Ownership FAQs

Timeshare ownership will surprise you. The industry has evolved and these are not your grandparents' timeshares any more. You will be surprised by all the travel opportunities available when using your points/credits/intervals within your timeshare company's club or exchanging to a resort with another timeshare company and in another country altogether! You've got questions. We've got answers!

Timeshares are: affordable, flexible and easy.

When timeshare vacations started over 40 years ago, owners would purchase a week of time at a particular resort for a particular period. This type of plan was okay for families who liked to travel to the same place every year. Timeshare plans have evolved and now offer choices for everyone. Timeshare owners can now choose where they want to go and when. They can also choose how long they want to stay and what size accommodations they require for a particular vacation. They can even choose to take a cruise or stay at an all inclusive resort through membership programs.

One of the most popular features of a timeshare vacation is that families typically stay in fully furnished condominium-units with home-style amenities that often include kitchens, washer/dryer, entertainment centers and even hot tubs.

There is a variety of timeshare units to choose from. Sizes of accommodations vary from resort to resort and include everything from studios to four-bedroom suites that sleep ten. The flexibility of timeshares today gives you the option to pick the type of unit that you need for a particular vacation.

The concept of timeshares, or vacation ownership as it is now often referred to, originated in the French Alps in the 1960s. Now, more than 50 years later, it is one of the most popular vacation options for families who want to get more for their vacation dollars. Timeshares are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global hospitality industry with double-digit annual growth rate over the past two decades.

Flexibility in locations, size of units, time of year and length of stay are positives often cited by timeshare owners. Members also enjoy the ability to own their vacations, which ultimately protect them from paying higher future lodging costs. But perhaps the most important reason for timeshares' popularity is due to the vacations families enjoy every year in spacious accommodations at world-class resorts featuring numerous amenities and activities.

In some timeshare systems, owners receive a deed to a particular property or unit that entitles them to a certain number of points/credits/intervals that are used for a number of nights in that timeshare resort each year. These points/credits/intervals can also be exchanged for other resorts. In other systems, timeshares are not tied to a specific property and are purely points/credits/intervals based. Points/credits/intervals are allotted annually and can be used for resort stays at any resort owned or operated under the particular timeshare plan. More points/credits/intervals can usually be purchased in order to lengthen or expand vacation options within the particular timeshare system.

Whether points, credits, or intervals, timeshare vacations can sometimes be "banked" for future use, often for up to one or two years. If owners join an exchange program with a third party exchange company, they can trade their points/credits/intervals for resort stays at other timeshare resorts affiliated with the same exchange company, thus giving them access to many other vacation destinations. The best way to understand the differences between different timeshare systems is to talk to a timeshare specialist.

The price of a timeshare unit/ timeshare vacation will depend on the popularity of the location, the size of the unit, and the points/credits/intervals purchased. According to Consumer Reports timeshares can save you money over hotel rooms over time. And our Vacation Cost Estimates section will show you what your vacation dollars can buy

The foremost reason to buy a timeshare unit is for vacations. Taking regular vacations is key to both physical and mental rejuvenation. Vacations allow you to make time for your family and rediscover the everyday joy in even the simplest of activities.

Whether you see vacations as the chance to rekindle family relationships, recharge your batteries, expand your horizons or enrich your life, vacations have the same result: supreme relaxation.

Timeshare units can offer extensive amenities and well-designed accommodations, from studios to four-bedroom units that sleep 10. Typically, the units are completely - and tastefully - furnished. All the comforts of home are usually there, including a fully equipped kitchen, TVs, microwave, and often a washer, dryer and hot tub.

Timeshare resort amenities and activities may include golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, boating, skiing, restaurants and sometimes even events and activities for children.

Maintenance fees are essential to ensure that the resorts where you stay are well maintained and updated. For deeded timeshares, maintenance fees are most often based on: the size of the unit, the location, and the length of the interval. For points-based timeshares, maintenance fees are generally based on the amount of points owned. Fees include costs of running the resort, maintenance of the property, insurance, utilities, and replacement of fixtures, furniture and appliances.

Many timeshares resorts allow you to rollover, or "bank" your time to the next year when you can enjoy a longer vacation then. Another option is to let family or friends enjoy the unit.

The beauty of timeshares is their ability to keep up with their owners' changing needs. Whether you are single, married, have young or adult-age children, or are retired, timeshares can be adapted to fit your lifestyle. With more and more timeshares offering greater flexibility, chances are good you can find a timeshare compatible with whatever life stage you are in. Most programs even allow you to pass your timeshare on to your children.