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.”
Hawaii is known for being one of the most scenic places to visit in the United States. From the sparkling waters to the amazing food, music, and culture, Hawaii is on the "must-see" section of many people's bucket lists. However, before you go booking your flight to the "Big Kahuna," there are a few things you should know first.
Contrary to what you may assume, the weather in Hawaii is not always nice and sunny with rainbows and gentle breezes. The island actually has multiple climate zones such as tundra, wet, monsoon and more. If you are visiting the island during the summer season, the temperature can tend to be especially humid and hot. You may want to keep these things in mind and pack clothing that will allow you to be cool and comfortable, especially during the summer. Sun hats can help to shield you from the blazing rays while linen materials, loose, or flowing garments can help as well.
Hawaii is made up of several islands which can be accessed either via a small plane or by taking a ferry. The six islands are Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the big island of Hawaii. However, if you are just trying to maneuver around a particular island, then you could definitely rent a vehicle. There are a few rental rules to know if you're thinking of renting a car while in Hawaii. For instance, if you are renting a vehicle online, you are required to be at least 21 years old and have a credit card. Also, the rates, as well as fees, may vary drastically for drivers who are under 25, so be mindful of this as well.
Know the People
Not everyone you come across is an actual Hawaiian as this term is reserved for those who are descendants of Hawaiians. Only about 10% of the people on the island are actual Hawaiians while the rest of the population are known as locals. Locals are people who were born on the island and can be Caucasian, Asian, and more. To be on the safe side and avoid offending anyone, using the term "locals" is a good bet.
There is so much to explore on the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Just remember to take your time and enjoy as much of the amazing vibe and culture as you can.
If you enjoyed this article, check out this one on the perfect nature destinations!
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. For travelers looking to experience the outdoors, consider these tips.
5 Ways to Rev Up for a Travel Adventure
(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:
8 questions that ensure technology needs are met while at a hotel
(BPT) - You arrive at your hotel and pull out your smartphone. After an incredibly long sign-in process, you connect to the Internet. It works fine in the hallway but not in your room, so you go to the business center to check email and print tickets to tonight's show. The center is packed, so you head back to your room to wait. Meanwhile, your kids are trying to stream a movie and the Internet connection is slow.
Both business and leisure travelers rely on technology to stay connected and streamline to-do's. However, poor Wi-Fi and minimal tech-focused amenities leave many travelers disappointed. That's why before booking a hotel, you should always ask questions to ensure you get as much out of your technology while travelling as you do while at home.
Ask these eight questions to make sure your technology needs are met while staying at any hotel, no matter how many devices you plan to use.
Is the room suited for technology?
Whether new or remodeled, modern hotels should feature room designs that support technology. For example, ask about easy access to outlets and charging stations while you're in the room to ensure you can plug in your phone, charge your tablet and use your computer all at the same time.
How reliable is the Internet?
Fast, reliable Internet is critical for anyone traveling for business or pleasure. When you stay at IHG hotels, you can feel confident you get superior Internet service. IHG Connect provides advanced Wi-Fi technology with increased bandwidth to meet the demand and volume needs of guests.
What is the login process?
Lengthy login processes are a hassle, especially if you're connecting multiple devices. Some hotels offer streamlined methods which is a big time-saver. Want to log in just once? IHG Rewards Club members log in and then they'll be recognized and automatically connected at every IHG Connect-enabled hotel.
How secure is the Wi-Fi network?
Most hotels today offer Wi-Fi to guests, but it might not be a secure network. To ensure private information stays private, only stay at hotels with a private and secure Internet connection for guests.
Is there an extra cost for Wi-Fi?
Some hotels charge extra for fast Internet access. Ask about costs and look into membership perks that wave these fees. For example, IHG Rewards Club members receive free Wi-Fi at all IHG properties.
What is available at the business center?
A good hotel will have a business center available to all guests. Inquire as to what is included at the center to ensure your needs are met. Printers, fax machines, computers and a variety of outlets should be available.
What are the hours of the business center?
Ask about the hours of the business center so you know you're covered, whether you need to book a last-minute reservation to the city's hottest attraction or print out that big report for tomorrow's presentation.
Are meeting spaces available?
For business travelers, impromptu meeting spaces are great for quick meetups or when you want to get out of your room for a change of scenery. For more formal gatherings, ask the hotel about the availability of meeting planners who can assist in organizing the technology needs of large groups of people and corporate events.
Keep your technology moving as fast as you do by asking these questions now. That way your hotel stay will be that much more enjoyable, comfortable and productive.
Interested in Publishing on The Travel Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!