My wife and I are currently in Peru and are thoroughly enjoying the sites, culture and food. The photo above was taken by me at Macchu Picchu. Macchu Picchu was absolutely spectacular. More details to follow on this trip!
It should be obvious but we love traveling and do as much as we can. The language barrier can be difficult at times but we always manage to get by. Google Translate has been around for a while and it has always helped with translating from various languages back to English. It generally has helped with translating various words or phrases and is a remarkable tool.
I may be late to the game but I just discovered an absolutely amazing feature of Google Translate that I had to share with everyone.
Most travelers who end up traveling in places where their native language is not spoken can generally get by but the one area that can be a challenge is ordering food. When you receive a menu in a foreign language, you try to make out bits and pieces of it in order to decide what to order.
We stayed in Aqua Calientes which is the town at the base of Macchu Picchu. Here is the menu of a restaurant that we ate at.
My Spanish is not great and while I can understand bits and pieces, there are always words or phrases that I can not decipher.
I noticed that Google Translate has a camera icon and when I pressed it, it went to the camera section of my phone. When I pointed my camera at the menu above, here is what appeared.
Google Translate can literally translate signage, menus or other text from almost any language back into English INSTANTANEOUSLY. When I pointed my camera at the menu, it translated the menu instantaneously. No loading or waiting or anything. The words literally changed in my camera view.
I thought that this was absolutely incredible as it immediately translating the text on the page into English.
As you can see, the interpretation is a bit fuzzy and it is not entirely correct but it is very close or at least close enough to understand the menu item.
This is an incredible tool that should definitely be on your phone! It is completely free and has the ability to make your travels extremely easy when you are in foreign country where you do not speak their language.
Although incredibly cool, I have to say that I was a little disappointed in finding this tool as struggling with the language is a challenge that I tend to enjoy. However, knowing that I can decipher any language in a blink of an eye is very reassuring to make traveling as easy as possible.
Do you use Google Translate? Did you know about this incredible functionality? Leave your comments below!
What is RCI's 1 in 4 Restriction?
When you go to book various RCI resorts, there is a clickable link for some resorts reading "Urgent Information".
You should ALWAYS click that link before you book. Many times, there will be important information concerning the resort such as mandatory inclusive fees, additional fees for various services or policy restrictions such as the "1 in 4 rule".
For example, in my previous post, I explained how I stayed at the Breeze Residence Club in Guanacaste Costa Rica.
This particular resort abides by the 1 in 4 rule and has additional information that you need to review before you book. When you click on "Urgent Information", this is what shows up.
As you can see, in addition to the fee, there is a mandatory beach club fee of $70 per person as well as a charge for the Gym. This is not insignificant.
What is the 1 in 4 rule?
In addition to other important information, the Urgent Information disclosed whether the resort restricts members from trading or purchasing getaways. 1 in 4 rule is stating that a member may only book that particular resort one time in four years. You cannot reserve the particular resort more often than that.
I personally have not tried to reserve resorts that have this 1 in 4 rule more often than once every four years but the stated position is that they can cancel your reservation if you do not abide by this restriction.
Timeshares can be tricky and there can be tons of additional fees added to the cost of reserving a week. You NEED to review the "Urgent Information" before you book so that you can understand these fees and determine if it is still economically feasible.
Many times, it does not make sense to book all inclusive timeshares through RCI or Interval International since the added fees are extremely expensive. It can actually make more economic sense to book directly with these resorts.
The 1 in 4 rule is an important rule to review. The last thing that you want to happen is that RCI unilaterally cancels your reservation after flights or other plans are made that may not be changeable.
I personally dislike the 1 in 4 rule a lot. Interval International does not have a similar restriction. If they did, my view on timeshares could actually change. It is hard enough to find great resorts to trade into and with the 1 in 4 policy, it becomes even harder to obtain quality resorts year after year.
What do you think of the 1 in 4 rule?
Its not everyday that The Timeshare Guru gets recognized but I was just informed that The Timeshare Guru has been recognized as one of the top 30 timeshare blogs to follow in 2018!
Not only were we recognized, but we were placed in spot number 5!
According to Feedspot, here is criteria that were used to create these rankings.
The Best Timeshare Blogs from thousands of Timeshare blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.
These blogs are ranked based on following criteria
Top 30 Timeshare Blogs Winners
CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top Timeshare Blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Timeshare blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.
Note from The Timeshare Guru:
I started The Timeshare Guru because I wanted to try to change people's perception of timeshares. There are a lot of negative information about timeshares and while many of them are true, there are ways to own timeshares and use timeshares to get tremendous value.
The timeshare systems are complicated, the rules change and availability is sparse for highly desirable weeks. However, there are many strategies that you can use to get the highly coveted weeks. Make sure to read some of my posts so that you can maximize timeshare ownership!
Again, thank you to Feedspot for featuring our site! I'm glad that people are finding this site useful. We are growing but definitely need help in getting our site to the masses. Please make sure to share the site with your friends and subscribe to the website below!
In my previous post, I explained what specific timeshares that I own and disclosed that I recently completed a resale purchase of a second timeshare at Hyatt Beach House in Key West, Florida.
I now own two weeks at the Hyatt Beach House. It seems strange to say that considering that I have never been to the Hyatt Beach House, have no tremendous desire to go, and did not actually target the Hyatt Beach House to purchase.
As explained in my previous post on my personal timeshare strategy, I bought a second timeshare because we travel a lot and I get tremendous value out of my original Hyatt timeshare week.
Since Hyatt's legacy program (they have switched to an all points systems called the Hyatt Portfolio program) is a hybrid system where you can use your week or exchange into points, I found that using points to exchange through Interval International can provide enormous value. As a result, I did want another Hyatt week but my only worry was the amount of points associated with that week and the amount of annual maintenance fees. With the legacy program being phased out, I wanted to get another legacy week before they became scarce.
The new Hyatt Portfolio Program has some perks but the offered price is extremely expensive. Since it is now a points system, resales point purchases will likely be very rare to find, especially at discounted prices. With this is mind, I do think that it is a great time to purchase a legacy Hyatt week.
Out of coincidence, I ended up with another Hyatt Beach House week. So far, my strategy has panned out and have some great trips already planned for 2019 and even 2020 with a bunch of requests pending.
While I am working on a complete guide to purchase a resale timeshare (I know that it is way overdue), I thought that I would provide you with the time table of what transpired with my purchase of my Hyatt week. As discussed, I ended up purchasing this unit through Sumday Vacations who used Greatway Services for their closings.
8/17/17: Payment was received
8/24/17: Title information received
8/31/17: Documents were signed
9/18/17: Closing documents for GreatWay sent
9/25/17: Closing documents for GreatWay signed
10/12/17: Received Power of Attorney for GreatWay
10/19/17: Right of First Refusal sent to Hyatt
11/9/17: Right of First Refusal decision from Hyatt, (ROFR did not apply)
11/22/17 Deed was sent to the County for Recording
12/20/17: Received recorded deed
12/22/17: Deed sent to Hyatt for the transfer of ownership.
Mid January: Access to Hyatt Residence Club website with the ability to make reservations.
As you can see from the times listed above, it took over 4 months for the purchase and transfer to go through. This was a long time. I have purchased resale timeshares before and this was longer than normal. However, in Sumday Vacation's defense, part of this delay was due to me.
During the purchase transaction, Hurricane Irma came through Florida and almost had a direct hit on Key West, directly where my new potential timeshare was located. Obviously, I was concerned with going through the purchase if (i) the resort was not going to actually be there and (ii) if the resort got extremely damaged which would result in either a special assessment (one time charge for extraordinary damage) or a significant increase in maintenance fees.
I was prepared to go through with the purchase ONLY if the previous owner would be responsible for any special assessments that were issued while they still owned the timeshare. I inquired about this issue and it took some various communications with the parties to determine how this would be handled.
Essentially, it was agreed that any assessments before January 1, 2018 would be the previous owners responsibility and anything thereafter would be mine.
I was definitely concerned about this but did reach out to the Hyatt Residence Club directly and the resort. While the resort did close for a month or so, the damage was fairly minimal and they did not anticipate any major renovations. With that confirmation, I went forward with the purchase understanding the potential risks.
The time table for this particular timeshare resale purchase was longer than normal but I would expect that a typical timeshare resale purchase should take about 60 days. For Hyatt purchases, they have the Right of First Refusal which takes approximately 30 days and the other documents and processes should only take a few weeks.
How long have your timeshare purchases taken?