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.
Read this next: Why It’s Smart to Plan Ahead for Busy Travel Seasons
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.
(Family Features) Recreation vehicles, or RVs, are increasingly popular. Sleek new models and high-tech innovations are attracting younger and more diverse people to the RV lifestyle.
Whether it’s a permanent way of life or a practical way to satisfy your wanderlust, you may be surprised by how easily an RV provides the perfect solution for your lifestyle. It’s something automotive expert and TV host Rutledge Wood has enjoyed for years.
“So much of my life has been on the road that it was natural for me to fall in love with the RV lifestyle,” Wood said. “Whether it’s covering NASCAR or traveling with my family, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy life on the road than in an RV.”
Consider these tips from Wood if you’re thinking about giving an RV lifestyle a try:
Start with a rental. Owning an RV offers an affordable alternative to traditional vacations, and renting can let you try before you buy. Renting an RV allows you to do a practical, hands-on test drive to learn more about the features and characteristics you need. You might find you need more or less space than you originally imagined, or you may discover a motorhome suits your family better than the towable styles. Renting lets you experiment so you can be confident you’re getting the RV that’s right for you when you decide to buy.
Check out the latest innovations and models. At the first-ever RVX: The RV Experience show, RV manufacturers unveiled an array of new models, concept vehicles and prototypes that will transform the future of RVing. Cutting-edge features and technologies, including advances in safety and livability, may appeal to all types of RV users from families to tailgaters to luxury travelers. Learn more about new RV models and innovations at RVX.org.
Make your RV a home away from home. If you keep your RV stocked with basic supplies, nonperishable foods, linens and clothes, you’ll be ready to go nearly anytime, anywhere. From items like toiletries to accessories for your favorite activities, an RV lets you keep the essentials on board at all times so when the open road calls, you’re ready to answer.
Talk with other owners. Visit a local RV campground and you’ll most likely find a friendly community willing to share information and advice. Ask what you should know about owning an RV and seek out answers to questions you may have about features, care and ownership. Find out what lessons owners learned the hard way and what pleasant surprises they’ve discovered. You can also find RV owner forums and groups online to learn more about RV ownership, such as the Go RVing Facebook page.
Create a bucket list. The RV lifestyle offers nearly unparalleled freedom and flexibility. The options for places you can go, and the things you can see and do, are virtually endless. Start a list of all the destinations you’d like to conquer and experiences you’d like to collect then start mapping out how to make each journey a reality.
Learn more about how to begin your RV adventure at GoRVing.com.
Photo caption (man): Rutledge WoodSOURCE:
(Family Features) Hitting the open road continues to be an increasingly popular vacation option for families. As spring approaches, the idea of exploring the country in full bloom encourages many families to begin planning an RV travel adventure.
With more than 18,000 RV campgrounds across the United States spanning everything from vineyards to beaches to mountains, there's something for nearly everyone. There are also campgrounds that cater to certain lifestyles, like family-friendly, rustic or lux, for the ultimate adventure that fits your personality.
Travel expert Misty Wells believes living the outdoor life helps her keep a healthy connection with her two children. From fishing to paddleboarding to kayaking, Wells and her family do it all. For travelers looking to experience the outdoors, she offers these tips:
To take the first step toward your family’s RV adventure, visit GoRVing.com.SOURCE:
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