One thing that bothers me the most about the travel community is the great debate about travelers versus tourists and whether any particular form of travel is more legitimate than another. The age-old debate of how far off the beaten path people are willing to explore is a tired one.
Having stayed at a small selection of all-inclusive resorts, taken a couple of cruises and joined a tour to explore part of my hometown, I’ve decided that there is no wrong way to travel. Which brings me to the discussion of the legitimacy of the timeshare industry is.
In full disclosure, I have worked in the timeshare industry. I am familiar with the arguments for and against timeshare, and I have my own opinions on how I feel about timeshare properties and companies, but those aren’t relevant to this post.
With that in mind, I’d like to tell you briefly about Royal Holidays, a vacation club company that offers a timeshare-esque experience with a lot more flexibility. Old school timeshare companies used to sell people a room in a place at a certain time of year that was the same year after year after year. It was a consistent agreement with no unknowns. Today, people prefer a bit more flexibility, so Royal Holidays, like many other timeshare companies, offers people the opportunity to buy a certain number of points that can then be spent on a selection of properties during a variety of seasons in many different destinations.
The purpose of buying into a vacation club is to secure and guarantee your purchase of vacations (and, therefore, memories) for many years to come.
Royal Holidays hosted me on a trip to Dominican Republic, and I stayed at one of the properties where the company has rooms. This is one of more than 180 properties located throughout the world, with an emphasis on Mexico and the Caribbean. In addition to offering a slew of properties at which vacation club members can spend points to stay, the company has partnership deals that provide members with more destination options (with a transaction fee) as well as cruises and other vacation opportunities.
I can’t say whether I endorse Royal Holidays or not because I don’t have any personal experience with the company other than my stay in Dominican Republic. The property I stayed at was beautiful, and my vacation was relaxing and relatively seamless, but I did not have any experience dealing with the company’s customer service department nor do I have details on how the finances and yearly maintenance fees/club dues work. I think the most important thing to note is that belonging to a vacation club is not a wrong or bad way to travel. It is just a different way to travel, and if this is something you might be interested in, then I would advise you to do your research about the variety of vacation club companies that are available and spend time talking with people in person or on timeshare forums about vacation clubs before buying into one.
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