Time-share – Cheaper Travel, Part Two!


It’s funny. When I start to write something travel-related, I often start out with one thought in mind, but it morphs into something else, and my original thoughts are often lost. The time-share story I wrote earlier started out as a story about ways to travel less expensively, and obviously, we’ve used time-share to do this.

However, my original concept was spurred by something I read in the newspaper. It was one of Clark Howard’s travel tips, which was to be more flexible when you can. If your travel dates are set in stone, be more flexible with your destination.

If your destination is already determined, maybe you can be a little more flexible with how and when you get there. If your budget is inflexible, look at various locations within the area you want to visit, exploring campgrounds, state parks and maybe even hostels.

Our time-share ownership has offered us numerous occasions to do just this. If we get an “itch” to go somewhere, but our time is limited, we’ll search for something within easy driving distance. If our budget is rock-bottom, we’ll check out RCI’s last-minute deals.

This is also a great way to find other resort and cruise “sales.” And occasionally, you’ll be able to snap up a “last-minute” flight to somewhere you didn’t even know you wanted to go!

As my husband previously told you, he didn’t really want to go to Kauai – or even Hawaii. (It had been my dream since watching Hawaiian Eye years and years before…) But because we were able to secure accommodations at such a reasonable price, it made sense to figure out how to get there, sort of after-the-fact.

That particular trip was altered a bit when we had to change the dates because of work commitments. Fortunately, that long ago, changes weren’t as expensive as they sometimes are now. And so our original one-week trip was able to be extended to two weeks when the dates were changed. And we had a whole new set of experiences from that second week.

Other places we didn’t know we wanted to go were Gautier, Mississippi (just a couple of hours from New Orleans) and South Lee, Massachusetts in the Berkshires – a great home-base for trips throughout New England. Spain is another one – originally, we were going to the Canary Islands, because RCI had a deal there. Our plans changed, though, because we wanted to include visiting an uncle in Belgium, and it was prohibitively expensive to travel back and forth, so we altered our destination.

That’s another way we enjoy using time-share – as a point to travel from, not necessarily a place to travel to. If there’s an area we’d like to visit, we’ll check out what’s available within an hour or two of driving distance. Generally locations outside of large metropolitan areas are less expensive and more often available in searches. Since most of our trips these days are by car, it’s easier to find something, and we don’t mind driving. We usually find lots of interesting things along the way – shops, restaurants, parks, historic sites – the list can be endless!

Of course, if your heart is set on Venice and you can only go in April, your options will be more limited. And if the family reunion in Tampa is July 4th week, you’re pretty much set as to time and place. But if you’re willing to explore the options, read the reviews, do independent research, and sometimes, just “take a chance,” you’ll often be delighted with what you find!

Next: Being a Tourist in New York City

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