There are many subtle nuances about timeshares that are difficult to pick up on your own. Some owners go many years without figuring out how to properly trade their timeshare, much less get the most out of trading. With a little research and education, any timeshare owner can learn how to trade with the best of them. Let’s get you started on your way to expert trading with our top ten tips for trading timeshares. These exchange tips will assist you with any timeshare exchange company, such as: Resort Condominiums International (RCI), Interval International (II) and San Francisco Exchange (SFX).
1. Deposit Early
Depositing your weeks early gives you the biggest advantage of any other tip. When you deposit your points or weeks early, you can give yourself the highest amount of time to find the right vacation for you and your family. An exchange company relies on their members to deposit their weeks for others to trade with. If you deposit your accommodations too close to the check-in date, you may be penalized or not even accepted. You can get your best trade
value from depositing early.
2. Book Early
As the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” Be sure to book your home week as early as possible, so you can deposit your week or points early. This way, not matter if you are depositing first, or reserving first, you can ensure you have the value of your home week deposited, rather than trying to book another week and/or property then trying to deposit that.
Submitting your search early can also give you your best chance at booking your desired location. Trading is based on availability and operate on a first come, first serve basis. Especially for those high demand weeks, it is a good idea to submit your search request as soon as possible.
3. Be Flexible
Trading companies have limited availability of each resort and weeks offered for those resorts. Many times, traders will not be able to book the exact week and location desired. It is important to be flexible in your travel plans. Giving a broad range of dates and locations will give traders a better opportunity for booking a reservation. If you are heart is set on a specific location, then keeping a wide range of dates will be the best way to get a reservation there. If dates cannot be changed, then having a variety of locations during those specific dates may offer a greater opportunity in finding a satisfactory reservation.
4. Consider New Places
Shake up your yearly vacation and visit a new location. Trading and exchanging can be great for visiting places that you have never been before. Of course you enjoy vacationing at your home resort, I mean, isn’t that why you bought it in the first place? Using your home week can also be a great way to visit other resorts across the globe. Perhaps you are celebrating a significant anniversary or decade birthday, why not enjoy a completely different destination?
New places may require a different amount of points to reserve your accommodations. This can be a good way to get multiple weeks out of your home week or combine your points together for one big vacation! There are so many ways that trading can change up your timeshare vacation that it is definitely worth considering.
5. Smaller Units
If you are able to stay in a smaller unit, request a smaller unit. Doing so will greatly increase the mileage you get out of your exchange points. Smaller units require less points, giving you the option to extend your trip or take multiple vacations.
6. Request Brand New Properties
Brand new properties do not have as many sold units as other, more veteran, properties. Due to the fact that there are not as many owned units, there are more units available for trading and exchanging into. Timeshare owners get priority reservation windows to ensure that they are able to book their ownership unit(s). Afterall, they should get what they pay for. New resorts have fewer owned units, leaving more available to everyone else to book.
Aside from the fact that there are less owners at newer resorts, the resorts themselves are going to be more modern and may offer special amenities that their other resorts do not. Consumer demands change over time and newer resorts will offer the latest innovations and trends to customers.
7. Consider Different Exchange Companies
Although your timeshare developer may have a deal with a specific exchange company, like RCI or Interval International, you may be able to use a smaller boutique exchange company, such as SFX. Other exchange companies may be offering deals when your current trading company is not. You may also find that you can reserve timeshare properties that are not available with your current exchange company. In the case of SFX, you can exchange your high-end Marriott properties with high-end HGVC properties. We have nothing against Interval International or RCI, but it is always a good idea to keep your options open.
8. Airfare Review
Before you submit your search, be sure to review the airfare that would be necessary for your trip. If the flights from your location to another are too expensive, you may consider another destination. Airport accessibility can also be a factor in choosing where you want to vacation to. Many timeshare properties are not within a close range to an airport and require more than just a shuttle from the airport. Renting a car may be available, but that adds another cost to your trip that you may or may not be willing to spend.
9. Check-in Days
Check-in days can be stressful and exciting. Generally, travelers like to check-in and check-out on the weekends, making availability on Mondays and Tuesdays more available to travelers. Especially if you are looking to book just a few days at a time, you may have better luck finding a match for your search if you allow for Monday and Tuesday check-in dates.
10. Start An On-Going Search
Making an on-going search with your trading company will allow you to save your spot in line for the resort you desire. These on-going searches are prioritized by age of the search. The older the search is, the higher priority. It’s first-come, first-serve. So, this means it is important to get your on-going search submitted as early as possible. As discussed before, it is wise to keep you options as open as possible to ensure that you find a vacation you want. Each exchange company handles their open searches a little bit differently, and it is a good idea to find out, ahead of time, how they work.
Using trading companies to exchange your home week or points for the opportunity to visit a wide variety of other resorts can be a fabulous tool. If you have any questions about exchange companies or timeshare ownerships, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.