We visited our first Vacation Club in Bali earlier this year. It was a surprisingly great experience and I would definitely go back.
What could be better than jetting off whenever you feel like it to one of more than a dozen vacation destinations? Though this might seem like something that only the rich and famous can do, enrolling in a vacation club gives you that option too. Vacation clubs let you pay a set fee to visit a destination available in the club. Other programs let you earn additional points when you make travel arrangements and use those points to visit other locations. As not all vacation clubs are exactly the same, it's important that you know what to look for when joining a club.
The Total Cost
One of the first things you need to look at is the total cost of membership in the vacation club. Some clubs charge a set fee of a few thousand dollars, but there are also clubs that charge ten times that amount. In addition to the upfront cost, you'll want to look at any additional fees required of members. Some companies ask that you pay annual dues or fees or risk losing any points you accumulated. There may also be fees for members who do not use the club at least once a year or more often.
Though many people join vacation clubs with dreams of using their memberships multiple times a year, some find that work or personal obligations prevent them from using the clubs. Before enrolling, ask what happens if you want to sell your membership later. Though clubs have different rules for selling or transferring memberships, many clubs require that you sell your membership back to the club. Others will let you sell your membership on the secondary market but have final approval over who buys your package.
Included in the Package
You should always look at what comes with your package when you buy in to a vacation club. Most standard packages come with a certain number of nights at a resort or hotel in that club. You may also have the option of purchasing a more advance package that includes meals, activities, tickets to popular attractions and a stay in a hotel. Other packages may come with airfare and a rental car too. Make sure that the club fully explains what amenities come with your package and which cost extra.
Adding or Changing Your Membership
When looking at vacation clubs, ask questions about whether you can add to your package or change your package in the future. A large number of these clubs offer multiple membership levels. A gold level will likely come with more features than a bronze package might. Royal Holiday and other vacation clubs may let you change your membership levels to include more features for an additional fee. This lets you adjust your membership as your personal life changes. When choosing the right vacation club, make sure that you look at the features of the club and ask questions relating to how you can use that club.
Charlie Tinder is a travel addict and always loves to stay in Vacation Clubs! She is currently researching Vacation Clubs in Costa Rica.