The Free Vacation that Isn’t


Maybe this will sound  familiar…….

Years ago we got sucked into buying a time share. It seemed like a great idea at the time. While the home resort was close enough to where we lived to make it an easy get away, membership in one of the international exchange  organizations made the world our oyster.  It was intriguing and captivated us to dream of a “cost-free” lodging halfway around the globe.  We planned NEVER to go to the nearby home resort. And we got a free cruise too….which we paid more to upgrade…..and then had to get to the port…..and pay hundreds of dollars in tips….and …. and…..(not a “free” cruise).

So we decided where we wanted to go the next year and called the exchange service. Nope, sorry, that one has no vacancies. Hmmm, can you go in February? So very sorry, how about a nice trip to this other place (with a pretty high airfare to get there) instead?

Timeshares do not work for all people. I have some friends who cherish their resort in Mexico and have, until this year, gone for two separate one-week trips. This year they decided perhaps the time and expense spent travelling to get there was getting a bit uncomfortable, so they have changed plans to go once for two-weeks. For them, the ownership is ideal.

Timeshares may work for you, but not at every phase of your life. If you have children in school, your vacation times are limited to those times when school is not in session and guess what, you are competing with a kazillion other timeshare owners for available lodging. That place in Florida that pitched “always available” at you to intrigue you into buying at Mickey’s front door, may or may not be able to deliver.

If you are going to consider a time share purchase, research before you go visit the offering. Compare the various options out there and also look at the resale market. Know before you react emotionally to the sales pitch! Do NOT buy at the price offered. Counter-offer and negotiate. The organization will work it out with you. They will reduce the price. They will possibly throw in other cost savings as well.

Remember besides the original purchase price there is an annual maintenance cost as well as the exchange service annual fee. So, when you think how buying a time share will save on future vacation costs because of “free” lodging, please remind yourself that you bought a share, paid annual maintenance, and paid another fee to be able to go somewhere other than your home resort. Not free…..

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11 Responses to The Free Vacation that Isn’t

  1. Now, you know I’m dreaming each time I read your blogs 🙂 being a nurse can have its challenging days coming home and getting nostalgic just calms the waters for me. Thanks for all your post I enjoy reading them. Shared as well. Happy Travel 🙂

  2. Well, dream….and start putting some $ aside….and in a year or so you will have enough to make that a reality!

  3. Gunta says:

    Time share is something I never have or would consider. Smart of you to point out all the hidden costs and hassles. It’s good that it seems to work for some folks.

  4. Customtrippla thanks for your responds. That is a recommendations I will listen too.

  5. We ended up getting rid of the timeshare, at a loss, which is also something people do not consider. The resale market is not a healthy one for most resorts.

  6. wheniwasalad says:

    I have a different take on this, we were in Las Vegas a couple of years ago and wanted to see a show and we saw an advert for cheap tickets if we attended a time share presentation 1hr. I won’t name the company, American, but the 1hr turned into 4hrs and the presentation turned into survival by not signing on the dotted line.

    We did survive and got our cheap tickets but no timeshare, but as a present we got a voucher to holiday in Hawaii, but pay your own air fares, from the UK that was a fortune in itself. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

  7. The deals that are offered are getting better and better. My daughter and son-in-law, coming back to the States after a couple of years in New Zealand and Australia, stopped in Hawaii for a few weeks. They attended several time share presentations just to get the gifts (usually some tour they wanted right there on the island they were visiting) and really were only tempted once.

  8. I started following your advice today. Particularly up near San Francisco. Thanks enjoying.

  9. go girl go….half the fun is in the planning

  10. I’m learning that and watching my eldest son travel around. I shared you with him yesterday and what I have been learning reading your blogs. Thanks very much.

  11. You are correct the fun is in the planning. Have a wonderful Sunday. Carolyn

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