Are Vacation Clubs Worth It? The Pros and Cons
You may be familiar with traditional timeshare ownership, but what about joining a vacation club? These flexible ownership opportunities have become very popular with the younger travel generations. Last year, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reported that Gen Z and Millennials account for 57 percent of timeshare owners and 53 percent of new-sale purchasers (53 percent). This is because ownerships like vacation clubs offer more flexibility and perks that today’s traveler craves.
So, how do vacation clubs work? Are vacation clubs worth it? We’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of ownership and let you decide if joining a vacation club fits your travel lifestyle!
What is a Vacation Club?
A vacation club is a membership-based vacation ownership program that offers individuals and families access to various vacation properties under a specific hospitality brand. Typically, owners will purchase a membership or points within a vacation club to gain access to a network of resorts and potentially other benefits. These points-based clubs give you the flexibility to reserve vacations at any property within the network, giving you ample destination options. Like traditional timeshare ownership, you will pay annual dues and fees to continue using your membership.
Vacation Club Pros
There are several great reasons that a vacation club is worth it for you and your family. Here are some of the top reasons people love vacation clubs:
- Flexibility – Vacation clubs allow you to continue visiting a resort or destination you love, but you also have the complete flexibility to change up where you travel year after year with a full portfolio of great resorts and destinations.
- Additional Perks and Discounts – Vacation clubs tend to offer additional benefits for members to take advantage of like cruises, tours, concerts, excursions, and more. Travel discounts are often made available as well on things like flights, rental cars, hotel rooms, and more.
- Access to Spacious Accommodations – Being part of a vacation club means always knowing you’ll enjoy top-notch accommodations. This is because timeshare resorts provide well-equipped, spacious suites that offer all the comforts of home and are perfect for families. Most units will include multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, living and dining areas, full bathrooms, and laundry machines. Use your vacation club points to book the size unit that meets all your wants and needs.
- Top Brands – Some of the most popular hospitality brands out there offer vacation club opportunities. This allows you to be sure you’re always getting the best quality service, amenities, and accommodations no matter where you travel. This includes brands such as Marriott, Disney, Wyndham, and Hilton.
- Affordable Way to Travel Regularly – If you and your family enjoy regular travel, a vacation club is a more affordable way to save on luxury getaways. Purchasing a vacation club membership on the resale market will save you thousands on the initial cost of ownership while still allowing you to enjoy access to incredible resorts within top-rated vacation ownership brands.
Vacation Club Cons
You need to look at the full picture when deciding whether or not a vacation club is right for you. It is important to look at the common cons of this type of ownership to make the most informed decision.
- Be Aware of the Costs – When you buy into a vacation club, there is the upfront cost but there are also annual dues and fees that have to be maintained. Buying resale can save you thousands upfront, but the yearly fees are determined by the developers. These fees can also rise at any time so you want to be sure you can afford the annual cost and that the price is worth it long term for your needs.
- Can You Cancel? – Make sure you know how/if you can get out of your membership for any reason. Some resorts offer buy-back options, some are Right To Use for a set amount of years, but others are deeded memberships for life. Ensure you know what you are getting into before purchasing.
- Read the Fine Print – Going along with the above note, be sure to understand the in’s and out’s of your membership. This includes knowing about guest policies, policies on using points and their expiration, and any cancellation penalties. Understanding how the membership works is crucial in both deciding whether you want to buy or not, but also to ensure you use it to its full capacity.
- Resale Limitations – While you are sure to save thousands of dollars buying a vacation club membership on the resale market, it sometimes comes with restrictions. Certain brands have restrictions on whether resale members can access certain benefits or even visit certain properties. Contact us directly to learn of potential resale restrictions to ensure you are getting everything you want out of a vacation club membership.
Whether a vacation club is worth it is truly up to you! Everyone’s travel wants and needs are different. Vacation clubs can offer plenty of flexibility and great travel options but they also may come with restrictions. You have to decide what is and what’s not important to you when choosing to purchase a membership. Browse all of our available timeshares for sale to see current vacation club offerings. Don’t hesitate to call us directly at 1-877-815-4227 to get any specific vacation club questions answered.