Beware of Time Share/Vacation Clubs

Timeshare and Travel Club Information Guide

Over the years, travelers going on vacation to Mexico, Caribbean and Florida have run into the opportunity to attend a timeshare or travel club presentation while staying at their hotel or resort. While many of the companies who promote timeshares and travel clubs are legitimate companies, some guests feel pressured to purchase the company’s product. Our goal is to prepare you ahead of time for what you may encounter when in one of these destinations. If you understand how these presentations and the incentives offered work, we hope you are more likely to make a more informed decision.

• When someone buys a timeshare, they are essentially purchasing (along with other people) a property unit and “sharing” the time spent in it.
• Don't be fooled. Resorts and Condo's have developed sales techniques to make you believe you are not buying a time share, but a vacation club, or travel club, or many other names.
o The timeshare owner usually has one or more weeks per year the unit is available for their use.
• Most timeshare units and travel club memberships are sold in a 90 minute to 3-hour long presentation that use high pressure sales tactics.
o There are usually some enticing incentives offered: discounted and/or free hotel rooms, attraction admission tickets, and other
prizes. It’s possible that some incentives may be legitimate but beware that some may not.
o Please be aware if you are offered something for free immediately upon arriving at a property (or in the airport as soon as you go
through customs and the luggage area) you simply need to say, “NO THANK YOU”. Then a firmer NO if the salesperson persists.
When it comes to travel clubs, most companies might not work the way travelers want to travel. For example:
• The club can sometimes offer great pricing but many times the customer service is non-existent, or the offered price is not available when booking.
• Many of these timeshares require not only a large investment up front but you often pay yearly maintenance fee’s as well as additional resort fees per night when you stay.
• Clients may not have much choice in the details of their vacation. You may not get what you paid for. i.e., certain room category, amenities etc…

Tips to Prepare Travelers with Timeshare and Travel Club Offers

1. No matter what ‘deal’ you are presented with, do not feel obligated to commit to purchase a timeshare or travel club membership while at the presentation. Take the material home and take time to evaluate carefully if the deal offered is
a good one.
2. Typically, prizes or incentives come with fine print. Read it. If asked to pay for something, such as show tickets for a discounted rate, feel free to decline the offer.
3. Read the contract and have it reviewed by an attorney. If the salesperson promised you something that's not in the contract, don't sign the contract!
4. If the presentation is too high pressure, leave. You have every right to leave when you want. Simply stand up and politely say 'thank you very much but we're leaving now.' Don't let them argue with you.
5. Consider a timeshare the same way you'd consider any other real estate investment. Do research and educate yourself on the market and the value. It is hard to get out of a time share. You own it forever.
6. Use common sense when considering the discounts offered by companies. Many travel clubs promise 50% off airfare prices, or 50% off cruise vacations. Talk to your travel advisor to verify if these offers are viable.
7. To ensure that your vacation time is being enjoyed as much as possible we suggest that you “JUST SAY NO” to vacation interval/timeshare presentations.

**If you have questions about a vacation club or timeshare opportunity while on your vacation, please reach out to our agency for any input we can provide to you.