If you've got a quick weekend getaway planned, why would you want to pay for a whole week?
Intuitively, this doesn't make much sense, and for hotel stays it would be a huge waste of money. With timeshare vacations, though, this can be a useful strategy. In fact, we've done this frequently!Paying for unused nights at a hotel would be like burning money
Here's how this works with timeshares
The major timeshare exchange companies offer special deals where you can pay for a week directly, without exchanging your own timeshare for the stay. You get to keep your own timeshare vacation to use or exchange, and book additional stays on top of that -- sometimes at killer prices.
Those killer prices are the key. When you can get a whole week for $200-$300, then it can be cheaper than what you'd pay for just two nights in a hotel. Just because you buy a full week doesn't mean you need to stay all seven nights, right?
With a timeshare unit, you usually get more space and more facilities than in a simple hotel room, too. When you find a deal like this, it's definitely a win-win!
What kind of deals can / can't you find?
What you can find generally falls into 2 categories:
- Off-season weeks. Many resorts are very seasonal. In some places, summer is busy, busy, but demand is low outside of that. If you want to travel to a destination like this during spring, fall or winter, you might be able to find a great deal.
- Short-notice weeks. When there's still space available less than 60 days before the check-in date, a timeshare week may be offered at a discount price in order to get it filled. If you can travel on short notice, you can find some bargains this way.
- Peak season stays. You'll probably never see popular resorts in high season available this way. When demand is high, there's no need for anyone to sell resort weeks so cheaply.
Let's see some examples
Here are a couple of examples showing what's available as of today.The lobby at the Club Intrawest Whistler, BC, Canada
- If you'd like to stay at a beautiful mountain lodge, how about the Club Intrawest Whistler, in Whistler BC? Interval International has this right now going for $247 for a week in May. If you stay all 7 nights, that works out to $35/night - amazing! But even if you can only stay 2 nights, it comes to $123/night. Units in this lovely property include kitchens, balconies and fireplaces. You get more than a hotel room, for a comparable price.
- If Orlando is more your style, take a look at the Vacation Village at Parkway in Kissimmee, Florida. RCI is currently offering a week here in a 1-bedroom unit for $269 or a 2-bedroom for $294. The larger unit is perfect for a family, and gives you more than twice the space of a hotel room, for a bargain price.
Travel tips for short timeshare stays
- What's the distance? Short notice trips may work better when you're in driving distance. Airfares can be more expensive when you book your ticket close to the travel date. If you're looking at a bargain timeshare stay and need to fly, be sure to check on ticket prices before you make any decisions.
- When do you arrive? Let's say you've got a week reserved that runs Saturday to Saturday. If you're planning to arrive on Saturday and stay 2 or 3 nights, then no problem - you just check out early. If you're planning to arrive on a different day, however, make sure to call the resort and let them know when you'll get there. If they think you're just a no-show, they might release your reservation to somebody else and leave you without a room.