Are there benefits to buying a timeshare in this day and age?
(BPT) - Once upon a time, if you said you owned a timeshare, you might get a side eye from a well-meaning friend who was concerned you caved to a hard sell for a vacation option. But times have changed, and a quiet revolution in the industry now shows that timeshares can be a savvy vacation strategy.
According to Consumer Reports, timeshare is an increasingly attractive travel option that has evolved since its start in the 1970s.
But do people buy timeshares anymore? According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the short answer is yes. Approximately 7.1% of U.S. households, or 9.6 million families, own one or more types of vacation ownership products.
If current trends continue, young families could soon lead the way in the world of vacation ownership. In fact, despite stereotypical images of timeshare owners as empty nesters headed to the same destination to stay in the same unit every year, owners are trending younger. The average age is 44, thanks in large part to the evolving flexibility of timeshares and growing lists of destinations to visit.
For Kassi and Keith Parker, who bought a timeshare in their late 20s, the decision was a no-brainer.
“When we first sat down with the sales rep, we felt a bit guilty for wasting his time,” explained Kassi, who, along with her husband, invested in vacation ownership with Hilton Grand Vacations. “But not long into our conversation, it dawned on us that we could spend less on travel and continue to explore the world with all of HGV’s properties and experiences. And still being south of 30, we saw so many amazing trips in our future at such a better price.”
Hilton Grand Vacations is one of a handful of timeshare companies affiliated with well-known, reputable hotel brands.
“We’re Hilton Honors members and when I travel for work, I always want to stay with Hilton, because I appreciate the consistency of the brand. Nevertheless, we went into the sales presentation as complete skeptics,” explained Kassi. “Having the Hilton name behind the company gave me real peace of mind. I might not have taken the leap otherwise. We know exactly what we get with their hotels and knew it would be the same with the vacation properties.”
Kassi isn’t alone. According to the State of Shared Vacation Ownership Industry study from ARDA, a timeshare company’s credibility is just one consideration consumers have when deciding to buy a timeshare.
Other reasons listed include:
“We found that we traveled too much to not invest in vacation ownership. We know we’re going to travel for the rest of our lives, and the fact that we can travel on a budget is one of the top reasons why we love vacation ownership,” explained Kassi. “It makes us actively think about travel and ensures we take time off to travel. Even if our year is crazy busy, we’re still going to take advantage of our vacation — even if we need to do a staycation at our home resort in Orlando. We know that we will be owners for life and the flexibility of Hilton Grand Vacations was a big decider for us.”
According to the ARDA study, timeshare owners travel better and more often:
“We know we are younger than the traditional timeshare owner, but this doesn’t feel like a traditional timeshare — or at least the stereotype of what people think timeshare is,” said Kassi. “When we think about the value we get back from our investment, we think about it in terms of the time we spend together, the memories we make, and the investment we make to each other and our relationship. It’s our vacation plan.”
America is filled with people and cultures that need to be experienced. There are so many opportunities in every city. Every state has unique cities, but this list will tell you exactly what should be on your bucket list. You need to visit Seaside, Napa, Solvang, New Orleans, St. Augustine, Park City, Camden, Durango, Ketchikan, Livingston, Eureka Springs, Annapolis, Savannah, Eugene, and Nantucket.
Seaside Oregon is a small city in northwestern Oregon. It’s known for its surfing opportunities and beautiful beaches. If you don’t want to spend your vacation on the beach you can pretend, you’re in the ocean and go to the aquarium. The aquarium is complete with fun touch tanks and a seal exhibit. You can take a tour and see the views of the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. If you’re lucky, you might get a chance to see the diverse wildlife of migrating gray whales or eagles at the nearby estuary. Seaside was the end of the Lewis and Clark trail, so any tour you take can give you more information on its fascinating history. It’s a beautiful city that you don’t want to miss.
Napa and the surrounding valley is known for the hundreds of open wineries that offer tastings. It’s the perfect spot for people who love wine and are interested in the way wine is created. It’s the best way to visit Italy without actually visiting Italy because it has a beautiful Italian look and feel. It has several Michelin-star restaurants and luxurious accommodations and spas that you definitely won’t want to miss. The food, wine, and pampering are great reasons to visit but there is more. You can see live music, take a walking tour of the city, or ride horses. It doesn’t matter if you want to go in the winter or the summer, it’s beautiful year-round. Napa is a popular retreat, but it lives up to the hype.
Solvang is a Danish-style city and it’s known for several signature events. There’s the Solvang Julefest which is a month-long holiday celebration. It celebrates Christmas and includes all sorts of holiday cheer in the form of music, family fun, shopping, delicious food, and wine. This is the perfect vacation spot if you love the holidays and want a place to celebrate with your family. If the holidays aren’t why you’re traveling, you can also attend the Solvang grape stomp or the Solvang Danish Days. The Danish days celebrate Danish culture through folk dancers and musicians. There is so much to experience in Solvang California.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a very culturally and historically diverse city. You can take a city ghost tour, visit the above ground cemeteries, party in the French Quarter, or kayak through the bayou. The only thing to remember is the intense humidity and heat during the summer. According to Cool New Orleans, New Orleans is probably best known for the annual Mardi Gras festival. Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday and marks the start of Christian Lent. People come from all over the world to celebrate and parades and parties fill the streets for weeks. If you don’t like large crowds of people, just avoid New Orleans during the month of February and go any other time of the year to experience a vibrant city. While you’re visiting New Orleans, there are several signature dishes that you need to try. It’s famous for its gumbo and fresh seafood. There is something in New Orleans for everyone.
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. If you decide to spend your vacation here, it must include a few days on the beach. You could spend your time swimming, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, or just laying on the sand. The Old Town Trolley tour is a great way to see some of the city's fascinating heritage. You can even take a ride on the old town trolley. Some sightseeing tips would include the fountain of youth, the city gates, the Spanish quarter, and the Castillo de San Marcos. When you visit St. Augustine, you’ll really get the full vacation experience.
Park City, Utah
Similar to many other cities in Utah, according to Visit USA, the beautiful Park City is known for its many outdoors activities. Utah held the 2002 winter Olympics which makes it the perfect place to take your family for a skiing or snowboarding trip. You can also go for summer activities. Park City is nestled in the mountains so there are so many beautiful outdoor activities that you can do. There are fun restaurants, beautiful scenery, diverse farmers markets, an exhilarating Alpine slide, and so much more. If you visit Park City, then you must walk down main street. You’ll find so many shops where you can buy trinkets and souvenirs for your friends and family back home. You can’t go wrong with a family vacation to Park City, Utah.
Camden is a beautiful coastal town that is every sailor’s dream. It is one of the most scenic sailing areas and remains a working harbor. According to Camden Harbor Cruises, even non-sailors will dream of the beauty that Camden has to offer. If you visit Camden, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the abundance of seafood they have to offer. There are lobster and fishing boats that are travelling in and out of the bay every day to catch fresh seafood and will ensure that all your culinary dreams come true. You can sign up for island ferries, yachts, or powerboats and experience all the water has to offer. The city has perfect antique shops and restaurants that you’ll dream about after your trip is over.
Durango is a city that can be enjoyed year-round, especially if you are an outdoorsy person. In the summer, you can spend your time biking, rafting, hiking, golfing, ziplining, backpacking, camping, or rock climbing. In the winter, there is some of the best skiing in the country. In Durango, Colorado, you will enjoy yourself whether it’s winter or summer. For the family, you could visit the powerhouse science center, swim in the recreational center, or take a trip to Mesa Verde and learn about the early inhabitants of the area. For the adults, you can take some time in the spa or visit the city’s fun nightlife. Durango is the perfect trip for the whole family or even in a solo trip.
Ketchikan is a city found in the southernmost entrance to Alaska. It has some of the most breathtaking views in the world. It’s known for its salmon, scenery, and rich Alaskan culture. According to VacationIdea, there are about a dozen totem poles that you can see while walking around Ketchikan. You can spend your time taking tours, hiking, fishing, or looking for wildlife. Ketchikan’s wildlife includes black bears, wolves, salmon, and bald eagles. There is so much nature to experience in Ketchikan if that’s what you’re looking for on your trip. Ketchikan is the embodiment of the phrase “the great outdoors.”
Livingston is the original gateway city to Yellowstone National Park. It’s a city filled with adventure, beautiful scenery, and friendly people. You can spend your time there fly fishing, riding horses, skiing, and visiting steakhouses. It’s the typical western town where you’ll have a fantastic time. It’s near Yellowstone national park, so you can spend some time in Livingstone and make your way to the national park too. You’ll be able to experience a lot of beautiful things both inside and outside. There are museums and art galleries that will give you a taste of culture.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Eureka Springs is a small city buried in the hillside and surrounded by 60 natural springs. The streets are lined with unique Victorian homes on the cliff sides. Its downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ozarks festival is an annual music festival that you won’t want to miss. There will be a lot of people, good food, and catchy music that you can dance to. According to Explore Northwest Arkansas, you can spend your time in Eureka Springs visiting as many picturesque springs as you can manage, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, or visiting the hobbit caves and castles. Eureka springs is a unique city that you need to include on your bucket list.
Annapolis is often referred to as the Sailing Capital of the world. It’s located near the Chesapeake Bay and has an enthusiastic sailing community. While you’re there, you might consider spending some time out on the water. You’ll soon see exactly why it’s famous for sailing. While you’re on land, you can visit the historic tavern in the city and look at architecture that will take your breath away. The rich and diverse history is something that you need to experience while on vacation. Annapolis is filled with as much fresh seafood as you can handle. If you don’t like seafood, Annapolis will quickly change your mind with its quality seafood. Annapolis is the perfect vacation spot if you want to experience history as well as spend time with nature.
Savannah is known as the hostess city of the south. Southerners are always extremely nice, so you should visit Savannah and get a taste of that well-known southern hospitality. You can also see a lot of southern oak trees and Spanish moss. Savannah would be the perfect place to try something new, such as axe throwing or a fun cooking class. In the spring, there is an abundance of azaleas that will brighten up all your pictures. You can also take a short trip to the nearby beach and see Tybee Island. Savannah has mild temperatures year-round, so according to TravelUpdate, it’s the perfect vacation spot if you don’t want a place that is too hot or too cold. Savannah, Georgia is a perfect example of an underrated, unique city that should be at the top of your bucket list.
Eugene has a dynamic mix of arts, culture, shopping, dining, entertainment, and sports. It’s the home of the University of Oregon but is more than just a college town. There is a rich natural environment complete with many fun recreational opportunities. According to RoadTrips For Families, you can spend your time in Eugene biking, running, rafting, kayaking, and doing any other outdoor activity that you want to try. It’s a hotbed for breweries and will be any foodie’s dream vacation spot. If you don’t want to spend all your time outdoors, you can take the mural tour, visit the science center, or see the Hult center for the performing arts. There are so many opportunities in Eugene that virtually any person who visits will find something that they want to see or experience. It’s the perfect place for anyone and should be on everybody’s bucket list.
Nantucket is known for its beautiful beaches, lighthouses, and historical buildings. It’s the perfect place to find your summer getaway. It’s one of the most romantic cities in the world and would be the perfect spot for a honeymoon or an anniversary vacation. It’s complete with cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and fun restaurants will ensure your perfect vacation and guarantee romance throughout the trip. It offers foggy weather and fantastic fishing. If you want to see some wildlife then you can go whaling. This is mostly a summer town but there are definitely things you could do in the off-season, like attend one of the many holiday festivals. Nantucket is a popular vacation spot. It is a must-see for everyone and deserves a spot on your bucket list.
There are so many amazing cities throughout the United States and your bucket list might start to look a little long. As long as you’re hitting the cities that fit your personality, you’ll experience more than you could ever dream of. When you’re planning your next family vacation or lovers retreat, you might consider Seaside, Napa, Solvang, New Orleans, St. Augustine, Park City, Camden, Durango, Ketchikan, Livingston, Eureka Springs, Annapolis, Savannah, Eugene, or Nantucket.
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You don’t have to think hard to realize that the current pandemic has affected the travel industry…well, a lot. The travel industry has had to evolve into something completely different to be able to provide services during such a strange time. But now, more than ever, it is important for the travel industry to provide the best service possible to help keep people safe. Here are some things to consider about how you can offer the best service possible.
Put Safety First
You can never go wrong putting safety first. It can help reduce the effects of the pandemic on your customers and increase the number of your customers. Those who would feel unsafe otherwise will travel more if they know proper safety precautions are taking place.
Putting safety first comes in a variety of forms. If you offer a physical service, it looks like cleaning frequently. It also helps to publish how you are cleaning adequately so potential customers know what you are doing to keep them safe. Also, by offering short term cancellations, you reduce the number of people who would travel even when they are feeling ill just to get their money’s worth. This shows your customers that their safety is your priority.
Customers are getting slammed by information every day. This makes communication even more important. Your customers need to be able to communicate with you as quickly, personally, and clearly as possible. Using a messaging platform can provide your customers with immediate access to important travel information. Providing information that is frequently updated on a website can help them to be in the loop with travel restrictions and public health concerns. Remember as you communicate with your customers to listen for their needs, be open and honest about what you can do, and provide as much information as possible.
Life in the pandemic is complicated, and there’s new information about it every day. Yes, it is important to communicate with your customers well and to put their safety first. But the only way you can do that is by staying updated with the current state of the world. Look into what tips you can give your customers to stay safe on a trip, check every day what places are open to travel to, understand how different industries are responding to the pandemic, and stay up to date on current public health suggestions.
Travel is more important than ever so that we can connect again, but it’s also harder than ever for your customers. Help them by offering the best service possible. We could all use more safety, communication, and information, and you can offer that for your customers.
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Summer is upon us, and with everyone going a little crazy from being cooped up for months, a road trip might be just what the doctor ordered. You can easily social distance from others in your car and enjoy the freedom of being somewhere other than the four walls of your home. It's important to travel safely when you go. In order to make sure your trip is as safe as possible, there are a few things you should make sure you do.
Prepare Your Car for the Road
Before you even get going you need to make sure your car is up to making the trip. You can take your car to your mechanic to get checked out, or you can do some basic car inspections yourself. You should make sure your windshield and windows are in good condition. Cracks in your windshield can easily expand in the heat. They'll need to be taken care of quickly or they'll likely get worse. Check your fluids and top them off if needed. You should also make sure your tires are in good condition with plenty of tread.
Take Plenty of Breaks
Driving can be monotonous, especially on long stretches of freeway. This can be dangerous since it becomes easy for the mind to wander and for drivers to doze off. You can combat this by making sure you take plenty of breaks between long stretches of driving. During these breaks you can do some quick exercises, walk around for a bit, or stretch. The goal is to get your blood moving and to help you stay alert.
Pack the Essentials
One of the most important parts of staying safe is making sure you're prepared for emergency situations. Summer brings important considerations that you'll need to take into account such as hot conditions and the potential for insect bites and stings. When taking a summer road trip, you should make sure you take plenty of water for everyone traveling with you. Road-friendly snacks are a must. You'll also want to make sure you have a well-supplied first aid kit that can handle minor injuries. These supplies will help ensure you're prepared if things don't go smoothly.
Many people are itching to get out and go places, and who can blame them? Most people don't like being confined to one building, limited to the occasional shopping trip. If you're dying to go on a road trip for a change of scenery, make sure you do so safely. Make sure your car is in good working order, take plenty of breaks, and make sure you pack extra supplies in case of an emergency. Have fun, and be safe!
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Spring, for some families, means packing bags and heading to the airport for a getaway. However, flying with young children can be stressful. Learn how to make it better for everyone - read the full Medium article here.
A family getaway is the perfect chance to unwind and reconnect with loved ones away from the distractions of daily life. However, peak travel times like Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend are some of the busiest times of the year, which can mean limited options. Booking travel early not only gives you more time to get excited leading up to your trip — it gives you more time to plan, helping take some of the stress out of family vacation. Learn how to plan your getaway today by reading the full Medium article here.
Family vacations are a great way to bond and take a step back from the hectic schedules that accompany everyday life, but sometimes time or money (or both) make planning an elaborate trip a non-starter. However, a staycation — a vacation you take right in your hometown (or nearby) — can be much less expensive and fit into nearly any amount of available time with the added bonus of skipping out on potentially stressful travel. Read the full Medium article here on how to make a staycation a great choice for you!
For many, traveling offers an opportunity to disconnect from the everyday and experience new places and cultures. With the beginning of a new decade, it is the perfect time to start deciding your next travel adventures. Explore the top 10 travel destinations to start the new decade in the full Medium article here.
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