Owning a vacation interval—otherwise known as timesharing—can be a complicated endeavor for even the most experienced vacationers. Unlike booking a one-off vacation, a vacation interval is a long-term relationship, so managing it is a yearly task.
With so much to remember, it’s easy to overlook some of the details that go into owning a vacation interval. Here are three things to keep in mind to avoid the most common mistakes:
1. Make Sure You Understand the Maintenance Fees
You’ve already paid for your vacation interval, so you likely know that beyond the upfront cost of your purchase, there are also yearly maintenance fees. In the excitement of buying, you may not have fully grasped the terms of the yearly fees. The fees vary from resort to resort and you’ll want to make sure you know when you will be billed for them.
Don’t be afraid to contact a customer service representative to get a more thorough understanding of the fees to avoid any surprises when you receive your bill.
2. Use it Each Year
This one is fairly obvious, but it’s still worth pointing out. Purchasing a timeshare means paying upfront for a yearly vacation for the duration of your ownership of the property. If you skip a vacation, you essentially paid to have an empty location in your name for a year. You are also still responsible for the yearly maintenance fee even if you don’t use the unit.
Of course, sometimes emergencies come up and force you to skip a scheduled trip. If that’s the case, see what insurance the resort offers if you are unable to use your time. Another option is to rent your timeshare out to a friend or family member who can help you recoup some of the costs.
3. Take Advantage of All the Amenities and Activities
Most resorts have fun activities and amenities for visitors of all ages. Events like barbecues, potlucks, happy hours and more are generally available for adult visitors, in addition to tennis courts and golf courses. For kids, many resorts provide local tours and adventures, to say nothing of the swimming pools, water slides and assorted games that children love.
If you aren’t taking advantage of these activities and amenities, then you aren’t getting everything you paid for. Do some research in advance of your planned trip to see what the resort has scheduled during your stay, and plan to devote some time to those activities.
With so much to remember, it’s easy to forget some of the fundamentals of vacation interval ownership. Use these tips and be sure to do your due diligence even after you’ve made your purchase and ensure that you’re maximizing your investment.
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