It always starts with a free night stay, so long as you attend a short, hour-long meeting. But then that brief presentation turns into hours of dialogue with timeshare industry sales representatives and before you know it, you're timeshare owners. With timeshare companies constantly using timeshare scams to increase revenue, it's important to understand the better alternatives to an enjoyable vacation experience. Let's explore a few timeshare alternatives and options that help anyone trying to relax and recharge while on vacation.
Hotels and resorts have been around since the dawn of time. Many desirable destinations have some fantastic resorts with affordable stays in hotel rooms. Short-term payments are the reason hotels and resorts are such solid timeshare alternatives. If you book a stay for one or even two weeks, your upfront cost might be high, but you're not going to be stuck paying money for so-called vacation packages. And even then, if you have a large family or have any military service members in your party you could potentially benefit from a significant discount; making your trip even more affordable. However, the trick to staying with a hotel/resort is avoiding the inevitable sales pitches for add-ons.
Most timeshare nightmares start with an innocent family vacation at a resort property. A family member is then approached – sometimes at the front door of their hotel room – by a timeshare sales representative in regards to attending a presentation. Before they can even blink they've signed an agreement about a timeshare where they'll have to not only pay a monthly mortgage, but also additional maintenance fees. This is why it's important to do your homework and figure out if the place you're staying is a timeshare resort. If it is, you might want to look elsewhere, or at least go into your stay with the notion that you will do everything you can to avoid the sales staff.
Another red flag to watch for would be the sales pitch for a vacation or travel club. While these do act as a less harmful alternative to timeshares, it should be noted that in some cases they can cost just as much money out of your pocket. Experiences may differ depending on the destination, but sales teams will usually try to sell you on traveling the world, cheaper flights, or the idea of buying future vacations for a lower price.
In recent years, the vacation rental industry has exploded with the use of different companies like Airbnb and VRBO. Both of these companies are popular because of their ease of service. You can book a weekend stay within minutes using their mobile apps or online website. It should be noted that this vacation alternative will require taxes and service fees to be added to your total. While this may seem like a timeshare maintenance fee there's a vast difference in that it's a one-time fee. Unless, of course, you and your party damage anything in the vacation rental in which you're required to cover the repairs or replacement of said items.
Short-term vacation rentals especially benefit single couples who are just looking for a place to lay their head at night. If your destination is a large metropolitan city, a short-term rental in a downtown setting can be more affordable than a hotel and still give you the benefit of being closer to attractions. Even if your destination is a hot-bed for vacationers, a vacation rental is still a better option than signing up to be owners of a timeshare unit. It should be noted that in some cases timeshare owners are allowed to put their units on Airbnb and VRBO. In this case, you should be aware that you may run into a sales staff trying to sell you on other timeshare options at the resort premises. This can make the experience stressful for everyone on the vacation.
It's often stated, by those who own a timeshare, that for the amount of money they've paid toward their unit they could have bought a house. While not every vacationer is in the financial position to buy vacation homes, it is something to consider. Rather than dealing with timeshare resorts, you might as well become their competition. If you were to buy a vacation home in a popular destination, rent would be the new name of the game for you. You could get approved and start listing your house on a home rentals app like the previously mentioned AirBnB and VRBO. Depending on your rate, you could make it out with a lot of money that would cover any sort of upkeep and maintenance fees. One downside of vacation home ownership – depending on location – is property taxes. If you're located in a popular place for rentals in the United States your taxes could be fairly high, but if you're able to charge a higher amount to the people buying stays at your home, you may still be just fine.
The main attraction to a vacation home is the long-term benefit at a single location. If your household likes to frequent the same location each year and doesn't mind doing so for the foreseeable future, a vacation home may not be a bad idea. Another thing to consider is the ability to rent on a holiday weekend. You're likely not going to want to stay at your vacation home on a holiday weekend (ex: Labor Day, Memorial Day, or Fourth of July) because you can usually up-charge and make a large amount of money through popular vacation rental apps. People are usually blown away at the upfront cost of vacation homes, but forget to think about the big picture and all of the money that can be made by offering up your real estate for rent.
Timeshares continuously take money from families everywhere. Whether it's an upfront membership fee, monthly mortgage payments, or annual maintenance fees, timeshares are not the best choice when it comes to vacations. There are better alternatives to timeshares like world-class hotels, short-term vacation rentals, and even vacation homeownership. Each of these options offers a cost-effective way for any person to relax and recharge on vacation.
However, if you do find yourself stuck in the never-ending money pit of timeshares, it's important to remember your best options for exiting – a timeshare cancellation company. Not only will you want to find a company with a long tenure in the industry, but you'll also want to find one that offers ethical advice and a 100% money-back guarantee. One company that meets all of these standards is Wesley Financial Group, LLC. Rather than outsourcing your case to a third-party law firm, WFG will take your case head-on from within its walls. For more information about WFG and its timeshare termination process be sure to visit its website.
Wesley Financial Group, LLC, and/or its affiliates, successors, or assigns are not lawyers and/or a law firm and do not engage in the practice of law or provide legal advice or legal representation. All information, software, services, and comments provided on this site are for informational and self-help purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, legal or otherwise.