There’s so much flexibility around the type of timeshare ownership you can purchase these days, so before you buy it’s a very wise idea to do a bit of homework before you commit to one type of timeshare v. another – and buy the right timeshare to fit your family’s lifestyle.
First and foremost, familiarise yourself with the variety of vacation ownership models on the market.
Three of the main ones are: a fixed week (the “original” timeshare ownership model launched in the sixties in Europe), the floating week (still a week – but more flexible date-wise) and timeshare points, which really took the timeshare concept to a whole new level when they were first introduced. Here’s how they work:
1. Fixed Week
You’ll usually own the rights to a specific unit in the same week, year in, year out, for the length of your contract. This model is perfect for example if you love a particular resort, say, somewhere in the south of France, and are more than happy to go back at the same time every year. Older couples and families with very young children may prefer this model – over the years you’ll get to know the staff at the resort well, become friends with other owners and you can book flights well in advance as you’ll always know the destination and dates you need.
Nevertheless, if you do want to try somewhere new one year, you could still rent out your week at your home resort and go somewhere different – or, trade with owners who have other properties.
2. Floating Week
When your week is termed “floating”, you have quite a bit more flexibility when it comes to dates and seasons. You’ll have more freedom than the classic fixed week, although still bear in mind that at times like busy school holidays you may need to book pretty far ahead. Getting the exact time you want could be more of a challenge when other resort owners want the same prime periods. Floating weeks can also work well for couples who no longer have children at home and are free to go away pretty much any time of year.
3. Points Club
Points really revolutionised theway timeshare owners can holiday when they first came into play. You buy points that buy you time at various destinations, in various seasons at various luxury levels – depending on your points ownership value. Think of your points like currency. Timeshare slots are reserved on a first-come basis usually, and the flexibility is just wonderful. You could use them towards a South African safari one year, a cruise in two years’ time, or to host a special family reunion in Spain one Christmas – the options are open and if you’ve never really been a “same place, same week, year in, year out” sort of person, then points will fit the bill perfectly.