Why pay for 7 nights if you only need 2? Timeshare tips

Why pay for 7 nights if you only need 2?

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!

Money to burn 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.

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Let’s see some examples

Here are a couple of examples showing what’s available as of today.

Whistler, BC -  Club Intrawest Whistler 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.
Kissimmee, FL - The Vacation Village at Parkway Sunny pool at the Vacation Village at Parkway

Travel tips for short timeshare stays

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  • 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.

Comments? Questions?

Timeshare Buyer's GuideHave you ever booked a timeshare week just to stay two or three nights? If you’ve gotten any great deals, or have any questions, please let us know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you’re interested in getting into the world of timeshares so you can get travel deals like this, check out the new book Winning the Timeshare Game – Buying the Bargains. For a minimal entry price, you can get access to unique timeshare opportunities like this!

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  1. That’s the trap of timeshares. I think timeshares need to be locked as purchase scam and not an investment like some people say. There are goog articles on how to use timeshares property: http://www.timesharescam.com/timeshare-scams-blog/

    Dear Deanna, this is a very good article! Thanks for share it, I think it must be shared, I’ll do it!

    • Deanna Keahey

      Thanks, Agu! I agree that timeshares shouldn’t be viewed or marketed as investments, but if you know what you’re doing (and buy smart!) you can get great vacation values from them. Personally, we take many timeshare vacations each year, and get terrific value from our ownership. However, I know that a lot of other people don’t get the value out of it they deserve. It’s all about education and learning about it before you spend the money!

      • Melissa H

        You are not penalized if you book a week and only stay for 4 nights? We are planning a trip to Vegas and it would be cheaper to book a room through interval for the week, as opposed to getting a hotel for 4 nights. I just don’t want to run into any hidden fees.

        • Hi Melissa –
          No, you’re not penalized if you only stay 4 nights. It really can be a great deal! 🙂 If you pack up & leave after 4 nights, they won’t charge you more for that. If you’re arriving on a different day than the full week check-in date, just be sure to confirm your late arrival with the resort so they don’t put you down as a no-show.
          Some resorts charge additional fees on top of the Interval Getaway fee, such as resort fees or parking fees, but that happens with hotels, too.
          Thanks for your comment! – Deanna.

  2. Yes, that’s true! But I think timeshares are an okay option for travelers or large families who want spacious rooms and amenities within the resort. Timeshare are not for most people. Many families have made the mistake of purchasing a timeshare based on misrepresentations told by their sales rep. However timeshares gave gain a bad reputation for several reasons, some salespeople’s lack of ethics, rental and resale companies offering profits for marketing timeshares and, believe it or not, companies offerinf relief for unwanted timeshares by cancelling them. I know not all timeshares are bad, but they have gain that bad reputation for families who don’t know how to use them.

    • Deanna Keahey

      As you point out, timeshares can be good for families, since you get a whole “apartment” rather than just a hotel. Many couples also get great use out of them, since you can get smaller units too, when you don’t need room for a large family.

      It’s sad but true that you’re right – many people purchased a timeshare based on misrepresentations by the sales person, and many owners don’t know how to make good use of the timeshare they own. That’s why I created this site – to help people learn about what & how to buy if they do want a timeshare, and how to make the most of a timeshare they own.

  3. Timeshares can be a terrific purchase for some families, as they also can be a giant rip off for others. 50 years ago, also known as Holiday Home Sharing or timeshare travel, timeshares were created with the idea of offering fully furnished accommodations for a lower price than a full-time ownership. Nowadays, timeshares have become a very popular vacation option, yet lots of people do not completely understand how timeshares operate.

  4. Melissa

    We’re a couple that are extremely serious on buying a timeshare over in Orlando, LA and Branson!
    Was close on buying 1 about 5 years ago in Vegas.They did round trip airfare for my partner and my 2 daughter’s and i and 2night stay W/buffets.Looking to buy soon, like to see what they have to offer,plus if were willing to go all in when were there, are any of these places willing to do the same thing?
    Thanks So much,

    • Hi Melissa –
      It sounds like you’re serious about buying, so I’m sure they’ll be happy to see you. I can’t say for sure what kind of deals different companies will offer you. I would suggest that you take a look at my free Consumer Awareness Guide to Buying a Timeshare before you go into a presentation. It will give you some tips on things to watch out for, so you can make the best decision possible.
      Best of luck with it! – Deanna.

  5. chery

    I do not own a Timeshare, is there a way I can buy these excess weeks or short notice weeks? Where would I go to search for them?

  6. Hi Chery –
    Thanks for your message. These deals are specifically for timeshare owners who belong to RCI and/or Interval International (which you can’t join without having a timeshare). If there’s a specific resort you want to stay at, you can also go straight to their website. Some places will rent excess inventory direct to the public, so you may find something that way.
    Good luck with it! – Deanna.

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