This is our last post in the series, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Timeshare Owners.” If you’ve been keeping pace, you probably recognize at least some of the first 5 habits as something that you already know, even if you don’t practice them. These last 2 habits complete our series, and the last habit is the most important.
6. MAKE USE OF AMENITIES
Sometimes, just being at a resort is a vacation in and of itself—you don’t even need to sightsee or go anywhere else in the area unless you want to. And most resorts are well-equipped to handle this type of guest—that’s usually why they’re called “resorts.” We often use the example of staying at a DVC resort in Orlando with the kids and grandkids. Granted, the grandkids were only 3 and 7 at the time, but they enjoyed the pool, playground, and clubhouse activities so much, that we only spent one day at Disney World and one day at Universal. The other 5 days of the week were spent using the facilities and shopping.
Most resorts offer organized activities for children, teens and adults. Most host a welcome party to inform guests about things to see in the area as well as offering some discounts and a connecting atmosphere.
Of course, not all resorts are created equal when it comes to amenities—that’s why you research things ahead of time. Then, when you arrive, sit down with your guests and go over the list of amenities and activities and plug in what you want to do. Then you can adjust things and add in sightseeing, shopping, etc.
Some resorts charge heavily for activities, and some charge minimal amounts for craft workshops. Most do not charge for amenities, unless they offer something phenomenal like a water park. Still, these charges are usually reasonable and often cheaper than outside activities. Effective timeshare owners have learned not to bypass their resorts when it comes to having fun!
7. DO YOUR RESEARCH: BEFORE YOU BUY, WHEN YOU PLAN A TRIP, DURING A TRIP
It would be a good idea to bookmark this point, not only because it is the most important one, but because this theme permeates throughout all of our posts. If you research timesharing effectively, then you will be an effective timeshare owner—or at least you will know that you have done your absolute best to achieve that!
If you are even THINKING of buying a timeshare—or let’s just say that you are mildly curious about them—take a little time and read about them on the internet. Some good sites to check are TUG, Timeshare Forums, Redweek and, of course, this site. If you have a specific company in mind, then research that, too. Then, if you do get “hooked” for a timeshare promotion, at least you will know something about what they’re going to try to sell you. Then, after you say no to the developer, you can browse eBay listings and other sites that sell resale timeshares. See Habit #1 for some places to look for resales.
One of the most important things to check before you buy is the maintenance fee. Read our post about maintenance fees. Compare with others, and ask questions of the seller or the company if you’re concerned about where the money goes.
Call the resort to check and make sure that all fees have been paid up-to-date and there are no hidden surprises. Make sure that the seller is in good standing and there are no special assessments unless you have been informed about them.
It only stands to reason that before you take a trip you would research the resort and the area. This can save you a great deal of time and when you finally arrive, you can hit the ground running. Before you go, search the internet for “the top 10 things to do in Slobbovia.” Click on Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau sites for information—often they will send you packets of stuff that may include discount coupons. If you know people who have been there, talk to them and take notes. Our cousins went on an Alaskan cruise three weeks before we did, and the information they shared with us was invaluable.
Once you arrive, pool your information about the area with that of the resort. By all means, attend the orientation which most have, and talk with other guests as well. The local newspaper is a good source to update you on current activities as well as a great place to find restaurant coupons. Find some friendly staff members and get their take on what there is to see and do in the area. If you go to church, chat with the locals.
Yes, research can sometimes be a lot of work—but we think it’s enjoyable work, and planning and anticipating a trip is really half the fun! To be an effective timeshare owner, you also need to be a researcher—there’s just no getting around it. However, we are fortunate, because in today’s world we have so many technology tools to help us—we are in incredibly better shape than we were 15 or 20 years ago. Keep reading the sites mentioned in this post and if you are not already an effective timeshare owner, you will be soon!