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Timeshare Vacations. Are they Worth It?

Aug 13, 2008
Are timeshares worth the money? As an accountant, I have wondered this the few times I've stayed in them, not due to me owning one, but due to folks lending us their week (which was nice of course).

Ownership is the main ingredient that is sold in the high pressure time share meetings that you must attend if you're roped into a semi-paid vacation to some resort for a week. They go to great lengths to make you feel bad if you don't buy into the programs.

Well let me at least shed some light on what I know in regards to timeshares. This is from the experiences I have had, folks I've spoken with, and realizations I've come to.

Perhaps you don't want to buy a condo or home in one vacation spot. I don't blame you. Now that I get older I am happy finding a vacation spot that I can call our home for a week or two, however I still enjoy the adventure of traveling the world and seeking new places since our daily lives become so routine (which sucks as you get older huh?).

Timeshares are simply a way to own a period of time in various resorts, condos, vacation destinations etc...

You pay an upfront cost, usually thousands of dollars which can vary to own these weeks. Each year you pay a maintenance fee which can be costly in most folks' eyes. Then if you want to transfer your week to a different location, which is the beauty of timeshares nowadays, you pay a small fee (we paid a hundred bucks).

Is that expensive? You tell me. Now I will tell you our story of timeshares and how they've worked out for my in-laws (and us by passing down!!!!)

First, I have a relative who owns a condo on a popular Florida beach which is amazing. They in fact visit there frequently and have it paid for by travelers who want to rent it throughout the year. This is a viable situation if you have the ability, money, or know how to do this. In essence your condo is paid for by others is capitalism at its best.

My in-laws however who love to travel decided many years ago to pay what seemed like a small fortune to buy ownership into a timeshare with Marriott. Each year they are guaranteed a week at premium beach resorts, cruises, etc. which ensures their lodgings are well taken care of.

The nice thing about this is they pay a small maintenance fee each year for a resort they'd pay 3-10 times the price if they were to pay by the week or night.

Let me show you what I mean by providing our example. We have stayed at one of the best resorts at one of the premier beach destinations in the United States (East Coast of Florida). The ability to get a condo here is very limited and we were able to get the week due to the timeshare that our parents owned.

During our week, we spoke with some folks who paid by the night and although I admired their ability to pay $500+ per night, we paid a total of $1100 which included the transfer fee and the maintenance fee for the year.

Add that up folks and they paid over $3500 for a 7 day stay which is over 3 times what we paid!!! I don't care if you're a gazillionaire, but saving money where you can gets anyone stoked.

Just to name a few of the perks, we had a personal concierge, beachfront view, marketplace, 5 pools, 9 spas, workout facility, and everything you could imagine in one resort.

So, why others were paying 5 times what we paid? I have to say in this case the timeshare was worth it and why we would recommend it as an option in some cases. Certainly if you can buy places, that may be the best choice.

The key in my opinion is the start up price you must pay and whether or not you will get a return on your investment quickly!!!

So, in conclusion, our vacation was unbelievable due to the timeshare resort we stayed in and was well worth the investment. Did it pay off? According to my in-laws, it has paid for itself many times over!!!
About the Author
Joe Collinsworth and Discount Florida Vacations offers everything from fun, sun, sand to travel planning tips, needs, and resources to ensure you have an excellent timeshare vacation.
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