Vacation intervals (also known as timeshares) can become a cherished tradition for you and your family. In addition to getting some much-needed relaxation, you can also save money over the long term by owning a vacation interval instead of paying for a new vacation package every year.
But if you aren’t familiar with all of the nuances of vacation intervals, you may not be getting everything you can out of it. Use these tips to make the most of your investment.
Use All of the Time Available to You
When you purchase a vacation interval, you’re essentially paying upfront for future vacations while being locked into today’s prices. When you have a guaranteed vacation time already paid for, you should be sure to take it—all of it—every year.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t use all of the vacation time they have available to them. A study from Harris Interactive for the website Glassdoor found that working Americans only use 51 percent of their allotted vacation time. Even worse is that 61 percent of the study’s respondents reported that they work during vacations.
To make the most of your investment, be sure to actually use it to the fullest extent possible. Skipping your scheduled vacation time, or using it to do work, means you’re not getting what you paid for.
Ask Your Customer Service Reps for Help
One of the biggest reasons vacation interval owners fail to take full advantage of their time is that they simply don’t have the time to take out of their busy schedules to fully understand the ins and outs of their program. Using your points correctly and ensuring you meet all of the deadlines is critical to ensuring you can take your vacation without hassles.
Rather than trying to make heads or tails of all the information yourself, contact your customer service representative or the sales rep you worked with to understand how you can maximize your investment. They will have the expertise to answer specific questions and talk you through the intricacies of the process, saving you a lot of time and headaches.
Check Out the Exchange Program
As much as it’s become tradition for you and your family to meet at your chosen location, why not mix it up? Maybe instead of your regular beachfront escape, you’d like to spend some time in the mountains.
Many vacation interval companies offer exchange programs that allow you to swap your location with someone else who has comparable accommodations. This allows you to have a completely different experience with the confidence that the quality of your resort experience will stay consistent.
Take Advantage of the Amenities and Activities Available
Most resorts have fun activities that owners can access during their stays. This could be anything from happy hours at the bar and cooking classes, to fun adventures for kids and opportunities to explore the local area.
Of course, sometimes it’s best to lay on the beach and relax, but if you’re looking to add a few fun events to your travel schedule, see what’s available to you—possibly for no additional charges—as a vacation interval owner.
Vacation intervals are a great investment in future vacation time, but the only way to get the most bang for your buck is to use all of the resources available.