Timeshare Swaps -
Creative Timeshare Travel
+ $0 Exchanges Fees
Here's a clever idea for using that timeshare you no longer use or even want. This is based on a
few assumptions - 1.) You still like and want to travel; 2.) You're willing to travel to non-specific
locations (not necessarily your top #1 choice of location of resort); 3.) You can continue to pay your
owner's fees; and 4.) You can afford to travel even if its only somewhere close to home.
There are homes swap exchange sites all over the world. Now, you would never consider swapping
your home to a stranger, but what about your timeshare? If you bought one because it's in an
attractive location, it's attractive to others as well. Even if you can't exchange it through RCI, II, or
other timeshare exchanges, you have a whole other market to use - home swap exchanges.
Why does this work? For the same reason you initially bought your timeshare. People want to
travel, live in some comfort and want to save money at the same time. Those that swap their homes
generally find that their precious keepsakes are still there intact when they return and, since it didn't
cost them more than the cost of their own home during the swap period, it saves money. Your home
costs you 1/4 the monthly mortgage, insurance, utilities, etc. per week and you have to pay those
whether your home is vacant or used by someone else. If you exchange the home use, you don't
have to pay the extra $200+ per day a resort quality hotel costs you for your vacation stay. Your
timeshare costs you the owner's fees for the week, whether it's used or not.
Let's consider the process. Visit several home exchange web sites. They can be found through a
search for "Home Exchange" or "Home Swap".
Once on one of the sites, browse or search through the listings for something in an area you might be
interested in visiting. Some sites allow you to browse by requested locations of the listing properties.
In that case, put in the city your timeshare is in. You will find that people that swap homes often have
as much flexibility as you do now that you have a hard time getting anything through a "normal" TS
exchange program. Follow the site direction on anything that fits for you and you're on your way. You
just traded a timeshare you're not using to someone that wants to vacation in that area and got the
use of a similar lodging in an area you want to go to - usually at a greatly reduced exchange price.
Ultimately, what is your cost? Your travel expenses minus any lodging costs you would spend for
the week in the location plus your owner's fees. In other words, $3,000 - ($150/night x 7 nights @
$1,050) = $1,950 + $1,000 (owner's fees) = $2,950. Now you're using your timeshare for traveling the
world without the cost and hassle of RCI, II or other timeshare exchange clubs.
Let's throw in a twist. When you make the swap, let the other party know you would be willing to sell
them the timeshare at a reduced price if they’re interested. You will find that many home exchange
people actually own multiple locations and are interested in the flexibility a timeshare could give them
in furthering their own travel opportunities by trading it out. That is, if you still want to sell it after doing
this for yourself.
Enjoy your vacation.
Dr. Ken Rich is a on the board of Community Health Training, Inc., a non-profit organization (NPO)
that accepts timeshare title as a direct donation instead of reselling it. Details on the process can be
found at http://www.communityhealthtraining.org/Timeshares/ .
He can be contacted at SeniorDirector@CommunityHealthTraining.org .