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Plans Changing - Any Tips to Maximize Value?

JIMinNC

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We are seriously considering canceling our trip to Hawaii next summer. Our seventeen year old daughter does not want to go. She's at the age where she wants to do stuff with friends - not parents - and is aghast that she would have to spend two weeks on vacation with parents who don't enjoy the same things she wants to do. Our son will be doing a summer internship as he will be a rising senior in college, so he can't come, leaving our daughter stuck with two "old people." In all honestly, she's probably right and would not have a good time without someone her age.

We used 7450 Destination Points to book a 2BR OF at MOC. Of those, 4275 are a combination of banked, borrowed, or rented points, so they are stuck in the 2016 use year. The other 3175 are 2016 points that should be bankable to 2017.

I think my preference is to bank the bankable points to 2017 so my wife and I can take a trip in the fall of 2017 after our daughter is in her first year of college.

Our issue is the 4275 points that have to be used in 2016. We're going to look for options where our daughter can take a friend, but want to be sure we do the cancellation and rebooking in the right way.

Any tips or tricks from the more experienced folks out there on how to be sure we make this change in a way that maximizes our options? We need to do it soon, as many areas are already booked for summer 2016.
 
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GregT

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Jim,

I'm in a similar situation - the teen daughters want to be with their friends ----- So we are bringing friends. As long as the friend can get themselves there, we will cover food and excursions. Not what I expected but I've warmed to it, and am actually looking forward to the new phase here.

I have a life-long friend who told me that when his girls hit the same phase, they started to bring friends and it was one of the best things they did. He said they took real joy from their daughter bring happy. It was just different, but still good.

So we capitulated, and I'm bringing friends to MOC.

Best,

Greg
 
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b2bailey

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My timeshare travels have included my grand-daughter for many years. Every trip included a friend of hers. This year she turned 21. We just returned from our first timeshare trip 'alone' with just the two of us. No friends came along. And we had a wonderful time together. Definitely worth waiting for this day to come. Allow (and even encourage your) daughter to bring a friend along.
 

JIMinNC

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Jim,

I'm in a similar situation - the teen daughters want to be with their friends ----- So we are bringing friends. As long as the friend can get themselves there, we will cover food and excursions. Not what I expected but I've warmed to it, and am actually looking forward to the new phase here.

I have a life-long friend who told me that when his girls hit the same phase, they started to bring friends and it was one of the best things they did. He said they took real joy from their daughter bring happy. It was just different, but still good.

So we capitulated, and I'm bringing friends to MOC.

Best,

Greg

My timeshare travels have included my grand-daughter for many years. Every trip included a friend of hers. This year she turned 21. We just returned from our first timeshare trip 'alone' with just the two of us. No friends came along. And we had a wonderful time together. Definitely worth waiting for this day to come. Allow (and even encourage your) daughter to bring a friend along.

We would be more than happy to have one of her friends come with us. We have actively encouraged it. However, neither of her two "best" friends' families would likely be able to easily cover $1300 airfare from NC. Knowing that, our daughter doesn't want to ask and put them in the awkward position of having to decline a wonderful trip for their daughter or cause them to feel obligated to fork out money they can't afford. Both of these friends have traveled with us before on driving trips. We do live in an affluent suburban area of Charlotte where many of her other friends would be able to afford the airfare easily, it just happens that these are more casual friends that she is uncomfortable inviting on a two-week family trip. The other dynamic is finding friends who can even go - her high school is one of the top two or three most academically competitive public high schools in the state of NC. Over 90% of the kids matriculate to a four year college, so summers are very busy with summer academic programs, community service, and other things designed to boost their resume for college. A friend might conceivably have to choose between a trip with her own family vs a trip with us in order to fit it all in.

So that's why we are reluctantly looking at canceling and want to be sure we move forward in a way that maximizes our ability to use the 4000+ points that must be used by 12/31/2016.

So we are focusing on finding a destination we can drive to so she can take a friend for a week - not two weeks (our daughter has the same summer time pressures as the other kids at her school). It's too late to get anything in Hilton Head for summer 2016, but it looks like Oceana Palms and Ocean Pointe are available for summer 2016, as is Orlando. Florida in summer has about as much appeal to me as a colonoscopy, but I may have to take one for the team...

Any pointers or tricks of the points trade on how to do this cancel/rebook process that maximizes our flexibility?
 

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How about renting out the Hawaii weeks for $$$ and using the $$$ to go somewhere else?
 

JIMinNC

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How about renting out the Hawaii weeks for $$$ and using the $$$ to go somewhere else?

We don't really want to play in the person-to-person week rental market - either as a renter or as a landlord. I'll leave that to the pros. I have no issue with point rentals where the points become 100% property of the transferee, but I don't want to hold a reservation for someone else or have someone else responsible for "my" reservation.
 

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Perhaps the learning experience here could also be ... PLANNING. If your daughter's friends lack money ... ask your daughter HOW much is it worth to her to help you offset the cost of one of them travelling with you? Extra chores, a job, assisting an elderly or infirmed neighbor or relative, smaller new clothes budget? Ask how much stuff she likes to do would she be willing to cut out of the trip (no luau, no zip line), eating BBQ burgers while Mom & Dad enjoy a dinner out? After all she has been there before ... and her friend never? ... Even a walking session in the farmer's market would be NEW to the friend.

Suggest YOU make a contract .. include a NO whining clause on vacation, too ... Mom and Dad should not be totally skimping. Also, she would be acting as the "tour guide" and island translator ... might be a growth experience for your daughter.

I listen regularly to my sister with 3 boys ... I think the school's teachers see these kids as a way to get FREE spring break travel ... one boy went on a 7+ night trip to England over Spring Break ... as a club trip. My sister paid for it because the boy did nothing as far as a club, sport, team AND for his senior year (instead of the regular senior trip), he asked shyly if this was a possible thing his parents might allow (ie pay for).
 

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I may have to take one for the team...

Hmmm...You have to take one for the team? What about your daughter? How hard is it to go to HI for TWO WEEKS???? I'm having trouble with this one. Someone has lost perspective.
I suggest waiting before you make a decision. It could be the best thing for everyone would be for your daughter to stay home with her "friends" while you go and have a great vacation in HI. Invite another couple!
 

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JIMinNC

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Thanks for the suggestions on how to make Hawaii work. Believe me; we've considered these options and others. Doing Hawaii as a couples trip will have to wait for empty-nester phase in a couple years. Oddly enough, my wife and I are both only children and all four of our parents have passed away, so we have no grandparents, aunts, or uncles to be responsible for our daughter when we travel. On top of that, some situations I haven't delved into in my posts make our daughter's best friends' houses not ideal places for her to do a two week sleepover while we enjoy Aloha.

In any event, we haven't canceled yet, but will likely cancel soon and rebook a Florida trip with 3 or 4 nights at Lakeshore Reserve or Grande Vista followed by 3 or 4 nights at Ocean Pointe or Oceana Palms. Since there will be no air fare to book, our daughter can wait until much closer to the travel date to decide which friend to bring. (Teenage girl friendships can be a bit "fluid", depending upon what drama may be going on at any given time!) We'll use our banked/borrowed/rented points first, and whatever balance is left from our 2016 points, we'll just bank them to 2017. I think we should be able to book the Florida trip without using more than a minimal amount of the 2016 bankable points.

In hindsight, it was probably unwise to plan the Hawaii trip to begin with knowing that our son would not be able to go due to his summer internships, but we wanted to try to make it work because we miss the islands very much. From 1992 through 2011, we averaged going about every other year, so it's been way too long. We'll probably target whale season 2018 for just my wife and me or with another couple.

Thanks again. And if there is anything else we should know about the cancellation/rebooking process that we haven't considered, please feel free to offer any other thoughts on that.
 

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Our issue is the 4275 points that have to be used in 2016. We're going to look for options where our daughter can take a friend, but want to be sure we do the cancellation and rebooking in the right way.

Any tips or tricks from the more experienced folks out there on how to be sure we make this change in a way that maximizes our options? We need to do it soon, as many areas are already booked for summer 2016.

Sorry Jim, I realized that I never really responded to your question (but Jonell and I are still available to go).

I think you've assessed the options correctly, that you can bank the 3,175 into 2017, and that your 4,275 need to be used in 2016. As you know, you will want to cancel more than 60 days in advance (really as soon as possible), and then I would consider starting to book "placeholder" reservations that you may or may not ultimately use. I book reservations when the window opens just in case, and probably cancel half.

Orlando is a good option, and maybe a Waitlist request for Hilton Head or one of the other summer properties is a good use versus just letting the points sit there and slowly decay.

I believe you can also extend the life of the points by depositing them into II, which is another option - but I've not done that with DC points, but it could be a creative use of the points if you run out of attractive alternatives.

A more ambitious use might be to try to book reservations at a discount within 30 days, because you know you can use it and you get a percentage off the points chart -- something else to consider.

Good luck with the decision and I hope you find a desirable option.

Best,

Greg
 

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Why not leave your daughter at home and go by yourselves? Can't she stay with her brother, girl friend or other family member? And, there's nothing wrong with 2 people rambling around in a 2 bedroom unit. We do it every now and then. And, it's nice to have my own bathroom on vacation once in a while. And, the second bedroom ends up with all of our sporting equipment. Have fun. :)
 

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Why not leave your daughter at home and go by yourselves? Can't she stay with her brother, girl friend or other family member? And, there's nothing wrong with 2 people rambling around in a 2 bedroom unit. We do it every now and then. And, it's nice to have my own bathroom on vacation once in a while. And, the second bedroom ends up with all of our sporting equipment. Have fun. :)

As I said in post #10 above, there are no other family members for her to stay with - all four grandparents have passed on, and no aunts or uncles either since my wife and I are both only-children. Even most of our aunts and uncles have passed on or are very old and in poor health. Our entire family is basically just the four of us now.

Our son will be doing a college internship somewhere in the US next summer, but we don't yet know where or what his living arrangements will be, but most likely will be with other college interns. Not the best place for a 17 yr old girl!

There are couple of her close friends she could theoretically stay with, but as I said above, there are complicating issues with each situation that make them less than ideal as a solution.

It's disappointing, but at least since we're using DC points, we have a lot of flexibility to construct an alternative itinerary that may work better for us right now. Hawaii will still be there in 2018.
 

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Based on my first time experience with a high school grad this Summer, and based on my observation of other teens, they don't really want to spend time with parents, grandparents or aunts/uncles. You are correct in abandoning the idea if the friends don't want to come or can't come. I was surprised that that was the case, being that Hawaii is a dream destination. It's just the way teenagers/college students are.
 

JIMinNC

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Sorry Jim, I realized that I never really responded to your question (but Jonell and I are still available to go).

I think you've assessed the options correctly, that you can bank the 3,175 into 2017, and that your 4,275 need to be used in 2016. As you know, you will want to cancel more than 60 days in advance (really as soon as possible), and then I would consider starting to book "placeholder" reservations that you may or may not ultimately use. I book reservations when the window opens just in case, and probably cancel half.

Orlando is a good option, and maybe a Waitlist request for Hilton Head or one of the other summer properties is a good use versus just letting the points sit there and slowly decay.

I believe you can also extend the life of the points by depositing them into II, which is another option - but I've not done that with DC points, but it could be a creative use of the points if you run out of attractive alternatives.

A more ambitious use might be to try to book reservations at a discount within 30 days, because you know you can use it and you get a percentage off the points chart -- something else to consider.

Good luck with the decision and I hope you find a desirable option.

Best,

Greg

Greg,

Thanks for the reply. We're going to make the final decision this weekend. Thanks to the flexibility of points, there are a number of alternative ideas we are considering, and I don't think we're going to have to worry about not having any options as long as we decide soon. There are still a very few 3-5 day blocks of availability scattered around for summer in Hilton Head, and good availability all summer at Ocean Pointe/Oceana Palms and in Orlando, so we will likely settle on some combination of those - either a few days in HHI followed by a few days at one of the Florida resorts or just split a week between two of the Florida resorts.

Thanks again. Hopefully our paths can cross at MOC sometime in the future.

Jim
 

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Why not try to do a TUG exchange? Someone may have something you want that will fit with your schedule. These can be benificial to both parties. It doesn't hurt to try. Go to Marketplace. Put in request for an exchange, I'm sure someone will want to go to Hawaii. This is a free service TUG offers for us. I am doing this myself.

Good Luck!
Silentg
 

JIMinNC

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Why not try to do a TUG exchange? Someone may have something you want that will fit with your schedule. These can be benificial to both parties. It doesn't hurt to try. Go to Marketplace. Put in request for an exchange, I'm sure someone will want to go to Hawaii. This is a free service TUG offers for us. I am doing this myself.

Good Luck!
Silentg

Staying inside the Marriott points system seems to maximize our flexibility. If we just swapped the entire Hawaii reservation with a TUGger, that's all we could do. But by canceling and reusing the points, we can get 7-8 days split between a couple of different places and still have over 3000 points left over to bank to 2017 for another trip. So within Marriott we can probably get 12-14 days, total for the points we will free up by canceling Hawaii.

The second week on the Big Island is an RCI exchange, so we'll just cancel that and since we bought TPU protection, the TPUs will be returned to our account. They expire in July 2017, but we can pay $119 to extend them to July 2018 and hopefully use them in Jan/Feb 2018 for the same location.
 

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Others will help you fine an alternative for the vacation.

I'm still stuck on making the trip work. Is there a way to sit with your daughter and have her go through the links to the properties and read the reviews. Give her the choice to like it or not. Involve her in the decision of whether this is something your family could look back on after she heads off to college. Don't try to sell it to her. Remember, as the owners we have searched the properties and built expectations in our minds which feed our want to go. Our friends even feed our plans to try what they have tried. Let her have the same opportunity.

What will she do with dear ol' Mom & Pop? Ask her. Ask her what type of freedom she'd like at the resort. Let her call or email the activities center manager and ask what there would be for her. What would be the possibilities of arranged activities she can join with other teens. Maybe the manager will even schedule a time to give her a tour for what it takes to be an activities employee. All good for those jobs during college. Visit a college campus on HI. Why not?

Definitely go on a snorkel trip on a catamaran. We laid on the net with our kids for superman's. That's when the catamaran goes over the waves and everyone becomes airborne.

Find out about putt putt golf and corn hole. Create a friendly challenge between the 3 of you. Show her possible luaus and have her research the one she'd like to experience.

Looking for ways to break the tension at restaurants? Pull out the zilch game while your waiting for the food. We would do that or the cards for Euchre. I don't care who thinks it's appropriate.

How about a day trip like Haleakula? We did that with our daughter. Laughed till we cried. It was suggested we go soon after arriving so the 4 a.m. pick up time was within our body time clock. We were up in the middle of the night putting on sunscreen. Jack was tired and put on too much. He was layered in white. It broke the "up in the middle of the night tension". We tell the story over and over.

All in jammies on the sofa with the movie of her choice? Don't forget the popcorn. How about the evening swim in a nearly empty pool so you can float and look at the stars.

You've got the idea. Involve her. This is an "unknown". Teens gravitate towards their peeps and their comfort zones. Help her adventure into new territory where she visits someplace new and has opportunity to make her own new friends during her free time. My daughter loved the "busy" pool at OP. We loved the quiet one. She was connected by walkie talkie and then by phone.

Oh and if you do take friends. . .do make a contract. I did this after a disastrous week with a middle schooler. We had taken her the year before and it was good. Not so the next year. Daughter helped edit the contract when I was done. Other parents said it was common sense. It served us well after. Everything is out on the table beforehand. When we asked the other kid I would first tell the parent we'd like to invite their daughter on vacation with us but before they answered we'd like them to look this over and discuss it at home. As the girls aged we didn't expect them to be together 24/7. Our daughter doesn't like to be "shadowed" constantly. She realized this and looked for friends who were equally independent. They did most things together but if one wanted to nap while the other went to the gym there was no issue. Of course, we didn't have to worry about kids who would go off into troubling ventures. Here's ours:

VACATION BEHAVIOR CONTRACT

This vacation is meant to be fun for everyone. With that in mind, the following is a Contract of Behavior drawn up to help promote a wonderful trip for everyone. Please study the following and be prepared to follow these guidelines with a minimum of direction.

TRAVELING

1. Vacationers will rotate positions in the car on a regular basis. This will allow the drivers rest time and give the driver a fresh co-pilot. The co-pilot will stay alert to be company for the driver.

2. Girls will be allowed one suitcase for clothes, shoes and toiletries and one backpack for CD players, books, etc. Pack light with the understanding we will be able to do laundry regularly.

3. Pack bathing suit, necessary toiletries and outfit for second day of driving on top of suitcase so entire suitcase does not have to be dismembered to get to them. Bring large zip lock bag for wet bathing suit.

4. Girls should look at AAA book for attractions along the way that interest them. If we have time and are in that area at times of operation we will consider their requests.

5. Everyone has a say about where we eat. Let your request be known. Everyone also has a responsibility of being considerate and accommodating as to where we actually do eat. Don’t despair, if you don’t get your preference the first time we may be able to fulfill it the next.

6. Upon all departures and arrivals, all vacationers will help with any loading and unloading of the car.

ARRIVAL

1. As stated above, all vacationers will help with the unloading of the car.

2. Suitcases will be emptied and clothing, shoes, backpacks and toiletries will be put away in the appropriate places.

3. All vacationers will help with the selection and purchase of groceries. Everyone can give reasonable requests for items they would like to have for the week. After grocery shopping everyone will help with the unloading of these groceries and putting them away.

RECREATION

1. Upon arrival all vacationers will work together to plan activities for the week. Girls should look at brochures available in the lobby for things that interest them. Also, the concierge usually has a list of activities at or near the resort. This will be a tentative plan for the week and may have to be modified because of something unforeseen such as bad weather.

2. Cooperation from all vacationers will be necessary to plan activities. Some activities may be ones that interest the adults more and some may be ones more geared to the teens. Everyone needs to be conscious of making this a good vacation for the others as well as themselves.

3. Whenever the vacationers are going out together the adults will give a “time of departure.” Getting ready to go will have to fit in the timeframe given. The above activities plan will help everyone to know when to get busy getting ready.

4. Sunscreen will be used whenever going outside during the day. Girls will help each other make sure their backs are well covered. Sunscreen will be put on in areas without upholstery (like the bathroom). Everyone will be considerate of the furnishings with regard to sunscreen.

THE UNIT

1. Everyone will help to keep the unit neat. If a blanket is used while watching TV please fold it and put it neatly on the end of the sofa when finished. Please put shoes that are necessary for current outfit in room or front hall if there is a place there that accommodates them. All clothing should be in bedrooms.

2. Beds will be made right after breakfast unless we are going someplace in the morning. Then they will be made before breakfast.

3. Clothing should be put in the laundry room if dirty and wanted again or away in drawers or closet. If we are going someplace in the morning the clothes to be worn are to be put together the night before. If ironing is necessary this should also be done the night before.

4. As stated above, clothes for church on Sunday will be gotten ready the night before.

5. Towels will be hung up after bathing or showers. Curling irons will be unplugged before leaving the unit. Toiletries will be kept neat to make the bathroom enjoyable for everyone using it.

EATING

1. Whenever there is a communal meal in the unit all vacationers will come to the kitchen to see how they can help with the preparation, serving and cleaning up afterwards. Everyone will look for ways to help.

2. If there is no communal breakfast, lunch or dinner planned, everyone will be responsible for getting themselves something to eat and cleaning up after.

3. All dirty dishes (except pots & pans) are to be scraped, rinsed if necessary and put in the dishwasher by the person who used it. Both the parents and teens will share unloading the dishwasher and putting the dishes away.

4. Teens will be allowed to prepare (cook) a meal or treat.

5. Restaurant decisions will be made with input from all vacationers. As with the restaurants chosen during traveling the choice will be determined as to what is best for everyone going.

SLEEPING

1. 10:00 a.m. is sleeping in. Napping after that may be done by the pool after breakfast and if we don’t have a morning activity planned.

2. The above may be modified if we have an activity planned for the morning.

3. A “P.J.’s till noon” day will be considered as one of the morning activities. We will see how many of these the vacation will accommodate. This item will not overrule # 1 on a regular basis.

COOPERATION

1. Cooperation from all vacationers will be necessary to make this an enjoyable trip for everyone.

2. Any disagreements will be settled in a reasonable discussion.

3. Girls will be companions for each other and will accompany each other to pool, hotel, etc.

4. The parents will treat both girls as they would their own children and teens will treat parents as their own.

5. If something would not be respectful to do or say than don’t do or say it.

6. Be prepared to apologize if necessary. Both teens and parents will be prepared to do this. Blame will not be held.

7. Parents and teens will respect each other’s space and privacy.

8. Remember, each vacationer should be looking to make this a good vacation for the others.

Aloha
 

vacationhopeful

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Jim ...

Do you think her "friends" might be the influence for her decision NOT to go? When on the trip last year, did she say "not me next year?"
When did the comments start - after the new school year?

You could try ... This trip has been planned with place reservations. So if you are changing your mind at the last minute ... but us parents have BROUGHT and PAID for airfare & made reservations.

When we ALL get back, we all can plan NEXT year's trip, location and attendees. This year's trip is booked. Changing it would cost US ALL real money ... about $9876 (your real costs) ... should we deduct that from your clothes and spending allowance?

She wants to be all grown up ... Give her the bill!
 

JIMinNC

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Quilter and Linda,

Thanks for all of your thoughts.

We have been to Hawaii many times, so our daughter remembers enough to know what she wants to do out there - and she knows enough about her 60ish-year old parents to know that we probably can't do the things she would enjoy. She wants to be with kids her own age so they can laugh, hike, snorkel, surf, take selfies, flirt with boys, bake in the sun, and do all the other things teenage girls do. She's very shy when it's just her, so there's little chance she'll meet new friends at the resort to hang out with, without a comfortable friend with her.

To answer Linda's question, I'm pretty sure there's no undue friends influence coming in here - she's expressed her concerns to us about being stuck with two old farts ever since we booked our points back in June. I doubt she's even mentioned it to her friends.

We've talked about it extensively over the last couple of months, and now think everyone will have a better trip if we go somewhere where she can invite one of her friends to go along. It doesn't make sense to spend that much money on air fare unless everyone can have a great trip. In Florida, she and a friend could drive themselves to the things they want to do, but in Hawaii, we'll be stuck with rental cars so our daughter would be dependent upon us as the driver, plus she would also be stuck with us as her activity companions. After discussing it at length, my wife and I have realized that if we were in our daughter's shoes, we would probably feel the same way.

Our age does complicate matters somewhat, as most of her friends' parents are in their 40s and enjoy more active pursuits. Some of her friends have grandparents that aren't that much older than we are.
 

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I have had that DD---cancel your trip and keep your sanity! You really need to take a friend or canx the trip. Togetherness with parents would be great for our younger DD and misery for our older DD. Closer location that you can drive/bring a friend is the answer--and I understand about waiting to ask--DD invited a friend at 6 mths out and then they weren't that good of friends when the trip came.
Also, we have altered our travel plans as DD went to college--next year, younger kids will go with us for the 1st leg of a trip to Europe and DD will fly in a week later for the 2nd week in Paris. She would rather be at home and needs to work, etc. and we will all have a fun time. I have lived/learned!
Even our happy camper younger teens have mixed it up for us. We went to Bermuda this summer and they went to the beach 2X and stayed in the room while we went to the beach and then we went to the pool the other days. They didn't complain at all and we had a fun trip- the pool, playing bocce ball, etc. but we could have done that anywhere. It changed our plans for future years--we realized going for a week to Aruba, St. Kitts would probably be much of the same. They want active vacations and don't really enjoy the beach that much. We only have a couple for years with them as a captive audience, so we will try things that they will like vs. forcing them into Mom/Dad's vacation. good luck. Elaine (ps. if you are decide that you have any interest in renting, I have a cash reservation at MVC Disney Paris next summer and would be happy to rent 5 nights from you-feel free to PM me).
 
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JIMinNC

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I resurrected this thread from a month ago to update on our decision and ask another question...

In lieu of a family vacation next summer, our daughter is interested in doing one of the pre-college summer programs they offer for a week or two at some colleges, so we're going to focus on that. If she gets into one of those programs, my wife and I may take a short non-timeshare trip while she is on the campus.

So, even though we're not totally comfortable with consumer-to-consumer rental transactions, we've decided to try renting the Maui Ocean Club week for next June instead of canceling the reservation and getting the points back into our account. We listed it on Redweek.com a few days ago.

My question is, for those of you with Redweek experience, assuming we're priced competitively - which I tried to do - any thoughts on how long it might take to get some interest? There are a LOT of MOC rental listings on Redweek, but not many 2BR OF units listed at MOC for next summer. We need to decide how long to wait for a renter to appear before looking at other options. If it doesn't rent by some point in the first few months of 2016, we can still cancel the booking and try to come up with a use for the points (some must be used in 2016 but others can carryover to 2017) - but that is now Plan B instead of Plan A.

Any thoughts from the more experienced renters on what response we might expect?
 
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