In this article, I will be comparing the various ways a family can have the highest quality vacations for the lowest prices. I will compare various travel memberships, and buying a timeshare, so that you understand what is out there and choose what would benefit your family the most.
Traveling with kids can be more work than fun sometimes, so having accommodations with a kitchen and separate bedrooms can be the difference between enjoying a vacation and coming home exhausted.
There are several options for families to access luxury resorts around the world without paying the rack rates.
The first and most well known is to buy a timeshare or even better, to look for a timeshare resale. The problem with timeshares though, is that it is a commitment and there is normally a high upfront cost to become a member of around $10,000 or more. Timeshare owners must pay yearly maintenance fees that normally average about $700 or $800 and they get a week at a specified resort, or a couple weeks if they are using points. They do have the option of using other worldwide resorts by simply paying RCI or Interval International (the largest exchange companies) an exchange fee each time they do so. Exhanges fees are normally around $163 per exchange. For many families, owning a timeshare can improve their travel lifestyle, but there it is a longterm commitment and there are alternatives.
There are several travel memberships on the market now that offer equally, if not more value than buying a timeshare or timeshare resale. Most of them are home business opportunities that pay members to promote their company, instead of dragging people to timeshare presentations and paying sales people.
Sometimes the fact there is a business opportunity attached to a travel membership can turn people away, but it you look past that and look at what the memberships offer, you will usually find better value that if you buy a timeshare or even timeshare resale.
There are two travel companies that stood out for me when I was doing my research.
One is called Global Resorts Network and it offers families three different membership options. Their highest level offers 20 weeks vacation per year (at $398-$799/week) for a one time membership cost of $12,500. They also have a membership that offers 10 weeks per year for one time purchase of $4,995. Their lowest package gives 2 weeks per year and costs $1,995. TheyGRN use RCI as one of their travel providers which is the largest provider of timeshare properties in the world. When booking a vacation, members must make a request manually to head office.
World Discovery Club is a newer company that opened it’s doors at the end of 2011. Although their website and marketing is not as fancy, their product is solid. They also use RCI as their main condo provider, as well as a high end provider of private villas and private vacation homes for travelers with a hearty budget.
World Discovery Club has six different membership levels and members can browse inventory and book directly through their own website.
Their lowest membership is a 1 year membership for $497 and gives members to unlimited weeks ($199 up to $1200, depending on the resort and season). The average week seems to be between $355 and $698.
The next level is a 10 year membership for $1497.
Then they have a 50 year membership for $2497, which includes one $497 membership to give away. In my opinion as a travel mom and someone who has actually sold ‘real’ timeshare in the past, is the best value as a travel membership for families.
The top 3 memberships are all 99 year membership and come with more benefits, and more to give away the higher you go. They are $6497, $12,497, and $19,995.
I am not sure who would purchase the top two memberships, unless they were business people who had a lot clients, staff, or extremely large families they wanted to give vacations to.
Comparing apples to apples, I found that World Discovery Club had the best value as a product in itself and the most availability.
As a business opportunity, Global Resorts paid higher commissions to their sales reps, but their payplan did not offer any leverage. On the business side, World Discovery Club’s commissions were a little lower, but they have a multi-level apsect to their payplan, which in the home business industry is important because it ensure that your upline with help and support you better..
Both Global Resorts Network and World Discovery Club are good options to buying a timeshare because they are less expensive and offer more flexibility. Unlike timeshare, neither of the travel companies mentioned above, have any yearly maintenance fees or exchange fees, which is nice for those who do not want the commitment or contracts that you get when you buy a timeshare or a timeshare resale.
Although not as flashy to look at, World Discovery Club seems to be a ‘hidden gem’ in the travel world.