Timeshare is an interesting alternative to hotel or rented accommodation. Timeshare is always self catering.
The time share concept is fundamentally sensible. If you only wish to use a property for a few weeks vacation each year, you might as well share it with others. The problem is that some property management companies have treated time share as an opportunity to enrich themselves - at the expense of their clients. Hence the remark that a timeshare is 'just an expensive way of paying for a holiday'. The solution is to take good legal advice before making a commitment, and to take out a licensed insurance policy. Time share arrangements extent to condominiums, resorts, islands, beach property, mountain property and, of course, to what once the homes of the rich and powerful. Many timeshare owners use the exchange system, whereby they swap their share with another timeshare owner for year so they can experience a different place.
For new timeshare property, it is said that around 40% of the purchase price goes on marketing. This is an unattractive proposition for buyers and better value can be obtained through an agent or broker, or buying direct from another timeshare owner. The range of properties includes tropical islands (eg in Barbados, St. Lucia, Bali), English manor houses, French chateaux and Italian villas.
Timeshare condominiums typically have 50 owners during the course of a year. The first purchase is known as a "home" property. This can be traded for timeshare weeks at properties throughout the world. Most timeshare companies have a web presence, so that you can browse and dream. Timeshare owners pay a maintenance fee (say $250-$500/year) to keep the property clean and in a good state of repair, including maintenance of swimming pools and gardens. Vacation weeks which are not used can be banked up to a certain limit. You can also rent out the property or gift it to a friend or relative.
It's best to avoid the timeshare promotion tactics associated with buying directly from a resort. One solution to the high markup on new properties is to buy or rent a timeshare from an individual owner. With a timeshare vacation, you can save up to 80% off typical accommodation costs so a timeshare owner can have a larger budget for meals, attractions and other activities. Reading a timeshare blog can provide a perspective on how other people use their timeshares, and can provide clues as to how to find a timeshare deal among many options available online.