What is timeshare?
Timesharing makes available the opportunity to make use of holiday resorts for short periods of time, at fully-furnished accommodation without having to own the property.
It is cheaper and is an investment that can be either bequeathed in a will, shared with family and friends, sold at a later stage or exchanged to enjoy holidays at other destinations.
Timesharing can take a variety of forms. The most common is a resort condominium (which can range from a studio with a partial kitchen, all the way up to a five-bedroom unit with a full kitchen and luxury amenities). Lock-offs are another unit option.
They are unique because they can be separated into smaller components by locking a door. Other less-common timeshare accommodations include hotel rooms, houseboats and motor homes.
What are the different types of timeshare purchase options?
The following types of timesharing options are available.
- Fixed Week: Timeshare units sold for use during a specific week of the year.
- Floating Week: This can be any week reserved for the timeshare owner during a certain season.
- Fractional: Ownership is sold in multiple-week packages, usually four or five weeks in each year, or as a quartershare (13 weeks). This type of purchase option is popular in high-demand spots such as ski, beach and island resorts.
- Vacation Clubs: Rather than purchasing timeshare in a certain size of unit at a particular resort, vacation club members purchase the opportunity to use a variety of timeshare accommodations at various resort locations, usually within one developer’s chain of resorts. Many clubs operate on a points system, but not all.
- Points Systems: These offer the greatest flexibility to the timeshare owner. Participants of these systems purchase points which they use as currency to reserve timeshare accommodations of various sizes, during different seasons and for varying lengths of time. The points can also be used for other vacation products such as airfare, hotel stays and car rentals.
- Deeded Agreements: These allow the timeshare owner to use his/her interval in perpetuity, just like buying a house. Under this agreement, the owner may rent, sell, exchange or bequeath the vacation interval. Deeded agreements can be for fixed or floating weeks.
- Right-to-Use Agreements: These stipulate that ownership of the resort remains with the developer. The timeshare developer gives the purchaser the right to use the specified resort accommodations for a certain number of years, usually ranging from 10 to 50, after which all rights return to the developer. These agreements can be for either fixed or floating weeks and are also commonly part of vacation club or points-based memberships.
What is the first thing I should look for when considering a timeshare purchase?
TISA members are required to adhere to an exacting Code of Conduct, which ensures best practice in all aspects of their business dealings. TISA membership is ultimately a guarantee of fair and professional trading.
How do I choose my timeshare?
- The TIME of year that you decide you want to holiday in
- The SIZE of the unit
- The TYPE of resort accommodation offered
Do I have to take my holidays in the same place each year?
By becoming a member of RCI, you can swop your week for someone else’s week, anywhere, at anytime of the year, in a similar resort and type of unit.
How do I use RCI facilities?
As a paid up member of RCI, you have an amazing selection of holiday destinations to choose from. By exchanging your holiday ownership, you have access to over 3,700 resorts worldwide as well as the added range of RCI Holiday Choices including cruises, tours, hotels and guesthouse accommodation options. Follow these easy steps to booking your dream holiday, but remember, there is a limit to the time and space available at all resorts, so it is important to follow the process.
- Deposit your holiday ownership
- Make sure you have your RCI membership number and ownership details on hand. If you own conventional timeshare (fixed resort, unit number and week), simply call RCI and deposit your week/s into the SpaceBank pool
- If you own flexi-ownership (season, size and resort, not a fixed unit), call your resort and request that your week be deposited into the RCI SpaceBank pool.
- If you own points within a Club, call your Club guide who will advise you of the necessary procedures for an exchange as well as resort availability.
- Make your choice and request your holiday
- Refer to either the Local or International Directory of Resorts. We recommend that you select a minimum of 3 resorts and 3 travel dates to increase your chance of an early confirmation. Consider our range of RCI Holiday Choices for a different holiday experience, as well as our exclusive packaged holidays, including flights, car hire, and travel insurance. You can also call an RCI guide who will offer expert advice, and submit your request.
- Remember to search for accommodation with a similar value to your ownership. It’s important to time your exchange request – the earlier you request, the more likely you are of getting your chosen resort. For local holidays, request up to two years to seven days ahead. For international holidays, request up to two years to 90 days ahead, subject to resort calendar availability. An exchange fee may be payable to RCI on confirmation of your exchange request depending on your holiday ownership.
- Confirm your holiday
- Your holiday confirmation will be sent to you via mail, email or fax. Remember to take it with you to your host resort and present it when you check in. Your confirmation letter also provides you with valuable information on the resort check in/out times, directions, services, additional charges, as well as activities at or near the resort.
- Then you’re ready to go. Happy holidays!
How does timeshare work for my family?
- Holiday for life, without an increase in accommodation costs
- Holiday anywhere in the world, at any time of the year
- Use RCI’s exchange system for exciting worldwide holidays to go on
- Luxurious resorts offering a wide range of facilities
- Self-catering, family holidays suitable for all lifestyles
- The most cost-effective holiday method available
- It is an inheritable asset
What do I actually get in return for my money?
- You are investing in an exclusive timeshare property in a RCI holiday resort that can be exchanged anywhere in the world.
- You have the choice of the size, location and grade of the property you invest in.
- It is a valuable investment that will provide you with holiday accommodation each year.
- You can sell your investment, bequeath it to family members in your will or share with family and friends.
What are the major benefits of clubs and points schemes?
A membership with RCI means you have flexibility of choice in your holiday options, as do clubs and points schemes. Clubs and points schemes offer flexibility. Through all of these you can choose when, where, for how long, the sort of accommodation, recreational facilities, and the number of holidays you want to have each year, at a price to suited to your budget. If your club or points scheme is affiliated to RCI, it increases your selection of options.
How do I convert my holiday credits into a holiday?
Clubs and points schemes offer units/starts/points as part of the membership package. These are the ‘currency’ of your timeshare holiday, and with them you purchase holidays that have a corresponding points value. The ‘points price’ of your holiday depends on the quality of the resort, the type and size of the accommodation, and the period and duration of your visit. The points allocation for each week is assessed annually to take into consideration factors such as school holidays. These are usually published annually in a points value guide to help members in their selection of holiday options.
Do I have to use all my holiday credits each year?
Not necessarily. Most clubs and pints schemes allow their members to accumulate their unused points, providing membership and reservation fees are kept current. These accumulated points enable members to have a wider choice of holiday options in the following years. Generally, after three years members forfeit their unused points. Unused points can also be rented, to generate income for the member.
Can I sell or bequeath my points/stars/units?
Yes, your points are an asset that can be resold, or left to your heirs.
How can I broaden my holiday options?
Many clubs and points schemes allow members in good standing to borrow on future points allocations. This allows the broader options, such as extending the duration of holidays. Alternatively, members have the option of buying more points and going on more holidays at different destinations.
How far in advance should I book my holiday?
Because of the growing popularity of timeshare holidays, it is recommended that you book at least a year in advance if you plan to visit a popular resort or destination area during peak seasons. Out of season, there is less pressure, but we recommend you make your reservation at least six months in advance. Generally speaking, the more notice you give, the better chance of successfully booking your first choice.