Timeshares Vs Travel Clubs – My Experiences

Travel is a multi-billion dollar a year business. Why? Because it is a passion. People love to travel. The problem that many face is that they want to enjoy nice hotels and resorts, but often need to settle for locations that they are not really comfortable, simply because the nicer places are too expensive. Timeshares claim to be the answer to this problem. Are they the best option? This article will compare them to the rising trend of Travel Clubs.Timeshares claim to fame is that you “own” the property. I personally own a timeshare, so I will share my detailed experience. I went to a timeshare presentation in November of 2008. After a 2 hour presentation that I was told would take an hour, I was brought to a small room. The person that gave me the tour went through a speech about how hotel costs are rising, and how great timeshares are because you own. After I turned him down, a second person joined him. This person added new information, and gave me a full sales pitch. After I turned that person down, they brought out the manager. This person offered me some incentives, and made some promises, and I eventually bought the timeshare. They told me that I had to purchase it on the spot. If I did not do it then and there, I would not get another chance. Talk about a high pressure sale. Why wouldn’t they let me go home and do some research first? Anyways, the cost? $7,995 (I bought for every other year), financed at 17%. The maintenance fee? $502, but it can go up at any time.Using the timeshare. Thanks to some broken promises, and fine print, I have not used the timeshare yet. I did speak with one of their representatives about using it soon, but he explained that since they participate in a points program, it is almost impossible for me actually use it at the place that I purchased it. Confused? I still am too. Basically, I was old that the timeshare that I “own”, and even the week that I “own”, mean nothing. My purchase is turned into points, which I need to use through another company that they are partnered with. So, I paid $7,995, plus thousands in interest, to be locked in to paying a maintenance fee every other year, and I may not even be able to stay where I purchased the timeshare.Travel ClubsUp until January of 2010, I had never heard of a travel club. A friend of mine mentioned one to me, so I checked it out. Here is what I discovered. Travel clubs work like this. You pay a fee to join the club. Different clubs have different membership fees. Once you join, you gain access to exclusive deals that your specific travel club has. With most clubs, you can vacation as often or as little as you would like. You pay for the weeks that you travel, and nothing else. You can research the company, and are not pressure into an on the spot purchase. You do not have required fees, such as maintenance fees with timeshares.

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