I know a lot of people are down on them, but I am not one of them. We own two timeshares and that is how we do a lot of our traveling. We are able to exchange the units we own in Vegas though an exchange company (RCI.com) and stay where ever we like. We have been able to use ours to go to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and a whole assortment of places in Orlando.
Purchasing a timeshare at the sales presentation is a mistake.
Knowing what I know now I would never buy a timeshare through the actual resort. I would go to the presentation and get my free gift, but I would not under any circumstances buy from them. Instead, find an individual seller. That same unit that the resort is selling for 30,000 you can probably get for 5,000.
There are tons of people out there that bought them and never use them. We use ours, but after the upgrades they did to our resort it was worth more points in the exchange company so we don’t need both units any more. As soon as I have time I will be listing one of ours with a resale company. That unit sells for around 25,000 at the resort now, but when we got it, it was much less. We will probably sell for around 12,500. This is a savings of 50%. I am betting that if you love a resort and look around hard enough you could probably save even more!
At this time the only resale company on the internet I trust is redweek.com. Craigslist and Facebook MarketPlace If I happen to find other timeshare resale companies I will add them.
Before you buy a timeshare, consider these things!
If you are looking for somewhere to buy I suggest you keep several things in mind.
- Location! Can you get there easily? If there is not a cheap airline to get you there or it is a reasonable drive, you will never go. It will have been a waste of money.
- High Demand! Is there a high demand to stay in this area? The higher the demand is for a particular area the more exchange points you get through an exchange system. For example, our two weeks in Vegas often exchange for 3-5 weeks each year in different parts of the world. So, instead of two vacations we get 3 – 5. We do end up having to pay exchange fees. The exchange fees are typically between $159 – $229 depending on where the vacation property is located.
- Annual Maintenance Fees: If the fees are unreasonable, it will quickly not be worth it. You need to think about total costs over a decade and really figure out if it’s worth it. If you are spending thousands of dollars you could be using that money on other types of vacations.
There are advantages to vacation ownership versus just staying in a regular hotel room.
Save Money on Food – One my favorite things I like about staying at a timeshare is having your own kitchen. We save a ton of money on food when we are traveling because we have the ability to make a pot of spaghetti.
More Space – I like having a two bedroom unit so we have enough space for all of us! I especially like not sharing a room with my children and having more than one bathroom. As kids get older that extra bathroom becomes a luxury.
Ongoing Vacation Plans – You own it, so you are going to be making a plan to take that timeshare resort vacation yearly. This gives you something to look forward too and forces you to take your vacation time. Depending on where you live this might not be an issue, but in the United States many people do not use their vacation time.
14 Awesome Timeshare Properties
After staying in so many timeshares, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites with you! You’ll notice that most of them are in some of the same areas. What can I say? We go to Disney World and Mexico a lot!
Best Timeshares in Orlando
Saratoga Springs – This timeshare is a Disney resort at Disney World and we love staying here! It would cost a fortune to stay here, but if you can somehow exchange and end up here, do it!
Summer Bay Resort – they have three bedroom houses not from from Disney World. Our house has a private pool in the backyard.
Sheraton Vistana – This is across the highway from Disney World. They have large, two bedroom units that are nice for families.
Best Timeshares in Mexico
Hotel Mousai – This is the nicest place I’ve ever stayed. It’s adults only and all-inclusive optional.
El Dorado Royale – This is an adults only resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico that I happen to love. It’s right on the beach, low key, and the food is phenomenal.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya – This place is amazing. It’s super luxury and family friendly. Some of it is on the beach too.
The Grand at Moon Palace – The Palace Resorts chain offers timeshare options. I’ve only stayed at this particular one in Cancun, but I really enjoyed it.
Live Aqua – Newly remodeled, all-inclusive in the Cancun hotel zone.
Best Timeshares in Kauai
Bali Hai – Up on the north part of the island is a beautiful property with multi room units.
Marriott Kauai Beach – I ended up staying in one of their lockout units. The view was awesome and the amenities were pretty great.
Best Timeshares in the Dominican Republic
Now Onyx Punta Cana – This is a luxury resort for families in the Dominican Republic.
Breathless Punta Cana – This adults only resort is super nice. I love the swim out rooms.
Dreams Punta Cana – This one is on the beach in the Dominican Republic. We had a one bedroom unit facing the ocean. It was lovely.
If you are staying in a Time Share you need to pack differently Here’s a packing list for time shares. Packing list for time share
Best Timeshares in Whistler, British Columbia
Cascade Lodge – One bedrooms with kitchens, great hot tub, and pool
Whiskey Jack – Older but extremely large units with multiple bedrooms. Saunas in the condo. The unit we stayed in games and books.
Whistler Vacation Club at Twin Peaks – Many units are two stories with the bedrooms upstairs. There is a nice hot tub and pool.