Timeshares make great vacation destinations, and you can have a lot of fun with one by simply booking the days you want to stay and traveling there. With some strategic planning, though, you can really maximize its benefits. The following tips will help you get the maximum possible value out of your timeshare.
Invite Family and Friends on Vacation
First, don’t keep your timeshare to only yourself or your immediate family. Invite relatives and friends who you enjoy spending time with, and many will likely take you up on the offer since they don’t need to pay for additional lodging.
Having others visit while you’re on vacation gives you time to visit without the normal obligations of home, and you can do things you normally wouldn’t do at home. The memories can be priceless and lead to many fond remembrances once you’re back home.
Of course, you don’t have to have family and friends visit the entire time you use the timeshare. If you still want some time to yourself or only with your immediate family, extend an invitation to others for only a portion of the time that you’re on vacation. The people you invite may even prefer going for a long weekend rather than a full week or one week instead of two.
Explore Alternative Destination Options
You might be able to use your timeshare at many different destinations. Many companies that have destination properties throughout the country or world give timeshare owners a variety of places where they can visit.
If your timeshare is through such a company, booking a different destination each year can be an inexpensive way to see lots of places. When you don’t have to pay for separate lodging each night, travel costs become much more affordable.
Sometimes, timeshare owners like the idea of traveling to different places but also want to return to their favorite spot where everything is familiar. Should you find yourself in this pickle, alternating destinations each year could be a viable solution to the dilemma. Go somewhere different every other year, and return to your favorite place on the years in between.
Leverage a Lockout Unit for More Points
If your timeshare is a lockout unit and you’re in a points-based timeshare program, you can often leverage the lockout unit for extra points. Those points can then be used for stays at other times, other places, or other upgrades and perks you might want. Also, you can do this while still using part of your lockout timeshare as your usual vacation.
To take advantage of this strategy, book the main part of your timeshare for the period you want to vacation — but don’t book the lockout portion. Let someone else take the additional space, and just keep the door secure during your stay. You’ll receive points for trading away the additional space, which you can spend elsewhere through the timeshare program.
Alternatively, you can rent out the additional space instead of trading it in for points. Renting requires more work, however, and you don’t have a guarantee that someone will take you up on the rental. You’ll be able to enjoy your vacation more if you don’t need to worry about all the obligations that come with finding a renter and addressing any needs they might have.
Make Reservations Far in Advance
No matter what type of timeshare you have or where it is, always make your reservations as far in advance as possible. The most in-demand destinations quickly fill up during peak seasons, and even less-known places can book all available rooms in advance if a convention or major event is in town when you want to visit.
How far in advance you can reserve your timeshare depends on what program you participate in and, sometimes, what level timeshare you have. Ask when purchasing a timeshare when the reservation window opens for you, and mark that time on your calendar. In many cases, reservations can be made a year out or further in advance.
Should you fail to make reservations in time, you run the risk of not getting the unit, place, or period you prefer.
Watch for Bonus Time Deals
Occasionally, companies offer timeshare owners special bonus time deals. These are highly variable because they’re based on demand and availability, and they might be only offered as a last-minute deal. Thus, they aren’t suitable for planning a getaway far in advance.
If you’re patient and have a flexible schedule, though, these bonus time deals may provide you with extra time at a resort for minimal additional cost. The price is often much less than what people who don’t own timeshares would have to pay, since you already participate in the company’s program.
If you don’t yet have a timeshare but are interested in purchasing one, contact Magical Realty to see what timeshares are for sale.