We were featured yesterday in an article in the Daily Mirror in which we look to help prospective buyers with a commonly asked question “What’s the best timeshare to buy?”
Unfortunately there isn’t really one direct answer to this since your choice should be dictated by factors such as how often you holiday, where, when, how many people you holiday with and how likely it is that your holidaying habits will change in the coming years.
Whilst the following suggestions use some quite sweeping stereotypes that may over simplify things a little, hopefully they provide some food-for-thought.
If you have plans to start a family then you should consider that sooner or later your holiday needs are going to take a dramatic change. Even before your future offspring reach the age whereby you’re bound to holidaying in the peak school holiday periods, your preferred destinations and the size of accommodation will change.
Therefor young couples may well want to consider timeshare points such as eXpectations Holidays since this can provide a low cost entry to a very flexible product that can easily be increased as and when the time comes that your holidays fall within the peak July / August periods.
Couples with no children or retired couples
Flexible couples looking to avoid busy peak periods have a plethora of additional holidays on offer through exchange organisations from which to choose.
So, couples owning just one week or a relatively modest amount of points can still easily take three holidays a year by taking advantage of “Bonus Weeks”, “Late Breaks” or “Extra Holidays”. Here you are effectively renting holiday accommodation but at very attractive prices which can often save hundreds of pounds to similar alternatives available to non timeshare owners.
These couples could take the approach that they’ll never visit the timeshare resort at which they own and instead opt to exchange it each year to book a specific holiday and make use of the additional holidays to maximise value.
If you’re taking this approach then we’d probably advise against owning a 3 bedroom apartment in UK resort boasting a huge array of facilities since this is likely to contribute towards a higher annual management fee.
Instead a studio or 1 bedroom week at resorts such as those in Malta and Madeira which traditionally have very reasonable management fees and run on a leasehold basis spring to mind as plausible options.
If there is a particular destination the couple have enjoyed holidays at more regularly then it may well also make sense to look at options in this destination.
Families with school age children
Timesharing in the school holidays can provide fantastic value. However, for families having to adhere to the school holidays owning a week in one of the peak periods is imperative. Whilst you might pay a premium for School Holiday weeks to begin with (even on the resale market), it is generally the case that your annual costs will be exactly the same as those who own the same accommodation in the low season.
So, after the initial purchase you shouldn’t be paying any premium on a yearly basis for your peak-season accommodation.
Whilst they are more illusive on the resale market, owning a UK timeshare in a school holiday period is an option many people consider since after the initial purchase the family can enjoy a good quality, cost effective holiday if they choose not to exchange their timeshare in any one year.
If they do decide to exchange and to visit another destination then the family will be depositing a highly desirable week and so therefor have greater trading power when making an exchange request.
Families should avoid “Floating Weeks” unless the season expressively covers only school holiday periods. Sometimes these may be referred to as “Gold Holiday” or “Platinum” floating weeks.
A floating week system which gives all owner complete flexibility to book anytime of the year is probably going to require that you reserve your week early and doesn’t give you a cast iron guarantee.
Timeshare Points can again be an option especially if the children are entering their teens and the parents only have a few more years left before being free of the school holiday shackles!
A number of the calls we receive from first time buyers may enquire about a particular resort recommended to them another owner. Peace of mind is an important factor when buying a timeshare so if someone has recommended a specific resort or product, find out how they holiday and what they are especially impressed by.
If you share similar holiday habits then it is certainly a viable option to look more closely at how things would stack up for you and compare this option against something quite different to ensure your making an informed opinion.
For those considering timeshare as a permanent holiday home as opposed to an alternative to package holidays you may well find the availability on the resale market frustrating.
For example, a common request we receive is for specific apartments at a particular resort on a specific week. The request essentially may require just one set of existing owners to be looking to sell and at a price you wish to pay.
If there’s a resort you’re a particularly keen on revisiting then try and widen you criteria as much as possible and be ready to pounce in the event that something suitable comes along. Since almost all our inventory comes from private individuals we can’t simply re-order something once it has been sold.
Whilst not always the case, one group of holidaymakers for whom timeshare doesn’t fair so well for are single travellers.
Whilst single travellers can still get some great value from the benefits of an exchange membership, the economics don’t add up so well as they do for couples and families.