do now? 

Getting There

  • At this late date it might be easier to drive rather than fly, particularly if family members live fairly close together. 
  • Consider holding your holiday get together a week or two earlier, or later than the actual holiday.  The holiday window is approximately December 21st-January 6th. If you can do it, try getting together before the 21st and after January 6th. This may not work for some families, of course, but if you are flexible it will certainly help to avoid the the stress of flying during the holidays, save you a lot of money and could start a new holiday tradition.
  • There may not be any cheap days to fly during the holidays, but there are days the airlines designate for cheaper flights. You certainly are not going to get a good rate the day before the holiday itself, and there’s a great chance there will be no availability on those days. Because both Christmas and New Year's are on Thursday this year, a Sunday departure is not a good bet either. A better bet is to travel on the day of the holiday. Traditionally, flights on the holiday are less expensive.
  • Be sure to check all airlines for flights at this time of year and look for special air sales. An American Airlines Europe fare sale is running right now that features travel dates from December to spring with blackout dates of December 17th-24th. Amazingly, it includes discounted fares the week of Christmas. 

Staying There

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that has a timeshare week scheduled for this holiday season, or maybe you thought ahead and exchanged for this time early, but if not: 
  • Be flexible in your choice of destinations and be willing to try a new place.
  • Check exchange sites like RCI, Interval International, and Dial-An-Exchange for last minute exchanges and unsold inventory.
  • Rental sites such as and are also options to consider.
It’s worth a little effort to get all your family and friends together and who knows, this could turn out to be your best holiday ever. Happy Holidays!

Travel is Trending - Increases in Both Domestic and Global Travel

2015 is shaping up to be a good year for the timeshare industry.  Adding to ARDA’s latest glowing report that shows significant growth in 2013 are more positive predictions from travel industry experts of increased domestic and global travel in 2015. As the recession has receded, confidence in the economic situation has returned, and both domestic and global travel has increased. After four consecutive years of growth that surpassed the world economy by 1.5 percent, predictions are that 2015 should be an even bigger year for the travel industry.    
These 2013 travel statistics from industry experts, are helping to fuel the positive outlook for 2015:
  • 70 million international travelers visited the U.S.  
  • International travelers visiting the U.S. spent a record $181 billion on goods and services
  • U.S. residents took 1.6 billion trips for leisure purposes 
  • Spending on leisure travel generated $91.9 billion in tax revenue

Travel’s economic impact important to trade balance and job creation

Even President Obama agrees that travel is a significant influencer on many of his economic priorities such as the U.S. trade balance and job creation. This spring, Obama met with leaders of America’s travel industry at the White House to talk about more activities to spur economic growth through travel and tourism. Discussion included the renewal of Brand USA, a public-private partnership that has successfully marketed the U.S. as a tourist destination. 

Americans are keeping it domestic

According to a recent survey by, only 13 percent of Americans traveled abroad last year. And of those who did travel abroad, more than 75 percent made more than $100,000 a year.  Issues such as as a weak dollar, high ticket prices, and safety, are some of the reasons Americans are preferring to vacation in their home country.  

International travelers 

On the other hand, the international travel market is growing rapidly, and many of those travelers are traveling to the U.S. America’s competitors in the international travel market were the first to realize the importance of travel promotion - the targeted marketing of countries to potential international visitors. In 2010, after losing ground to the important global market, the US Congress passed the Travel Promotion Act (TPA). That act also created Brand USA, a destination marketing organization for across the globe promotion of the U.S. According to the U.S. travel Association, Brand USA’s efforts has helped add an additional 1.1 million incremental visitors to the U.S. - an increase of 2.3 percent. 

Niche Markets are Trending

A recent article in Travel Age West Magazine reports that the new travel markets on the rise are experiential travel, upscale adventure travel and wellness travel. Hotels and airlines are incorporating more personalized services and the latest technologies. The cruise industry is debuting new ships that combine ocean-going and river cruise itineraries.