Timeshare means you buy the right to spend a certain amount of time at a shared ownership resort – a week, two weeks, let’s say – or, you can book shorter or longer stays if you are using timeshare points.
Since it gained popularity in the sixties, timeshare has come a long way since the classic same week, same place, every year “fixed week” way of holidaying. You can still buy at a fixed time of year at a certain resort but there are so many more options now. Buying ‘points’, for example, may work better for you and your family because this way you can trade them in for battery-charging mini breaks at a variety of destinations. Or splash out on a long-haul safari or cruise, giving you some great flexibility when it comes to designing your kind of holiday.
Here are six prime reasons timeshare has thrived since the concept began back in the sixties, and why you might want to look at timeshare as a more eco, economical and flexible way to holiday compared to simply booking nights in a hotel – or a package holiday. There are a lot of advantages to owning timeshare, and these are just some of them.
1. Owners rate their holidays highly and 9 out of 10 say that timeshare is better than other self catering holidays (based on information from surveys).
2. It can be an interesting alternative to second home ownership – and hassle free, there’s no need to worry for example about break-ins or flooding as the resort is run year round by a professional management companies.
3. It’s a way to help plan your holiday spending in advance. As you pay for your timeshare upfront, you will find that over time, it’s a cost effective way to take holidays. Remember, however, to budget for your annual management fee and your travel costs.
4. Timeshare resorts tend to be full amenity self-catering developments in ideal locations – near the beach, attractions, and offering almost everything you could need, onsite. For this reason alone, timeshare is a great way to holiday for families – parents can relax by the pool while toddlers make new friends at the kids’ club, and if you’re not renting a car you can eat at the resort’s restaurants or buy provisions onsite for meals “at home” at many resorts – another saving.
5. You can try-before-you-buy. Many developers offer trial memberships, which let you dip your toes into the timeshare lifestyle before committing longer-term. This is an excellent way to try out the developer’s resorts during the trial membership period and get a taste for a few different destinations, to discover a new favourite.
6. Most timeshare owners would put the guarantee of quality, destination choices and the range of facilities at the top of the “why buy?” list. You can exchange into other resorts worldwide, swapping Cornwall for the Caribbean one year, or Malaga for Marrakech! Others benefits include extra space (self-catering apartments tend to be far more spacious than a hotel room or suite) and on a more emotional level, owners often say they like the secure feel and the community feel of a timeshare resort. The receptionist remembers you from last year, you’ll probably bump into friends you met in previous years… And interestingly, for many, the community “private club” feel is a big part of why they bought timeshare in the first place.
Today, there are over 1.5 million timeshare owners in Europe alone. To find out more about timeshare, go to the industry trade body web site www.rdo.org. RDO (Resort Development Organisation). Members include resort developers, the exchange companies, trustees and resale companies who all sign up to a code of conduct that protects purchasers’ rights – and that’s in addition to the safeguards already provided under the laws governing timeshare.