Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Key to Your Budget-Friendly Dream Vacation – Why It IS Worth it to Rent a Timeshare

Everyone needs a vacation from time to time, and having the option to rent a time share can be the key to sticking to your budget while having a great time with your family. Maybe you work the daily 9-5 grind everyday trying to make ends meet. Maybe you are self-employed, and haven’t been able to save enough to take a break from your busy routine. Maybe you never had the chance to take that romantic honeymoon after marrying due to work or family obligations.

Whatever the reason for not doing it sooner, you are probably eagerly waiting for the perfect opportunity for a great vacation to fall in your lap before you take a chance and finally make it happen. Well, watch your lap because that opportunity is falling! Time share rentals are a great, affordable way to take your dream vacation.

What exactly is a time share?

A time share is a use right which allows a certain number of occupants to stay at a certain location during a particular time period, generally for a week, at the same time every year. In most cases, the sharer does not own the property or the property rights, however, they have purchased the ability to use the property during a specified time. Time shares can be rented, resold, exchanged, and even sold to charity, so long as any applicable rules are followed.

About RedWeek

Time share rentals have never been shown in a really good light. One company is trying to change that by making time share rentals and sales more readily available to anyone at any time. RedWeek founder Randy Conrads realized early on there was a need for an accessible time share marketplace. In 2002, RedWeek.com was born!

RedWeek.com is a “reputable, do-it-yourself” online marketplace for renting, exchanging, and reselling time shares. They carry an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for their exceptional service, reviews from owners and travelers, and detailed information they provide.

Quick Fact: In time share talk, the red week refers to the most popular time, or the best week, for tourist to vacation. The name RedWeek was chosen for the company and website to signify that they are “the best” in timeshares!

My Experience on the Website

I recently had the opportunity to review an interesting site, RedWeek.com. I have thought about the idea of time share rentals in the past, but never had a real reason to learn how they work or check out prices on them. Thinking about renting a time share can be a daunting thought, however RedWeek does
everything possible to simplify the task and provide you with all the answers to questions you may have.

Interactive map display
When you click the menu bar option “Find a Timeshare” (also linked above), you are greeted by a friendly interactive map to help you find your destination. You can simply click the map markers or scroll down the page to see available destinations on each continent. Once you decide where you want to visit, say the Caribbean island of St. Lucia for instance, you click through the links as shown below until you arrive at the page that shows you the available time shares for that location. In addition to the map, there are options on the left top of the page to perform a search for a specific location or search by resort. Some advance options are month/year, show only rentals, sales, or exchanges or a combination of all three, number of people accommodated, and number of bedrooms. 

After clicking on St. Lucia, you can choose which city you would like to visit based on the current time shares available. Currently, the choices are Castries and Gros Illet.

I chose Castries for this demonstration. There were three time share locations, two of which currently have time share rentals available. I love how everything on the site is so easy to follow. They really have a great set up so that you can get all the information you need to quickly make a decision. Prices and travel months are shown in this summary as well as an image of the resort, user star rating, and the number of reviews. You can view all time shares that are currently available for rent, sale or exchange. In this particular area, availability goes all the way into 2014 so you can plan way ahead!

Resort Options
When you choose which resort you want to explore further, you click on the name to go to the description page. It shows everything you need to know about the location and all the time share information.
Resort details page - Description
Resort details page - Availability
There is a short description you can click to read more and a tab that shows any available features and amenities. The available rental dates are set out individually including prices, nights, dates, and unit view, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and occupancy. You can view each time share to get more details such as contact information, included amenities, smoking or non-smoking, pets allowed, kitchen included, types of beds, etc. I found the site to be very detailed. I think they really make an effort to cover everything you need to know. You also can contact the owner if there are any questions left unanswered. 

Note on Access: In order to view the specific listings and contact the owner, you will need a paid RedWeek.com membership. The cost is only $14.99 for 12-month access.

If you are serious about pursuing time shares, you will want to access the resort reviews. These customer reviews will truly help you decide where to stay and where to avoid. You wouldn’t believe how detailed some of these reviews are. They tell you everything about the resort, probably some things the resort would rather you not know. 

One member, kareng309, commented on three different rooms they saw during their stay in 2009 at the Windjammer, “Others may feel differently because the living room has a pullout sofa and access to a full bath. The view from the balcony was spectacular but there was far less space than we had at #19. Number 34 was a complete turn off to us. It was old and cavernous. The stairways were narrow and the lower bedroom was quite dark and dank. Hibiscus was nice, newer and all on one level. The main area was by far the smallest but well appointed. The bedrooms were nice as were the bathrooms. The balcony had a hot tub for two and a table with four chairs but it felt small. The benefit is close access to the lobby and beach.”

They also spoke of security issues, local restaurants, and an Island tour which they seemed to have enjoyed. Any site that allows customers to post the truth, no matter how bad the truth is, gets an A in my book! Those who have used the time shares are the best ones to describe how it really is and give the rest of us the tools to make the best decision for ourselves and our families.

Choosing your time share – what’s next?

Once you have created your account, read the reviews and looked at the pictures, and you are finally ready to book your vacation and rent the time share, RedWeek.com strives to give you all the tools you need for a successful transaction! When you go to the view option under the specific time share you are ready to choose, you will contact the owner and discuss the specific details of the transaction. Once you have made an agreement, you go to RedWeek’s rental process page to see what your options are for finalizing the rental.

Time share rental details
Basically, RedWeek provides you everything you need to make your decision of where to stay and when to stay, they help you contact the owner, and after that it’s up to you to finish the process. With your paid account, you can post your time shares on the site for rent or exchange. You can use the site to view other’s experiences and contact other owners, but you cannot rent time shares directly on the website. Since they do not control the transaction, there are no added fees or surprise charges and RedWeek can offer you the best prices that come directly from the time share owner.

View of the Account Details page.
The rental process page does offer some suggestions for services to help protect your investment should you decide to work out a rental agreement with a time share owner. They also have a link for you to share your experience, which will help other users decide the best way to protect themselves. Good experience or bad, you can be honest about who you dealt with and tell exactly what happened. You can also mention any type of escrow service you used to oversee the process, and they may add them to their page for users.
RedWeek offers top notch customer service and will do everything they can to help you have a pleasant experience. They offer a variety ways of contacting them if anything goes wrong or if you need to voice any concerns or technical issues. I noticed the site was very quick to load, the resort pages were filled with pictures and helpful reviews, and the time share owners were clear about what is included with their specific time share rental.

The Final Word

Time share rentals are an affordable way to take a week-long vacation to nearly any place on Earth. Many time shares offer rates comparable or less than those of a typical hotel stay. Many include kitchens which will save you from wasting money having to constantly eat out during your stay. Many amenities and some special activities may be included with your time share rental that you would not have been able to do at a hotel without an extra charge if at all. Families looking to stay in their budget range but still have a great time in an exotic place will want to take advantage of timeshares.

RedWeek.com is a great resource for finding information on timeshare availability and getting the skinny on resorts from real customers who have really been there. They provide a great deal of detail on the website and offer great customer service to answer your questions and help you through the rental process.
RedWeek.com memberships are very affordable and are definitely worth it if you have ever considered taking a vacation on a time share rental.

RedWeek.com has provided one free 2-year membership for one lucky reader!!

Giveaway Details:
Open: 1/12/13 - 1/26/13
Open World Wide to those 18 and older
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or another winner will be chosen in their place.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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