Travel Tips: Worldwide Travel is Possible With Timeshare


Most of us have taken the offer of “free” tickets, “free” vacation or even monetary inducement to attend a timeshare presentation. If you can get past the timeshare sales pitch that felt a bit like having a tooth pulled or getting sucker punched by a used car salesman, you can actually do a lot with that timeshare you bought. Unless you have unlimited income, don’t get talked into spending a great deal of money on that resort. There are a good many reasonably priced units available and it would pay to do a bit of online shopping. If you buy from a reputable seller you can find some real bargains.

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No matter what the sales people told you, you probably will not want to vacation at the same place every year – Unless it is a favorite place like Disney World or, for me, Key West. With that in mind be sure to join an exchange group. There are several of these available and many of the timeshare resorts will have more than one to choose from.

After joining your exchange group, you need to take advantage of it. Deposit your week if you do not plan to visit your resort this vacation. Then look at your exchange site and discover the many places you can visit.

Our exchange site gives us the ability to purchase a week at other resorts even if we decide not to trade our unit. There is a cost involved, but it is usually still less expensive than the motel room at the beach would be for seven days.

We have traded or purchased weeks in everything from a three bedroom condominium to a converted motel or hotel room. Granted the condo is

the best, but the room is often on the ocean. We have traveled to Spain and Canada with our timeshare. We have probably visited the state of Florida the most, but we have also been to Hawaii, Virginia, Massachusetts (the Berkshires and Cape Cod,) Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina (Hilton Head Island is a favorite) and have a host of other places to choose from.

The main thing we have learned is to be flexible. Sometimes we plan ahead and try to find the ideal spot to visit. Sometimes it is a last minute decision and we may try somewhere we’ve never visited before. We usually land in a nice location and enjoy our visit. As timeshare owners for nearly 30 years, we have many timeshare travel stories to tell.

Our first big timeshare trade was a two week visit to Hawaii. My wife was reading the monthly magazine from our exchange group when she noticed an offer for a trade to Hawaii, no matter what your trade value was. We quickly looked into what was available, planned two weeks of vacation from work and arranged for a flight to and from Hawaii. We booked two different condos on the island of Kauai that turned out to be directly across the street from each other.

Murphy’s Law took over when we arrived in Kauai as the first condo was much nicer than the second. The second condo was basically your first apartment anywhere in the world. The first had been a true resort. If we had been in the second condo first we would have been thrilled, but it was a bit of a letdown. The truth is any place to stay on the island of Kauai is a good place to stay on the island of Kauai! Day trips to beautiful beaches and interesting sights to visit make your trip well worthwhile.  If you get a chance to vacation on this smaller island, do go.

Another great timeshare exchange was our trip to Spain. We received a letter from my uncle who had been teaching in Belgium for 25 years. He said if we wanted to visit him there, now was the time. We decided to make this our tour of Europe and flew into London where we toured for a couple of days. Then, we went to Belgium where we stayed with my uncle for most of a week and had a wonderful tour guide to the sights of Belgium. We had Eurail passes to ride the train down to Spain, so we practiced using them by taking a trip to Amsterdam.

Later, we took the train to Paris where we spent the day touring before we caught our train to the south of Spain. We stayed in a condo resort in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol. The resort was the destination of many people from Great Britain, so our poor high school Spanish was not a problem. I do urge you to visit the Costa del Sol if you have the opportunity.

Our most recent exchange was to a condo in Daytona Beach, Florida. This facility was an obvious conversion from a motel and created a two

room unit from two motel rooms. It may not sound perfect, but it was a great location right on the ocean. They had a great pool overlooking the beach and a set up with grills for you to enjoy grilling and meeting with other guests. All in all, it was a great choice for a spring vacation.

I’ll be writing more about our travels and will give some more in depth stories of our trips to Europe, Hawaii and many stops in the U.S.  I look forward to hearing your comments about your experiences.

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