As of 2020, the timeshare industry was worth an estimated $9.2 billion. With so much money pouring into this late 1960s relic, it must be worth it for investors, right? Wrong.
In 2019, CNBC asked readers what their most regrettable financial decision was. Five answers popped up over and over again, and one of them was the purchase of a timeshare.
We often hear about the horrors of timeshares and the lengths investors go to in order to get out of timeshare contracts. The reality is that timeshare vacations often end up just as unpleasant as the hole it leaves in your wallet.
What’s so horrible about timeshare vacations? Keep reading for eight glaring reasons that a timeshare vacation isn’t worth the money.
1. You’re Probably Not Saving as Much as You Were Promised
At the forefront of the timeshare spiel is that by buying into a timeshare, you’re saving tons of money you’d spend on traditional vacations. The reality is that there are plenty of ways to cut down on vacation spending, from traveling on weekdays or during the offseason to staying in accommodations equipped with a kitchen and cooking most of your meals.
Timeshares aren’t the savings solution they’re made out to be. Even if you don’t have to receive financing in order to pay off your dues–loans that typically come with massive interest rates–you’re still going to pay for “hidden” fees over time. Most people find that once they’ve bought in, the maintenance fees, alone, cost more than a traditional vacation.
2. The Appeal of a Travel Spot Loses Its Luster After a Few Years
So you went to the beach and had a great time. You’re offered the option to make that beach your yearly haven and hey, why wouldn’t you want to recreate those incredible memories year after year?
Chances are, after visiting the same spot a few years in a row, you’re going to get a little bored. After all, there are probably a lot of places you’d love to visit in your lifetime!
3. The Properties, Themselves, Tend to Lose Their Luster
In spite of all those maintenance fees, the condo or resort you’re paying for won’t stay cutting edge forever. In fact, timeshares tend to depreciate in value because the properties become outdated within a matter of years. New hotels, resorts, and even timeshares are going up every day, which means that eventually, yours may not seem so impressive in comparison.
4. Trading Isn’t That Easy
If you’re bored with your own timeshare, you can just make a trade and go somewhere else, right? Maybe.
First of all, not all timeshares come with a trading option in the first place, which means you’re 100% stuck with the location you’ve paid for. As for those that do allow for trading, you may want to take a look at the rules and regulations. A lot of times, you have to trade for “comparable” properties–which may be more specific and restrictive than you were initially told.
5. Timeshares Force You to Make Unnecessary Choices
Depending on the kind of timeshare you have, you may have a very specific window in which you can use it. Either way, skipping a year at your timeshare is like throwing away all of that money you initially invested and the maintenance fee you’re expected to pay whether you go or not.
What happens if something else comes up? Say your timeshare week also happens to be the week of your best friend’s wedding or the rest of your family is planning a pricey destination reunion. Because you’re already locked into a yearly vacation, having a timeshare can force you to make unpleasant decisions that you otherwise wouldn’t have to make.
6. You Still Have to Pay Travel Expenses
When you’re getting that “timeshares are great” spiel, you’ll probably have a lot of numbers thrown at you. The sales team is going to talk about how much the price of hotels will appreciate, how much it costs to visit their location without a timeshare, and more.
What they tend to leave out? Travel expenses. Taking timeshare vacations, in spite of all the money you’ve already paid for them, still entails paying for gas, bus fare, or plane tickets.
7. Hotels Aren’t Getting That Much More Expensive
Let’s get back to that idea that hotels are going up in price. Is it really true?
Hotel prices fluctuate constantly throughout the year. Sure, a hotel may cost more right now than it did the last time you stayed in it. However, that has far more to do with demand than it does with a steady growth in prices.
If hotel prices are keeping you from taking your dream vacation sans timeshare, shop around. Consider planning your vacation during the week, rather than taking a long weekend. Alternatively, take a look at the hotels that are a little farther away from the main attractions.
8. Timeshare Vacations Remind You of Your Unfortunate Investment Year After Year
We know that timeshares tend to become a burden. That tends to mean that timeshare vacations tend to feel a little like you’ve got a cloud hanging over your head the whole time. After all, it’s hard to enjoy a vacation that reminds you of financial strain or bad investments!
Say Goodbye to Timeshare Vacations and Hello to Freedom
Timeshare vacations seem to be as popular as ever when you look at how much the industry is worth. The reality is that for many families, timeshare vacations have come to represent one of the worst investments they’ve made.
If you want to say goodbye to your timeshare, we’re here to help. Contact us and we’ll begin with a free consultation and walk you through your options. We’re here to help you get your vacation freedom back!