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Should you buy a Timeshare Vacation Travel Club?

Right to the point, the short answer is "NO" as it is the general consensus on TUG is that Timeshare Vacation Clubs a poor value for your vacation dollar for a number of reasons we explain below.

What is a Timeshare Vacation Travel Club Anyway?

The term "Vacation Club" is used in a variety of different places in the Timeshare Industry today! It is important to distinguish between the two major categories. The one we are focusing on in this topic are the Vacation Travel Clubs that provide a "membership" only product that allows you access to claimed "discounted" vacations at a selection of properties not specifically owned or operated by the club itself. This is much different than a Traditional Timeshare Ownership or point system, a very important distinction!

These travel clubs that merely provide (for a fee of course) the promise of extremely cheap or discounted vacations within a huge range of resorts or destinations, none of which are actually owned or operated by the "Vacation Club" itself, and almost all of which are available elsewhere for the same prices without the need to pay the hefty membership fee to join the travel club!

The pitch usually sounds something like this:

**Note: Again, these are MUCH different than Traditional Timeshares that often provide and actual ownership of deeded weeks or points, or Right to Use intervals at resorts that are owned or operated by the Club or Resort Developers themselves. Membership to these clubs provides none of those benefits!

So why are Vacation Travel Clubs a bad idea?

First and foremost, you are being asked to pay for something that truly has no tangible or underlying product. You don't actually own anything but the "right" to attempt to reserve a vacation from their pool of "discount intervals". The pitch from most of these clubs is that you can "travel anywhere you want" for huge discounts off the normal retail price for that vacation! Right off the bat you are being asked to pay upfront for a product that is promising you nothing more than a chance to reserve a vacation at a cheaper price than if you tried to book it on your own. The main reason these clubs are a poor value for your money (if we have not already convinced this is a poor use of your vacation dollar), is that in most cases the inventory these clubs provide you access to is already available at these same discounts to just about anyone who takes a bit of time to discover the options for renting timeshares either direct from other owners, or thru developer owned or exchange company bulk inventory that is offered at deeply discounted rates! If you have never explored renting a Timeshare, start here: How do I find discount timeshare rentals? Timeshare exchange companies have huge amounts of unused Timeshare weeks both provided from the resorts they partner with, and excess inventory from their Exchange Pools (opinions vary on how many of these weeks get moved from the exchange pool to the rental side, but thats a discussion for another time. This means there are countless Timeshare Vacation Weeks available directly from them at any time and this is the same inventory usually touted by these vacation travel clubs vs anything unique to that club or system!

Do I need to own a Timeshare to get these discounts?

Yes and No! You can find Timeshare rentals from bulk developer and exchange company inventory available on many commercial websites these days just like hotel rentals!

As for driect access to Last Calls, Getaways or Extra Vacations (rentals available at huge discounts often as little as $199 for the entire week!) you would have to own a timeshare affiliated with either RCI or II! Thankfully those are available for free in unlimited quantities! Check out all these Free Timeshares just on TUG alone! Buying one of these is FAR less than the money you were going to spend on the vacation travel club, and you dont have to keep the ownership to keep your rci or ii membership and access to these discounted rentals!

A Last option is to RENT your timeshare vacations from existing Timeshare owners. There are a huge number of Timeshares available for rent in the TUG Timeshare Marketplace and a variety of other legitimate Timeshare Rental outlets. This option includes the lowest initial cost ($zero), the least amount of obligation ($zero), and the widest selection of resorts to choose from! It is also the suggested way to get into Timesharing for those with little or no experience with them!

Why didn't they mention this during the sales pitch?

Thats an easy one! If they would have done so, you wouldn't be interested in purchasing the Vacation Travel Club package they were trying to sell you! You will find that in most instances, extremely important details about a purchase are left out during the sales presentation! This is not unique to the Vacation Travel Club itself as you will find this situation in most traditional timeshare sales presentations as well. After all its the salesmans job to sell you on the positives to get you to buy, not educate you on the negatives. This is why TUG exists to give you ALL of the information so you can make the correct decision before spending your hard earned money!

The Final Word buying a Vacation Travel Club!

Vacation Clubs are certainly one option to get into the Discount Timeshare Vacation world, however we hope we have explained in this article how they are for the most part, a very poor value and under very few circumstances would we suggest an individual enter into one of these programs without completely exploring exactly what you are getting before you sign any contract!

For more specific questions and answers on Timeshares or Vacation Travel Clubs, visit the TUGBBS online forums here:  TUGBBS Online Owner Forums where you can get answers to Timeshare questions 24 hours a day from tens of thousands of other owners just like you!

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