To Get the Most from a Timeshare - Be Flexible

If you are willing to be flexible, chances are you can get the most out of your timeshare. At this point in timeshare history, timeshare travel is about as flexible as it can get. Think exchanges, rentals, points, weeks - all of these things contribute to helping you get the vacations you want in the places you want.

Be smart and ask for what you want 
Savvy timeshare owners are up on all the ins and outs of getting the travel experiences they want. Successful exchangers and renters communicate their needs. They call their exchange company with the dates they desire and ask what is available for that time frame. Or they ask "when can we get into XYZ resort?" and plan around availability. They find out the good times to go to a particular location or resort, and then keep track of those dates to book in advance. The key is to be flexible. If you insist on a ski week between Christmas and New Years in Vail, that might be tough. Those coveted weeks are more expensive anyway. Being flexible saves you money and opens up new resorts and locations for you to experience. That's why we have timeshares, isn't it?

Plenty of companies to help you out
There are several companies ready to help you to get what you want such as, Dial-an-Exchange (DAE), RCI, Trading Places and Interval International. There are even internal exchanges within a timeshare group where membership at one resort gives owners the freedom to trade for time at other resorts in the resort family. 

Dial-an-Exchange (DAE)
DAE promotes itself as "the world's largest privately-owned global timeshare provider servicing the entire vacation ownership market, from timeshare weeks, to points club owners and fractional ownership." DAE also advertises as one of the most easy to use exchange companies, with the lowest transaction fees and no complicated rules. Whether exchangers start by banking first or finding a vacation first, DAE's website is straightforward and quick. 

RCI really started the whole exchange thing in 1974 with their RCI Resort Recognition program for holiday exchange. They followed it up with other innovations such as RCI Points (first points-based exchange program), the Registry Collection (world's first luxury exchange program), and RCI TV (first shared holiday ownership online video network). RCI also came up with the first mobile version of an exchange website and was the first to introduce trading power transparency.

Interval International (II)
In business since 1976, II features a choice of hundreds of resorts in more than 75 countries. II has many tools to help owners "make the exchange they want, when they want it". These tools include their Exchange Tracker, an interactive travel-planning tool that displays exchange and getaway activity throughout II's network. Exchange Tracker has an interactive world map that allows exchangers to click on the pin for their chosen location to find resort details, photos and recent exchange activity. What fun!

Trading Places 
Another company with years of experience (35+) is Trading Places. The company likes to focus on the 20% of high-demand vacation destinations that 80% of owners’ desire. As well as offering traditional fees for domestic and international resorts, it offers a unique option to exchange back to the exchanger’s home resort at a reduced exchange fee.  Another plus is a full-service travel agency onsite at its corporate office.

If you are willing to be flexible, exchanging can enhance and broaden your timeshare ownership. It can open up a world of travel experiences you might not have thought were available to you, and can make your timeshare experience even more desirable.

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