About 40% of all Americans take a vacation every year. If you’re one of these people, it’s time to plan now. Summer is peak getaway time.
If you don’t book accommodations, you won’t be able to find any. That is unless you have a vacation club membership. Having one will give you access to a resort anytime during the year.
They’re also all-inclusive, and they offer a ton of luxurious amenities that can help you and your family have the best vacation imaginable.
These are only a few advantages that you’ll be able to take advantage of. Check out this guide to learn more.
What is a Vacation Club Membership?
According to timeshare terminology, a vacation club membership is a program that uses a point-based reservation system. Every year, you’ll be granted a certain amount of points that you can use to book time at a resort.
Most memberships allow you to transfer or sell your points. That means you can buy one on a resale if you want.
How is it Different from a Timeshare?
A vacation club membership is a type of timeshare, but the two are a bit different. The main difference is the flexibility.
When you buy a timeshare, you’re buying the deed to a home that you share with a bunch of other people. That’s the only place you’ll get to go on vacation every year.
A club membership offers a bit more variety. You’ll be able to stay at any resort that’s within the travel company’s network.
Timeshare owners are also locked into a specific slot. They can only use the resort for a week around the same time every year.
If you have a vacation club membership, you can plan your getaway whenever. As long as you have the points to cash in, you’re good to go.
Types of Memberships
Before you buy a membership, it’s important that you do a little research. There are three different types for you to choose from.
Hotel Resort Chain
Hotel chains like Four Seasons and Disney allow for club memberships. The thing is, these will sort of limit you.
Let’s say that you go with a Four Seasons membership. You’ll only be able to go to that hotel chain. The benefit is that you’ll most likely get great customer service during your stay.
If you want to be separate from the major hotel chains, you can go with a condo. You and your family will be able to stay in a large villa during your entire vacation.
These are often high-end membership programs. That means they come with a larger price tag.
High-End Ownership Programs
If you have a lot of cash to throw around, you can opt-in for a high-end ownership program.
You’ll be essentially renting out an individual’s expensive vacation property. These can go for $100,000 or more.
Benefits of Vacation Clubs
Like most timeshares, vacation club memberships aren’t cheap. Depending on how much you and your family travel, however, having access to spacious accommodations whenever you want them can be worth it.
Here are all the loyalty rewards and perks that you’ll get to enjoy with your vacation club points.
You’ll Save Money
The initial cost of a vacation club membership can be hard on the wallet. It’s still cheaper than paying to stay in a resort every year.
Many hotels and condos offer sweet discounts for members. With the amount of cash you’ll save, your membership will pay for itself in a few years. Well, that depends on how often you decide to use it.
If you only go on vacation every three years or so, having a vacation club membership might not be worth it.
There’s a Variety of Destinations to Enjoy
Again, the biggest downside of timeshares is the fact that you have to stay in the same place every single year. That gets dull after a while.
If you want to be able to experience tons of new destinations without spending a lot of money, vacation club memberships have you covered.
As long as you’re staying at a resort that’s within the company’s network, you can go to a beach one year and go to the mountains the next.
Planning is a Snap
The hardest part of going on vacation is planning it. You’ve got to book the hotel, decide on your itinerary, and look for places to eat. It’s a lot of work that a membership will be able to save you.
You only have to talk to the travel representative. They’ll take care of everything else.
They can book your accommodations for you. They’ll even give you activity recommendations and give you a list of amazing restaurants in the area.
You can Change Plans on Short Notice
Things happen, and plans change. You might have a family emergency a few days before your trip that forces you to stick around.
If you had a regular timeshare, that would be it. You would miss out on your yearly vacation because you wouldn’t be able to reschedule.
Vacation club companies are a little more flexible. They’ll help you reschedule your trip.
You’ll have Guaranteed Accommodations During Peak Travel Times
Most families enjoy traveling during the summer. The kids are out of school long enough for an extended getaway.
The problem is that the summer is the peak travel time for many destinations. That means it’s almost impossible to find accommodations. Not only that, but hotel and resort costs shoot through the roof during the hot months.
Having a membership will make traveling during the summer a lot easier and cheaper.
Vacation club hotels and condos come with tons of amenities that will take your vacation to the next level. A lot of the condos have fully stocked kitchens. You’ll have everything you need to prepare homecooked food.
You’ll also have access to comfortable beds, a pool, a laundry room, and much more.
You Won’t have to Deal with Repairs
When you have a vacation home that’s hundreds of miles away, maintenance can be a real pain. It’s not easy to manage your lawn or handle repairs when you’re not always there to notice them. That means you’ve got to deal with them while you’re on vacation.
If you’re part of a vacation club, they’ll take care of it, so you can relax and enjoy your getaway.
When you’re a vacation club member, you don’t only get to save money on your accommodations. You’ll get a nice discount on other things as well.
For example, it will be cheaper for you to rent a car or catch dinner at a nice restaurant.
Depreciation Isn’t a Thing
One reason why people don’t want to buy a vacation home is deprecation. Yeah, your home might be in a great spot right now, but what about five years from now?
That makes club memberships a much better investment. You’ll be able to enjoy a vacation without worrying about your portfolio taking a hit.
Vacation club companies don’t skimp when it comes to quality. You won’t find yourself in cramped hotel rooms and resorts. You often get the largest rooms available.
Again, most rooms and condos come with tons of perks to enjoy like kitchens. When you pair this with the all-inclusive vacation packages, you get a lot of happy memories.
No Additional Fees
If you want to become a vacation club member, you’ll need to pay a fee every year, but that’s all you’ll have to pay for in most cases. There aren’t any maintenance fees or real estate taxes to worry about.
Keep in mind that payment terms vary from vacation club program to vacation club program. You’ll need to read the fine print before you commit so you don’t get slapped with hidden fees.
As we said before, vacation clubs are a bit more flexible than timeshares. Club members aren’t tied down to a set amount of time they can stay in a resort.
If you want to get away for two weeks, that’s up to you. If you can only afford a weekend-long vacation, that’s okay too.
Get a Vacation Club Membership Today
As you can see, if you and your family tend to go on getaways every year, getting a vacation club membership can save you a lot of money.
You’ll be able to have an all-inclusive vacation any time of year without fighting with other vacationers over accommodations.
The best part? The travel agency will handle all the planning for you, so you won’t have to lift a finger. What’s not to love?
For more tips that will help you book the perfect vacation for you and your family, visit the Travel section of our blog.