Follow the TUG Member Banner as it travels the world on vacation with Timeshare owners! Also sign up to get the banner sent to you so you can submit a photo of your vacation with the banner to share with TUG! Banner Thread
Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free! Join tens of thousands of other owners who get this every week! Latest resort reviews and the most important topics discussed by owners during the week!
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!
In 2002, we caught on to the most important timeshare reality via reading a highway billboard that said . . .
TIMESHARES -- BUY RESALE SAVE THOUSANDS
We called the number on the highway sign, came this close to buying a 2BR resale timeshare for $6,500, then found TUG.
Via TUG, we made the acquaintance of an independent timeshare HOA-BOD president who guided us to a better 3BR resale timeshare which we bought for $3,500.
The rest is history.
BTW -- after seeing that highway advertising sign, we figured out on our own another important timeshare reality, to wit:There is no such thing as a new timeshare. By the time any new owner shows up & checks in, other people will already have been staying previously right there in the new owner's unit. That's used-used-used any way you shake it.
-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.
A few years ago, an acquaintance of mine was trying to get rid of her timeshare. She had two separate weeks, back to back, at a place around 10 minutes from DisneyWorld property (Animal Kingdom area). She had even paid money to one of those places that promise they will help you get rid of your timeshare. That did not go well. She knew that we loved Disney and have been Disney Vacation Club members since the 1990s. She offered to give them to me. I took one of her weeks. After using it for 3 years ( my husband never even came with me, I took his mom and sister) I just didn’t want it any more. It was not the kind of place I was comfortable staying at. Plus it was costing nearly $1,000 year in maintenance fees....it was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath duplex. It had not had an updating since it opened 20 plus years ago. I did an internet search and came across this website. I saw a forum where Diamond Resorts was doing a buy back plan for some resorts. To make a long story short, for the sum of $250 for filing fees and the like, I was able to get rid of it.
I’ve found this site useful for other things....like recommendations for things to do or stay at in Italy, tips on how to get the best cruise for your money, gardening tips, and just about anything you can think of...
Paid retail to a developer. Found TUG too late to rescind. TUG helped to maximize what we own and we bought 2 more resale properties which offset our original loss. Taught me how to hack timeshares for best value. Have enjoyed amazing vacations for a fraction of the rental and developer cost thanks to TUG.
Everyone is smart, knowledgeable about timeshares and travel. Willing to help. This is an expert community of timeshare geeks because maximizing timeshares takes research. This is like a coin-collectors convention, we are here to study the coins and talk about the value of each. Most people just use money. It's easy to lose your shirt in timeshares. High value is achievable but not easy. The developers are making harder to do every year. When those economics flip where maintenance fees exceed rental value, it's is time to dump.
I joined to get smarter about using the timeshare I had already bought. Even though we have ended up using our week almost exclusively at the location where we purchased, I've stayed a member because of all the other valuable travel info I've picked up here. TUG members are avid travelers and are willing to share their expertise. They also tend to be savvy consumers in general, so the viewpoints they share on other topics are interesting and helpful, too.
I don't quite remember how I found Tug. It was a few years after buying timeshare. I got here and found great people and info. And stayed.
It's not just timeshare banter, you can ask most anything here and somebody has some info for you. They've been there and done that, or someone they know has, or they looked at it in-depth several years ago....
I like friendly smart people. I've met very few tuggers in person, but I've generally found most "timeshare people" to be friendly. Many a hot tub conversation I've had with strangers on vacation.
We bought our first timeshare contract for a Hawaiian property from a developer sales office in Washington state in 1998. Looking back, we consider it tuition. (We subsequently bought more weeks there on ebay.) The developer sales incentives included a free guest certificate which we used to stay at Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán in 1999 or 2000. We wound up in a sales presentation for a neighboring building. The asking price was ridiculous. The pressure was high. To get out, I mentioned that I had been researching timeshares on the internet (which was true to the extent that I had looked at one resale site – maybe it was sellmytimesharenow). That caused a shift in their sales strategy toward us. Now they were showing us a resale contract that an unfortunate Mexican national had to dump for a massive discount (maybe 75% off). We didn’t buy. Eventually we were freed. When we got home, I started to really search the internet. After all, if just mentioning the internet caused such a precipitous price drop, we figured there was some really valuable info out there. We soon found TUG.
The TUG web site software changed in 2005. All prior posts were lost. I mention this to explain the mismatch with the join date in my profile.
We bought our one and only timeshare back in 1996, and have had so much fun exchanging it, largely in part due to all the helpful information I've found here on TUG. We've been to some truly amazing places, and I especially love all the reviews.
We bought our first timeshare (resale) in 1992, and some time after that I found Fern's Cafe (moderated by our beloved Fern Modena) . I joined TUG as soon as it came online, and have been a member ever since. We have met so many wonderful TUGGERS while on vacation and even had our very own Toronto TUG chapter. We met so many wonderful people at our twice yearly meetings. I learned so much from the great people here, who enabled us to take advantage of so many excellent trips Our timeshare travels took us on over 100 exchanges!
I don't recall how I learned about TUG, but I do remember all the good advice I followed over the years!
-"Buy a cheap South African timeshare for excellent trades." Bought two weeks for under $500, and included in the minuscule purchase price was a 25 year RCI membership! Sold one of the weeks for a slight profit and let the other revert to the management company. Still have 5 years left of prepaid RCI dues!
-"These are great traders." Bought a resale t/s in Ireland which was an excellent trader and one that we used several times. Deeded it to our son and he and his DW have visited it several times since.
-"Buy a t/s at a location you enjoy revisiting and that is within a day's drive." PeeknPeak's Greenwood Forest is it! Maintenance fees are only $350 a year!
-"Put in an ongoing search as soon as you have a time and place in mind and modify as needed." This worked most recently for a week in Paris; unfortunately covid prevented our being able to use it. RCI returned our TPUs and with them we enjoyed a 3 bedroom in Ruidoso NM, a studio in Taos NM and a 2 bedroom in the Poconos. Averaged out (trading fees and the $350 maintenance levy) the per unit cost was $51 nightly.
Marriott Grand Chateau
Marriott Shadow Ridge
Marriott Ocean Pointe
Marriott Destination Club Points
Hilton Grand Vacation Club Las Vegas Blvd
Grand Colorado on Peak 8
Spinnaker French Quarter Resort Branson
neither of us had taken a true vacation since childhood. We had finally gone on a vacation to Vegas (first Vegas trip) and got snagged by a Polo Towers body snatcher. We bit for a couple of free buffet’s and the show Splash at the old Riviera. We sat thru the presentation and discussed the fact we were very bad at taking time off for vacation. The retail price tag for a 2 bedroom that could be locked off to a studio unit (hotel room) and a full 1 bedroom condo was $18,000. We talked about it and decided, if we paid that much for a vacation property, we were penny pinchers enough we’d darn sure use it, so we bought.
Afterwards I began researching exactly what we had purchased and the best ways to get the most value from our new timeshare. Enter TUG.
I was introduced to timesharing by a rich aunt and uncle in the early 1990's (Marriott Monarch on Hilton Head). Later on, they gifted me a timeshare they no longer wanted (Marriott Royal Palms in hurricane season). After a couple of years there, I decided that I liked timesharing, and wanted to learn more about it. Being a natural cheapskate, I knew that retail was for the birds.
There was so much information and so many knowledgeable people, I had to join, just to help keep the site running. All the help here steered me to the system I liked best, and the rest is history. . .
My wife and I were proud owners of three retail-bought timeshares. We wanted quality, which we paid for and certainly got. Each year, we either used the timeshares we owned or traded within their respective systems. We didn't think about them too much, except just to make sure we didn't let any of our points go to waste.
A few years ago, however, I got curious about what our Interval International and RCI accounts were all about, so I signed onto them for the first time in years, and also did online searches for articles and reviews as part of my learning process. Because of those searches, I discovered TUG and joined to learn more about our timeshares, Internal International and RCI, and timesharing in general. To my surprise, I learned that due to our travel patterns, including our preference for low-to-shoulder seasons, it did NOT make sense for us to keep paying maintenance fees vs. renting via getaways and last calls. We got rid of all three timeshares a year later and kept our Interval account.
So in short, I have my friend Google to thank for introducing me to TUG and saving money!
Jasmine coincidently is also writing an article (this week) about the place I work - which has nothing to do with timeshares and also joined and had a similar first post on that group's web site. Just makes me a little suspicious of her intentions.