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Q: What is timesharing?

A: Timesharing offers people the opportunity to purchase time at fully furnished vacation accommodations - usually in weekly increments - for a fraction of the cost of full vacation home ownership. For a one-time purchase price and an annual maintenance fee, timeshare purchasers own their vacations forever, or for a predetermined number of years, depending upon the purchase agreement. Timesharing can take a variety of forms. The most common is a resort condominium (which can range from a studio with a partial kitchen, all the way up to a five-bedroom unit with a full kitchen and luxury amenities). Lock-offs are another unit option. They are unique because they can be separated into smaller components by locking a door. Other less-common timeshare accommodations include hotel rooms, houseboats and motor homes.

Q: What are the different types of timeshare purchase options?

A: Today's timeshare industry offers numerous purchase options to meet consumers' desire for vacation variety and flexibility. Although the availability of these purchase options varies from resort to resort, here are the most common:

* Fixed Week: Timeshare units sold for use during a specific week of the year.

* Floating Week: This can be any week reserved for the timeshare owner during a

certain season.

* Fractional: Ownership is sold in multiple-week packages, usually four or five

weeks in each year, or as a quartershare (13 weeks). This type of purchase option

is popular in high-demand spots such as ski, beach and island resorts.

* Vacation Clubs: Rather than purchasing timeshare in a certain size of unit at a

particular resort, Vacation club members purchase the opportunity to use a variety

of timeshare accommodations at various resort locations, usually within one

developer's chain of resorts. Many clubs operate on a points system, but not all.

* Points Systems: These offer the greatest flexibility to the timeshare owner.

Participants of these systems purchase points which they use as currency to

reserve timeshare accommodations of various sizes, during different seasons and

for varying lengths of time. The points can also be used for other vacation products

such as airfare, hotel stays and car rentals.

* Deeded Agreements: These allow the timeshare owner to use his/her interval in

perpetuity, just like buying a house. Under this agreement, the owner may rent,

sell, exchange or bequeath the vacation interval. Deeded agreements can be for

fixed or floating weeks.

* Right-to-Use Agreements: These stipulate that ownership of the resort remains

with the developer. The timeshare developer gives the purchaser the right to use

the specified resort accommodations for a certain number of years, usually ranging

from 10 to 50, after which all rights return to the developer. These agreements can

be for either fixed or floating weeks and are also commonly part of vacation club or

points-based memberships.

Q: What is the first thing I should look for when considering a timeshare purchase?

A: As a matter of course when considering a timeshare purchase, you should ensure that the company offering and selling the product is a TISA member. TISA members are required to adhere to an exacting Code of Conduct, which ensures best practice in all aspects of their business dealings. TISA membership is ultimately a guarantee of fair and professional trading.

Q: How do I choose my timeshare?

Use the following guidelines to choose your weeks.

A: The TIME of year that you decide you want to holiday in

Each year is divided into 3 types of season

Red = high season

White = mid season

Blue = low season.

Obviously, the majority of people would prefer to holiday in the high season, such as

summer and school holidays. If you are able to holiday at a less popular time of

year, then you can buy a timeshare at a lower price in lower season.

A: The SIZE of the unit.

0/2ST = 2 sleeper studio or hotel apartment

1B2/4 = 1 bedroom sleeps 2 privately and 4 in total (2/ sleeper sofa)

2B4/6 = 2 bedooms sleeps 4 privately and 6 in total (2/sleeper sofa)

3B6/8 = 3 bedooms sleeps 6 privately and 8 in total (2/ sleeper sofa)

Holiday accommodation is designed in units that sleep from 2 people upwards. The

smallest unit is a studio apartment which has a bed-sitting room sleeping a maximum of

2, but the average unit is either a 2 bedroomed unit, sleeping 4-6 , or a 3 bedroomed unit

to sleep 6-8.

A: The TYPE of resort accommodation offered.

This comes in a choice of 3 categories:

1. Gold Crown Resorts - top quality, five star resorts

2. Resorts Of Distinction – luxury four star resorts

3. Standard Resorts – comfortable three star family resorts

Q: Do I have to take my holidays in the same place each year?

A: There is no obligation to use/holiday at the resort that you initially purchase at. Most owners never actually use their home resort, but use it as a smart means of exchange to open the door to other exciting destinations.

A: By becoming a member of RCI, you can space-bank your week and swop it for someone else’s week, anywhere in the world, at anytime of the year, in a similar resort and unit type.

Q: How do I use RCI facilities?

A: As a paid up member of RCI, you have an amazing selection of holiday destinations from which to choose. By exchanging your holiday ownership, you have access to over 3 700 resorts worldwide as well as the added range of RCI Holiday Choices including cruises, tours, hotels and guesthouse accommodation options. Follow these easy steps to booking your dream holiday, but remember, there is a limit to the time and space available at all resorts, so it is important to follow the process.

1. Deposit your holiday ownership

Make sure you have your RCI membership number and ownership details on hand.

If you own conventional timeshare (fixed resort, unit number and week), simply call

RCI and deposit your week/s into the SpaceBank pool

If you own flexi-ownership (season, size and resort, not a fixed unit), call your resort

and request that your week be deposited into the RCI SpaceBank pool.

If you own points within a Club, call your Club guide who will advise you of the

necessary procedures for an exchange as well as resort availability.

2. Make your choice and request your holiday

Refer to either the Local or International Directory of Resorts. We recommend that

you select a minimum of 3 resorts and 3 travel dates to increase your chance of an

early confirmation. Consider our range of RCI Holiday Choices for a different holiday

experience, as well as our exclusive packaged holidays, including flights, car hire,

and travel insurance. You can also call an RCI guide who will offer expert advice,

and submit your request.

Remember to search for accommodation with a similar value to your ownnership.

It’s important to time your exchange request - the earlier you request, the more

likely you are of getting your chosen resort. For local holidays, request up to two

years to seven days ahead. For international holidays, request up to two years to 90

days ahead, subject to resort calendar availability. An exchange fee may be

payable to RCI on confirmation of your exchange request depending on your holiday


3. Confirm your holiday

Your holiday confirmation will be sent to you via mail, email or fax. Remember to

take it with you to your host resort and present it when you check in. Your

confirmation letter also provides you with valuable information on the resort check

in/out times, directions, services, additional charges, as well as activities at or near

the resort.

Then you’re ready to go – Happy Holidays

Q: How does timeshare work for my family?

A: Holiday for life without escalating holiday accommodation costs.

A: Holiday worldwide at any time of the year.

A: Use RCI’s exchange system for exciting holidays worldwide.

A: Luxurious resorts offering a wide range of facilities from snow skiing to safari resorts

A: Self catering, family holidays suitable for all lifestyles and even the most discerning holiday maker.

A: Most cost effective holiday method.

A: Inheritable asset for heirs

Q: What do I actually get in return for my money?

A: You are investing in an exclusive timeshare property in a RCI holiday resort that is exchangeable worldwide.

A: You have the choice of the size, location and grade of the property you invest in - just as you would on buying a house to live in.

A: This is a valuable investment that will provide you with holiday accommodation each year, in perpetuity.

A: Should you wish at any time to sell your timeshare, you may do so, or you could leave it in your will to your children so that they could benefit from it for their lifetimes also.

A: You can also let friends use your timeshare or rent the week out privately or through the resort.

Q: What are the major benefits of clubs and points schemes?

A: Membership with RCI offers flexibility of choice in your holiday options, as do clubs and points schemes. The latter offers flexibility of holiday investment. Through all of these you can choose when, where, for how long, the sort of accommodation, recreational facilities, and the number of holidays you want to have each year - at a price to suit your pocket. If your club or points scheme is affiliated to RCI, it vastly increases your selection of options.

Q: How do I convert my holiday credits into holiday?

A: Clubs and points schemes offer units/starts/points as part of the membership package. These are the "currency" of your timeshare holiday, and with them you purchase holidays that have a corresponding points value. The "points price" of your holiday will vary depending on the quality of the resort, the type and size of the accommodation, and the period and duration of your visit. The points allocation for each week is assessed annually to take into consideration factors such as school holidays. These are usually published annually in a points value guide to help members in their selection of holiday options.

Q: Do I have to use all my holiday credits each year?

A: Points are allocated to paid-up members each year. Most clubs and pints schemes allow their members to accumulate their unused points, providing membership and reservation fees are kept current. These accumulated points enable members to have a wider choice of holiday options in the following years. Generally, after three years members forfeit their unused points. Unused points can also be rented, to generate income for the member.

Q: Can I sell or bequeath my points/stars/units?

A: Yes, your points are an asset that can be resold, or left to your heirs.

Q: How can I broaden my holiday options?

A: Many clubs and points schemes allow members in good standing to borrow on future points allocations. This allows the broader options, such as extending the duration of their holidays. Alternatively, members have the option of buying more points and steadily increasing their holiday portfolio.

Q: How far in advance should I book my holiday?

A: Because of the growing popularity of timeshare holidays it is recommended that you book as far in advance as possible, and at least a year in advance if you plan to visit a popular resort or destination area during peak seasons. Out of season, there is less pressure, but even so, you should make your reservation at least six months in advance. Generally speaking, the more notice you give, the better chance of successfully booking your first choice.