Getting the most for less!
Experiencing buyer’s remorse? Wondering if you’re going to be stuck with perpetually increasing annual membership fees, while not being able to use your ownership for anything worthwhile?
I currently own three timeshares: RCI (bough directly at Sedona Pines, AZ), Bluegreen Vacation Club and Shell Vacation Club, and there are only two of us travelling and still, I make sure to get more than my money’s worth every year.
Here is a little breakdown of how I use my memberships that make sense to me financially:
RCI: offers amazing deals for vacations starting at 230$/week for 1BR unit, months in advance. You are literally getting a week for the price of 1 night. Taking advantage of these offers at least twice a year justifies my membership maintenance cost of 250$/year, not to mention all the little extras I use it for, booking 2-4 nights with points and 99-129$ of exchange fees.
Next year, I am travelling to Panama City Beach in Florida, staying in a 1 Br oceanfront unit at the Wyndham and I only paid 99$ out of my own pocket for 4 nights. Then, I am going to a 7-day conference in Hot Springs, AR and staying 15 min from the main venue, at a lakefront resort, where I was able to book a 2BR unit for 1 week by paying cash (extra vacation): 460$, all taxes included. Considering we’ll be splitting that cost between 3 people, show me any hotel where I can stay in a large 2 Br villa, lakefront, with all the amenities, for 190$/per person for 7 nights! FYI, the average double room (2 beds, no kitchen, no patio, no swimming pool and lake view) in town would cost me 120$/night plus tax, but it would only be suited for 2 people.
When I am in Europe, I make sure to check out their “last minute” section, both for points (9000pts/week) and for cash (starts at 229$/1Br/week). If you’re travelling in shoulder season (April-May, mid-sept to mid-Dec), definitely check out this section, as I’ve come across some stellar deals, such as renting a 3-BR penthouse in south Spain’s most affluent city of Marbella for 269$ for a full week, no extra fees! More recently, I’ve seen great options for staying right in city centres of Vienna, Venice, Belgrade and Bucharest.