Using a timeshare to travel the world provides the most cost effective way of ensuring top quality holiday accommodation for you and your family.
The 2 largest international exchange companies work in broadly similar ways and are called RCI and Interval International. Their job is to arrange swaps between the time periods owned by their millions of members and they can be seen as private travel agents working in the interests of their members. You pay a small annual fee to be a member and an exchange fee when you do a swap. This fee covers your whole party and is not per person. Both companies break the year down into seasons; RCI have Red (high season), White (mid season) and Blue (low season) while Interval International use Red (high), Yellow (mid) and Green (low). These seasons depend on how highly demanded a particular resort is at a particular time of year and you can generally swap the time you own for the same or lower colour band.
To be included in either international exchange system any resort has to be of a very high standard. Everyone who exchanges into a resort completes a questionnaire to help weed out substandard resorts and the exchange companies send their own representatives to further monitor standards. There are also resorts that are given further accolades based on their facilities and general quality.
The international exchange companies can also arrange flights and car hire for you at very competitive prices. If you are considering buying a Timeshare with a view to exchanging it then there are a couple of points worth bearing in mind.
- You do not need to swap your period of ownership for the same one at another resort.
- You can exchange for any period within your own or a lower colour band (see above). Having said that, if you need to travel in school holidays, need a particular size of apartment or guarantee staying in the resorts with extra accolades then you would be best advised to own an equivalent property.
Any exchange company can only exchange you into a property that someone else has given to them. Therefore it is important to be as flexible as possible in terms of resort location and time period as you can. Start arranging your swap as far in advance as possible to ensure that you get a holiday that suits you.