TIMESHARE:DREAM VACATION OR NIGHTMARE?
How to use your Timeshare; booking and exchanging.
O.K. you bought it, now comes the fun part- trying to use it! The challenge for you now is to get to where you want to go, when you want to go. This installment will clear things up and make things easier for you. Learning how to book trips was a frustrating trial and effort experience even for me, and I’ve sold Timeshare since 1999. Get this in your mind, and accept it. Timeshare is not a reservation system like hotels and motels where travelers can call last minute and stay for a night or two in one room. Timeshare is an exchange system, where people are booking condo sized accommodations and staying for a week or two. Therefore, common sense plays more of a roll. For example, if you want to be on the beach for the first week of august, and you call a week or two in advance, do you really think your family is going to be on the beach? No way. Remember, if your Family’s vacation is the first week of August every year, and you want to go to the beach, you should have made your purchase at a beach resort for that timeframe in the first place. Such a purchase would mean that you are booking, not exchanging at your own resort, or “home base.” More often than not, you can book your home base as far as a year in advance so you can guarantee your desired stay. You may not have to book a year out unless you’re going on a Holiday, but the big thing is that owners get preference over families owning elsewhere. These folks need to trade, or exchange to get into your resort. They are unable to book as far in advance as you. My advice is to book your trip as far in advance as possible, and if your plans change-cancel. There are instances where a last minute booking may work due to other folks canceling, but I personally don’t count on it. Remember, if you know now where and when you want to vacation next year, BOOK IT NOW!
Now for the tricky part. Let’s go somewhere else. You’re going to have to exchange. This is the time when the location and season of what you own comes in to play. Think of an inverted pyramid. At the top are “International” locations. If your timeshare is an International location, you can probably go anywhere you want because of the desirability of what you have to trade. People worldwide may seek your location for their trip. Second would be a “National” location, meaning that travelers desiring to stay within the continental U.S. will go there. Good purchase, but not the best if you want to travel to Europe, or some exotic locations. Third, and the weakest trade would be a “Regional” timeshare. This is exactly what it sounds like, mostly used by folks traveling close to home, seeking a “drive to” destination. If you originally purchased an off season week at a “Regional” destination, and now you expect to trade for say, the week of Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, there is really no reason to pack your moroccos, you’re not going. Oh. You can be put on a two to three year waiting list, but your chances of getting your dream trip are slim at best.