Saving Money On Hotel Stays

There are a number of ways you can travel for less money. One way that I have used myself is to save money on hotel stays by looking for resorts that have special ownership offers. Using this method, I’ve gotten half-priced resort stays in places like Hawaii, Orlando, and Las Vegas. I’m not talking about sad, worn-down, hotels but newly remodeled suites with kitchen space and a jacuzzi tub big enough for two. Some resorts may even throw in bonus items like free meals, show tickets, or even casino credit.  Sounds too good to be true right? What’s the catch?

Resorts aren’t going to give you these kind of sweet deals for no reason. They want you to see their location, see all the great things they offer, go for a tour of the property, fall in love, and then attend a sales presentation where they will offer to sell you a membership, ownership, or whatever they may call it. Or as most people know it…a timeshare.

Some people love timeshares, some people hate them, others only know what they’ve heard 2nd hand. I’ve personally bought into a few different locations that I visit frequently and that had really good deals at the time. I’ve also gotten cheap vacations (and free gifts) from other resorts where I didn’t buy anything.

What Do You Mean By Sales Presentation?

Basically you stay at the resort a few days, and your hosts will schedule a time for you pick up your free gifts and to come see what kind of offer they are selling. You may watch a video or a live presentation about the resort, then talk one-on-one with a salesperson to get the details and answer your questions. The whole process can take an hour or two depending on what questions you have.

When the presentation is over, you decide if you are interested or not. If you’re interested they walk you through the process. If not, you take your gift and go on enjoying your vacation.

It’s kind of like watching a show where ads pop up. You don’t have to buy what the ad suggests unless you want to, but either way you still get the show for free. Likewise, you can get a discounted resort stay for giving up some time to attend a sales presentation. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth your time or not.

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If this kind of offer interests you, check out the deals available from our partners at BookVIP. They have a list of resorts throughout the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean that you might take a look at. Not everyone qualifies, but if your finances are in decent order it might be worth a shot.

What Is A Resort Membership/Ownership/Timeshare?

If you’re not sure what a timeshare is, let me give you the scoop on how they work.

Each resort is different, but here’s the general idea. You pay an up-front amount to purchase a timeshare at a particular resort. You can pay all at once, or you can get a loan and pay over time. How much this costs depends on the location, the room size and how many days/weeks/points you purchase. You then become an owner at that resort (some locations are only a long-term lease – read the fine print). You join with thousands of other people to become co-owners of the property.

As an owner, you get to stay at that resort for some number of days every year. Some resorts allow you to stay at different properties instead, some don’t. Old-school timeshares forced you to stay at the same resort for the same dates every year. Modern timeshares can be a lot more flexible regarding when and where. Always check the details before you buy.
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Also, as an owner you are responsible for the property taxes and maintenance costs for your part of the resort. For this, you will be charged an annual maintenance fee.

The overall plan is that maintenance fees will be a lower cost than staying at a standard hotel, so that long-term you’ll get your money back via cheaper vacations. Especially as inflation makes hotel prices increase over time.

Is this true? Is it a good idea? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Let me explain.

Should You Buy A Timeshare?

Some resorts sales prices and maintenance fees are fair, while others are just too high. Some have additional fees here and there when you make multiple reservations, rollover points, or want to book at another location. You always have to consider the initial cost plus total fees when deciding to buy or not.

Also, if you decide you don’t want to (or can’t) go on vacation every year, then your “points” may be wasted. Never buy a timeshare if you don’t think you’ll use it regularly.

If you DO love that location and you know you will use it, then a timeshare may be a good way to get a premium room while saving money on hotel spending.

One important warning…never buy something if you think it will put a financial strain on your family. Some people fall in love with the resort and buy more than they can afford. This may cause them to stop making payments and lose ownership, or to lose money by selling for quick cash. Do the math before you decide. Many negative timeshare stories happen when people buy more than they can afford, or buy without knowing the details of how the system works.

As long as you go into your sales meeting with a list of questions ready and a solid knowledge of what you can afford, then your experience much smoother and more enjoyable.

I hope this simple overview helps. If you’d like to see some resorts that offer this kind of discounted vacations, then check out this site: BookVIP  They have locations available in the U.S., Mexico, and Caribbean.

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