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Timeshare Exchange: How to get the best timeshare exchange?

Hello Fellow Timeshare Travellers,

Explore your options in this article and you could dramatically improve your timeshare availability.

There is something for everyone in this article regarding areas that may have affected your availability with your Exchange Company.

Timeshare is a life product and can accommodate changing lifestyles during our lifetimes. A little knowledge can open up new doors to the timeshare owner. Review other articles also that may be relevant to your holiday style.

Below are just some suggestions that could assist you with your future timeshare exchanges.  Please take the time to read through as it could make all the difference.

  • Do you have a low season week for trading purposes that does not allow you to access the holiday time you want?
  • Perhaps you don’t have enough Points for the time of year you want to holiday?
  • Maybe it feels that you can’t seem to get the holiday you want regardless of what you do!
  • Maybe you would just like more holiday time?

Is this how you view your Exchange Company?

We just can’t seem to get the holiday we want regardless of what we do! Try treating your holidays like a "mini project". Follow and work through the eight points under "New Holiday experiences".

If you have any positive comments, or if you have any of your own holiday tips to share, please do so and contact Graham via email 

The concept of timeshare exchange is the main reason that we all bought into timeshare in the first place. There are approximately 7,000,000 timeshare owners and around 5,000 timeshare resorts worldwide. For the majority, exchanging is not a problem especially if we work the system and can be a little flexible. This is the view of most timeshare owners that I have met.

Review testimonials of timeshare owners who are working the system.

Let’s see if we can try to answer your main problems you associate with availability:

1) We own a low season week with low trading values. What can we do?

  • Exchange Companies have different rules regarding exchange value, so please make sure you understand your Exchange Companies rules.
  • Could it be that your Exchange Company will increase the value of your trading power if you deposited early?  Please find out.
  • Maybe your exchange system allows discounts in trading values if you request a last minute booking check this out.
  • Many timeshare owners investigate upgrading their ownership if they feel they have a low trading value. Make sure there is real benefit in upgrading! I have known some timeshare owners who pay a lot of money, thinking they are upgrading to improve their holiday time, and find themselves actually worse off!  Sometimes a verbal sales conversation is quite different to what you can actually do with your Exchange Company, so do check out the Club Rules.  You should be able to negotiate good deals if this is the way you want to go. Prepare a list of questions prior to any sales meeting and check with your Regulatory Body in your country that this is a reputable company.
  • Before spending more money trying to either upgrade your membership or buy an extra week, why not investigate first other Exchange Companies? There are a high percentage of timeshare owners who belong to more than one Exchange Company. Request a list of Exchange Companies, check out the different Exchange Companies and see if one is worth exploring further - you may be pleasantly surprised!  Some are free to join and have no annual subscriptions. Their rules may be better suited to your current ownership and how you wish to holiday.

Do your homework. With your Exchange Company understand the key areas that can make the system work for you

A question asked is “Can I belong to more than one Exchange Company”?

Yes as an owner of timeshare, you have the right to use any service you want or trade on your own with private rentals.  You will find that your resort is usually affiliated to either RCI or Interval International, but you can also join any of the other Independent Exchange Companies. It is then up to you to decide who you deposit your week with. Some Exchange Companies enable you to request first. So, if the resort or area you desire is not available you can request this of another Exchange Company.

Some of these Independent Exchange Companies don't have a membership fee so it makes them quite economical to use alongside your RCI or II membership. Some members may join and hardly use another Exchange Company but feel it's a great addition. They may just use the bonus weeks. That's fine as it's all about just working the system to get the best return you can to fulfil your holiday requirements
Check out a list of suggested Exchange Companies that might offer you additional options in the box highlighted below so you can review these for yourself.

It’s important to the Industry that we have happy contented timeshare owners. As that will assist us in promoting the benefits of timeshare to a wider audience of non timeshare owners who will be family and friends of  owners. Happy owners will be keen to share their holiday experience with those they care about.

There are timeshare resorts in approximately 100 countries. Don’t close yourself off to just countries you are already familiar with. Each holiday can be an adventure!

2) We don’t have enough Points for the time of year we want to holiday?

  • Check out your Club Rules. Perhaps your Club Rules allow you to have weeks reduced in points values, if requested, up to four weeks prior to your holiday date.
  • Perhaps your membership will allow you to temporary rent enough points to obtain the holiday you require.  Make an enquiry.
  • A future article will provide some basic guidance when considering increasing your point’s ownership, as some thought needs to be given to this.
  • There will also be a guide on how to use your points effectively.

If have been approached about a Points membership and dont really understand what there all about. Perhaps you would like to know what is the difference is between Points or Weeks view here

3) We just can’t seem to get the holiday we want regardless of what we do!
 
This can be a challenge if you are at a point in life, for example, when you have children.  You are then working around school holidays. It could be that you are caught in a career that is a big priority at this stage of your life and you have to work around this.  It maybe that you have a special anniversary you want to plan, so specific dates are important, or you may want to holiday at a popular area or resort..

Whilst we are at this stage in life, or have a special requirement we need to treat our holidays like a “mini project”. Unfortunately, it is not going to work if you request your holiday during prime time a couple of months before your holiday date.

I have found that the majority of timeshare owners who have difficulty exchanging are not working the exchange system effectively.  I have sat down with thousands of timeshare owners and discovered that a high percentage of timeshare owners who experience exchange difficulties may not have been shown properly how to exchange when they purchased their timeshare.  It is also fair to comment that for someone new to timeshare theres a lot to take on board in a presentation and there may be some overwhelm. The main emphasis for the Timeshare Representitive, on the day, is getting the sale. There ideally needs to be an after-care service to ensure that the timeshare owner is really working the system. So, the problem is that the majority who experience problems exchanging usually try to wing it rather than wading through the Club Rules on how to make best use of the Exchange Company.

This is one of the main reasons that some timeshare owners want to sell their timeshare. We blame the Exchange Company when we can’t get the exchange at a specific resort or time.

However, the same availability problems would apply with a Travel Agency if you requested a stay at a specific hotel at short notice.

If I had my way holidays would be Free on prescription! It would be mandatory to take at least four holidays a year. The health benefits are tremendous. It’s just that change of scenery away from the day-to-day routine.

So, Let’s Start with our Exchange Company. A high percentage of timeshare owners I have sat down with did not understand how to effectively use their Exchange Company. Start with reviewing some key areas and questions with your Exchange Company.

  • A simple rule is that if you can’t be that flexible, then you need to plan ahead and request as soon as your Exchange Company allows. So ensure that you check out your Club Rules.  Planning ahead is important for those main, special holidays or those that are in prime time.  If you can only book 10 months ahead with your Exchange Company then make sure you request 10 months ahead and not 9.5 months. Most timeshare owners have told me when I asked the question. Do you understand the benefit of booking ahead? Will generally respond with yes I do. Then it's discovered that they did not actually request at their earliest opportunity. We have to understand the rules and work the system!
  • Try to create as wide a window period as you can when requesting your holiday. If for example while booking ahead you require summer school holiday time in August. Ask for any week during August or as wide a window as you can. This may also allow you to access a more favorable resort of your choice.
  • If what you have requested is not available then ask to leave a search open and ask “how will you contact me if the resort of my choice becomes available”.  Remember that resort weeks are deposited throughout the year by fellow timeshare owners and sometimes the resorts themselves.
  • Requesting a research is vital with Exchange Companies. What you see online is after the Exchange Company has forfilled a members request. So effectively you are viewing online what no one else has requested! You will not see holiday weeks that are passing through the Exchange Companies system thats supporting a members search. So a simple rule is put in a request as early as exchange rules allow or you are able!
  • After you have placed your search regardless phone back on a regular basis I have found that sometimes while on the phone with some Exchange Companies a resort just becomes available. Perhaps a coincidence?  

Maybe you have limited yourself to just one Exchange Company?

Did you know that a high percentage of timeshare owners use more than one Exchange Company?  Some are FREE to join and have no annual subscriptions. An Independent Exchange Company could act as a bolt on to your current Exchange Company.

Request in the box below if not already done so for details of several Exchange Companies and they will be emailed back to you automatically. This could make all the difference if you are able to also access the availability of another Exchange Company as well.  Please provide your email address so that you can receive your report back. We would ideally like to hear from you is there are any particular other areas you would like discussed. Please request this when sending off for your Free Report.

Would you like to receive your FREE report on alternative Exchange Companies? Then please fill-in our short survey. Note your information is treated in the strictest of confidence and will not go to any third party. The short survey will enable us to identify future blogs relevant to what timeshare owners want advice on.

How to make those dream holidays become a reality. Dream it, plan it, and make it happen!

So let’s increase our chances of obtaining the holidays we want. We need to plan ahead and be as flexible as we can.

New Holiday Experiences.

Check out and work through the eight points below to further enhance your availability and holiday options.

Some of us may be losing out on some great holiday time as we close off all other options. We have only a specific resort or area in mind when we have approached our Exchange Company.

Some timeshare owners have said they have had some fantastic holidays even after ending up in a different resort from what they requested. Their Exchange Company had nothing else available and recommended another resort and sometimes even a different area or country!  The timeshare owner reluctantly agreed but had a great time.  Sometimes we get caught in a set pattern of holidays going back to the same or similar areas. Variety can be the spice of life!

Have you checked out other Exchange Companies yet? Just maybe they might have the very week you want for that particular holiday.

Follow through on the process below to improve your holiday options and maybe experience your best ever holiday to date.

Ok, so homework time!  Grab a pen and paper and let’s open up ourselves to other holiday opportunities in timeshare.  The difference between a great holiday and one that is ok is preparation and planning.  Follow through on the process below and ask yourself the following questions:

NB:  At this stage you just want a picture of the type of holiday you want and not get closed off with focusing on one particular resort or destination.

What do you really want from your holiday?

This is the first question you should ask yourself. Put together your own personal “wish list” taking into account everyone else’s ideal requirements. Is the climate important?  If so, what type of climate? Is sightseeing on the agenda?  What about a Beach or a Pool? Would you like entertainment for adults and children?   Perhaps a golf course nearby?  Just make a list and prioritize. 

  • What other countries or areas could there be that could satisfy most of your holiday requirements? This requires a new sheet of paper.  Look through your Exchange Club Directory.  There is a list of countries and areas you can holiday at and usually a reference to the climate for the time of year you wish to travel.   Also, check out Google to find out a little more about a particular country. There are some great websites out there.
  • There are timeshare resorts in approximately 100 countries. Don’t close yourself off to just countries you are already familiar with.  Each holiday should be an adventure! It may well be that you were initially thinking about one specific area, but maybe there’s a number of destinations that could satisfy your holiday needs.  Sometimes we get locked into thinking of just one area. Look at which countries have a similar climate and the type of attractions you would wish to visit, for e.g. golf, beach, a quaint harbour or village close by.  List the countries and areas that you could consider. Use the Internet and Google to get some ideas.
  • What size of accommodation would be ideal? Ok, this is the next important question to work through. If you have children then an extra bedroom is important and so would a good-equipped kitchen to cater for their needs. Does the accommodation need to be disabled-friendly? Would it be nice to have a hot tub and what facilities would you like on the resort. What’s important to you or would be nice to have?
  • Select your ideal Resorts.  Now that you have a destination or destinations in mind, start reviewing the resorts in those areas.  Now that you have identified the type of accommodation you desire this could eliminate those resorts that might not have 2-3 bedroom apartments.  Some resorts may only have one-bedroom apartments. Do your homework. Check out testimonials on a particular resort with your Exchange Company and also with the likes of Trip Advisor. Make sure the traveler writes them. If their testimonial provokes a question, phone the resort and ask them to clarify a concern and see if this is a true reflection or if the issue has been rectified. We will be launching another website soon which shall be far more comprehensive and this will include thousands of testimonials from timeshare owners on resorts around the world.
  • Now we want to plan some holiday fun outside of the resort!  Use Google to check out the area of where you intend to holiday, for example, Orlando in the USA: Google search Orlando USA children’s attractions or Orlando USA Italian restaurants. Plan ahead and get an idea of what’s available in the area you wish to holiday. You will come across websites devoted to specific areas or a local tourist board with lists of attractions.

Spontaneous holidays are fun. Check out bonus weeks on the various Exchange Companies. Do a little homework and have an adventure. bonus weeks - timeshares best kept secret!

  • When do you want or need to holiday? Do you have to take a specific week? If you can try to be open to a couple of dates, this flexibility can make all the difference to you having more choice and perhaps access to a more favorable resort. What about check in dates?  Some resorts have multiple check in days during the week?  For example, one resort may have a check in day on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Perhaps if you booked in for a Thursday there would be availability and maybe the Saturday is full.  Just by finding this out and suggesting to your Exchange Company that you can holiday earlier, if available, it can make all the difference.   Make sure that the check-in day fits in with your travel plans.  Perhaps your flights may not coincide with a Thursday check in.
  • OK, this one can make all the difference!  Select which timeshare exchange service you want to use. Take the time out and review the list of Exchange Companies you may wish to use in addition to your existing Exchange Company.  It may not cost you a penny to join but may well offer you other holiday options to consider.  Just maybe they might have some great bonus weeks you might also be able to consider. bonus weeks - timeshares best kept secret!
  • Off the wall! Why not check out when various festivals take place around the world and plan ahead so you can join in. There are websites devoted to this. A simple Google search will identify them.  Get your pen and paper out and create a wish list. Would you like to see the wild dolphins?  Find out where and when.  Or, perhaps a Safari?  There are some great testimonials from timeshare owners who have holidayed in timeshare taking in a Safari. What about a week’s holiday in a catamaran sailing from island to island with a manned crew? Maybe a Winnebago touring the USA or Australia?  Dream it, plan it and it will happen!

If you work the system you cannot beat timeshare holidays. Own the right way that suites the way you holiday.

Enjoying the beach during your timeshare holiday

Read this inspiring testimonial: A week aboard the catamaran 'Passion' cruising the Grenadines Island chain

Why not throw in some spontaneity as suggested in the second and last Point  above?   It is getting a sense of adventure and is a fun way to holiday. It is also a chance to create a positive change to our everyday life.  We can step out and have some real stories to tell our family and friends. Timeshare brings about a sense of balance in life.                                                                               

Help your friends by recommending this article to them.

Another question put to me is “That’s all very well but I can’t always plan ahead what can I do”?

All the points above still apply except obviously requesting at the earliest opportunity that your Exchange Clubs rules allow. There is no substitute for a little research and preparation prior to your holiday so put in a little time it could make all the difference.

Timeshare gives us the chance to step out of our everyday life. We can plan different types of holidays and have some real stories to tell our family and friends.

Plan as far as you’re able and request your holiday requirements armed with the results of your investigation. You may though end up with a very happy accident. I have interviewed many timeshare owners who have said one of the very best holidays they ever had was the recommendation given by the Exchange Company as an alternative holiday as the holiday of their choice was not available.  Some came out of their comfort zone and tried somewhere new and perhaps even a different style of holiday and had a great time.

Do your research as suggested in the points above and make a decision based on a little fact-finding. If the Exchange Company does not have available the holidays you requested then don’t necessarily accept the first option. If your Exchange Company allows ask them to hold the week if possible for a short period. It won’t take you that long to follow through on the points suggested above and to check out the area(s) and resort(s) that has been recommended.

Keeping you informed. Use the link below to forward Timeshare Weekly to a friend. By timeshare owners assisting each other and sharing ideas we can help shape the industry. As a collective we can make a difference.

When you own a timeshare, you can plan ahead as suggested in Top 4 tips to obtaining that dream exchange holiday By following your club rules and our holiday tips you can request the location and the type of resort to suit your holiday style so you always know what you’re going to get when you arrive.

In summary, exchanging your timeshare is not always as simple as it looks at first glance, but simply focusing on the key areas is all that is required. The more familiar you become with the options available to you and by planning ahead of time, the more flexibility and options you will have.

View a list of future articles coming to Timeshare Weekly!

Please share your positive comments and any holiday tips with us. Thank you.

Watch out for my next article. Some samples of forthcoming articles are found on the link in the header "Timeshare articles".

Very Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

Graham

Any typos, grammar and spelling mistakes are obviously deliberate and free as my gift to you.