Timeshare vs. Hotel: Which Is Right for You?

Summer is a popular time for people to go on vacations, so there will be a large upswing in the number of guests that stay at hotels through August. While hotels will have specials and sales going on to encourage more people to visit, guests know that they have a couple of options to choose from.

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To better understand where guests decide to stay, their two main options must be compared — hotels and timeshares.

Read on to learn more about these two vacation options and what makes visitors choose one or the other.

What’s Included in Hotels

Hotels are the traditional way for travelers to get lodging while they’re away from home. Most people will look them up first because that’s what they’ve done all their lives.

Hotels also offer a lot of amenities that are wrapped up in the overall cost of the room. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Free breakfast
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • In-house gym
  • Indoor or outdoor pool
  • Room service

Then there are the luxury amenities to consider. There may be valet parking, room service credits and in-house restaurants with discounts for guests.

People want to get the most out of their money, which is what makes hotel amenities such an attractive offer.

What’s Included in Timeshares

Timeshares give guests a guarantee they’ll love where they stay. By buying into a timeshare, people repeatedly visit a place they’ve already been.

People also love that timeshares offer housing amenities they’d otherwise be charged extra for at hotels. By staying in a timeshare, people can still use:

  • A full kitchen
  • A washer and dryer
  • A living and dining room
  • A private driveway
  • Potential beachfront or lakefront access

Larger families or groups may lean more toward using timeshares because they can get a bigger space for less money than renting a large hotel suite for days or weeks at a time.

How Much Hotels Cost

Cost is another major influence when it comes to deciding where guests are going to stay. Each person must factor in how long they’ll be vacationing and compare it to the price of accomodations.

Hotels cost an average of $260 per night in the U.S., and that’s just a standard hotel room. Rewards programs help balance this cost for some people, since the money they spend go toward points or they could redeem in the future.

Then there are luxury hotels to consider. If a guest wants to stay in a space that’s nicer than the average hotel room, it may cost $800-1,000 per night.

Luxury hotels can also have reward or membership programs. They may provide credit at in-house restaurants or free spa access. Guests have to consider if the benefits outweigh the overall cost of their stay.

These prices also depend on what time of year it is, as hotels have off-seasons, but guests can always count on spending money for each night they need a hotel.

How Much Timeshares Cost

Like with hotels, timeshares will cost guests differently depending on a variety of factors. While hotels rely on location, brand name and amenities to guide their prices, timeshares figure it all out upfront.

To stay in a timeshare, people need to sign a deeded contract or lease that divides the property ownership between everyone. That makes it less expensive for people to have a vacation home.

How much people spend on timeshares also depends on how often they’ll use the property. People can get four types of timeshares:

  • Fixed-week: Owners get the property to themselves for the same time period every year.
  • Floating: Owners can reserve the property for any time slot during the year.
  • Right-to-use: Buyers can lease the property for a set amount of time.
  • Points club: Buyers can stay at multiple locations if they’ve earned enough points by purchasing property.

Timeshare owners also have fees and maintenance costs to consider.

How Long the Vacation Is

The length of an upcoming vacation is something guests must know in order to make the right choice for their lodging. It wouldn’t make sense to buy into a vacation property if someone is only going to be there for one or two weekends each year.

Likewise, it wouldn’t be financially smart for a guest to pay for a nightly hotel room if they’re vacationing in a place for weeks or months. The nightly fees would add up quickly, and a large bill will make any amenities seem small in comparison.

What They Value in a Vacation

Ultimately, a guest will make their decision based on two things: the cost of each option and what they value most in a vacation.

Some people plan to be in their room as little as possible, so booking a hotel with little amenities or flashy offers will be most appealing.

Other people want to be pampered and eat the best food without needing to leave their accomodations. They want a five-star experience, so they’ll turn to more expensive hotels that have more to offer.

A larger group may value having enough space to be independent. They want to do laundry when they need to, cook and have room to spread out. Timeshare properties may be the most appealing choice for them.

These are all things to keep in mind when planning on investing in a vacation property.

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