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What is the (literal) definition of a timeshare?

First of all, a timeshare gives you the right to use an apartment-style apartment in a large resort, often (but not always) for a week each year. Often focused on a key activity such as skiing or relaxing on the beach, timeshare resorts are located in top destinations around the world, with units available from big names such as Marriott, Wyndham and Hilton.

Often focused on a key activity such as skiing or beach relaxation, timeshare resorts are located at top destinations around the world.

These accommodations offer a homely atmosphere as well as the safety and comfort of a first-class resort. As brands offer more flexibility, you have the opportunity to design a time-sharing experience that suits your travel plans and interests - as long as you keep the details in mind.

How does time sharing work? Pro tip: They are not always forever

To understand unit ownership, you must first know if it is a "deeded" or a "right of use" agreement. When it comes to deeded ownership, the purchase of property is for life or until you sell it. The right of use, on the other hand, gives the allotted time for a resort for a certain number of years with an expiry date specified in the contract. Essentially, the deed is forever, so make sure you love what you buy!

Points vs. fixed week vs. floating week:

Now that we've looked at the possible long - term arrangements, let's talk about how it works within a given year. Understanding the nuances here will make your vacation what it is. The better you understand the nuances and insider hacks of your brand, the better suited you are to get the most out of a timeshare.

Points: Flexible but complicated

This is where "What is a timeshare?" requires a change of perception. Think of points as a type of currency. Owners buy points either directly at their resort or at a points market and then use these points to make their bookings. Depending on the holiday club, points can also be redeemed for excursions or holiday supplements such as rental cars.

The better you handle your brand's nuances and insider hacks, the better suited you are to get the most out of a timeshare.

People who want to travel to many destinations can enjoy a points-based event, but be careful: many of the best resorts and dates are booked well in advance. So keep an eye on the resort you want to book.

Fixed or floating weeks: Reliable, but limited

For those who want to set a specific date range, such as annual or school holidays, fixed weeks back up these events year after year in your hometown. On the other hand, with Floating Weeks you have the opportunity to book a week within a certain season. So if your schedule allows for more flexibility and you know you love to travel when it's cold or hot, this may be a good option for you. Just remember that you will return to the same resort every year.

Rental: An insider hack for benefits without participation

Many timeshare owners that can not use their time for a certain year choose to rent out their space. The rental allows owners to cover their maintenance fees while giving travelers access to multiple bedrooms, living rooms and fully equipped kitchens in world-class resorts around the world. Even better, these deals directly come from sites like Expedia and that often offer up to 70% off the same unit.

Time-sharing advantages

Some of the biggest benefits of vacation ownership are the space and amenities that provide an exclusive travel experience. Timeshare units range from studios to multi-bedroom villas with separate rooms and bathrooms, plus a host of additional features such as kitchens, living rooms and washers and in-room dryers — all of which are benefits when booking group travel.

One of the biggest benefits of vacation ownership is the space - not to mention the amenities that provide an exclusive travel experience

In addition to the unit, timeshare facilities offer benefits such as lazy rivers, access to ski lifts, famous restaurants and world-class spas.

Time-sharing disadvantages

In addition to the pros, you should also consider the cons. Most important? Timeshares do not appreciate over time. In fact, they may lose significant value in the resale market. It's not uncommon on Facebook for owners to sell their shares for as little as $ 1.

So what is it? Why would anyone who owns a guaranteed vacation on a world-class resort every year want to dump it virtually for free? Much of the problem is due to maintenance fees. Even if personal timeshare maintenance is not required to own the property, you will still have to pay annual maintenance fees whether you use the property or not. In 2018, the average cost of maintenance charges for a unit was $ 1000, but depending on the resort and season, your charges may be lower or (much) higher. And even if you can not use your time sharing for a certain year, you have to pay that maintenance fee.

What happens if I do not want to own a timeshare?

Now that we've covered the basics of time sharing, it's important to start thinking about whether vacation ownership is in line with your travel plans. If annual vacation is the key to your work-life balance, if you enjoy traveling with your family or if you continue to move to the same destination, so be it! In these cases, it may be cheaper to own a timeshare than individual bookings per year.

The Ownership Solutions, Inc. is not affiliated with any of the resorts, timeshares, or condominiums on this site. The brand names on this site are trademarks of their respective companies. All warranties and services are provided by The Ownership Solutions.