The question of lodging can be a little tricky. Does your family own part of a timeshare or have a vacation home? Do you have hotel points built up from business travel or credit card use? If the answer is “yes” to any of those questions, your choices are easy. If the answer is “no,” the choices can seem daunting. It can be tough to know whether you’re getting the best price on vacation packages with some many options available.
There is no right way to go; much of the time, it simply comes down to preference and which option is the easiest and most convenient for you and your family.
Timeshares and Property Ownership
The vacation business has grown in stature across the country and one avenue of that growth is the timeshare industry. Timeshares allow vacationers to purchase a furnished resort accommodation without actually owning a second home. Typical programs give the owners use of the resort they bought into for one week a year and allow owners to exchange their week at sister resorts around the country and the globe.
In addition to timeshares, families often purchase a vacation home outright. In recent years, more than 10 percent of all homes have been vacation homes.
Navigating the wilds of Internet vacation planning can seem daunting at first, but many travel sites have made it much easier for travelers to book their vacations. Web sites such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity do much of the work for you by consolidating all decisions you have to make about hotel, airfare and car rental into full vacation packages.
Websites such Craigslist act as a huge online bulletin board where timeshare and vacation home owners post ads to rent their properties. If you want to visit Lake Tahoe, for example, you can search local ads in that area or see if someone in your hometown has posted an ad for their property in Tahoe.
Of course, the traditional ways of booking your vacation (such as AAA or your local travel agent) still exist. What you choose depends on your level of comfort with online access tools or whether you just like the personal touch of face to face advice.
Whatever you choose, here’s a piece of advice: don’t put it off! Vacation time is important for the health and well being of anyone who works hard.