The word vacation alone is probably reason enough. Aruba, Bahamas, Montego, Key Largo. Images of lazy afternoons spent with a mystery novel on a hammock tied to palm trees are enough to induce a daydream for most of us. Round out the scene with a gentle sea breeze, a Corona and the faint crash of waves in the distance. Are you already on the phone with your travel agent considering dream destinations?
Before you organize a vacation the old fashioned way, be sure to give some serious consideration to joining a vacation club. Vacation clubs offer a great alternative to the DIY model of trip planning. By investing in a timeshare with a vacation club you can plan on that dream vacation every year. Most vacation clubs allow you to visit different locations every year too, so don’t worry about being locked into the same resort.
Timeshares in a vacation club are also a financial investment. While the upfront costs are daunting and the annual maintenance fees are a nuisance, the appreciation in value of your vacation down the line will save you thousands of dollars vis-à-vis paying out of pocket.
What to Look for in a Vacation Club
Joining a vacation club and investing in a timeshare is a serious decision—not only in terms of money, but also in terms of what type of vacations you’re interested in taking for the next decades. Vacation clubs vary substantially when it comes to costs, member benefits, destinations and ease of access. We ranked our top ten vacation clubs according to the following criteria:
Being a member of a vacation club is different than being a guest at a hotel. Often times you’re a part owner of a property or a network of resorts. Good vacation clubs have a variety of resorts available to members. Our top picks offer everything from health spa getaways to theme park weekends to ski trips in isolated mountain towns.
Accommodation is important, but place is everything. Whether you prefer the excitement of the big city or the solitude and quiet of the countryside, good vacation clubs have resorts and properties available for every preference.
Vacation clubs offer members discounts on airfare, cruises, rental cars, meals and other travel services. Good vacation clubs will organize activities, provide childcare options and provide useful travel resources.
Belonging to a travel club requires some planning and organization. Whether you want to change destinations, cancel a vacation or save your week for a following year, our top vacation clubs eliminate the headaches of dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy and hassles. Further, good vacation clubs address member complaints and issues promptly and professionally.
We ranked vacation clubs on their ability to maintain and improve properties so that your investment is secure both financially and in simple terms of future enjoyment. Owning a share in a vacation club should be economically beneficial. Good vacation clubs will allow you to bank weeks, exchange or trade your vacation time and charge fair maintenance fees.
Again, WorldVentures is only if you’re already out spending money and looking to save up for travel. Only DreamTrips Life offers discount travel and vacation packages; DreamTrips Online Shopping Mall; discounted movie, show tickets and amusement parks; discounts of daily activities; and discounts at local stores and restaurants. It’s a one-time $199 activation fee, $49/month and ALL FEES go towards spend on any DreamTrip.