How timeshare and holiday exchange changed our lives and saw us travel the world
We met timeshare owners, Beverly and Anthony, at the recent EUROC conference where they shared with us their amazing experience of being timeshare owners. They also explained how by exchanging with RCI they were able to discover not just new resorts, but new continents! Here are Beverly’s own words, as to how timeshare has enriched her family’s lives.
It was in 1988, 31 years ago that we purchased our timeshare and joined the exchange company RCI. We were a young married couple who at the time spent our holidays touring Europe on our motorcycle and camping along the way.
The timeshare industry sadly has earned a bad reputation over the years We found it to be surrounded by suspicion. Aggressive marketing and selling techniques are largely responsible for this image. The concept of timeshare is a brilliant one and when managed successfully it is a winning combination. We cautiously sought legal advice before we purchased and were informed it could be a gamble. A gamble that for us, paid off handsomely! What we found to be true is that timeshare is an investment in holidays and lifestyle, not to be confused with property investment.
The magic of exchange
So it was with great excitement that we rode to Southern Spain to stay at our holiday home for the first time. As you can imagine, the transition from camping to staying in a beautiful apartment was a turning point.
The following year saw us using the RCI exchange system for the first time. In those days we browsed the RCI directory packed full of exciting far-flung places – some of which we could only dream of visiting. A phone call with an RCI travel guide had us booked into our chosen destination which was Portugal that year. We set off on an epic journey taking us through 3 countries and arriving at our destination in the Algarve three days later. Our holiday home awaiting us this time was a fabulous town house apartment. Clean, spacious and comfortable in every way, this standard of accommodation was to be upheld for the next 30 years.
With the help of RCI we were about to realise our shared goal in life; to see the world.
In the early days of our ownership. RCI offered two for one deals exchanging into America. So the next year found us flying to the sunshine State of Florida. This was to be the beginning of our love affair with the United States.
Beverly and family
Once in a life time
Two years later our next exchange holiday and big adventure took us to California with our three month old baby girl, Rhiannon. Her first dip in a swimming pool was in the beautiful dessert, of Palm Springs.
The next RCI exchange we were in Miami and accommodation was a bungalow this time right on Miami beach. We travelled from there visiting near by Fort Lauderdale and down to the Florida Keys. Driving across alligator alley we reached Sanibel, one of the top shelling beaches in the world and saw stingray and dolphins close to the shore.
Whenever we visited either Florida or California we managed a day at Disney. I think it’s safe to say our daughter started to think of Minnie Mouse as her cousin! On another occasion we exchanged into Orange Lake and were joined by our parents. As luck would have it the space shuttle Atlantis was being launched at Cape Canaveral. We spent the day there excitedly waiting to watch a once in a life time spectacle to happen – and Rhiannon learned to count from 10 backwards!
As school terms became restrictive we had to change the way we used RCI as we could no longer book an exchange holiday and fly off three days later. We learned that early banking equalled a better trading power and advanced booking secured the exchange of our choice.
Our parents witnessing our wonderful holiday experience’s bought an apartment at the same resort as us upon retirement and used the exchange system in a different way. They happily returned to their apartment in Spain but banked their weeks with RCI so they accumulated two weeks for their visits.
Through the years we’ve witnessed the progress and improvements of the Exchange System with both the launch of RCI.Com and more recently the more transparent trading powers. Using a live system showing availability, viewing many photographs and reading reviews is extremely helpful in making the right choices and managing expectations.
The introduction of the new Trading Power has made our timeshare more valuable to us. In 31 years as RCI members we have only had reason to complain twice. On both occasions we were dealt with efficiently and issues were resolved to our satisfaction, an outstanding track record .
Over the years we’ve travelled far and wide. We went to Kaui in Hawai for my 50th Birthday – a long held dream as I used to watch Hawaii Five O as a child.
We’ve experienced Kuala Lumpur and the sweltering jungles of Negare National Park and in Pahang watched three baby elephants bathe before joining the locals in a hot spring.
One year we went swimming in a sink hole near the Mayan ruins of Mexico, and another we snorkelled with a baby shark in the Cayman islands.
And we haven’t stopped yet! This years vacation was in Sint Maarten, part of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.
Grand Cayman Island
The journey continues...
On our journey we’ve met many interesting people but one owner, in particular stands out, as he owned 21 weeks. He was enjoying a wonderful retirement and we were inspired! Now with retirement on the horizon for us, our focus is firmly on further travel. As for our daughter Rhiannon, she is eagerly browsing RCI.com right now for a honeymoon destination!
Our sincere thanks to Beverly and Anthony for sharing their story with us.
If you too have been inspired to discover more about timeshare, visit our dedicated pages here.
For more information about RCI click here
For more information about EUROC (European Resort Owners Coalition) click here