Despite a seemingly desperate urge to scratch the wanderer itch, inflation is dampening many Americans’ desire to revenge travel after two-plus years of COVID restrictions.
Prices have gone through the roof on flights, car rentals, gas, and more.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), hotel prices alone have increased about 39%, hitting a record high price.
Yet experts predict that Summer 2022 will be the busiest travel season ever.
Timeshare owners, though, can sit back and relax, knowing they won’t be affected by inflation, because they paid for a lifetime of vacations up-front.
It’s also much easier for timeshare owners to make a reservation in contrast to making a reservation at hotels.
The Cost of Timeshares Vs. Hotels
A hotel stay is, on average, about $137-$172 per night, as reported by AAA. So for an entire week’s vacation, a family of four will spend about $1,200 just on a hotel reservation.
And the price in most vacation spots has increased thanks to inflation.
Timeshare owners that purchased vacation ownership in 2011 at $18,400 have almost broken even by now.
Besides the initial up-front cost, owners only pay annual maintenance fees, which are $1,120 per year on average, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA).
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is another example of a timeshare brand that has soared in price for non-members. Walt Disney World Resort vacationers are currently looking at spending $700 per night at a branded Disney hotel on the property.
Meanwhile, owners that purchased DVC points at the original DVC property in 1991 originally paid $48-$51 per point.
That’s around $7,650 for 150 points, which covers two weeks in a Deluxe Studio at Disney’s Old Key West now.
A DVC owner has more than broken even on their points’ purchase and is basically paying the same rate of a Disney hotel now that they paid back in 1991.
Inflation has affected other travel expenses, not only hotels.
According to recent research by digital advertising platform Cardlytics, consumer spending with a year-over-year increase of 99% among airlines, 110% in amusement parks, 345% cruise lines, and 83% among travel aggregators and agencies.
However, timeshare owners have been able to at least save money without needing to book a hotel.
Recent research found that 66% of the time, someone who booked a hotel room 15 days before their stay, instead of four months in advance, saved money.
However, it is a gamble to wait until nearly the last minute to book a hotel reservation due to inflation. Certain clubs and resorts offer last-minute getaways that timeshare owners can easily book at steeper discounts.
What is a Timeshare?
Timeshares are an alternative to purchasing a second vacation home.
They allow the security of having a second destination to visit without the large purchase of a house that most families will only stay for a small part of the year and need to maintain on their own. Timeshares started as fixed week timeshares.
Today, the industry has revolutionized to include floating weeks, fractional ownership, points-based, biennial, etc.
Units at timeshare resorts have more space than a traditional hotel, with fully-equipped kitchens and private bedrooms for maximum comfort.
Timeshare owners are not only paying less than the average traveler, but they also have extra amenities.
These can include a washer/dryer, housekeeping, concierge, on-site staff, pools, spas, fitness centers, and events and activities. ARDA estimates that the average size of a timeshare unit is 1030 square feet, which is larger than an average apartment. 61% of those units are also two bedrooms.
With extraordinary amenities and spacious units, it’s proven that timeshares cost tens of thousands of dollars less on vacations over a lifetime than hotels or vacation home rentals.
There are over 1500 timeshare resorts in the United States, with over 270,000 units. Top hospitality companies such as Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, and even Disney have timeshare resorts in all corners of the world, making it easy for their owners to travel to almost any destination, especially with an exchange membership.
In addition, vacation exchange platforms such as RCI or Interval International allow timeshare owners to trade their weeks or points for thousands of other resort and hotel offerings.
With savings over a lifetime of vacations, flexibility, and hundreds of vacation options, it’s no surprise that 87% of all owners rate their timeshare experience as excellent, very good, or good.
Owning a timeshare secures owners a place to stay on vacation year after year with no change in cost. There’s no worry about the rise in hotel room prices, offering security against inflation in the future.
Disclosure: The author is not a licensed or registered investment adviser or broker/dealer. They are not providing you with individual investment advice. Please consult with a licensed investment professional before you invest your money.
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Tim Thomas has investments in real estate.
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