Timeshares are an excellent alternative to buying a vacation home, but will you really vacation more if you buy a timeshare? There are many pros and cons to consider, so don’t decide on impulse.
Ask The Right Questions
If you have a go-to vacation destination, a timeshare may be an excellent fit. However, you may also be able to “trade” your destination for other areas—maybe even in other countries. Make sure to ask tons of questions regarding destination swap, the ability to reschedule your vacation time, annual fees, renting out your time, on-site amenities or allowing friends and family to vacay without you. Also, inquire about access to year-round travel discounts—as they can be quite impressive.
Timeshare Vs. Airbnb
If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, it may be a better alternative to timeshares. This innovative hotel-alternative makes it easy for you to rent out family-sized homes (or single accommodations) in any country or travel destination you can think of. This allows you a bit more freedom than a timeshare. While you will have to book when the home is available, most destinations have many accommodations to choose from, ranging from one night to an extended stay.
The Downside Of Timesharing
Every timeshare is different, but most have similar downsides. They are hard to sell, often sell at a loss, and the loss is not tax deductible. In addition, you may not want to vacation the same week every year and you may get bored with your single destination. Annual fees are not regulated, and can increase rapidly from one year to the next.
If you have a single destination that you want to return to on an annual location, investing in a timeshare may be the best way to go, but if you want to spend more time exploring, then more traditional accommodations might be the best alternative.