Timeshares have something of a weird reputation, where most people think of them as a nebulous thing that ‘other people do’ and never give them any consideration beyond that. But for someone looking to experience a bit of the good life without giving up on the frugal, financially savvy life, they can be one of the best ways to split the difference and enjoy yourself.
Before we get into the finer details, it’s worth going over the basics of how a timeshare works. You buy into a vacation space, usually a condo or hotel-style resort, along with various other people. When you buy into a timeshare, you’re buying use of that property during certain timeframes.
For example, you might buy a weekly timeshare on an annual yearly schedule and then, every year during the week you bought, be able to visit the timeshare and take advantage of the property. Timeshares can be bought directly from the property owner or developer, or from other timeshare owners–the latter usually saves you a lot of money.
These are just the bare bones of the concept, though. You’ll also want to read up on the difference between Deeded and Right to Use timeshares, timeshare exchanges, points systems, and vacation memberships if you decide to get into timeshares. For now, let’s move on.
Is it worth it for you?
There are a lot of little things that go into making a timeshare a good place to spend your money. Schedule plays an important role in making the most of timeshares most of the time; you need to make sure the time frame covered by your timeshare aligns realistically with your ability to travel–and that it’ll be a nice time to visit the location. If you’re someone who doesn’t go on vacations on a regular basis, or someone who can’t schedule time off as you like, a timeshare may not be your best choice.
However, being willing to put a little time and planning into managing a timeshare can also let you benefit a lot more from your money and eliminate a lot of those problems. If you’re willing to get out there and hunt down timeshare exchanges, for example, you can turn your timeshare into a sort of credit for vacations. It’s a nice way to see new areas on a regular basis, if you have the time and will to get it done (and you’re on the right type of timeshare).
You can approach timeshares a few different ways. In most cases, you’ll want to buy a timeshare from a reseller if you have the funds available to do so and can find , as you’ll save money on the front end be able to recoup what you spend on the back end if you decide you’ve had enough. Renting a timeshare,
Changing things up
One of the best things about timeshares is the relative flexibility they offer; if you ever start to lose interest in your timeshare or develop an interest in spending time elsewhere, it’s relatively easy to move on. Compared to moving a vacation home when you’re bored with it, a timeshare sells or rents far quicker. You can sell timeshare in very little time.
First and foremost, make sure to educate yourself on how timeshares work in general and how the timeshare you’re buying works specifically.
It’s very easy to end up caught in a timeshare that limits you so severely you’re essentially trapping yourself in an annual payout for a resort hotel. Timeshares are quite popular with unscrupulous developers, as many people get too excited to pay attention to what they’re buying.
You also want to make sure you’re spending your money on something more than just the ‘idea’ of a timeshare. This comes down to scheduling and planning your time wisely.
A timeshare makes a lot of sense if you’d like to enjoy the ‘vacation home’ lifestyle without ‘vacation home’ costs. Take the time to do your homework! If you take time to find the right fit for your lifestyle, schedule, interests, and budget, you’ll get a lot more out of it than if you rush in too eager.