Maximize Timeshare Ownership
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
Message from the Timeshare Guru: I have a lot of trouble sleeping, especially when I travel. I usually all the first night in the hotel a throw away night as it is extremely rare to get a good nights sleep in a different bed and different surroundings. I'm always looking for ways to get a better night sleep. Sarah Cummings from The Sleep Advisor graciously agreed to write this guest post. There is some good information in this article even though I am a big fan of the night cap!
Make sure to check out some of her other articles!
How to Sleep Better on the Road
Being able to travel is a luxury and one we should always thank our lucky stars we are able to do. That’s not to say however that every thing about being on the road is fun. There’s the stomach bugs, the sunburn, and of course, the endless sleepless nights.
There a many reasons for this, overstimulation, overexhaustion, overeating and over drinking being four of the main culprits. But there’s also another potentially interesting reason for our inability to while away from home, evolutionary survival.
Yep, you heard me – evolutionary survival. Researchers have discovered that when we sleep in unfamiliar locations our brains simply refuse to close down properly. Instead a ‘lookout’ section of the brain stays alert and primed to respond to any dangers, be they a jaguar or an air conditioner making too much noise. Thanks brain!
So, if our own brains are working to prevent us from sleeping while traveling what can we do to ensure better sleep on the road? Well, don’t despair, read on below to discover the top three ways to increase your odds of a good night’s rest.
Two of the biggest culprits in keeping travelers awake are noise and light pollution. Fortunately both of these annoyances are very easily overcome. All it takes are two very lowtech sleep gadgets – the eye mask and some earplugs. Super lightweight and easy to pack, these two accessories are worth their weight in solid gold.
Weird noises are common when you sleep away from home. Be it amorous seagulls mating on the balcony or the wind blowing too vigorously through the palm leaves. A simple pair of earplugs will help block out whatever audio annoyance is preventing you from catching your dose of vitamin Zzzzs.
Light pollution plays havoc with your circadian rhythms. If there’s too much entering your bedroom it will delay the production of melatonin and you simply won’t get drowsy enough to fall asleep. A simple eye mask is the perfect solution to thread bare curtains, ill fitting blinds, full moons and antisocially early sunrises.
Need some more expert advice on how to banish your nighttime woes? Then visit the helpful team at the Sleep-Advisor for all the up-to-date tips and tricks you can handle.
Pack your pre-bed routine
Human beings are creatures of immense habit. Our body and mind adore routine. Whether you’re home or away the single best thing you can do for your sleep is adhere to a consistent bedtime. That means going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time day in, day out. Including weekends. Yep, your body doesn’t give two hoots if it’s a Friday or a Tuesday.
Don’t have a bedtime? Then get one. And stick to it! Bedtimes are not just for kids. While you’re at it work on a healthy bedtime routine. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s a simple set of easily repeatable low key actions that help to relax an overstimulated brain before bed.
Here’s an example. An hour before bed shut down all screens, yes that includes your smartphone. Write down a simple to-do list for the morning. Practice meditation or gentle yin yoga. Listen to music or read a book, fiction tends to work better. Have a bath or shower. Sleep.
That doesn’t sound too hard does it? Yet, the benefit it will have on you sleep is huge.
If you get into a healthy pre-bed wind-down routine at home, when you travel you can bring this set of activities with you and it will help your ability to sleep on the road immensely. Part of the problem of sleeping when traveling is that we change our routines too drastically and our body and mind don’t know if they are coming or going. A pre-bed routine will help steady the ship.
Skip the night cap
You’re not going to like this one. One of the biggest reasons we all tend to sleep worse when on holiday is that we tend to overindulge a little bit too much. Be that cocktails by the pool or a few too many nightcaps in the bar. Despite what many people believe alcohol before bed is bad idea.
Alcohol is a muscle relaxant, a depressant and sedative which is why we like it, a few drinks takes the hard edge of any day and puts us in a nice calm mood. Perfect you would think for sleep? It’s true drink will help most people fall asleep. However falling asleep and staying asleep are two very different things.
Once the alcohol in those margaritas begins to be flushed by your liver and kidneys, the brain experiences what is known as rebound alertness. This spike in alertness leads to nights of broken sleep.
Plus alcohol in the system also prevents the brain from entering REM sleep, this is the truly good stuff that powers us through the following day. So even if we’re able to sleep after a bellyful of booze, the sleep we get isn’t that effective.
So, if you want to improve your odds of a good night’s sleep when on the road, maybe it’s time to put a cap on the nightcap and save the boozing for lunchtime.
Well, there you have it travel fans – three top tips on how to sleep better on the road. Why not give them a whirl. Here’s to sunkissed days and sleep filled nights!
Message from the Timeshare Guru: Again, a big thank you to Sarah Cummings for providing this article. I hope that it was useful and you check out some of her other articles on The Sleep Advisor.
Message from The Timeshare Guru: I am obviously a fan of travel but I am definitely also a gadget guy. Here is a guest post from Kelsey at The Lux Authority. She provides some good information on some new techie suit cases. The Lux Authority has some great information on travel, fashion and gear so I definitely encourage you to check out the site and information provided.
Sleek Travel Gear for the Tech-Setter
Luggage can be a terrific or terrible travel companion depending on its personality. We've all seen the person at the airport dragging their suitcase, wheels discombobulated and hair disheveled as they huff and puff to their gate. How does one have the ideal experience in such a hectic setting?
Gear up with the latest and greatest travel cases that function above and beyond the task of lugging around too many pairs of shoes.
Here are the four sleekest suitcases you'll want to splurge on for the smoothest travel experience.
Arlo Skye is a line of aluminum luggage founded by design engineers previously associated with Louis Vuitton and Tumi, so it's not a stretch to say these suitcases epitomize high design meets functionality. It's small enough to carry-on, big enough to never feel without. Coming in at 22.0 x 14.0 x 9.0 inches including the soundless wheels, it truly is the perfect size.
The anodized, meaning coated with metal using a chemical process, shell makes for an indestructible, impenetrable carryall. An airline-approved USB C port supplies you with a MacBook charging station, so work on the go or Netflix and chill while waiting for that delayed flight. These sell for $450-$550.
Away may be the most recognized of the bunch, with their appeal to the large millennial crowd and impressive marketing strategies, doesn't hurt that they are one of the most affordable options. Nine colors to choose from, five variations of sizes, and even an aluminum shell to vary the standard polycarbonate option.
The detachable USB charger offers a fast charge option to keep you communicating no matter the lack of outlets. The inside is hollow on either side to allow for dual-capacity packing with straps to keep your belongings secure.
Away strives for a transparent relationship between company and consumer, with a core value of giving the whole world access to better travel standards. These sell for $225-$450.
Barracuda brings an edge to the game with features unseen on any other luggage. On the innovative handle, which is called the Halo Handle and mounted on a compartment instead of the usual two-poled attachment, there's a secret compartment for storage and a retractable shelf perfect for a computer desk or a place to rest food other than the airport carpet. If the worst happens and your luggage becomes lost, fear not, Barracudas come with built-in trackers so you can see exactly where your things are traveling without you.
The soft, breathable material the suitcase is made from may not be indestructible, but the light-weight allows for easy exertion and is small enough to collapse and store anywhere. The more Barracudas you buy, the cheaper they become per unit, so the whole family can travel in style. These sell for $224-350
Samsara sells luggage for the true robo-tech entrepreneurs, with a piece that rivals the coolest briefcases full of money in those action dramas. This is the only luggage made completely of aviation aluminum alloy, so it's basically a mini airplane (please do not attempt to fly).
The suitcase is considered "smart," which means functions like notifications when the suitcase is getting away from you or if the suitcase was opened out of your sight. Additionally, there's an led light control inside the suitcase to assist you in the dark. This suitcase is still in the production process, so if you're yearning for what you've read above, pre-order to ensure manufacturing. These sell for only $60 plus shipping.
About Kelsey at The Lux Authority:
Kelsey is the Managing Editor at The Lux Authority and is trying to balance both her budget and her credit card balance. She likes to live lavish and treat herself when the opportunity allows it. She loves the newest tech, old cars, the smell of rich mahogany, and leather-bound books as well! When she isn't working, Kelsey is an avid academic, artist, stargazer, blogger, and yoga enthusiast.
Message from The Timeshare Guru: It is always good to have additional contributors to the website to provide information on topics which I am not an expert. If you are interested in writing a guest post, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big thank you to Kelsey and The Lux Authority for providing this guest post.
Message from The Timeshare Guru: Here is another post from The Fit Well Traveler. This provides some good information on the various considerations that you should take into account if you are purchasing a vacation home. A big thank you to the Fit Well Traveler for this information! Please support The Fit Well Traveler and take a look at his site!
Looking for the perfect vacation home? You’re not alone. Vacation home sales are on the rise, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2013, buyers purchased more than 700,000 vacation homes. From family vacation spots to investment properties, it’s important to ensure that you spend your money wisely. There are several questions you can ask yourself to keep yourself on track for finding--and purchasing--the ideal dream home.
Question #1: Can I afford this?
The cost of a vacation home is about more than a price tag; it’s about the value of your time and experiences. If you purchase a vacation home, will your vacation budget mean you have to spend the next several vacations only at this location? If so, is that something you want, or would you prefer to travel to more diverse places?
Next, estimate the amount of time you’ll spend in your second home, and compare that to some of your past vacation expenses. When you tally up the cost of rentals, food, travel and activities, does purchasing a vacation home make economical sense? Many financial planners agree that ideal housing costs, for one or two homes, should stay below about one-third of your annual income.
Question #2: Will I enjoy spending time here?
Take the time to really understand what it will be like to spend time in the area around your potential home. Learn what the city has to offer, and think carefully about whether or not it’s a place where you’d enjoy spending most of your vacation time. Are you looking for quiet, country town to relax on the weekends or a busy, bustling beach to spend the summers? Exploring multiple environments can help you determine the kind of consistent vacation experience you want to commit to.
Consider driving out to areas around the house, too. Are there mountains nearby? Are there bigger cities that might offer more activities? Spending time in your vacation home isn’t just about your immediate surroundings; it can also be about your opportunities for more travel and broader experiences.
Question #3: Can this be an income property?
It’s a vacation home; by its very definition, you won’t be living there all year long, so do you plan to use it as a rental property while you’re away? A good vacation home can be a place for you to unwind when you need, and bring in cash when you don’t. If planned right, the profits of renting can offset the costs of buying. If you think of this vacation home as long-term investment, renting can help you create equity and potentially pay the property off. Look online and ask local realtors how much other rentals in the area go for so you can incorporate those numbers into your budget.
Question #4: How long will it take to get there?
Vacation homes can be a life saver--a getaway from stress, a place to indulge in your favorite hobbies and an atmosphere that reinvigorates your drive for work and life. However, if it takes a long time or is a hassle to get there, you might find yourself utilizing your private oasis less and less. What’s the point of purchasing a place to escape to if the act of escaping is just too complicated? Think about the amount of travel time and expenses you’re willing to go through each time you head to your vacation home. Does this home fall within a 3 or 4 hour drive, or will you need to hop on a plane? The convenience of travel will likely play a big role in your choice of vacation homes.
Owning a vacation home isn’t just a potential investment, it’s also a lifestyle. Finding a balance between purchasing a vacation home you love and a way to make an investment can be a huge boost in your quality of life--if theproperty is easy to manage. Do your research before you buy to really get the most out of the joy and excitement of owning a second home.
Message from The Timeshare Guru: This is a guest post from Luxury Fractional Guide.
Fractional ownerships are vey similar to timeshares and it is a topic that I have wanted to cover for some time. Fractional ownerships give members access to some incredible properties around the world. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Luxury Fractional Guide as put together this post that shows some truly spectacular properties that are available through Exclusive Resorts - one of main luxury fractional ownership clubs.
In my previous travel to the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, I personally came across some incredible properties by Exclusive Resorts. The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort is located on a secluded peninsula which also contained luxury homes, the Four Seasons Resorts and some Exclusive Resort properties.
There were fabulous and from the pictures below, you can see that getting access to these properties is a completely different way of traveling. I am not an expert on fractional ownerships but I hope that this article gives you a glimpse in some alternative travel accommodations.
Guest Posts: Guest posts are a great way for me to provide valuable information to my readers for topics that I am not an expert in. If you want to write a guest post, please reach out to me at email@example.com!
Top 5 Homes Available to Exclusive Resorts Members
Choosing just five Exclusive Resorts destinations is difficult given their diverse portfolio of luxury homes and adventures around the world.
The perfect destination is one with exquisite scenery, heart-stopping adventure, interesting cultural experiences, and amazing culinary options. Each of these top five accommodations offers these, and travel experts at Exclusive Resorts can customize individual vacations at each location.
Luxury Fractional Guide also has written a comparison of two luxury vacation clubs: Exclusive Resorts and Inspirato.
#1. LA RETRAITE Cote D'Azur, France
This magnificent seaside retreat on the coast of France has a distinctive, rustic stone exterior. Spend an evening outside this countryside villa and watch the luxurious yachts parade across the sparkling blue sea. Relax on the outdoor wicker furniture while your private chef prepares a traditional French meal in the wood-burning oven in the al fresco kitchen. The countryside villa has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms and an expansive outdoor living area to enjoy the French coastal sun.
Conveniently located near Mercantour Park, enjoy an adventurous day trip to hike the dramatic peaks and splash through the mountain streams of the rugged national park. Your concierge can book a parachuting excursion so that you can see the countryside from a peaceful aerial viewpoint.
Spend a day browsing through galleries in Nice for a more sophisticated day on the town. Views of local olive groves and vineyards will greet you upon your return to the idyllic estate.
For those who prefer a more cultural outing, ask your concierge to arrange transportation to Nice where you can visit the Musee Matisse, or learn the secrets to making exquisite olive oil in the rolling hills near La Pierre Plantée Domaine.
#2. GRAND CAYMAN VILLA Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
This four-bedroom, 4.5 bath residence overlooks the nine-hole Blue Tip golf course designed by Greg Norman famous for its long Par Fours into the trade winds. Splash into your private plunge pool after a sweltering day in the sun and try your hand at dinner in the luxurious gourmet kitchen with groceries pre-stocked for your convenience.
Located within the pristine, gated Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman community on 144 acres of gorgeous beachfront property along Seven Mile Beach, the casually elegant 3,518 square foot residence features extensive indoor and outdoor living areas suited for relaxation or entertaining in the balmy air of the Caribbean.
A quick golf cart ride will deliver you to the nearby resort amenities like the Starfish Cay 20,000 square foot spa and waterpark. Indulge in a feast of seafood flavors with a distinctive island essence at Blue by Eric Ripert, and follow it with a Cuban cigar and a lively rum cocktail at the Silver Palm. Reserve family time to visit the Cayman Turtle Farm to swim with sea turtles and other colorful marine life in the lagoon, and become members of the Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment while participating in the children’s popular eco-adventure program at the resort. You’ll sleep soundly to the crash of ocean waves in your cozy bungalow to recharge for the next day’s adventures.
#3. VILLA LA SOLANA Ibiza, Spain
This modern, 4-bedroom, 3-bath villa that perches on a hillside overlooking some of the world’s best beaches merits a Top Five distinction. The crisp, modern lines of the architecture are warmed by chic Spanish décor suited to a residence on the island of the once-famous artist colony. The secluded estate is located at the foot of a private road, allowing you to fully relax and enjoy your time away with access to every modern convenience.
Watch the crowds parade by on the pine-bordered strand of Ses Salines beach favored by world-class body surfers, then plant yourself on the terrace with a glass of wine to enjoy the views of dense pine forests and rolling hills of olive trees while dinner is prepared for you al fresco in the outdoor kitchen. A picturesque stone tower dominates the architecture, providing stunning panoramic views from the dining room on the main level, or the private upper-level bedroom.
Jump in and cool off in the stunning outdoor pool before walking to the nearby shopping or a night on the town at the trendy nightclub, Pacha. Meet other adventurous travelers for a Full-Moon Saturday Trek hosted May-September, or dive into the warm, clear waters along the spectacular coastline.
#4. BELLA Amalfi Coast, Italy
This newly constructed hillside villa delivers a perfect view of the Mediterranean from the spacious terrace with outdoor dining and sitting areas. Centrally located in the cliff-side village of Positano, this charming five-bedroom, 5.5 bath residence has every amenity necessary for a spectacular Amalfi Coast holiday.
Positano is a colorful Mediterranean village with charming narrow streets that cling to steep hillsides. A scenic drive along twisting roads will deliver you to the main piazza with local boutiques and cafes to suit every taste. Tourists flock to the nearby isle of Capri, Naples, and the historic city of Pompeii frozen forever in time.
Adventurous days will lead you back home to the fully air-conditioned villa decorated in classic Mediterranean colors. Relax in a cozy sitting area overlooking the sea while your private chef cook’s regional Italian cuisine in the gourmet kitchen. Dinner for six is served at the oblong dining table in the dining room with colorful tiled walls and a stunning white glass chandelier.
5. VILLAS PARAISO Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This spectacular residence is tucked away in the quiet tropics of the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic. Surrounded by the lush flora, the open-air design allows you to transition between the 4,000-square foot indoor and expansive outdoor areas to best enjoy the views. Quaint thatched-roof walkways lead to the adjoining golf course and other resort amenities like the Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center or the Six Senses Spa.
Guests can enjoy meals in the private residence, or venture out to the six restaurants in the nearby resort.
Five miles of turquoise waters and pristine beaches surround you. You’ll find sleep easily at the end of an active day on the water, whether sailing peacefully, paddle boarding through quiet lagoons or kite surfing and parasailing. The tropical accents in the four-bedroom, 4.5 bath residence turn every day into an enchanting experience.
These properties all have stunning scenery, excursions, and amenities. Since 2002, Exclusive Resorts has created 200,000 luxurious, adventure-filled vacations. More than 4,000 members and their families travel in style 15 to 30 days per year. Two flexible membership opportunities offer full access to the private vacation portfolio.
Message from The Timeshare Guru: A big thank you to Luxury Fractional Guide for providing us this information. These homes are truly stunning! I personally am very interested in learning more about these types of vacation clubs and seeing if there is a way to maximize ownership or maximize their use.
Let me know your thoughts below on whether this information will be interesting and useful!
Guest Post from the Fit Well Traveler: What to Gift the Traveler with this Holiday Season and Beyond!
Message from The Timeshare Guru: As much as I try to get out great content about a wide variety of subjects that my readers may find interesting, I simply cannot be an expert in everything. I have been lucky enough to have readers that are engaging and offer to write interesting posts about timeshares and other travel relating topics. I highly encourage you to reach out if you would like to have a guest post featured.
For this post, The Fit Well Traveler, has provided us with some great information on some great ideas for holiday gifts for travelers. While this post is a bit past the "holiday" season, this general premise of these gift giving ideas are timeless. Additionally, for all of those readers who received gift cards this holiday season, this is actually a great time to go out to use those gift cards for a lot of great presents, usually at discounted rates.
My personal favorite time to shop is just past January 1st where everything seems to go on sale at highly discounted rates.
If you did not receive what you want, want to exchange some gifts or want to add on to some gifts you have already given, this can give you some great ideas.
I hope that you find this article interesting and make sure to check out his blog -FitWellTraveler and show your support. Thank you!
Guest Post from the Fit Well Traveler:
If you’re looking to add gift ideas for the traveler in your life to your shopping list, look no further. Here are some tips and suggestions on what to get the fearless voyager this holiday.
Stuff their stocking with travel size cosmetics, hand sanitizer, tissues, lint rollers and umbrellas. Compression socks, a neck pillow and sunglasses also always make travel days easier, and when in doubt an airline gift certificate will allow them to go anywhere they want.
Guest Post from The Fit Well Traveler: A Budget Does Not Have to be a Burden When it Comes to Vacation
Message from The Timeshare Guru: This is a guest post from the Fit Well Traveler. He has previously written another article "The Benefits of Travel for Mental Health and Addiction". I definitely recommend that you check out his blog for more great articles at The Fit Well Traveler.
This post is about traveling on a budget. This post provides some good information on traveling on a budget. While I definitely enjoy the finer luxuries of life, traveling does not have to cost a fortune. While I travel extensively and in nice accommodations, it rarely costs me much thanks to credit card perks, points, and timeshares. While the world may feel small, the world is actually quite big and there are many places to see. Don't let money get in the world of travel. You will be glad that you get away.
Thanks again to the Fit Well Traveler for this post.
Wouldn’t it be nice if money trees actually existed? Yeah, it would, but they don’t. Which means most of us have to find ways to get the most out of the activities we love while living within our financial means. One of these activities that we all love is traveling, which HealthNet explains is not only fun, but good for our mental and physical health. To reap these benefits without running up credit card debt, follow these cost-conscious tips for traveling on a budget.
Consider Destinations with Built-in Beauty
Activities tend to cost money, especially in tourist towns. Staring at and basking in the natural beauty that Mother Nature has humbly provided us mere mortals is often free, aside from the National Park admission fee where that applies. So, plan a trip to a place where the natural beauty is abundant, it’s the first step in a budget-conscious jaunt.
For those looking to go tropical, U.S. News and World Report recommends their top 10 budget-friendly Caribbean destinations. Forbes offers their own version of the cheap destination list, basing theirs on where the dollar is a particularly strong currency. This consideration makes a huge difference in how costly a trip is or isn’t. Destinations you may not expect to be on such a list include Crete (an island off of Greece), Morocco, and Costa Rica. Seriously, a tight budget doesn’t have to mean thinking small when it comes time to consider destinations.
If you want to stay in the States, Travel + Leisure offers some suggestions that provide quite the bang for your buck. Nashville is a music buff’s paradise, Charleston has a harbor scene that’s to die for, and New Orleans is the cultural and food mecca of the entire nation. You can’t go wrong with any of these travel spots.
Once You’ve Chosen a Destination
Picking a place to visit is only the first step in saving money while traveling. If you’re going out of the country, CNBC advises finding a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction and exchange fees, a surprising fee your credit card company never bothered to tell you about.
Thrillist recommends several options for traveling on a budget, some more feasible than others. You’re unlikely to track down the free commune-type living situation they recommend, and even if you did, it’s best to consider what that could look like . However, their recommendations about taking advantage of mileage points and budget airlines are prescient.
Some rental properties will not only be cheaper than hotels, they’ll provide a way better experience once you’re there. From a full-sized kitchen, to the at-home feel of a rental house, it’s better than a hotel in virtually every way, as Travel Channel points out. Another tip, especially if you do find a well-priced rental, is to cook most of your meals at home. Most cities, especially ones that cater to tourists, are filled with restaurants whose prices are nothing short of exorbitant.
Before heading out, make sure to secure your home. Check all doors and windows; be thorough. This will ensure that you don’t question whether you forgot to lock up while you are trying to enjoy your trip.
Also, put outside lights on timers to avoid the impression that you’re gone, and let the neighbors you trust know you’ll be away so they can keep an eye out. If you aren’t bringing your pet on the trip with you, make arrangements for it to stay with a friend, family member, or professional caretaker.
Who wants to travel? There’s an easy answer to that question: Everyone wants to travel! And, with few exceptions, everyone can travel. A small paycheck shouldn’t mean a life lived in one neighborhood, city, state, or even country. Getting out and experiencing new sights, sounds, and cultures is great for our health, and it typifies what the “good life” is all about. And, most importantly, it doesn’t take a fortune to embark on an awesome expedition, whether domestic or abroad.
Doctor of Credit has been a solid supporter of The Timeshare Guru since inception. I wrote a guest post about the Economics of Timeshare Ownership and particularly the economics of one of my Hyatt weeks.
Please take a look and support Doctor of Credit's site. There is great information on bank accounts and overall travel deals!