What is the difference between a Fixed & Floating Week Timeshare?
We find that these two extremely common terms are very confusing to many timeshare owners who may in fact own one or the other! This article is meant to define the terms, and point out the differences between Fixed and Floating weeks.
Fixed Week Timeshare
This format is what the vast majority of folks think when the word Timeshare gets brought up! A fixed week, in the most simple terms, is the fractional (1/52 - a single week in a calendar year) ownership at a resort. This means that during a particular week every year, you are the owner of a specific unit or room at your Resort.
As an example, fixed week owners will see a Week number (corresponding to the calendar year) and likely a unit or room number like Week 20, Unit 200 to indicate the usage date and unit that is owned by the owner each and every year.
Check in dates for timeshares are most often Friday, Saturday or Sunday...and in the case of fixed weeks the week number most commonly applies to that number day in the year. For our example above Week 20 would indicate the ownership begins on the 20th Fri/Sat/Sun of the year every year. This is why week numbers are used instead of fixed dates!
Floating Week Timeshare
In a floating week system, the Timeshare owner is given a range of weeks to choose from each year vs the same week every year a Fixed Week offers. Examples can range from a very narrow range of weeks week 20 - 22 to every week in the year Week 1 - 52.
With floating weeks, it is your responsibility to reserve the week you want prior to visiting the resort, and you must do so early enough to ensure that the weeks in your range are not already reserved! Floating weeks while guaranteeing you a week every year, do not guarantee the week you want every year if you do not plan enough ahead! The flip side to this, is that they offer far more vacation flexibility in the sense that you can choose from more than one vacation week if your schedule does not allow vacation at the same exact time every year!
Most resorts set their own policies and rules on how far in advance an owner can reserve a floating week, and in many cases, you would need to have your maintenance fees paid in advance of using a week reserved well in advance of the check in date!
Which is Better?
That is the million dollar question now isn't it? There are arguments for both sides, and certainly pro's and con's for each side! It really comes down to what your needs as an owner really are! Do you know you want to vacation at the same week every year and not have to worry about reservations so that you and your vacation entourage can make travel plans well in advance knowing that your vacation will always be on the same date? Fixed week is for you!
This is a bonus if your week is of course a holiday week every year (Christmas, new years, memorial day, 4th of July, etc) as you wont have to worry about the extremely high demand for that holiday week as you know you will have a vacation waiting for you each and every year! The downside to Fixed weeks is of course you are locked into that resort and week each year (unless you wish to exchange that week, which is a whole different article).
Do you like the allure of flexibility in your travel plans each year? or perhaps you cannot commit to vacation on the same week year after year, if so floating weeks fit you far better! The downside to this is the exact opposite of the Fixed week, in that even if your float period covers a major holiday, if you do not reserve that week far enough in advance, it will likely be reserved by other owners who also own in that float period and thus you will be forced to accept a week you may not want in order to vacation that year! More planning ahead is definitely required when owning a floating week if you want the pick of the litter every year!
The Final Word Fixed vs Floating Week Timeshares!
Just as with many other things in life, there is no "right or wrong" in terms of comparing Fixed vs Floating weeks, as every Timeshare owner is different, with different needs and desires for their vacation dollar! Fixed weeks might be absolutely perfect for some, and a terrible idea for others! We hope that this article at the very least provides you a fundamental overview of the differences between these two Timeshare options!
Come check out our free New Timeshare owner Help forum! if you have any additional questions or concerns! There are thousands of other Timeshare owners and experts on this forum who answer questions all day every day!