Despite a seemingly desperate urge to scratch the wanderer itch, inflation dampens many Americans’ desire to return to significant travel. Prices have gone through the roof on flights, car rentals, gas, and more. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), hotel prices alone have increased about 39%, hitting a record high price.
Yet experts predict that Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever.
However, timeshare owners can sit back and relax, knowing that their resort bookings won’t be affected by inflation because they, in essence, pre-paid for their vacations in years past when they purchased their timeshare. And while others may have a hard time getting hotel reservations, timeshare owners, especially those with deeded weeks, won’t be fighting among the vacation masses.
Savvy timeshare owners have said for years that traveling this way is “staying at upscale resorts at Motel 6 prices. And as hotel prices continue to rise ( and maintenance fee increases remain reasonable), timeshare owners will continue to travel the world and stay at global resorts for a fraction of the hotel-direct rental price.
Those who know how to hack their timeshare, and purchase timeshares with savvy to get the best value, are traveling to upscale resorts ( Like the $525 a night Disney Saratoga Springs, the stunning Bougainvillea Barbados, and so many others) for a fraction of the retail price. )
Take it from me, a timeshare owner for over 15 years, traveling the world in style while paying 2005 prices!
The Cost of Timeshares Vs. Hotels
A hotel stay is, on average, about $137-$172 per night, as reported by AAA. So for an entire week’s vacation, a family of four will spend about $1,200 just on a hotel reservation. On the other hand, owners, especially those who purchased a timeshare on the resale market for $5,000 or less or even free, are paying nowhere near that for a week’s vacation.
Besides the initial up-front cost, owners pay annual maintenance fees, which are $1,120 per year on average, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). And if you know how to hack your timeshare, you can take that $1,120 and turn it into many, many, many weeks of vacation, not just one!
Doing the math yourself on timeshare ownership is something that you must do before buying. For example, if you buy a timeshare for full retail price at the resort vs. on the resale market, you may be paying MORE than renting a room from another owner or even from the resort directly.
That’s why it is crucial to educate yourself on timeshare ownerships and why value for timeshare owners starts in the resale market.
Just One Example
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is an example of a timeshare brand that has soared in price for non-members. Walt Disney World Resort vacationers are currently looking at spending $700 per night at a branded Disney hotel on the property during peak periods. Meanwhile, owners who purchased DVC points at the original DVC property paid $48-$51 per point.
That’s around $7,650 for 150 points, which now covers two weeks in a Deluxe Studio at Disney’s Old Key West. A DVC owner has more than broken even on their points’ purchase and is basically paying the same rate of a Disney hotel now that they paid back in 1991.
We bought a New York timeshare over 15 years ago and have enjoyed staying at our resort in all four seasons, renting it out, and exchanging it with RCI for upscale vacations at Disney, Wyndham, and Barbados resorts.
We know that the total ownership cost per week for our 2-bedroom condo unit is $521. So comparing that cost to 2022 rental prices of 2 bedroom Airbnbs or weekly hotel stays feels pretty good right about now!
When people ask us how we can go on all these vacations to outstanding resorts and fantastic destinations, my response typically starts with… “Well, don’t kill me, but we own a timeshare, and I exchanged a week (or two in the instance of Disney) for our room there.”
But, What is a Timeshare?
Timeshares started as fixed week timeshares. Today, the industry has revolutionized to include floating weeks, fractional ownership, points-based, and biennial to meet the varied vacation preferences of people.
Units at timeshare resorts have more space than a traditional hotel, with fully-equipped kitchens and private bedrooms for maximum comfort. As a result, timeshare owners are paying less than the average traveler and staying in a room that’s a condo.
These can include a washer/dryer, housekeeping, concierge, on-site staff, pools, spas, fitness centers, and events and activities just like resorts. ARDA estimates that the average size of a timeshare unit is 1030 square feet, which is bigger than an average apartment. In addition, 61% of timeshare units out there are two bedrooms.
There are over 1500 timeshare resorts in the United States, with over 270,000 units. In addition, top hospitality companies such as Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham, have timeshare resorts across the U.S. and in international destinations.
In addition, vacation exchange platforms such as RCI or Interval International allow timeshare owners to trade their weeks or points for thousands of other resort and hotel offerings. With all these options, it’s no surprise that 87% of all owners rate their timeshare experience as excellent, very good, or good.
I’m Not An Owner – How Can I Stay In Timeshares Too?
You can save significant money when you rent a resort room from a timeshare owner. As these individuals set their own rental price, independent of the standard rack room rates of hotels and popular travel booking sites, you can save 50% or more on vacation accommodations at the exact same resorts.
To illustrate these deals, I’ve found examples of where you can save $1,000, $2,000, or even $3,000 by booking the same resort rooms on seven trusted timeshare rental websites vs. the hotel direct, Expedia, or Priceline.
Check them out here: 7 Websites That Can Save You $1,000 or More on Resort Bookings
Want to Learn More? Check Out These Other Timeshare Articles
- What Is a Timeshare? A Happy Owner Explains All You Want to Know About Timeshares in 2022
- 4 Ways to Hack Your Timeshare in 2022
- An Honest Guide to an RCI Membership + 16 Answers to FAQs
- RCI.com 101: Free Tutorial by an Owner for Other Owners
- Timeshares for Sale in 2022: How to Get the Best Bang for Your Buck
Monica Fish helps her fellow adventurers live a financially savvy life so they can travel and explore our beautiful world no matter their budget. She writes about smart timeshare ownership, vacation tips and tricks, NYC Metro Area trips and activities, and frugal, yet rich, living at PlannerAtHeart.com.