Issues with timeshares


Hawaii is a popular spring break travel destination for numerous families in California and the west coast of America, and many desire to visit this island paradise. Though Hawaii’s tranquil atmosphere and enthralling island attractions make it the quintessential family vacation spot, one can wonder how fast the island air becomes suffocating. Would visiting a place even as awe-inspiring as Hawaii become mundane after the first few visits? 

The Hawaiian Islands, amongst other locations like Lake Tahoe in California and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, are popular timeshare destinations. Timeshares are long-time commitments that follow a shared ownership model of vacation real-estate properties; owners make annual trips to the same resort or resort chains. This option is favored by those who prefer familiarity and consistency in their vacations. Though the cost of timeshares can vary based on factors such as the location and size of the property, the average timeshare, according to the American Resort Development Association, costs around $24,140 for a weekly interval. In addition to this cost, owners spend around $1,000 annually for maintenance and upkeep fees.

With a typical timeshare, owners pay a lump sum or pay in intervals to share ownership of the properties with others, allotting time to visit said property during a specific time of the year. However, different types of systems and contracts allow varying flexibility across different aspects. 

Timeshare ownership is often compared to owning a vacation home. There are a lot of perks of owning a vacation home without the stress of maintaining one. However, this transaction comes with significant trade-offs as well. This begs the question: what are the most appealing aspects of owning a timeshare, and what could be the potential trade-offs?

Given the hefty sum of a timeshare, owners are offered large rooms and premium service, assuring a comfortable stay. Furthermore, one of the most considerable benefits of a timeshare vacation is security. Timeshares are mostly owned by large corporations, which reassures owners that they can vacation in a familiar spot without any unexpected issues. Even so, this familiarity is a double-edged sword. While this is comforting for some, conversely, visiting the same place habitually can make it lose its novelty and magic. 

One of the most significant drawbacks of buying a timeshare is the money that goes into it. The upfront costs are exorbitant and over time, maintenance fees increase significantly, which can be hard to keep up with. This is particularly disadvantageous since timeshares do not appreciate in value and the contracts are very difficult to get out of, which is why many real estate experts consider timeshares to be a bad investment.

Overall, a guaranteed comfortable vacation spot with top-notch service and amenities every year may seem appealing, but it is not the most economical choice. For those who prefer to unwind in a few select locations, it can be a viable option. However, why limit yourself to the same destination annually when there is a vast world to discover?