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Really happy with my 2020 exchanges so far

Andrearr

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Just wanted to share my experience with my recent exchanges.
2020 was my first use year for my Vistana Timeshare that I bought resale on this site after rescinding my developer purchase.
We have a 2 bed lock off that can be split into two different weeks.

Hawaii 2019 for Colorado 2020
We traded one of our weeks this year with another TUG user for their Hawaii Hilton during Thanksgiving last year 2019.
So, we were able to technically use our timeshare in 2019 before our use year by doing that trade.
They decided to push their use of our timeshare to 2021 but instead of cancelling their reservation we just used it in Colorado during labor day.
We've booked their travel for 2021 using our premium one bedroom for that year.

Las Vegas 2020
Using an AC from Interval back in like August, I booked Marriott Grand Chateau for a week; 2 bedroom lockoff for about 310 without trading any of my weeks.
Great deal considering II and MAR are affiliated, and the 2 bedroom at the MGC goes for over $200 per night.
We planned to use our 2020 premium one bedroom in Palm Springs, but due to CA COVID restrictions the reservation was cancelled two weeks before travel.
Vistana refunded the points and provided generous terms for their use going forward in my opinion, but with only two weeks notice we now needed to book somewhere else last minute.
That was stressful as II inventory kept changing as I was waiting for my points to be restored for 2020 use.
With only 10 days advance booking, I traded my standard 1 bedroom 2020 use year into II in exchange for 2 bedroom at Hilton Elara from Christmas until New Years for $210.
This trade happened with only 15 days left in the use year.
I didnt even realize II was still accepting 2020 usages this late in the year still.
Retail price for the 2 bedroom room at Hilton is about $5,800 which is more than our maintenance fees and all exchange costs for the year.

I know this site is about maximizing the use of our timeshares so I wanted to share my experience especially since 2020, my first use year, was so unpredictable with COVID.
Main takeaways:

By exchanging with other users directly you can utilize your timeshare outside of your "Use Years"
ACs can can get you a good deal without giving up one of your weeks.
You can find prime deals during peak times and locations in II last minute with an exchange close to expiration (not sure if thats just due to COVID or in general)
Buying resale with almost full privileges saved a ton of money and makes each our vacations even more valuable without a mortgage or developer loan attached.
 

jbiza

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Nice! :thumbup:

You had some really good trips & places you visited based on the information you shared.
The Hilton Elara should really be a fun holiday trip to finish up the end of this year for you & start 2021.

I'm sure you're looking forward to even more great places to visit in the New Year. Enjoy! :cool:
 

davidvel

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As you note 2020 exchanging was totally atypical due to C19. Results in the future, and especially 2021 with all the rolled over weeks, will be totally different.
 

Andrearr

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As you note 2020 exchanging was totally atypical due to C19. Results in the future, and especially 2021 with all the rolled over weeks, will be totally different.
Actually having first baby in April so wasnt planning on travel in 2021 that's why I wanted to get it all done in 2020. Lol maybe I'll get lucky in 2022.
 

deniseh

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There are so many great trades available right now. It just is so unfortunate with my work restrictions that I can’t really make use of them.
 

Priscilla

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So happy for you OP. I literally just closed my SVV Bella 2 bedroom resale purchase and I also bought another TS in VA for trading in II. Glad to hear that your first usage year went so well. I’m excited about what my usage of my newly purchased TS will bring come 2021. With that said I got an awesome deal to go to Aruba for the New year with my kids. I’m excited and counting down the days until we are back at the Aruba Surf club, all thanks to Tuggers.
 

klpca

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I am glad that you are happy with your exchanges. That's what it's all about (for some of us, I suppose :p).

2021 is also looking good for me. I exchanged for Hyatt Highlands Inn for May and Westin Kaanapali RV for my daughter's honeymoon in Oct. It's only a studio, but I am actively looking for a one bedroom upgrade. They will be ok with anything, so it will be ok either way. I was worried about availability for nice exchanges because of the pent up covid demand, but so far so good. I do believe that it will be a quite disappointing year for those who don't set up OGS or actively search, or are able to be flexible with their timing. There's only so much to go around.
 

easyrider

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Instead of Hawaii in December we ended up in Sedona and Lake Havasu. I really like Sedona but Lake Havasu not so much. Because of Covid 19 I ended up depositing 3 weeks in SFX. With the bonus weeks and the additional week that was reinstated I have 7 weeks in SFX. I hope that some of our requests start happening.

Bill
 

Andrearr

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I am glad that you are happy with your exchanges. That's what it's all about (for some of us, I suppose :p).

2021 is also looking good for me. I exchanged for Hyatt Highlands Inn for May and Westin Kaanapali RV for my daughter's honeymoon in Oct. It's only a studio, but I am actively looking for a one bedroom upgrade. They will be ok with anything, so it will be ok either way. I was worried about availability for nice exchanges because of the pent up covid demand, but so far so good. I do believe that it will be a quite disappointing year for those who don't set up OGS or actively search, or are able to be flexible with their timing. There's only so much to go around.
Some good destinations you have!
 

Andrearr

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Instead of Hawaii in December we ended up in Sedona and Lake Havasu. I really like Sedona but Lake Havasu not so much. Because of Covid 19 I ended up depositing 3 weeks in SFX. With the bonus weeks and the additional week that was reinstated I have 7 weeks in SFX. I hope that some of our requests start happening.

Bill
Do you primarily use SFX over all of their exchange companies? It seems like they had high quality options when I was under my complimentary VIP membership but after that lapsed not so much. I've only used interval so far.
 

easyrider

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Do you primarily use SFX over all of their exchange companies? It seems like they had high quality options when I was under my complimentary VIP membership but after that lapsed not so much. I've only used interval so far.
Not really. My luck with SFX is so so. Best trades for me are RCI then II.

Bill
 

easyrider

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I deposited some Villa del Palmar weeks into SFX. Our WM and VI we use but have exchanged these in the past. My wife and daughter like the WM Leavenworth for Christmas lighting.

Bill
 

Andrearr

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I deposited some Villa del Palmar weeks into SFX. Our WM and VI we use but have exchanged these in the past. My wife and daughter like the WM Leavenworth for Christmas lighting.

Bill
I havent been to Leavensworth yet but sister loves it shes been wanting me to go. I didnt know they had a TS there. might be a future xmas present or something good to know
 

kckaren21

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I was able to trade into:
Four Seasons Aviara in June (have been wanting that for years!)
Harborside Atlantis in Oct (was there once around 10 years ago and LOVED it!)
Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui in Oct/Nov
Riverpointe at Napa in late Nov/early Dec

A couple were with my Tahiti Village TS (Las Vegas) and a couple were with AC's on II.

There has been a wonderful amount of quality inventory this year, thanks to Covid, but once you are there, the activities and restaurants and social interaction has been disappointing. Have the expectation of spending your time outside, enjoying drives, bike riding, walking, hiking, etc to enjoy the location, and you'll be fine. It really is not the same as visiting during a normal year, though. (We re-traded Harborside, and will go when it's fully open again.)
 

Andrearr

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I was able to trade into:
Four Seasons Aviara in June (have been wanting that for years!)
Harborside Atlantis in Oct (was there once around 10 years ago and LOVED it!)
Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui in Oct/Nov
Riverpointe at Napa in late Nov/early Dec

A couple were with my Tahiti Village TS (Las Vegas) and a couple were with AC's on II.

There has been a wonderful amount of quality inventory this year, thanks to Covid, but once you are there, the activities and restaurants and social interaction has been disappointing. Have the expectation of spending your time outside, enjoying drives, bike riding, walking, hiking, etc to enjoy the location, and you'll be fine. It really is not the same as visiting during a normal year, though. (We re-traded Harborside, and will go when it's fully open again.)
That is awesome I hope I get 4 seasons one day. U had some high quality resorts and great destinations. That is the downside the activities and limitations. But hopefully u get great rooms with good feautures for times that you can't be outside.
 

fcrawford

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Instead of Hawaii in December we ended up in Sedona and Lake Havasu. I really like Sedona but Lake Havasu not so much. Because of Covid 19 I ended up depositing 3 weeks in SFX. With the bonus weeks and the additional week that was reinstated I have 7 weeks in SFX. I hope that some of our requests start happening.

Bill
How do you enjoy SFX exchange?
 

NiteMaire

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How do you enjoy SFX exchange?
I realize your question was to @easyrider but I have experience with SFX. I've been pleasantly pleased with SFX (not all tuggers are as pleased). In exchange for my Colonies deposit, I've exchanged for: 1. Hilton Kohala Suites on the Big Island; 2. Point at Poipu on Kauai; and 3. Kauai Beach Villas. They are more of a niche/boutique exchange company compared to II and RCI, but if your desires match, you can get good exchanges.
They have 2 levels: Gold (free) and Diamond (they run specials for $99/yr). I pay for the Diamond-level membership as I'm convinced they offer the better units to Diamond-level members first. Their website even states the following for Diamond-level:
"SFX Diamond Exclusive Benefits
1. Better Timeshare Exchanges for Owners."

My initial use with them was in 2018 when they took a deposit from me with less than 30 days until check-in (not common, but they had a request they could fill with my deposit). I received a week in return that was good for 2 years; I also received a bonus week good for 2 years.

Their website exchange interface is atrocious and doesn't list all available units. You have to call and talk to a rep to really know what is available. The good news is that all reps have been extremely nice. If you find one you really like, you can call their extension and use them exclusively.
 

Andrearr

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I realize your question was to @easyrider but I have experience with SFX. I've been pleasantly pleased with SFX (not all tuggers are as pleased). In exchange for my Colonies deposit, I've exchanged for: 1. Hilton Kohala Suites on the Big Island; 2. Point at Poipu on Kauai; and 3. Kauai Beach Villas. They are more of a niche/boutique exchange company compared to II and RCI, but if your desires match, you can get good exchanges.
They have 2 levels: Gold (free) and Diamond (they run specials for $99/yr). I pay for the Diamond-level membership as I'm convinced they offer the better units to Diamond-level members first. Their website even states the following for Diamond-level:
"SFX Diamond Exclusive Benefits
1. Better Timeshare Exchanges for Owners."

My initial use with them was in 2018 when they took a deposit from me with less than 30 days until check-in (not common, but they had a request they could fill with my deposit). I received a week in return that was good for 2 years; I also received a bonus week good for 2 years.

Their website exchange interface is atrocious and doesn't list all available units. You have to call and talk to a rep to really know what is available. The good news is that all reps have been extremely nice. If you find one you really like, you can call their extension and use them exclusively.
So did you get 3 separate vacay's for the one deposit or were you just listing 3 separate experiences?
 

Andrearr

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Also wanted to know if anyone knew what type of room I might be getting with the Hilton exchange? Because it was on II, I assume it is a westgate room. Unit code on II says P2B. Is that a lock off? Plus? High floor? Rooster tail? Are Westgate rooms still good quality like Hilton?
 

NiteMaire

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So did you get 3 separate vacay's for the one deposit or were you just listing 3 separate experiences?
3 separate positive experiences. You get a week for a week (the bonus week can also get you a week, but at a greater exchange cost). I also meant to add that some tuggers have not had the same positive experience(s) with SFX.
 

easyrider

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How do you enjoy SFX exchange?
Today SFX made one of my requests. Because I upgraded our account to Diamond I received an upgrade as a Diamond benefit. So today I like SFX, lol. One down six to go !!!

Bill
 

fcrawford

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Today SFX made one of my requests. Because I upgraded our account to Diamond I received an upgrade as a Diamond benefit. So today I like SFX, lol. One down six to go !!!

Bill
LOL
How long have you been with SFX?
 

fcrawford

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I realize your question was to @easyrider but I have experience with SFX. I've been pleasantly pleased with SFX (not all tuggers are as pleased). In exchange for my Colonies deposit, I've exchanged for: 1. Hilton Kohala Suites on the Big Island; 2. Point at Poipu on Kauai; and 3. Kauai Beach Villas. They are more of a niche/boutique exchange company compared to II and RCI, but if your desires match, you can get good exchanges.
They have 2 levels: Gold (free) and Diamond (they run specials for $99/yr). I pay for the Diamond-level membership as I'm convinced they offer the better units to Diamond-level members first. Their website even states the following for Diamond-level:
"SFX Diamond Exclusive Benefits
1. Better Timeshare Exchanges for Owners."

My initial use with them was in 2018 when they took a deposit from me with less than 30 days until check-in (not common, but they had a request they could fill with my deposit). I received a week in return that was good for 2 years; I also received a bonus week good for 2 years.

Their website exchange interface is atrocious and doesn't list all available units. You have to call and talk to a rep to really know what is available. The good news is that all reps have been extremely nice. If you find one you really like, you can call their extension and use them exclusively.
Thanks NiteMaire. Your information was very helpful. I will give them a try.
 
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