The early bird notoriously gets the worm, and when it comes to booking your timeshare vacation, you’ll want to be the early bird.
Those with fixed weeks at a specific resort don’t need to worry about making timeshare reservations, unless they are looking to exchange. Otherwise, those with floating weeks or the flexible points-based ownership need to plan ahead and book as early as possible to ensure you have the most options available to you.
One of the tricky parts of timeshare ownership is ensuring you get the vacation you desire. With virtually endless options depending on your ownership circumstance, you’ll want to narrow down exactly the destinations, resort, and time period you want before go to book. It’s also important to note how it helps to be flexible. But the earlier you book, the better chance you have of nailing down your perfect getaway.
Points-based memberships provide you with an allotment of annual or biennial points that you can use like currency to make timeshare reservations. You not only want to reserve early, but you want to reserve smart. Decide what is most important to you—destination, resort, size of the unit, or when you want to go—prioritize, and use your points to book your vacation.
Each vacation club has their own specific reservation window based on your ownership status, so be sure to see how early you are able to reserve and prepare accordingly.
With a vacation club or a points-based ownership, use the RCI Points method of reservation and exchanging. As mentioned above, points are treated like a currency of sorts. When you deposit your points with RCI, you will receive RCI points in return that are valued based on the exchange ratio. From there, utilize your points to reserve your vacation from thousands of options, including RCI cruises.
If you are the owner of a fixed or floating week, RCI Weeks is how you will go about exchanging and reserving your timeshare vacation. To ensure you have the most options as possible deposit your timeshare week early with RCI. Once you do that, you will be presented with timeshare vacations of similar value to choose from. However, you are also able to trade up for a higher-end getaway or a longer vacation. You can do this by depositing multiple weeks or paying a fee. Or, you can trade down and visit a timeshare of lesser value using the leftover value on an another vacation.
With all exchange, you want to be sure to book your home resort early so that you can ensure your reservation is secure and use it to exchange with external companies.
There are three main ways that you can make timeshare reservations through Interval International. Determine how far in advance you can make your reservations, and decide which method best works to get your desired vacation.
If you are absolutely certain you want to vacation at a destination outside of your home resort, utilize the Deposit First method. This gives you the flexibility of a four year travel window so that you can exchange anytime from two years before to two years after the first day of your home resort week.
When you’re undecided about whether you want to exchange or not, Request First. This gives you the security of keeping your home resort week until you are sure you can get the exchange you desire. Place your request and you are able to travel from two years before the week you offer in exchange up until the dates of that week. This is also the method points-based members will use.
There is also the Early Request Program, where you can choose from participating resorts if you quality. This lets your submit an exchange request up to 24 months in advance of the check-in date!
If you don’t already own a timeshare but want to experience one first hand, we offer a great selection of by-owner advertised timeshare rentals that you can find on our website. And if you don’t feel like planning ahead, you can find our last minute deals are priced to rent. Many even offer reservation guarantee with an online “book now” option. Planning ahead certainly gives you more options, but booking a vacation on a whim can certainly save you cash!