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.”
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.
Read this next: How to Adapt Your Restaurant to COVID-19 Changes
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.
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.
Stretching from 59th Street to 110th Street, Central Park has 843 acres to explore. This urban oasis is the crown jewel of New York City, featuring a host of activities and stunning natural scenery. Here are four tips to keep in mind when exploring Central Park.
In general, weekends are the most crowded times to visit Central Park. The morning hours tend to see more foot traffic on the paths as runners and walkers get in their daily workout. And, naturally, the beautiful days particularly attract the crowds. Visiting during the middle of the workday will yield the lowest number of people, making it easier for you to take pictures and get in that perfect shot.
Exploring the Museums
Two of New York City's most popular museums line the edge of Central Park, allowing you to easily tour these while visiting the park. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) boasts over 2 million pieces of work that span over 5,000 years. Or try touring the American Museum of Natural History, which has the distinction of being the largest type of museum of its kind in the world. The MET is located on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street, while the Natural History Museum is located on the other side of the park at 81st Street and 8th Avenue.
Packing a Picnic
A quintessential Central Park experience is packing a picnic lunch, laying down a blanket and enjoying the beauty of the magnificent surroundings. There are some businesses that even sell pre-packed picnic baskets for your convenience. It is easy to get comfortable and relax in this tranquil setting; however, just know that there are some restrictions about going barefoot. So if you’re planning on kicking off your shoes while exploring, make sure you check the laws and regulations about that first.
Consider a Tour
There is no shortage of fun tours designed to showcase the highlights of Central Park. Tours are a great way to see the most popular attractions and sites in the park. The tour you should choose largely depends on your individual preference and interests. You can choose a bike tour or a walking tour if you want to get active. If you want to sit back and relax, consider a horse-drawn carriage or a pedicab tour.
Visiting this lovely park is a rite of passage for many travelers. Be sure to leave plenty of time to explore all of the wonders of this outdoor wonderland.
Here’s another article you might like: Family Travel You Can Afford
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!
A good vacation allows you to recharge your mental, physical and emotional batteries. It also gives you the opportunity to see places you’ve only dreamed of and to taste memorable local cuisines. The last thing you want to do is run into problems that threaten to ruin your good time. While there are plenty of issues that can turn even the best vacation into a nightmare, here are three of the most common ones.
Few things feel as exhilarating as traveling out on the open road with the wind blowing in your hair and miles of countryside in full view. That’s one of the reasons why people love road trips so much. There’s a unique freedom to them that doesn’t come with other kinds of travel.
However, there’s a drawback to taking a car on vacation when you run the risk of getting stranded due to mechanical problems. Common auto maintenance issues that could disrupt your vacation include: bald or blown-out tires, cracked windshields and brake problems. To eliminate these issues before they sideline your trip, bring your car in for a checkup with a reputable mechanic before you embark on your journey. Have the brakes, oil, tires and other systems checked. Make sure your car gets a clean bill of health before you head out on the open road.
Too Much Sun
If you haven’t seen the sun in months, it’s tempting to spend as much of your vacation time soaking up the rays as you possibly can. However, a bad sunburn can ruin a good vacation. Avoid overdoing sun exposure by staying out of the sun from about 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That’s when the sunlight is the strongest and UV rays pose the most danger. Be sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen to protect yourself from the dangerous rays.
Going Over Budget
Even on budget vacations, your money habits can get the better of you, and nothing ruins a vacation quite like running out of money while you’re hundreds of miles from home. When you’re planning your trip, you need to create a realistic budget that you can stick to. That means you know how much you can spend on meals, campgrounds, transportation, etc. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised when you have money left over at the end than to run out before your trip is done. No one likes to think of all the things that can go wrong when they’re on vacation, but not planning for challenges can backfire. It's best to do what you can to avoid problems ahead of time. Taking steps to have your car serviced, packing extra sunscreen and creating a proper budget are just a few of the ways you can ensure you enjoy your trip.
Also, check out our fitness tips to help you get that body vacation ready!
Whether you are from the East Coast looking to escape to the West or you’re from the West and looking to explore something new, New Mexico is a great place to take a family vacation. There are so many beautiful things to see and do. Regardless of how old your children are, you can find things to do for just a couple of days or a full week. Let’s take a closer look.
Play in the Sand Dunes
At White Sands National Monument, you’ll find the world’s largest gypsum dune field, according to Just Go Travel Studios. Located on the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert, this is a beautiful place to play, take family photos and explore. You can grab some free maps at many locations in the area. The sand is pure white, the sky is blue, and you’ll feel like you’re inside the pages of a book. You’ll be dealing with a lot of sand, so bring some items along that will help you clean up rather than trek a bunch of sand into your vehicle when you’re done.
Go See the Fish
According to Budget, the ABQ Biopark Aquarium is a great place to visit with young children. This aquarium is located directly next to the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s easy to access, there is plenty of parking, and you can keep the kids busy for hours with all there is to see and learn. There is also a botanical garden attached to the facility. Plan to be at this location for at least a couple of hours, if not more. You can easily spend a good majority of the day at the ABQ Biopark Aquarium if you pack a lunch and take your time.
Check Out the Local Cuisine
This is a great area that is rich and diverse in culture. Head to Santa Fe if you want to try authentic sopapillas and chile rellenos. El Corral Café offers authentic Mexican cuisine at affordable prices that your whole family will enjoy. Even the pickiest kids will love trying things like churros, homemade enchiladas and Spanish rice. The great thing about New Mexico cuisine is that you can dine out incredibly affordably throughout your whole trip.
There is so much to see and do in New Mexico that will help you and your children learn about the culture and people. You should plan to spend at least a couple of days in each area so you can truly absorb all of the culture there is. This is a memorable trip that you and your family will enjoy looking back on for years to come.
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