Several years ago I was tempted to buy into a Disney World timeshare. As Clark Howard will tell you timeshares are not for investment purposes and of course he’s right. Regardless, in many cases they provide a great rental opportunity for large families and groups.

I had recently learned that renting timeshare units can be a better experience than a hotel room in comfort and price.

A non-suite hotel room would be too small for a family of 5 or more whereas most timeshare resorts feature multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining area, and many have resort activities and amenities not found at standard hotels.

Visit the time-share-listings site Redweek, one of the largest timeshare sites for renting, buying and selling. According to Budget Travel “Redweek received 33 percent more postings in February than it did during the same month the year before. Last-minute leases on the site are frequently marked down by as much as 65 percent.”  It’s become a buyer’s market . Be aware though that renting a timeshare may have different rules than renting direct. Sometimes only the owner will be recognized by the facility – meaning everything you do may have to go through the owner.

By the way if you want to stay on property at Disney try their timeshares. It may get a bit complicated with point rentals, but it’s worth it. Visit Mouseowners.com for information on renting someone’s timeshare at Disney which includes their Beach Club and Board Walk Villas. Or you can visit disneyvacationclub.com to find out more about their “non-traditional”  timeshare program.

Traveling with another family and renting a larger property, splitting the cost and having a great time is another trend this year. According to homeaway.com, a leading online vacation rental web site, “…rental owners — 66 percent – [are] offering special deals to encourage business.”  CNN Travel reports that “from mountain retreats to beachfront properties these owners are throwing in everything from a free night to free cleaning service, discounts, even tickets to a local attraction or food.”

For those looking at a more upscale timeshare plan in a non-traditional way visit the Ritz-Carlon Club.  Here they feature an equity-based luxury travel program where “Members select either a Home Club Membership which provides a titled residence and usage at a property they can return to every year, or a deeded Portfolio Membership which affords the opportunity to discover a wide variety of locations and experiences.”

According to the Orlando Business Journal, “[The] Ritz-Carlton said their option should increase the appeal of its high-end properties, known as fractionals, by attracting people who don’t want to be tied to a single piece of real estate.”  Investing in points allows families to customize each trip to their own needs.

Either way, owning timeshare, renting it or renting large homes is the way to go for many large families and families that vacation together.

Note: This post was accurate at time of publishing. Please confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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