by: Esther Lee
What is it?
Timeshares are fabulous condos/suites/villas located in some of the hottest travel destinations for families around the world. You probably know that you can buy and own a timeshare, but did you know that you could RENT one? It’s one of the biggest secrets in the industry.
Benefits of timeshare rentals
There are so many benefits when you rent a timeshare versus a hotel room. The condominium set-up gives you the conveniences of home, like separate bedrooms (kids in another room).
Can I just say that having the kids in a separate bedroom is part of what makes a family vacation, a vacation! I never get any sleep when my son sleeps in the same room with me.
Many of the timeshare resorts are part of bigger hotel brands like Marriott, Westin, Ritz-Carlton, and Hilton. As a result, you can often enjoy the slew of children’s activities, family programming and on-site kid-friendly attractions like waterparks, kiddie pools, mini-golf courses and more as part of staying at the timeshare.
Here’s one quick example, when we were planning our vacation to Maui, we knew that the Westin Resort is a top resorts for families. The best price we could find for a standard hotel room for our travel week was $308/night. Not crazy for a 5-star beachfront resort complete with an on-site waterpark.
However, we were able to find a 2-bedroom at the same Westin resort that was a timeshare for $230/night through Redweek and a few other timeshare rental websites. How cool is that? We got 2 separate bedrooms, a full-size living room, kitchen, dining room and washer/dryer for less than a standard hotel room!
Where to begin
There are several companies who all deal with timeshare rentals. All of them have owners who are extremely responsive (24 hours or less) and helpful. They are all free for Trekaroo members. Here are our three favorites:
Trekaroo was first introduced to the idea of timeshare rentals through travelnut, a Trekaroo family of 6. She raved about all the great timeshare rentals that she’d booked through RedWeek.com and given the prices that she was getting, we had to check it out.When you think of RedWeek.com, think timeshare central. You can rent, buy, sell and exchange timeshares all in one place. They have hundreds of timeshare properties available for families to rent all across the world.
Their user-interface is simple and easy-to-use. On one screen, you can easily see what inventory is available based on your travel dates and budget. They even have an escrow service to protect you from fraud. The owners are also very responsive. I sent off 5 inquiries and received emails back from all 5 within less than 24 hours, which was amazing. RedWeek.com is offering all Trekaroo families a 100% free 1-year membership (Value: $14.99). For more details, go to http://www.redweek.com/promo/trekaroo.
Although, SellMyTimeshareNow.com looks very similar to RedWeek based on the homepage, it ends there. It’s a bit more difficult getting around the website and harder to determine what properties are available for specific travel dates and budgets. No membership fee, which is nice.
Vacationrentals.com, a subsidiary of Homeaway, specializes in vacation rentals and timeshares rentals too. Instead of scrolling with a chronological list of weeks that are available, you punch in your travel dates and they'll pull the properties which have availability. A different user experience, but also effective. They do not have an escrow service, but they do have a carefree rental guarantee to protect you from fraud. No membership required here either.
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