Timeshares can be great but availability for top quality resorts can often be challenging. There are various timeshare strategies that I encourage readers to use in order to get great vacations at a fraction of the cost of hotels.
One general strategy is to plan far in advance. Generally, I plan as far out as possible which is generally 1-2 years out.
The other general strategy is to book last minute. Since many people, including myself, tend to book very far out, so when it actually comes time to use their week, plans may have changed, flights may have had a schedule change or things just changed that prevent people from using these weeks.
As a result, if you are a last minute traveler, you can grab some fantastic exchange weeks or weeks at great prices. However, availability is key.
RCI vs. Interval International
For this post, due to a reader request, I thought that I would compare real time results for Interval International's Getaways and RCI's Extra Vacations. For those of you that are unfamiliar with these, Interval International Getaways and RCI Extra Vacations let you book weeks with cash instead of exchanging your week or using points. Many times, there are some screaming deals includingthis one!
For this exercise, I wanted to pick a few destinations and show readers the real time results of what is actual available to book through Interval International and RCI. For this exercise, I chose Hawaii.
Hawaii is simply an awesome destination and quite popular. For this search, I thought that I would search very last minute options for April 1 - April 15, 2018. Here are the results for Interval International.
As you can see in Interval International, there are definitely options but nothing that is tremendous value. I think the strongest resort on this list is the Kona Coast Resort on the Big Island.
RCI is slightly different than Interval International as you search by check in month rather than specific days. For this test, I simply put in "Hawaii" as the search term and "April" as the check-in month. This searches ALL islands of Hawaii.
As you can see from the above, RCI has 4 resorts that came up for this time period. Out of the four resorts, two are in Honolulu and 2 are in Maui. Together, there were only 5 weeks available for this time period.
Inventory changes by the minute for both Interval International and RCI so the results for this particular search is not scientific at all. There easily could have been some prime weeks available a minute before I performed the search.
The intent of this exercise was to show you a rough estimate of what to expect when searching for a prime destination for any last minute trips.
I definitely would not jump to the conclusion that Interval International is superior to RCI for last minute vacations or vice-a-versa. Rather, availability changes and if you can get access to both exchange companies, it is highly recommended.
By having access to both, you can access inventory in both places and have more flexibility.
What has been your experience with last minute vacations? Was this post helpful or would you want to see additional destinations?