Friday, August 29, 2014

Spotlight on Cabo San Lucas

Mexico has always been a land of contrasts, and remains so today. Flowers burst with color in landscaped lawns. Nearby, wind-blown El Cardonal cactus bristle to survive in the brown desert sage brush.
The Sea of Cortez is beautiful - but deadly.
Rich and poor, side by side - new highways and toll roads rambling by abandoned buildings and trash strewn alongside the road. Spectacular oceanfront resorts adjacent to vacant lots that cannot be developed because of the lack of infrastructure and, most importantly, water. Lush green golf courses surrounded by arid rolling sand dunes.  
The brilliant blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez beckon swimmers to the beaches, where huge posted warning signs order them not to go in the surf.  There are some wonderful safe beaches here, but many are too deadly for swimmers, due to unpredictable currents and rip tides - too dangerous even for lifeguards. 
The push and pull of the Pacific reflects the area’s split personality toward tourism: as the overall economy shows signs of recovery, new resorts are emerging from the desert floor. Cabo’s civic fathers, meanwhile, hang on fiercely to the lifestyle, traditions and simplicity of the onetime sleepy fishing village. Contrasts aplenty.

Cabo Resorts Offer Picturesque Playground for Adults and Families

The Highway 1 corridor between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas packs dozens of resorts and vacation rentals along a sprawling coastline overlooking the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean.   If you’re not staying in one of the party-all-night, hot-tub-on-the-roof resort hotels in downtown Cabo San Lucas, you’re likely to spend a Cabo vacation in one of the luxury resorts in the Corredor Turistico.  The Sheraton Resort and adjacent Hacienda Del Mar Vacation Club sit smack in the middle of the corridor in an 1,800-acre complex called Cabo del Sol. 
Hacienda Del Mar Vacation Club's villas and pool complex
Each offering 270 suites, from hotel rooms to oversized studios to two- and three-bedroom penthouses, the resorts are a 40-minute drive from the international airport ($34 shuttle round-trip plus tip). They offer shuttle service to Cabo for shopping and nightlife, and generally provide 100 percent of any amenities families might want onsite, including multiple restaurants, kids and adult pools, swim-up bars, daily activities, movies, golf, spa treatments, yoga classes, and a couple of local favorites - Mexican bingo and something called "tequila volleyball." At several of the restaurants, as in most of Cabo San Lucas, happy hour seems to be celebrated all day long.  Order one drink, and they deliver two. Both resorts specialize in customer service and employ locals who are proficient in English and full of useful advice (such as, how to find CostCo or Walmart, one mile away.) Their only drawback?  It is hot and humid in the summer, so bring hats, sunscreen and a book to read, because you’ll spend big chunks of every afternoon inside sitting happily next to an air conditioner, which is a condition of survival during the summer.  Better yet, come during the prime-season winter months and add whale-watching tours to your itinerary.
As one might expect, the room rates for this kind of luxury are not cheap. An off-season three-night stay at the Sheraton, July 28-31, costs $830 for an oversized but luxurious studio. A one-bedroom ocean view suite with separate kitchen and living room runs $2,158 for the same three-night stay.  The nightly rates are inflated by Mexico’s tourist and resort taxes. Regardless of room category, visitors will pay an additional per night tax of 23% to 29% - which includes a 16% tourism tax, a 3% lodging tax, and a resort service charge fee ranging from 4% to 10% per night, depending on the resort.
The oceanfront view from the onsite restaurant is stunning!
The timeshare prices at Hacienda del Mar Vacation Club, which has 12,000 owners, are hefty as well. A floating week, weeks 1-50, in a Vacation Club studio suite costs $20,000 with a maintenance fee of $616 per year.  A one-bedroom master suite with kitchen, washer and dryer, costs $36,100.  The most expensive villa, a three-bedroom, four-bath penthouse unit, costs $64,700 plus an annual maintenance fee of $2,080. The purchase contract is a 25-year right-to-use agreement.  This kind of contract is standard in many Mexican timeshares, and it somewhat alleviates the resale market woes that buyers of US timeshares have faced in recent years.  In Mexico, when a RTU contract expires, the owners can simply walk away with no future obligation to the homeowner association for maintenance fees.
Full disclosure: there are 52 listings for rentals at this resort on RedWeek.com, ranging in price, time and accommodation from $100 to $493/night.  (A two-bedroom, two-bath villa for Aug. 11-18 rents for $995/week, or $142/night). There are also 15 resales listed on RedWeek.com, priced from $500 to $15,000 for various villas. Of course, RedWeek inventory is always subject to availability.
The RTU concept plays well in Cabo San Lucas, where timeshares are prevalent and sale people say prideful things like, "The consumer has my money in their pocket. All they have to do is give it to me." (No joke.  Timeshare executives said this not once, but twice, during their annual tourism convention, known as AMDETUR.  Each time brought rousing applause from an audience that was full of award-winning timeshare sales people.)

Marina is Center of New and Old Cabo

New and old tourist attractions share the waterfront in downtown Cabo, where the marina provides constant entertainments for travelers.  All you need to enjoy it is sunscreen and bottled water - plenty of both.
The marina is the lifeblood of the local community. Hawkers hustle day and night with offers for fishing trips of all descriptions (e.g., $140 for two persons in a half-day guided trip), water taxis, sunset cruises and snorkeling expeditions.  Deep sea fishing is a big deal in Cabo. Every day, they haul in 8-foot, 200-pound marlins to the weighing dock, then wheel them away unceremoniously in carts to local kitchens - the ecosystem works.
Other nearby tourist adventures include off-road desert expeditions, zip-line rides, whale watching (in winter), glass bottom boats, day trip excursions to La Paz, horseback rides on the beach, etc. Bottom line, Cabo tries to offer something for everyone, from passive travelers to aggressive adventurers.
Cabo's also a classic beach party town. Great for singles, couples, and parents seeking a night out. But leaving the kids with a babysitter is highly recommended, so the adults can engage the locals and experience the nightlife.  The scene is similar to walking along Hollywood Boulevard or Broadway on a summer’s night: busy. Only difference is that in Cabo, you can buy an authentic bull’s head-with-horns to match your Cabo T-shirts.
Cabo Wabo Cantina, one of many all-night watering holes, packs in young and old adults nightly, playing Van Halen-inspired hard rock'n'roll from the 1980's. Lead singer Sammy Hagar’s not there in person anymore, but his pictures and presence are everywhere in a cantina that offers the live-hard, play-hard ethic of downtown Cabo. Worth a look if you’re willing to stand in line while nursing the beverage of your choice.

A Look at the Future? 

Cabo San Lucas, with its nightlife traditions and cultural activities, is a prime example of Mexico’s current tourism trade. A preview of the area's future, however, may be located just a few miles up the coast, along miles of sand dunes and isolated beaches facing the Pacific Ocean: Diamante Cabo San Lucas.  This 1,500-acre gated community offers 9,000-square foot estate homes, single-family bungalows, timeshare villas, two world class golf courses, and North America’s largest manmade lagoon. The ten-acre Crystal Lagoon, which shimmers in the distance like a mirage, is positioned to become the centerpiece of the resort when its ten-year build-out is completed.
The Resort at Diamante is poised to become Cabo's
newest high-end complex.
For now, five years into the project, The Resort at Diamante averages 100 guests per night, 300 fulltime staffers and construction crews all around. Most of the current guests are golf aficionados drawn to the Davis Love III course, which is ranked #52 in the world, and a Tiger Woods course that is scheduled to open by the end of the year. It's a surreal golf setting where, every three holes, golfers can avail themselves of a cantina for free food and drinks. But even without the golf courses, the resort’s size is large enough to suggest a city-in-the-making. It caters to high-end travelers who want a luxurious second home, a condominium, or a totally secure timeshare vacation escape for their families. When the build-out is complete, the onetime desert site will include a boutique shopping center, five-star hotel, baseball and soccer fields, 300 timeshare villas and 700 single family homes/estates, and possibly even a second major Crystal Lagoon, according to developer Kenneth Jowdy.  The resort’s existing roads and infrastructure, including a salt-water desalinization plant (to offset chronic water shortages), golf clubhouse, spa, fitness and tennis centers, only give a glimpse of what Diamante may become.   
As one might expect, nothing about Diamante falls into the category of affordable travel for a middle-income American family. The beach front and golf-course homes and lots sell for millions. The Residence Club timeshares range from $40,000 for a two-bedroom summer week to $200,000 for a four-bedroom week during holiday season. All weeks are offered on 50-year right-to-use (RTU) contracts. 
Diamante is one of an estimated 15 high-end resort properties in Cabo San Lucas.  The breadth of its construction, however, sets it apart from others that have similar amenities but not nearly as much ground - or 1.5 miles of Pacific Ocean beachfront. The resort is also new enough that there is only rental and resale each listed on RedWeek.com. If you hope to experience a week or own at this brilliant new development, keep a close eye out.
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This article was provided by Jeff Weir.  Jeff is a California-based journalist who has covered California, Congress, and the White House. He also has roots in Silicon Valley, where he directed public relations and marketing programs for high-tech companies. He is also a timeshare owner and member of RedWeek.com.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eight Travel-Friendly Items You'll Definitely Want

Vacationers are some of the savviest people out there - we know the perfect tips to maximize luggage space, how to score the best deals on rooms as well as the ins and outs of our favorite destinations. As such, we're always on the hunt for anything to improve our efficiency or quality of life on the road. At RedWeek, we've tracked down eight travel products that will entice your inner spender.


1. La Fresh Travel Lite Wipes
Evade the TSA's stringent rules on liquids with these handy wipes. La Fresh Group compresses many traditional liquid staples into a convenient, disposable wipe. With clever solutions like insect repellant wipes, SPF 30 sunscreen wipes and facial cleansing wipes, you can kiss traditional bottles goodbye in favor of much-needed convenience and packability!


We've all been in that dreaded situation - stuck on a plane or in the car and our favorite gadget drains precariously toward 1% battery life. Keep your phones, tablets, game consoles, MP3 players and cameras fully charged with Trent's iCarrier. With two USB charging hubs and guaranteed to charge up to six times on one original charge, this is sure to save your gadgets when on the road.

We've seen the beatings our trusty luggage takes in airports. Not every suitcase is up to challenge, but the Lojel Wave's lightweight yet extra-tough polycarbonate shell is a force to be reckoned with. The wave is offered in four sizes ranging from the 19.5 inch carry-on model to the extra-large 29 inch model. The wave is also equipped with removable, 360 degree wheels for ultra-smooth movement.

If you're seeking pristine audio quality and noise-cancelling features without all the bulk of over-hear headphones, these little earbuds are exactly what you need. The earphones come with a set of seven switchable silicone earpieces - ensuring a perfect fit - as well as a tangle-free fabric braided cord. Situated on the cable itself is a microphone and a set of volume/track controls designed for usage with Apple products.

5. GoToob
The ingenious GoToob makes transporting liquids easier than ever. Offered in 1.25 oz, 2 oz and 3 oz options, each option is TSA-cleared. The tough-but-pliable silicone is much easier to squeeze than typical hard plastic travel bottles, and the GoToob is equipped with a special "no-drip" valve as well as a larger opening specifically for filling it up. Customizable ID labels built right into the cap also help prevent accidental mix-ups.

Had enough blind rummaging through your bags for that one particular item? Consider investing in one of Cocoon's Grid-It! organizers. The firm board base is covered with an interweaving system of elastic bands that holds various items in place to reduce clutter and keep things flawlessly organized. If you're traveling with your laptop or tablet, special models are designed with built-in protected pouches!

Family photos and tricky angles are so much easier to tackle with the posable GorillaPod. With three bendable arms, this mini tripod can be attached to, wrapped around or balanced on any location that might provide that perfect picture. If you're rocking a more weighty or high-end camera, Joby also also offers the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and Focus models!

If your bags are prone to becoming a rat's nest of twisted cords and cables, Belkin's cable kit makes traveling so much less tangle-prone! Ideal for the professional, this set comes with multiple USB adapters as well as less-common networking cables like a crossover cable and modem cable. The convenient retractable design helps keep cables untangled and clean.


Image Credit: http://www.cocooninnovations.com

Friday, August 22, 2014

RedWeek's Primer On Points

A point system provides no shortage
of travel opportunities!
Point systems inundate the timeshare industry and play a role in many an owner's contracts. A point system can offer an owner amazing flexibility when vacationing, but they're also a source of great confusion for many. Before buying your own (be they resale or fresh from the developer), it helps to
be savvy to the unique way in which point systems work - let us help with this primer on points!

What is a Point System?

When we think of timeshares, we often think of an ownership where an individual owns a given week at a particular resort. Eventually, however, owners sought a bit more flexibility and the industry delivered in the form of point systems. Instead of a single week at a particular resort, owners now owned a certain amount of "points" annually or biannually to be spent at resorts within that developer's system. Instead of being locked into a set week at a resort, owners had the freedom to spend their points on as many nights as they'd prefer at a range of different locations. 

To add another layer of flexibility, many systems allow their owners to "bank" their points when not of them will be used within their points period. An annual point owner, for instance, can bank their leftover 2014 for use in 2015 which can equate to another day added to their trip, a bigger unit or a stay at a more desirable resort. Banked points do, however, tend to expire after a set period of time (typically one or two years), so don't plan on hoarding your points for a mega-vacation!

Not All Points are the Same

For the most part, point systems are pretty straightforward at their core; owners receives a set number of points, points are then spent for a resort stay. These standard, annually/biannually-issued points we've discussed so far as referred to use as "regular use points". Owners can also receive "bonus points" that are issued through various promotions. These points are not listed on the deed, but are pooled and treated as regular use points when added to the owner's account. Depending on the developer, bonus points may or may not transfer upon resale. 

Researching Resales

If points are sounding pretty good, you might be interested in purchasing some of your own. Resales are often a fantastic way to get started with a timeshare of your own, due to a much lower price - often just a fraction of buying direct from the resort! Point system resales can be a bit iffy however, and you'll want to be sure that you're aware of the potential changes that might happen when buying points from owners.

Disney Vacation Club resales, for instance, lose some of their benefits in comparison to buying from the resort. The new owners are unable to use their points to book cruises and stays at non-Vacation Club resorts, so if this is a big "must" for you, you might want to consider looking into buying straight from Disney.

Club Wyndham point resales work in a similar manner. When buying straight from Wyndham, owners are assigned a status - such as VIP, Gold VIP or Platinum VIP. If the owner sells these points, the new buyer will not receive the status and any associated perks.

Marriott Vacation Club Destinations have another sort of restriction in place. Marriott had previously allowed owners with deeded weeks to switch to the points system for a fee. If the owner seeks to sell their ownership, however, it must be sold as the deed is written - meaning the deeded week is sold instead of a number of points, which can be a sour surprise for the seller and buyer alike. When looking at Marriott Vacation Club Destinations point resale, be sure the owner originally bought into the point system and did not convert their week to the point system.

Regardless of which system you're looking at, it will only benefit you to do research beforehand. Point systems are amazing for allowing owners plenty of flexibility and less rigid constraints than typical deeded weeks, but they're also a fair deal more confusing. Don't hesitate to ask the owner or the sales rep questions - you'll enter into the industry a more informed consumer for the effort!



Monday, August 18, 2014

Florida's Best Hidden Treasures

Elusive Florida panthers
prowl the Everglades
When we think of vacationing in Florida, we tend to think of theme parks. Between Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, there's no shortage of excitement to be found in Florida. However, there is so much more to the Sunshine State waiting to be explored and enjoyed. On your next trip to Florida, skip the crowded theme parks and hour-long lines to sample some of these hidden gems!

Bahia Honda State Park

Tucked away on Big Pine Key lies Bahia Honda State Park. Boasting a truly tropical 500 acres, Bahia Honda is all about natural activities. The coastline of park are home to some of Florida's best beachcombing as well as snorkeling offshore on nearby Looe Island. Fishers can reel in plenty of tarpon and cyclists can enjoy the tropical backstory on the 3.5 mile bike path. Admission is also very affordable; a single vehicle with two to eight passengers is $8.00, $4.00 for a single occupant vehicle and only $2.00 if you arrive by bike or foot.

The Florida Botanical Gardens

Pinellas County is home to Florida's most stunning array of flora. Thirty acres of cultivated gardens and ninety acres of natural area overflowing with native Floridian plants await exploration, whether you choose to wander alone or under the guidance of one of the garden's tour guides. While the flowers, trees and plant life are the focus, the garden is also home to an array of wildlife. Osprey, eagles, armadillos, alligators, coyotes, herons and more have all been spotted on the grounds. Best of all, admission and group tours are completely free of charge!

Big Cat Rescue

If you're on the hunt for a truly wild experience, Tampa-based Big Cat Rescue is an entirely unique experience. One of the world's largest sanctuaries for rescued exotic cats. Over 100 tigers, lions, bobcats, cougars, servals and other cats call Big Cat Rescue their home. Visitors eager to learn more about the cats check-in for one of the guided tours offered throughout the day and are treated to a tour to meet and learn more about exotic cats. Standard tours are $36.00 per person, and pricier, unique tours are offered such as the night tour, feeding tour and keeper tour.


Everglades National Park

We've all heard of Florida's Everglades, but few get the chance to experience this 1.5 million acre haven in person. Home to exotic wildlife - including Florida panthers and manatees - the Everglades represent a biome unlike any other on Earth. Here, natural pursuits are celebrated - hiking, biking, fishing, bird-watching and canoeing are all encouraged. For truly breathtaking sights, be sure to embark on one of the boat, airboat or tram tours. Admission for one private vehicle is $10.00, and entrance by foot or bicycle is $5.00 per individual.

Delray Beach

Delray Beach is something of a gem among Floridian beaches. Nestled between Palm Beach to the north and Ft. Lauderdale to the south, Delray is a far quieter retreat lacking the crowds and bustle of either. With wide stretches of well-preserved dunes, Delray Beach is the perfect spot for sun, sand and surf. Be sure to venture into the town as well; the quaint, seaside vibe permeates the local boutiques and sidewalk bistros.


Photo Credit: http://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mazatlan - Shrimp Capital of the World!

Lush white sands line Mazatlan!
Like shrimp? Plan your next vacation in the Shrimp Capital of the World -  Mazatlan, Mexico. Mazatlan is family-friendly and filled with enough activities to meet anyone’s interest.  

About Mazatlan

Mazatlan, a Nahuatl word meaning “place of the deer” is located ten miles from the Pacific Ocean and its latitude is the same as Honolulu, making the weather comfortably mild year-round. Temperatures range from 68 to 75 degrees on the average, with warmer temperatures in the summer and mild weather in the winter.   

Being the largest commercial port in Mexico, Mazatlan is vibrant and a draw for cruise ships that come into port to experience the many activities the city has to offer - including an outdoor four-block city market, the dazzling nightlife and the succulent food found in the city.  

Tuna and shrimp are what the town is famous for and the city houses one of Mexico’s largest shrimp and tuna fleets in the world. It also has the largest tuna-canning factory on the Pacific. The next time you open a can of tuna, check to see if it’s from Mazatlan!

What To Do

There is plenty to do in the city of Mazatlan whether you’re part of a family, single or in a group. Great places to visit around the city are the local aquarium and the beautiful sandy beaches. Favorite activities include horseback riding, golfing and cheering on the city’s triple-A baseball team.  Baseball is a favorite activity in Mazatlan and when local games are played, the stands are filled with all ages shouting advice to pitchers, batters and team managers. Of course, there's plenty of cheering on the players!

Lounge beachside or pick up a game of beach volleyball!
Nightlife is vibrant with many clubs filled with young people dancing the night away. Breakfast cafes are constantly filled with those who stop partying in the early hours and stop for a breakfast which can range from coffee and a pastry to a full-blown breakfast of eggs, pancakes and bacon. 

Coffee aficionados will love the various coffee shops scattered around the town.  Don’t look for a local Starbucks, as there are none to be found as of the time of writing, but do look for Rico’s coffee - a heady brew of locally roasted coffee that is smooth, superb, and truly the nectar of the Gods. Rico’s coffee shops don’t make huge pots of coffee - instead, each cup is brewed individually for you. Due to a lack of pasteurization, there is no half and half for your coffee. Instead, try the local “cream” that is offered at Rico’s. Delicious coffee awaits you at any of the coffee stands around town.

For adults who want to see where their beer is made, you can visit the Pacifico Brewery in town. Pacifico is one of the country’s largest breweries. Of course, other beers are offered but local brands are truly to be sampled.

Planning Your Trip

Christmas is a special time in Mazatlan!
Christmas, New Years, Dia del Muerto, All Saints Day, and Carnival are prime times of the year to visit Mazatlan. Carnival (Car-knee-vol) is a street party from day one with parades, special foods in the cafes and patrons dressed in costume. This holiday has been celebrated for many years in the town and the entire town's population turns out to celebrate and have fun.  

Outside the city are three places you don’t want to miss for day trips - Deer Island, Stone Island and the town of El Calite - a colorful Mexican town with a wonderful history and a locally made goat cheese that rivals the best in the world. Visitors can also visit the silver and gold mining towns of Rosario, Copala (don’t miss their wonderful coconut cream pie!) and Panuco.  

The Resorts of Mazatlan

Timeshare resorts abound in Mazatlan and range from average converted motel/hotel type resorts to the specially built crème-de-la-crème timeshare properties such as the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort located on the outskirts of the city. Located on the beautiful Emerald Bay, this luxury resort is nothing short of astounding with its beauty and accommodations. 

From the moment you enter the gorgeous lobby (complete with salt water tanks and fountains!) the resort staff greet you with the warm Mexican welcome for which Pueblo Bonito Resorts are well-known. Check-in is simple and within a few minutes, small shuttle busses will take you to your room.  

Hospitable staff on hand to kick off your vacation
The resort has three huge, heated pools and Jacuzzis where you can soak your worries away. Bar, food and drink service is available at each pool; or you can simply swim up to the bar and take a seat on underwater stools lining the counter for service. From 5:00 to 6:00 PM,  it’s resort-custom to gather poolside and enjoy two-for-one drinks. This is the perfect opportunity to meet people from all over the world who know a truly great resort, and if you look carefully you might spot a Hollywood star or two relaxing around the pool!

Three restaurants on-site accommodate any taste you might be craving, and the poolside restaurant located on the west side of the resort includes a wonderful sushi bar. It is suggested that visitors staying five days or more participate in the all-inclusive plan which allows for unlimited food and drink at any of the restaurants or cafes in the resort.  

Emerald Bay’s spa is a constant draw, and nearly any spa service you could want is offered. Unique showers with lavender, eucalyptus, vanilla or the Spa’s choice of fragrance allow visitors to shower in hot water infused with these relaxing scents. There are also ice walks to rejuvenate tired feet and hot tub pools with water held at a constant 104 degrees to soak sore muscles. A massage from a well-trained staff or a work out in a wonderfully equipped fitness center are all you need to stay happy, healthy and relaxed.  

Conclude your day with a gorgeous
Mexican sunset!
For those who fall in love with Mazatlan, seek to sample other timeshare resorts in the area.  Many timeshares in the city offer unique activities and accommodations. At the El Cid Towers, for example, there is a floating river that circles the resort. Visitors hop onto a rubber float and relax as your float winds around the entire resort. If you’re a golfer and golding every day sounds nothing short of exquisite, you will want to look into one of the resorts that has golf links - many local properties offer golf included in their activities.  

Choose Mazatlan as your next vacation destination and learn firsthand why it’s named the Pearl of the Pacific. This beautiful, breathtaking city will call you back year after year.

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This article was provided by Helen Sabin, a timeshare traveler and RedWeek member from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She has seen changes in the timeshare world that make it a wonderful way to travel!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Grand Solmar Debuts Blog Aimed at Combating Travel Scams

In a move to make vacationers more aware of travel scams, the Grand Solmar Timeshare Scam Avoidance Group has introduced a new blog aimed specifically at teaching readers to avoid common travel scams.

While RedWeek has tackled the steps needed to avoid timeshare rental scams, Grand Solmar zeroes in on scams vacationers are likely to face after reaching their destination. Especially when traveling abroad, individuals are thrust into a new culture with new people as well as new expectations. It's not hard to imagine that a dose of such "culture shock" can lower travelers' guards. By calling out the scam and educating readers on how to deal with the situation, Grand Solmar hopes travelers can begin their vacation armed with the knowledge needed to keep themselves safe.

This proactive approach by those directly involved with the timeshare industry is a welcome introduction! Many of the scams the Grand Solmar Timeshare Scam Avoidance Group details are not well-known, and generally are only made aware of after the damage has been done.

One of the most well-concealed scams Grand Solmar reveals involves obscuring rental car damage from travelers. Many vacationers choose to rent cars to make the trip a bit easier, and are generally aware that they're to be held responsible for any damage the car acquires while in usage. Shadier rental agencies will rent out "undamaged" cars that are returned in equally pristine condition. When the agency looks over the car, they'll find damage that they had cunningly hidden previous to the rental on the bottom of the car or in other inconspicuous locations where renters would not thought to check. The agency will hold that the damage was not there before, and the renters are required to pay for hidden damage.

We definitely encourage you to check out all of the posts directly at Grand Solmar Timeshare Scam Avoidance Group's Blog. A bit of research now might just save you a headache in the long run!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Eight Fantastic Labor Day Getaways - Part Two

The Sausalito Art Festival is a Labor Day weekend tradition!
Last week, we reviewed four of our favorite Labor Day vacation ideas packed with events and activities. As promised, we have another four ideas in store to ensure your summer goes out with a bang!

Myrtle Beach - South Carolina

Myrtle Beach's ubiquitous sun, sand and surf make the destination feel more like a bastion of endless summer than it is a way to bid the season goodbye. However, there's no doubt that Myrtle Beach does Labor Day right - August 29th and August 30th host the Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival. BBQ-lovers will delight in sampling the fare provided by contenders alongside beer and wine tastings, and crafts and fireworks will surely appeal to younger participants. 


San Francisco - California

San Francisco's artsy edge carries over into Labor Day activities, with Shakespeare in the Park performing "The Taming of the Shrew" daily on the Presidio on August 30th through September 1st.  The truly cultured can also choose to ferry their way over to Sausalito for the 62nd Annual Sausalito Art Festival to peruse the works of over 260 artists from across the country. Conclude your Labor Day in style with a special dinner cruise around the Bay.


Honolulu - Hawaii

If you're craving a more tropical experience this Labor Day, Honolulu is where you want to be! The Okinawan Festival is a celebration of Honolulu's strong Okinawan population and is packed with plenty of live entertainment and exotic cuisine as well as activities such as crafts, games and dress-up for kids. If you're looking for a more adventurous Labor Day celebration, the annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim might be right up your alley. This 2.35 mile open-water race spans the prime of Waikiki Beach and includes awards for placing!


Branson - Missouri

Branson is a notorious choice for vacationing families, and Labor Day gives the Ozark getaway a chance to pull out all the stops. The Southern Gospel Picnic runs all the way from August 22nd to Labor Day itself where you can enjoy soul-stirring melodies alongside traditional Southern fried chicken. Big Cedar Lodge and Chateau on the Lake both host BBQ picnics and fireworks displays, and avid shoppers can look forward to plenty of Labor Day deals in Downtown Branson and Tanger Outlets!


Have you decided where you're headed once Labor Day rolls around? Let us know; we always welcome suggestions for future coverage, and RedWeek members know best!


Photo Credit: http://sausalitoartfestival.org