So this is a quick post while it's still on my mind about taking advantage of timeshares that show up on travel sites for a good price. This is the second time Dave and I have stayed at one and the third time we've taken advantage of the sales pitch for good prices on Tourist events.
So we've stayed twice now at a suite in a tourist area. We didn't know it was a timeshare until we got there, but the hints were that they were more like apartments or condos than hotel rooms--i.e., both places had full kitchens. In fact, we ended up eating in the room--cooking nice meals--instead of going out. Some tourist areas have nice restaurants and others don't. We're cheap and I'd rather save my money for a good restaurant, so we cooked in. (Hint #1: Bring your own knives and a big pot/pan if you have a large family)
Both also had nice pools and structured activities that appealed to the kids. This was truly one of the best parts of both places: kid activities, family activities, adult activities, playgrounds, family friendly pools. In fact, where we just came from had such great pool areas that we spent about half of our vacation hanging out there! (Hint #2: if you stay at a resort like area, the days off from touristy stuff can be fun just hanging at the hotel)
So here is the most important thing we want to share: Don't buy your tickets to parks, locations, etc, before you arrive. Instead, we suggest Hint #3: Go to the timeshare sales pitch and just say no. (If you really like it, of course, say yes. But for us, we're cheap. Also, just to point out the yearly HOA fee for this particular timeshare was two times more expensive than the one week cost for us to stay using an online travel service. But again: Cheap. Like camping. YMMV.)
HOWEVER, after you attend the sales pitch, you can get MASSIVE discounts on the attractions---like up to 50% off of tickets. Feel free to search for discounts for some of these parks, attractions, etc. We've seen even the best online discounts are anywhere from $2 to $10, which ends up being at most 10% off. 50% off is much more appealing to us.
So anyhoo, pictures from this trip to follow. But I wanted to get this out there for folks before we get too far back in the swing of every day life. Renting at timeshares: Good options for bargain hunters.