Explaining Timeshares

At Timeshare Nation, we field dozens of questions about timeshares from prospective customers. We have found most people are unsure of what exactly a timeshare consists of. With the poor reputation and general lack of awareness surrounding timeshares, we have decided to try and alleviate these concerns or questions with a blog!


What is a timeshare?

A timeshare, sometimes referred to as vacation ownership, is a property with a particular form of ownership or use rights. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each owner is allotted a period of time, generally one week, in which they may use the property. Units may be on a fixed term, floating term, right-to-use basis, or a points based program. We will cover the different types of ownership later.

So basically, the idea of a timeshare is rather simple: you share the costs and use of the timeshare unit with other people at different times throughout the year.

Timeshare units are almost always more spacious than a regular hotel or resort unit. Timeshare units come in various forms: studios, one, two, three, and four bedroom units; cabins; homes; condos; or villas. These units typically offer fully-equipped kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms, all of which are furnished.

In-unit amenities often include hot tubs, jacuzzis, fireplaces, or entertainment center. On-site amenities are vast; they almost always include swimming pools, sports and recreation courts, fitness centers, and spas.

Timeshares are strategically placed, as well. Off-site amenities are almost always located conveniently nearby. Depending on the region, outdoor activities such as boating, skiing, golfing, horseback riding, hiking, and scuba diving are close by.

Most timeshares are located near points of interests like theme parks, restaurants, bars, festivals, museums, parks, bodies of water, and mountains, too.

How do timeshares work?

Remember the four types of timeshares we mentioned earlier? Well, let’s discuss those further:

Fixed Week:

The timeshare owner owns the rights to a specific unit in the same week, year in and year out, based on the timeshare calendar for as long as the contract stipulates. This provides a sense of certainty. You can count on and schedule the same vacation time every year. Floating:

The timeshare owner can reserve his own week during a given period of the year. The ownership will be specific on how many weeks the owner owns and from which weeks the owner may select for the owner's stay. An example of this may be a floating summer week where the owner may request any week during the summer season, generally weeks 22 through 36.

The catch is you must contact the resort to reserve a specific week during your floating period. While this type of timeshare gives you more flexibility it also means you can’t delay in reserving a week, as you are competing with all the other timeshare owners that share your floating block of time. Each resort will set their own policies on how far in advance owners can reserve floating weeks, with some resorts opening up the spots only nine months in advance, while others allow for reservations two years before your check-in date.