• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 30 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered 24 hours a day!
  • TUG started 30 years ago in October 1993 as a group of regular Timeshare owners just like you!

    Read about our 30th anniversary: Happy 30th Birthday TUG!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Free memberships for every 50 subscribers!

    Visit TUG on Youtube!
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $21,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $21 Million dollars
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free!

    60,000+ subscribing owners! A weekly recap of the best Timeshare resort reviews and the most popular topics discussed by owners!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    All T-shirt options here!
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Rome visit - Newbie wanting to go to Italy and perhaps France can points be exchaged for resorts internationally?

Marjo2022

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
41
Reaction score
6
My husband and I would like to travel to Europe once we have our Timeshare finalized. Is there a way to use points for international travel, and hotel or resort stays.
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,762
Reaction score
17,662
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
My husband and I would like to travel to Europe once we have our Timeshare finalized. Is there a way to use points for international travel, and hotel or resort stays.
Sure. We have exchanged into resorts in Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Greece. This using RCI. A word of caution here, European resorts are not the luxurious places we have grown accustomed to in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. In Europe most TSs are out in the countryside. Europeans LIVE in the cities so they don't want to vacation in them. That said, there are a number of nice places to explore.
When you get your membership set up with whatever exchange it's associated with, go to it's online catalog and reserve away up to the amount of points you have as 'currency'.

Jim
 

Marjo2022

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
41
Reaction score
6
Sure. We have exchanged into resorts in Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Greece. This using RCI. A word of caution here, European resorts are not the luxurious places we have grown accustomed to in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. In Europe most TSs are out in the countryside. Europeans LIVE in the cities so they don't want to vacation in them. That said, there are a number of nice places to explore.
When you get your membership set up with whatever exchange it's associated with, go to it's online catalog and reserve away up to the amount of points you have as 'currency'.

Jim
Hello Jim,
Thanks for the response. We will have RCI. Does the exchange require a large amount of points and is there an off season?
Mar
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,762
Reaction score
17,662
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Thanks for the response. We will have RCI. Does the exchange require a large amount of points and is there an off season?
We have found units there at comparable 'price' to domestic exchanges, and of course RCI's exchange fee is the same worldwide. I seem to find 1BR places in the 30,000 point area fit our needs. That's admittedly in the 3 star quality area. We don't need around the clock entertainment and concierge service. The TS is a base to explore a locale. It has served us well. We can get along with Spanish, Italian, German and a smattering of French, so language is seldom an issue. Fortunately, in the rest of the world, English is the #2 language.

'Off season' in Western Europe is the same as off season in the US. 'Mud' season in ski resorts and Winter at the beaches.
 

Marjo2022

TUG Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
41
Reaction score
6
We have found units there at comparable 'price' to domestic exchanges, and of course RCI's exchange fee is the same worldwide. I seem to find 1BR places in the 30,000 point area fit our needs. That's admittedly in the 3 star quality area. We don't need around the clock entertainment and concierge service. The TS is a base to explore a locale. It has served us well. We can get along with Spanish, Italian, German and a smattering of French, so language is seldom an issue. Fortunately, in the rest of the world, English is the #2 language.

'Off season' in Western Europe is the same as off season in the US. 'Mud' season in ski resorts and Winter at the beaches.
Thanks Pass, i guess we will have to save our points lol since we are just starting out adventure.
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,762
Reaction score
17,662
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Thanks Pass, i guess we will have to save our points lol since we are just starting out adventure.
Yeah. Sometimes you just have to consider these 'biggies', and save your points by using Last Calls and renting TUG LMRs. You'll figure out what works for your family.

Jim
 

Passepartout

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
TUG Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
28,762
Reaction score
17,662
Location
Twin Falls, Eye-Duh-Hoe
Marjo2022 since you are just starting, and it seems you want to exchange a good bit, I'd suggest you actually join TUG. It's $15 a year- the biggest bargain in timesharing! For this you get to browse TUG without ads, and most important, membership unlocks the thousands of reviews of timeshare resorts worldwide. You can see what other TUGgers have to say about resorts- The good, the bad, the ugly.
 

ScoopKona

Guest
Joined
May 7, 2008
Messages
6,181
Reaction score
3,728
Location
Monkey King Coffee - Captain Cook, Hawaii
My husband and I would like to travel to Europe once we have our Timeshare finalized. Is there a way to use points for international travel, and hotel or resort stays.

The last time I drove in Italy, I vowed it would be the last time ever. In fact, I won't drive in Europe. It's usually a royal pain. All the city streets are one way in the wrong direction. Everything is narrow. There's no parking. And you're not allowed in the city center without a special permit which you must buy with your phone, otherwise it's a hefty fine.

I'll never do it again.

If the timeshare isn't within walking distance of a rail line, I won't bother. That knocks more than half the resorts out of contention -- because they're out in the country, away from train stations. They're drive-to destinations for vacationing Europeans. (And why wouldn't they build it that way? Europeans are better at vacationing than Americans are.)

There are only a handful of timeshares in Rome. And the chances of exchanging into one are very slim. If this were my trip, I would fly into Fiumicino and stay in a hotel/AirBnB for several days. And then I would stay a week elsewhere in a timeshare on a rail line -- pretty much anywhere in the country. Other than Mestre, I've never been anywhere in Italy and said, "Wow, this sucks." (And lots of people stay there because it's the closest city to Venice.)

You can see an impressive amount using your timeshare as the hub. And then fly home using whatever airport is most logical. (It's almost always Malpensa.)
 

beejaybeeohio

TUG Review Crew: Elite
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,687
Reaction score
1,557
Location
Best Place in the US to see the April 2024 Eclipse
Resorts Owned
Peekn'Peak's Greenwood Forest NY
@Marjo2022
We have made numerous RCI trades to Europe starting in 2001, but none to Italy. We did snag Royal Regency on the outskirts of Paris for September 2020 but alas! covid! We don't mind driving in continental Europe (except for Italy due to their many zona prohibitas and parking restrictions which cost us a pretty penny). Thankfully, my DH had no hesitation driving in the British Isles during our seven RCI exchanges there.

It seems that recently exchanging into Europe via RCI is not as easy as pre-covid. Planning ahead is key and putting in an OnGoing Search two years ahead of when you think you might travel to a specific country will help insure you get that resort; you can adjust the parameters as needed and keep your place in the request line.

My OGS for 3 specific timeshares in the Dordogne region of France was started in February 22 for August 23 and so far, nothing has matched. I am likely to eliminate those resorts and time frame and replace them with others in the US.

Kona and Passepartout have posted excellent advice. Good luck in your timeshare adventure!
 

Carolinian

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
10,742
Reaction score
1,023
Location
eastern Europe
Sure. We have exchanged into resorts in Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Greece. This using RCI. A word of caution here, European resorts are not the luxurious places we have grown accustomed to in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. In Europe most TSs are out in the countryside. Europeans LIVE in the cities so they don't want to vacation in them. That said, there are a number of nice places to explore.
When you get your membership set up with whatever exchange it's associated with, go to it's online catalog and reserve away up to the amount of points you have as 'currency'.

Jim

HAPIMAG, a Swiss based timeshare organization, that actually invented the timeshare concept, has mostly European resorts all over the continent. It has quite a few urban timeshares in major cities thorughout Europe. It does not, however, trade through other exchange networks. For a time it gave some of its inventory to DAE, but that was before RCI took over DAE and renamed it 7Across. If you plan to do a lot of timesharing in Europe, I would suggest looking into HAPIMAG.
 

Carolinian

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
10,742
Reaction score
1,023
Location
eastern Europe
The last time I drove in Italy, I vowed it would be the last time ever. In fact, I won't drive in Europe. It's usually a royal pain. All the city streets are one way in the wrong direction. Everything is narrow. There's no parking. And you're not allowed in the city center without a special permit which you must buy with your phone, otherwise it's a hefty fine.

I'll never do it again.

If the timeshare isn't within walking distance of a rail line, I won't bother. That knocks more than half the resorts out of contention -- because they're out in the country, away from train stations. They're drive-to destinations for vacationing Europeans. (And why wouldn't they build it that way? Europeans are better at vacationing than Americans are.)

There are only a handful of timeshares in Rome. And the chances of exchanging into one are very slim. If this were my trip, I would fly into Fiumicino and stay in a hotel/AirBnB for several days. And then I would stay a week elsewhere in a timeshare on a rail line -- pretty much anywhere in the country. Other than Mestre, I've never been anywhere in Italy and said, "Wow, this sucks." (And lots of people stay there because it's the closest city to Venice.)

You can see an impressive amount using your timeshare as the hub. And then fly home using whatever airport is most logical. (It's almost always Malpensa.)

My early timesharing in Europe was designed around using a timeshare as a base to explore the area, but I often found it more efficient to book hotels and drive point to point. A few years ago, we did two week-long trips to Poland, one to Silesia, and the other to Prussia / Pomerania and stayed every night in a different castle or palace, all booked through Booking.com and costing $40-$60 per night. The final castle we stayed in had been the retirement home of Prussian Field Marshall Blucher who commanded Prussian forces in the Napoleonic Wars and had been bought from the Polish government after the fall of communism and restored as a hotel by a member of the Blucher family.

After a time, unless I had an exchange into an urban area where I wanted to spend a week, like Venice (through DAE), London (through SFX), and Vienna (through RCI), or a beach timeshare like the Riviera, Greek islands, Malta, Croatian coast, and Canary Islands , I only used a rural timeshare to travel point to point if the timeshare itself had something of an appeal to it, like being housed in a historic building, like several in manor houses in the UK, a couple of chateaux in France, and medieval Austrian castle Schloss Grubhof (which is no longer a timeshare).

Driving in cities can be a pain in the US or Europe, and NYC or Boston can be as challenging as major European cities. I have found Greek drivers the worst, and was rear ended by one on the island of Corfu but I have driven there twice and would do so again. Malta has a reputation for bad drivers but they seemed much tamer than Greece. I have driven in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Andorra, Spain, the Canary Islands, Malta, Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, and Moldova. There are few places I would avoid driving, but if I wanted to spend several days in a big city, I would put that at one end of a trip and not keep a rental car during that time. I tried keeping a rental car in Prague once after a trip around the countryside, and decided that had been a bad idea. Parking was terrible and it was easier to get around on public transportation.

One thing to remember about car rentals in Europe is that most Europeans drive stick shifts, not automatics, and you will generally pay a good bit more to rent a car with automatic transmission. I like driving a stick shift, so that has never bothered me, but I know a lot of Americans who have never driven one.
 
Last edited:
Top