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…..