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Our Survey: What Should We Buy?

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Hi All!

First, huge thank you to the kind people here on this forum. You were able to help my boyfriend and I rescind our timeshare purchase in time to not be penalized. We bought into the Hyatt Vacation Club Program after a tour of the Welk property in Escondito. For what it's worth, it's a lovely property, and I wouldn't mind spending time there, but mostly what sold us was the option to trade for weeks within II. Now that we have rescinded, we are still looking to buy a timeshare: the one thing that we remain pretty convinced of is that we would make use of it, especially if we could get one resale. But with that said, we would appreciate some guidance from you lovely folks here at TUG!

1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where?
Not really. There are a few places we visit annually, like San Diego and Chicago, but for the most part we want to go see new and different places.

2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time?
Trade more than half of the time.

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
A. Destinations in California (i.e. San Diego, Napa Valley)
B. New Zealand
C. Europe-primarily British Isles, Mediterranean, and Iberian Peninsula, but also possibly Scandanavia.
D. Hawaii
E. Asia

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself?
Generally 2, sometimes as many as 6.

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?
There are a few times per year that it is harder for me to travel due to work, but that is mostly just a weekend here or there. Generally speaking we can travel anytime.

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?
This is a hard question. I would like to say yes, but the last few years have created such a sense of uncertainty that I am hesitant to confirm anything more than 12mos out. Usually, we plan 4-6 months out at most.

7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?
Not usually. Our trips are generally 3-5 days on average.

8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?
I generally prefer around 3 stars, with the option to go for 5 stars on special occasions.

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
$2500

10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year?
$1500-$2000. We are also open to the idea of a biannual membership, so that we are only paying the fees every other year unless we want to pull points from next year.

11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
Yes and no. I tend to research the area/property we are staying in so I can plan out rough sketches of what going to do when we travel, but I am not the kind of person who has a printed itinerary of every activity.

12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?
Yes. We are a little apprehensive about this aspect, and would prefer an option that has at least some resale value in the event that we do want to sell our timeshare.

My boyfriend is more risk-averse than I am, and would like to have all of the information. I am more inclined to lean in to the risk associated, as we travel frequently (last year we spent approximately $3500 on hotels/airbnbs for travel, which was a bit on the higher side of our average, but still). Because of this personality difference, we are interested in getting as much information as possible so that we can make an informed decision, up to and including not purchasing a timeshare if that seems to be the best course of action. Thanks in advance!
 

byeloe

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Hi

If you are only looking for 3 to 5 night trips then you will most likely need a points based system as most timeshares(and timeshare trades through Interval) are for full weeks. I don't think that there is one system that would give you access to all of your preferred destinations. You might also find a lack of inventory if you are only able to plan 4-6 months in advance
 

CalGalTraveler

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What @byloe said. Also timeshares will only help you with U.S. and Hawaii.

Check out EOY and Every Year Vegas deed for Hilton Grand Vacations (HGVC) and see how far 7680 - 8400 points EOY and EY will take you compared to the points charts for HGVC for trading inside their mini system (3 day minimum reservations). Also check out the HGVC locations to make sure they work. I suspect that 7680 won't take you far unless it is an Every Year (avoid HVC system which is former Diamond which you won't have access). Best if you can plan at 9 mos out for availability. 6 months may be slim pickings. I am already planning our 2025 travel. You can change up to 61 days prior and cancel up to 31 days without penalty. This is the best way to get value out of the system.

The other option is Worldmark but I don't know much about that system.

Good luck!
 
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Carolinian

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Traditional timesharing is based on a week vacation, but if you can do five days, it might be worth letting two go to waste. Many resorts are not set up for mid week check-out / check-in but if you left early or came late, that would work into the schedule. You will be limited to points systems for less than week stays otherwise, and you would need one that covers the bases on the places you want to go.
 

ScoopKona

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Some timeshare systems do split week internal trades very nicely. But you'll have to LOVE the resorts and where they are because they aren't interchangeable. For instance, I'm can't swap my Hyatt for a few days at the Marriott, even though they're both owned by Marriott.

So you'll have to do a deep dive into the name-brand systems and see if any of them work for you.

As for "conventional wisdom" about timeshares -- toss all that out the nearest window. ABSOLUTELY you can trade worldwide. I've been doing so for decades, and I'm quite happy with it. And I have often stayed five days on a week trade (when the checkin/checkout days don't line up on a multi-week trip), and that's fine too.

My calculus for timeshares is:

1) What is the percentage chance that I will trade for something I like any given year? (NOTE -- not "exactly what I want, when I want, where I want it.")
2) How many days of vacation can I wring out of a single maintenance fee.*

Unfortunately, there is a lot of homework to do. And you're the only person who can do it.

* "Conventional wisdom" will say that answer is seven days. This is why conventional wisdom is best ignored. You can get a month (or even more) on a single maintenance fee, depending on the system and the flexibility of the owner.
 

NM_Vacation

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Some timeshare systems do split week internal trades very nicely. But you'll have to LOVE the resorts and where they are because they aren't interchangeable. For instance, I'm can't swap my Hyatt for a few days at the Marriott, even though they're both owned by Marriott.

So you'll have to do a deep dive into the name-brand systems and see if any of them work for you.

As for "conventional wisdom" about timeshares -- toss all that out the nearest window. ABSOLUTELY you can trade worldwide. I've been doing so for decades, and I'm quite happy with it. And I have often stayed five days on a week trade (when the checkin/checkout days don't line up on a multi-week trip), and that's fine too.

My calculus for timeshares is:

1) What is the percentage chance that I will trade for something I like any given year? (NOTE -- not "exactly what I want, when I want, where I want it.")
2) How many days of vacation can I wring out of a single maintenance fee.*

Unfortunately, there is a lot of homework to do. And you're the only person who can do it.

* "Conventional wisdom" will say that answer is seven days. This is why conventional wisdom is best ignored. You can get a month (or even more) on a single maintenance fee, depending on the system and the flexibility of the owner.
Thank you for such a detailed response, Please educate me, how :) "You can get a month (or even more) on a single maintenance fee, depending on the system and the flexibility of the owner"
 

ScoopKona

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Thank you for such a detailed response, Please educate me, how :) "You can get a month (or even more) on a single maintenance fee, depending on the system and the flexibility of the owner"
Many points based systems allow owners to "buy" a week in a studio or a week in low season with a fraction of their total yearly points.

A two bedroom in a high-demand ski area during school break in ski season? Lots of points.

A studio in Germany in February? A trivial amount of points.

It doesn't have to be THAT extreme. We typically visit Europe during shoulder season and exchange for studios. That costs us 15% of our annual point total for each studio we exchange for. A one bedroom at the same time is a little bit more than 30% of our points. And so on. Each exchange, in addition to the points, costs an exchange fee, paid to the exchange company.

A typical year for us is three weeks in Europe with five or six days addition within the brand resorts, for a total cost of $2000 per year -- about $75 per night. Amortize the initial purchase price over the 25 years we've owned it and we're at $85 per night.
 
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