Timeshare Exchanges...nearly all Timeshare resorts throughout the world are affiliated to an exchange company, some bigger organisations than others, but in effect, offering the same service; The option to swap your week for another anywhere in the world at any time.
There is no denying this is a fantastic concept, but how does it work?
RCI, Resort Condominiums International, is undoubtedly the biggest exchange company, with 7,221 affiliated resorts, followed by II, Interval International a close second.
The easiest way to think about it – For example: you own a timeshare week in Spain that you don’t want to visit that year so you put that into an exchange company bank. Someone else owns a timeshare week in America, they also don’t wish to visit that year, and bank it in the same exchange company bank. As many people deposit their weeks it creates a pot of weeks available to swap. Great right?
In theory yes, however as with anything, there can be draw backs…
What if you want to go at a certain time, or to a certain resort, and it is not available? What if your resort is a higher quality with more facilities?
The exchange companies have thought about this, and a whole myriad of other options, to make the system as flexible and fair as possible. One of the biggest considerations when purchasing a timeshare is of course the cost of these extra services, not only the buying cost, also consider the annual maintenance charges, membership fees, exchange fees, all inclusive fees. Airport transfers etc etc.
Is it still cost effective? Think back to the early nineties and we could almost guarantee the quality and availability of your timeshare would far surpass any of the holiday packages offered from your high street Travel agent.
There are so many options now available, either through online hotel booking sites, Air B&B and a host of private rental sites. None of these options include membership fees, extra costs to bank or exchange the weeks, and the diversity of accommodation is almost limitless. Whether you prefer last minute bookings, or well advance the flexibility offered through online holidays is non comparable.
So, with both good points and bad points in mind, it really is worth doing your own research before entering into any timeshare agreements. With a holiday becoming one of the most important dates in your annual calendar it is worth taking the time to ensure whichever option you chose it will suit not only your holiday needs, but also your budget!