Timeshare Verses Travel Club – Which is the Real Deal?

Until recently, timeshares have been the way to go when someone wanted to get a good deal on yearly vacationing, but with the recent rise in discount travel clubs is it still a a smart move? I will compare the two vacation plans and show how discount travel clubs are the better choice for people who want to save on their vacations.

1) Initial costs- Purchase a timeshare at a resort or second hand from the original owner and you will pay anywhere from say $6,500 to $20,000 depending on where your unit is and how good you are at haggling when they try to close on you. Paid either in a lump sum or over time, you now own a week of time at a resort that you can exchange with others looking for something in your area. Let’s go midrange for a buying price of $13,250.

If you joined a discount travel club, you paid somewhere between $199 and $500 to get access to vacations around the world… Gotta give that win to the vacation club for a more affordable initial price.

2) Recurring costs- According to memorable-beach-vacations.com, ownership has its privileges because you now are responsible for ongoing maintenance fees, upkeep, furniture and appliances, roof and pool replacement, and of course insurance and property taxes. We’ll use their figures for time share resorts in Virginia Beach, which they found range from $390-$550 a year, and use a midrange figure of $475 a year. This annual fee would be adjusted for inflation and probably increase over time. Your total annual timeshare costs over 10 years, barring any roof or pool rework, is $4,750. If you trade for other units around the world, there are other costs involved that vary from group to group, so it would be hard to determine the exact costs other than to say they would be at least several hundred dollars more expensive a year.

Monthly fees vary between vacation clubs, so we will use World Ventures number for accuracy. Lets say you liked the presentation and went with the most expensive package that makes you a representative. You would pay $59.93 a month for an annual rate of $719.16, but there is a way to not have any monthly fee by bringing in four people who buy any package that is offered. So if you know four friends who like to travel and join the club, you’ve just erased your annual costs! That is something to consider, but let’s pay the monthly fee for the sake of the exercise.

Over 10 years, club costs are $7,191.60. There are no additional costs for staying at resorts or hotels around the world, but vacation packages are bought in bulk and offered to the members at cost. Other advantages with travel clubs include discounted rates for air travel, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and travel insurance that can be used any time of year as many times as you need. There is even concierge service which you can use anywhere and anytime to get information on just about anything you need while home or abroad. I’ll give this one to the timeshare with an asterisk just using the base numbers, but there is more value built into the vacation club membership.

3) Variety of vacation experience- Timeshares give you the same vacation every year staying in the same unit or a similar one every time and swapping is only available at participating resorts in their network.

Travel clubs offer you many different experiences all over the world- you don’t have to repeat the same trip twice (unless you want to). Over 60,000 vacation and rental properties available in over 160 destinations. World Ventures even has a program called DreamTrips where all the reservations and planning are taken care of for you. You have your choice of event, cruise, sport, or theme packages at deeply discounted prices- examples from 2009 include a Cozumel cruise, 5 day/4 night for $179 per person including taxes and fees, trip to Madrid, Spain for $150 per person taxes included, and so on. Get lodging and tickets to the Masters, the final four, even the World Cup in South Africa for hundreds less than you can find online. The vacation club gets this vote easily.

So while the timeshare won the recurring cost section with a handicap, the best overall bargain is the travel club membership for its low initial cost, variety of vacation experiences offered, and the abilities to save on all travel expenses and make money by becoming a representative. The numbers aren’t exact, but do represent a fair comparison between the two vacation choices.

Cheap Travel – Find Out the 3 Things That Guarantee Cheap Travel to Anywhere in the World

I just finished watching a movie and it inspired me to write. The movie is about two young brothers who dream to see the world. They come from a poor family, so they always had their share of doubts – was it possible for them to become wealthy, and live a very nice life style? They often question themselves.

After all the troubles, they grew up to be successful against all odds, and the movie was ended with the two of them having a toast to living their dream on a beautiful Island resort. The movie really connected to me, probably because I was like them.

Like the two brothers, I also had the dream to travel the world, 20 years later, I am a world travel expert. Part of my dream was to travel cheaply, without spending so much money because I didn’t have money then, and now I could write a book about how to travel cheap. For this, I am truly grateful, as a sign of my gratitude, I want to share my little knowledge of how to travel cheap with you, and every other person who reads this blog. It is a giving world.

Truly, cheap travel is not much of a big deal. Even if you normally fly economy, and you still want to get a discount on your plane ticket. There are a lot of ways you can achieve this goal, but people really don’t look into these various options. Instead, they go and spend a lot of money on plane tickets, and high priced luxury accommodation. I don’t blame them though, they are either not open to options, don’t know where to look, or they don’t even have the time to find discounts on their travel budget.

The first thing to do when looking for a discount is to research. Make a list of all the airlines you know, and get information on their rates. Note those rates down. Also consider finding available flights of different airlines that are going to your travel point and note them down too. Then from that information you have, sort the prices until you get the cheapest 5. From there, you can pick the one that you are comfortable with.

Another super tactic I use is to check for special discounts or travel packages. There are a whole number of discounts and promotions on different airlines out there, all you have to do is find them. You can do that by searching good old Google. Just type in the keywords ‘Travel Packages’ or ‘Travel Discounts’, and you’ll get an awful amount of data. Also search offline by visiting airline outlets, and by asking travel agents. You will never know the amount of information you can get from these two entities.

My last suggestion is something I picked up recently, and that is travel clubs. To me, this is the most secure way to travel cheap. All you have to do is join this club for a relatively minimum cost (sometimes a one time only fee) and boom! You get to travel very cheaply for the whole of your life, without having to deal with the hassles of finding cheap travel ways yourself.

All in all, if you use the information above, then you will surely start enjoying cheap travel. Make sure to do proper research, and if possible, join travel clubs. You won’t regret it. Good luck with this beautiful gift called life.

Discounted Travel – Top Reasons Why to Travel Now

Given the downturn in the global economy and the uncertainty it creates would make any money-conscious individual decide that now is not the time to vacation.  However, It turns out that during this recession, it makes all the more sense to travel.  

I don’t know about you but I’m not one for rubbing elbows with the rest of the tourists!  Because many travelers are not traveling, for this reason alone, its worth the trip!  Hotels are not at full occupancy and believe it or not some of the planes are traveling empty as well.  Remember when you could stretch out across another airline seat?  Thought those days were gone?  Not so.  Perhaps you wanted to visit an attraction that is always crowded.  Now may be the best time yet to go.

Discounted rates.  Another good reason to travel now.  Depending on how flexible you are insofar as travel dates are concerned and/or destination, there are some really great deals going on.  Some of the hotel properties are offering free breakfast in addition to free nights.  You just have to know where and how to look.  Or, you could seek the expertise of a travel consultant who get continual updates on most of these discounted fares/rates.

So you don’t like to fly.  Domestically, we are driving less regardless that gas prices have reasonably dropped since last summer.  Of course, don’t expect to whiz along the Interstate during rush hour. 

Last year, Americans did not travel much internationally and rightfully so.  The dollar had slid so badly.  But that is not the case now.  Foreign currencies have dropped and even though the dollar is not as strong as it once was, compared to the other fallen currencies, the dollar is worth more than it was just a few months ago.  Also, many tour operators are including value-added promotions to boost sales.

Taking a vacation has taken on new meaning for some.  Meaning, if one is traveling to a less developed country, it might put ones’ own issues in perspective.  Not to say misery loves company, but I know for myself, it truly makes you appreciate life as we know it.

While statistics dictate that currently 8-9% of the American population are unemployed, I like to take a different slant on things.  That means 91-92% are working individuals.  More and more people are willing to work longer hours and will give up the more luxurious things in life.  But vacation isn’t one of them and it should not be.  Everyone needs to refuel.  Travel is a very integral part of my life, not only from a business aspect–it’s important for me to visit destinations in order to provide expert advice–I look at it as a time to “make memories”.  Personally, I feel that you can’t take money and material things with you when you die, but you can leave a legacy with those you love that will last their entire lifetime.  Doesn’t the saying go, “a picture is worth a thousand words”?

Believe it or not you may already have or can find the money to take that discounted trip.  I’ll bet that by reviewing your monthly bills, you’ll be able to find some ways to cut back.  Do you really need all those cable channels?  Do you really need that phone land line when all the members in your family have individual cell phones?  You can probably scale back on your phone bill by calling your supplier and asking them to find ways to reduce costs based on your current usage.

Or, you may have taken longer vacations in the past, perhaps lasting a week to ten days.  Actually, taking into account your travel days, five to six days may be just what the doctor ordered.

While I’m not telling you that you should ignore your obligations, nor am I telling you that you should not prepare for a rainy day, but we are not getting any younger and as you get older, time seems to pass more quickly.  If you keep telling yourself, I’ll wait for this to happen or that, chances are this and that will never happen and you will have missed the opportunity to make memories.