Friday, January 29, 2010

Wyndham Opens New Timeshare Resort in February

Wyndham has announced the February, 2010, opening of its newest resort, the Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor. A multi-use development, National Harbor sits along the historic Potomac River, in Prince George's County, Maryland, close to the national monuments and museums of Washington, D.C.

This urban timeshare resort is Wyndham's second in the Washington, D.C. area. Wyndham Old Town Alexandria, in Alexandria, Virginia, is wildly popular for vacationers eager to stay in a timeshare and experience the many historic sites and events in the Nation's Capital.

The Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor has 250 condominium-style, fully furnished units, including 42 presidential suites, built in an 11-story tower. It features a health and fitness club, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, an outdoor terrace with a spa and kiddie pool, as well as a recreation room. And guests will be able to enjoy a wide variety of shopping and dining options within the National Harbor complex.

The hotel is also partnering with The Fishing School, offering $25,000 to help with the Washington, D.C., nonprofit's after-school education and enrichment program. "Wyndham will also host students and their families at the resort four times a year for a three-night vacation as a reward for top quarterly performances," Franz Hanning, CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership, stated.

The Wyndham Vacation Ownership group, under its parent company, Wyndham Worldwide Corp of New Jersey, as been increasing its portfolio of urban resorts. It now has timeshare resorts in numerous cities, including San Francisco, San Antonio, and Sidney, Australia. Urban timeshare resorts are gaining in popularity, designed to offer owners convenient access to the shopping, dining, and nightlife, as well as the cultural attractions and events, of major metropolitan destinations.

"The fact that our National Harbor property is more than 75 percent sold out is a testament to the popularity of our urban properties and the Washington D.C. area," said Hanning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Students: Plan a Spring Break Timeshare Vacation

Calling all Spring Breakers! You know who you are - you've had "cabin fever" for months now, being tied to school and studies, and you're ready to finally break out and have some fun. But, how can you afford the Spring Break vacation that you really deserve? Think about timeshare rentals.

One way to have a fantastic Spring Break experience is to stay at a luxury beach resort. Even students on a budget can afford an extravagant vacation when you get a group of friends together and rent a timeshare. Everyone in your group can experience the joys of a luxury beach vacation for a very affordable price.

Plus, the fully-equipped kitchen will help you save on the cost of meals. It's fun to eat out at great restaurants, but over a week's time that can break the bank. Instead, fix breakfasts, lunches and snacks in your own "home." Most resorts are near towns where you can easily pick up groceries, and some resorts will even stock your kitchen to your specifications prior to your arrival.

Activities on Spring Break vacations are another source of expense. Renting a timeshare at a resort not only gives you an inexpensive place to sleep at night, but the resort's amenities are included in that price. These will almost always include swimming pools and spas, and in some fancier resorts even water parks. You can also find resorts that offer tennis, basketball and volleyball. Choose a resort with a golf course, dance classes, or snorkeling, and even an arcade game room. Many resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean have on-site nightclubs that are discounted to those staying at the resort.

To get you started planning your Spring Break vacation, we've given you a timeshare rental sampler with great beach resorts to choose from:

Coconut Bay Resort, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida starts at $86/night. Wyndham Panama City at Emerald Beach, Panama City Beach, Florida starts at $83/night. Cabo Villas, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, starts at $86/night. Palace Resort at Moon Palace, Cancun, Mexico, starts at an unbelievable $14/night. Aruba Beach Club, Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean starts at $93/night. And finally, the world famous Harborside Resort at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, Caribbean, has timeshare rentals that start at just $57/night (see photo above).

You simply can't beat timeshare rental as the way to have the best - and cheapest - Spring Break luxury vacation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Timeshare Company RedWeek.com is a Sponsor for ARDA Convention

The annual American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Convention is coming March 14 – 18, 2010. ARDA is a forerunner in educating consumers about the timeshare industry and vacation ownership. RedWeek.com is proud to announce it is one of the Signature Sponsors, along with such companies as RCI, American Express, Interval International and Starwood Vacation Ownership, just to name a few.

The convention, which is being held at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, features an impressive line-up of speakers and entertainers. The keynote speaker, Andy Sernovitz, is considered the guru of word-of-mouth marketing and helps companies understand the recent dynamic changes that have occurred in online marketing, brought by user generated content like blogs and social media sites.

"We are grateful for the support we receive from our Signature Sponsors," said Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA. "These companies enable us to offer the high-quality events our members need, while getting great visibility among the attendees."

The convention offers timeshare and vacation ownership industry professionals an opportunity to gather, network, learn the latest industry trends and timely educational programming. Hundreds of timeshare industry suppliers are expected to participate and exhibit their products and services.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Plan a March Hawaiian Timeshare Vacation for the Honolulu Festival

Tired of Winter? Get out of the winter doldrums and take a March vacation to Hawaii. Rent a timeshare on Oahu in time to attend the amazing Honolulu Festival to be held the weekend of March 12-14, 2010.

The Honolulu Festival is the "premier cultural event" of Hawaii. This 3-day festival celebrates the diverse culture of peoples of the Pacific Rim, from Australia to Alaska.

The Honolulu Festival was created in 1995 as a means of promoting cultural understanding between the people of Hawaii and Japan, but has grown to include most of the Pacific Rim countries. Since 2000 it has been administered by the non-profit Honolulu Festival Foundation.

Over 5000 participants from Pacific Rim countries come together to showcase their special cultures in costume, dance, song, stories and yes, delicious food. The Festival is so huge that it's presented in several different locations including the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center and Waikiki Beach Walk.

Participating at the 16th annual Honolulu Festival in 2010 will be the much sought-after Daidengaku dancers of Japan. Originally during the ancient Kamakura Period this dance was a Shinto ritual thanking the deities for a bountiful harvest. The dance is unique in that it not only became popular with the court nobility and samurai but the common people as well, evolving into a cultural icon for all Japanese citizens. Today it has been revived in a contemporary form and wherever it is performed the dance troupe involves local citizens in the productions.

Another exciting performance in 2010 will be by the Alaska Native Heritage Center Dancers from Anchorage. Native Alaskans, including Eskimo, Inupiaq, and Aleut will bring the U.S.'s northern most culture to the U.S.'s southern most culture, demonstrating to south sea islanders a culture that evolved in a completely different climate. The traditional ways of native Alaskan cultures will be exhibited through dramatic interpretive dance, music and drums.

The Honolulu Festival culminates in the spectacular Grand Parade that passes through Waikiki along Kalakaua Avenue. All of the Festival's participating countries will march in this colorful parade, including entertaining dance troupes, drum corps, music groups, and even acrobats. Seeing the Festival while staying in your Honolulu timeshare is a once-in-lifetime opportunity for the entire family to experience the marvelous cultures of the many diverse countries of the Pacific Rim.

See all Oahu timeshares.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Disney Vacation Club to Offer New Timeshare Resort on Oahu

Disney has announced plans to build a new premier family resort on the island of Oahu. The first phase of The Aulani - A Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011. Besides hotel rooms, it will have 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas for timeshare ownership.



Located on the western Wai`anae Coast of Oahu in the Ko Olina area it is in a quiet, secluded spot of the island, yet just a 30-minute drive to Waikiki. The ocean front Aulani will be built on 21 acres next to a blue lagoon and a beautiful white sand beach. Located nearby are the existing Ko Olina Marina and a Ted Robinson-designed, 18-hole Championship Golf course

Amenities and activities will be what Disney is known for - immersive family fun. Pathways will wind throughout a wonderland of water, including not just pools and waterslides, but also fish ponds and tide pools filled with fascinating native sea life. Magical entertainment will be offered by the many mischievous menehunes (mythical Hawaiian elf-like creatures). Watch for them - some are hidden and some will be in full view! Traditional healing arts of Hawaii will relax and rejuvenate you in the spectacular 18,000 square foot family-oriented spa.

The architectural design of the resort honors Hawaiian tradition with a Hawaiian village concept. A reverence for nature, so much a part of Hawaiian culture, can be appreciated on the grounds with lush tropical vegetation, and the large volcanic rock that will pass right through the glass lobby wall. Your timeshare rooms will be decorated with lustrous wood, and Hawaiian elements including the geometric patterns inspired by traditional kapa cloth (textiles made from tree bark).

The word "Aulani" translates to "the place that speaks for the great ones” or “the place that speaks with deep messages.” By choosing this name, Disney hopes its guests will come to appreciate the very special land and people that is Hawaii. “We are turning to the Hawaiian culture for inspiration in everything we are doing at Aulani," said Djuan Rivers, Vice President, Disney Vacation Club and Resort, Hawaii, "and we hope our guests will not only enjoy the Disney experience, but will also embrace the unique culture of Hawaii and its diverse people.”

See all Disney timeshares. See all Oahu timeshares.

Timeshare Rentals and Timeshare Resales now Streaming to Twitter

RedWeek.com, the largest online marketplace for timeshare rentals, resales and exchanges is excited to announce that it now has 2 additional Twitter sites dedicated to Timeshare Resales and Timeshare Rentals specifically. Now, every time a member posts their rental or resale on RedWeek.com, it will automatically post to the twitter page giving the listing more visibility online. This will help showcase the unit to those conducting online search and increase the chance of rental or resale success for our members.

The new page for Timeshare Rentals can be found at twitter.com/redweekrentals and Timeshare Resales are streaming to twitter.com/redweekresales. The resales page posts the newest resorts available for sale as well as the bargain timeshare resales. Our general twitter page for tips, news and timeshare travel information can still be found at twitter.com/redweektravel. Follow us online at all three of our twitter pages! We look forward to tweeting with you.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Visit Discovery Cove on Your Orlando Timeshare Vacation


Planning a vacation that will thrill the entire family is easy when you consider Orlando, with so many varied theme parks. You already know of Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Now consider the must-see Discovery Cove when you visit Orlando on your next timeshare vacation.

Discovery Cove is like no other theme park you've ever experienced. Here your family can have the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of swimming with dolphins. Imagine interacting with these wondrous creatures in the most personal way - actually in the water with them, playing and swimming and touching.

The cost of admission to Discovery Cove might at first seem expensive, but consider that you are getting an all-inclusive vacation that you experience in one full day. Besides swimming with dolphins, which is so special that most visitors say it is worth the price of admission by itself, there are many other incredible activities in this 30-acre park.

The Explorer's Aviary is home to hundreds of exotic bird species, many of which will actually eat food out of a cup you can hold. Snorkel through Tropical Reef, a coral reef where you can feed graceful rays and swim among hundreds of tropical fish. Lazily float down the heated Wind-Away River, which also flows through the Aviary, or relax in hammocks on the white sand beaches along the shore of Serenity Bay.

Everything you'll need to enjoy each activity is included in the admission price. You'll be set up with snorkeling equipment at Tropical Reef, and inner-tubes at Wind-Away River. If you visit during the fall or winter you might need wet-suits for the dolphin swim, which are also provided. Other amenities include a swim vest, sunscreen, towels and a locker, toiletries, and even a group picture.

All food is provided, including breakfast, and available at any time all day long. Hot and cold drinks are available, and anyone over 21 with ID (be sure to have your ticket stamped when you enter the park) can indulge in the complementary beer. From a first class restaurant to plentiful snacks there are so many choices that every member of the family will find what they like. You can find everything from juicy hamburgers to spicy jambalaya, from succulent grilled salmon to giant cupcakes, and the best part - eat as much as you want.

When planning your vacation budget you can find many inexpensive Orlando timeshare rentals, which will help make a special day at Discovery Cove affordable for the entire family.

(Photo provided by discoverycove.com)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don’t Let Airline Baggage Costs Ruin your Timeshare Vacation

We are right in the swing of the ski season and many of you are renting timeshares at wonderful ski resorts and planning a fabulous trip. Or, at least you thought you would be until the reality of today's air travel baggage costs hit you when you went to check in your luggage and your ski equipment.

Most airlines are attempting to recoup lost revenues by charging for checked baggage. If you are checking a suitcase plus your skis and your ski boots, you are going to get hit with charges that can increase your flying costs by a couple of hundred dollars. When planning your timeshare vacation, especially if you're going skiing, follow these tips:
  1. Not all airlines are the same. Currently Southwest is the only airline that does not charge for the first two checked bags, and JetBlue will give you one checked bag for free. AirTran, Alaska and Frontier are the next three cheapest for checked bags. Choosing one of these airlines to fly, regardless of finding a cheaper fare on another airline, will save you money.

  2. Pack light. See our previous post 6 Tips for Packing Light on your Timeshare Vacation for ideas on how you actually can cut down on the amount of luggage you take with you. Following these tips, may actually help you put everything you need in a carry-on bag. (Remember that your timeshare rental will have a washer and dryer.) That will leave just your skis and boots to be checked.

  3. Consider shipping your skis and boots ahead of you. When you rent a timeshare the resort's management will be happy to hold your ski equipment for you until you arrive. If you really want to take lots of bulky clothing with you, that can be shipped, too. Whether you ship via UPS, FedEx, or USPS the cost is a fraction of what checked baggage fees would be, and you won't have to worry about having your expensive ski equipment or your favorite outfit lost by the airlines.

(Photo from TSA.gov)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Timeshare Company Starwood Announces Employment Forecast for 2010

Hospitality giant Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, owner of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., announces plans to add more than 12,000 new jobs this year. Half of the jobs are slated to be located inside the U.S. in such areas as California and New York. Starwood owns Sheraton timeshare resorts as well as Westin timeshares.

“Today, the travel industry employs 7.7 million Americans and travel is uniquely positioned to create even more jobs as the economy continues to recover,” said Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s President and CEO. “After a year of hunkering down and cutting costs, companies are driving their topline again. By definition this means getting back on the road, which not only benefits their own business, but also helps spur job creation.”

The majority of the new jobs will come from newly opened hotel properties scheduled to occur this year. Starwood plans to add 80-100 new hotels under their 9 brands world-wide. The hotels will be looking for employees to fill positions in general management; human resources; food and beverage; engineering and maintenance; housekeeping; spa and guest services.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

50th Resort Opens for Marriott Vacation Club

The Marriott Vacation Club is excited to announce that is has just opened its 50th resort, Marriott’s Oceana Palms - The Palm Beaches, located on Singer Island in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Perfectly situated on the tip of Florida’s “Gold Coast,” this location has beautiful white beaches and horizons filled with graceful sails and stunning sunrises. The magnificent 19-story tower of the Marriott Oceana Palms highlights spectacular ocean views from 75 two-bedroom villas. Timeshare owners and guests will enjoy the resorts refreshing pools, one of which is a zero-entry pool where kids can play in “The Splash Zone” and waterslide. The “Reflections” pool bar and grill serves lunch and dinner daily.

Each villa spaciously offers guests more than 1,100 square feet of living space and is decorated with a blend of traditional furnishings and fresh, contemporary pieces. Those who love to cook will enjoy the fully-equipped gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and GE stainless steel appliances. Units also come with multiple LG flat-panel televisions equipped with DVD players. The master suite features an oversized shower with multiple shower heads. Each villa can accommodate up to 8 guests and has washer and dryers on site for all the convenience of home.

“We are thrilled to open our 50th resort and welcome Owners and guests to Marriott’s Oceana Palms,” said Stephen P. Weisz, president of Marriott Vacation Club International. “After 25 years of providing unforgettable vacations, we couldn’t be more pleased to open our second resort in this beautiful coastal setting.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

How Timeshare Owners Can Help Earthquake Victims in Haiti

This week, on January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. As timeshare owners watch the news and read about the devastation, you may be wondering how you can help. There are recovery efforts around the world working hard to assist Haitian earthquake victims. You can make a donation to one of several organizations ready to assist these disaster victims and help rebuild their lives and their communities.

Where Can I Send a Donation?
UNICEF is sending clean water and sanitation supplies, therapeutic foods and medical supplies. They will also focus on providing temporary shelters protecting children who have become separated from their families.

CARE already has 133 staff members coordinating with the U.N. to distribute food. They are prepared to quickly ramp up and deploy more aid in the critical areas where it is needed once more details of the situation has been assessed.

Beware Donation Scams
Out of the goodness of those timeshare owners willing to donate money, comes the high probability of scams being set up to take advantage of generosity. Follow these helpful tips to keep yourself safe:
  • If you receive an unsolicited email message (SPAM) claiming to provide aid to Haiti, do not click on the links or open any attachments. It may be a phishing email looking for your personal data or hold viruses that can spread to your computer.

  • If there is an organization with a name you do not know, research them on the following sites to confirm they are legitimate: Better Business Bureau; the Foundation Center, or Charity Navigator

  • Look at the URL of the web site asking for your donation. Be wary if it ends in a series of numbers. You should expect that a nonprofit group would have a web site that ends with .org, NOT .com.

  • Be extremely skeptical of Web sites that ask for detailed personal information, such as your Social Security number, birth date or bank account. Never provide your pin number. That may leave you vulnerable to identity theft.

(Photo credit metropolehaiti)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Timeshare Exchange Availability is Top Concern in RedWeek.com Survey

This week we released the findings from our timeshare survey. Over 650 respondents told us that exchange availability and high maintenance fees charged by the resorts, was among their top concerns. Honesty, resale opportunities, and resort improvements completed the list of the top 5 items those who replied would like to see improved about timeshares.

The number one item on the list – timeshare exchange availability - refers to a timeshare owner's desire to trade the week at their resort for a week at different resort. High maintenance fees, indicated respondents concerns over the rising annual fee they pay to the resorts. These fees vary from resort to resort and also by size and type of timeshare unit owned.

"RedWeek.com visitors are telling us that it's not easy to make their desired exchange," said Randy Conrads, RedWeek.com CEO. "It is also clear that flexibility and reasonable fees are vital to timeshare."

Timeshare owner and RedWeek.com member Caroline Lindholm commented, "We love our timeshares but are concerned about rising maintenance fees. My family owns several weeks and we have made approximately 100 exchanges since 1995. In recent years there has been a sharp decrease in the availability of desired exchange weeks."

Here’s the percentage breakdown of how respondents replied to the question: "What would you like to improve about timeshare?"
  • Exchange availability, 34%

  • High maintenance fees, 28%

  • Honesty and less pressure, 14%

  • Resale opportunities, 12%

  • Resort improvements, 7%
In addition to the top 5 concerns mentioned, additional responses included a wish that timeshares were easier to understand, complaints about poor resort management, and a desire for shorter stays at a timeshare (the typical timeshare rental is seven nights).

We welcome your comments below.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Go Whale Watching on your Timeshare Vacation

Have you ever thought of planning a vacation around whales? January begins prime whale watching time for San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the Hawaiian Islands. Rent a timeshare in any of these areas and give your family the thrill of a lifetime.

San Diego, California
The magnificent gray whale migrates annually from its feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to the warm shallow bays of Baja California where they give birth and raise their young. This amazing journey (10,000 miles round trip) takes the gray whale right past San Diego. The best time to see these wondrous mammals is from January through March. Besides whale-watching cruises, San Diego offers other whale-watching opportunities at the glassed-in observation area at Cabrillo National Monument, and Scripp's Aquarium's celebration of "Whale Fest." See San Diego timeshares.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo San Lucas is right where the action is. The end of the migration for the gray whale is at this resort area's front door. Here, from January through March, you'll be able to see these creatures up close and in abundance. After giving birth mothers can be seen playing with their calves and teaching them to swim. When the calves have matured enough to leave the safety of the shallow lagoons male grays will take them on short swims out through the Sea of Cortez. Available whale-watching charters and tours out of Cabo San Lucas range from a huge 96-ft sailing ship to private sail boats, from catamarans to kayaks. See Cabo San Lucas timeshares.

Hawaiian Islands
Off the coast of Hawaii is where the gigantic humpback whales end their migration from the Arctic. Here the magnificent kohola (the Hawaiian word for the humpback whale) relaxes in warm tropical waters and gives birth to new generations. Like the gray whale, the humpback is a curious animal and often will swim right up to a boat or even swim beneath it, giving whale-watchers a real thrill. While the humpbacks can be seen from Oahu, the prime viewing areas are off the coasts of Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Prime viewing is December through March. See Hawaii timeshares.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where Will You Go On Your Spring Vacation?

Winter will be over before you know it and it’s time to start thinking about Spring! Where will you getaway for your Spring vacation? Will you stay in the United States or visit somewhere more exotic? Here’s a few recommendations from Redweek members to give you ideas and get your vacation planning underway.

Disney's BoardWalk Villas
If your kids love Disney and you want to stay in a resort with 1930's Eastern seaboard-style charm, travel to Disney's BoardWalk Villas in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. After visiting the local theme parks, enjoy fun nightlife right on the Boardwalk with jugglers and music. The resort offers studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom accommodations. “You won't find a better resort. It has nightlife, lovely pools and gardens, wonderful restaurants, it’s close to Epcot and MGM.”

The Manhattan Club
The Manhattan Club offers the perfect midtown location for everything New York City has to offer: museums, theater, fine restaurants and shopping. The Manhattan Club is spacious with many amenities and kitchenette facilities. The units are nicely furnished, and well serviced. “This place has the ideal location for Manhattan, close to lots of entertainment, great restaurants, cultural attractions, and best of all, Central Park which is a great place year-round to really get away from the hustle and bustle of the City, but still 'people watch' and enjoy the outdoors, especially if you have kids or like to recreate with lots of open space. We love visiting the City twice a year, and our family will not stay anywhere else now that we have discovered the Club.”


Harborside Resort at Atlantis
Harborside Resort at Atlantis has it all with many options for the adventurous vacationer. Visit the world's largest marine habitat, a Mayan Temple waterslide during the day and the exciting casino at night. Enjoy international cuisine, salon and spa services and exceptional facilities for sports and shopping. “LOVE IT!! We own a 1 bedroom premium and have gone every year for the past five years. We have the option to go to other resorts but we keep going back to the Atlantis because we love it so much. Our kids love it as well and have been going since they were ages 2 and 4 and can't wait to return every year.”

Hilton Hawaiian Village
HGVC at Hilton Hawaiian Village is beautiful beach front property. Stay in one of the cozy studios or spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom timeshares available. It is conveniently located with just a short walk to restaurants, shops and nightclubs. The units are equipped with a full kitchen, air conditioning, and a washer and dryer on each floor. “Let me say that this is the BEST hotel in Honolulu as it has everything you could ever want! The beach is excellent, not too crowded like it is further down on Waikiki, it has a lagoon area that is perfect for kids & novice swimmers. There is some great snorkeling and surfing right there at the hotel.”

Don't wait to plan your Spring vacation now. Timeshare rentals are still available at all the destinations listed above.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vacation Planning? Travel to a Hilton Head Timeshare!

Planning your vacation for 2010? Consider wonderful Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. With over 12 miles of beautiful beaches along the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, just an hour and a half drive from historic Charleston, SC and only 20 miles from the charms of Savannah, Georgia, this could be the perfect spot for a family vacation.

It so happens that Hilton Head is home to Marriott's Grande Ocean resort, placed in the Top 25 Timeshare Resorts by Redweek.com members. Timeshare rentals start at a budget-approving $121/night at this kid-friendly resort. Besides a kiddie pool and children's playground, special activities for kids include tee shirt tie-dying, ice cream socials, candy making, and constructing shark tooth necklaces.

The rich history of Hilton Head includes playing an important role during the Civil War as a staging area for Union blockades of Southern ports. When the island fell to the Union Army, ex-slaves flocked into the area where they were free to buy land and attend school. Descendents of these freed slaves, known as the Gullah, still inhabit the island, and have kept their rich traditions.

Every February the Gullah Celebration is held at Shelter Cove Community Park, a festival showcasing the unique Gullah culture. During the summer the acclaimed Hallelujah Singers present a Gullah concert series celebrating the Gullah people in ethnic song and dance.

For the nature lover, Hilton Head can't be beat. The island is known for its miles of bike paths criss-crossing the island, and bike rentals are available on-site at Marriott's Grande Ocean resort. On your rides look for native wildlife that includes alligators, White-tailed deer, and hundreds of bird species.

During the summer months join the Coastal Discovery Museum's Turtle Talk and Walk, a special tour that educates the public on the highly endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle, easily seen along the beaches.

Hilton Head is also one of the few places on the planet where dolphins practice what is known as "strand feeding." You may get to watch this unusual sight where dolphins herd schools of fish up mud banks along the shore, then lie on their sides and feed before sliding back into the water.

The dolphins appear to enjoy Hilton Head, and so will you. With so many things to see and do, and so many beautiful beaches where you can relax and unwind, renting a timeshare here would be some of the best vacation planning you could do.

See all Hilton Head Island timeshares.

Friday, January 08, 2010

6 Tips for Packing Light on Your Timeshare Vacation

Planning your timeshare vacation? A new mantra for travel these days is "Pack Light." The days of taking half your closet with you on a trip are past. This new way of thinking might take a little getting used to, but once you've done it a couple of times you'll wonder how you ever managed lugging all of that luggage. We've gathered together some tips to help you get started.

To begin with learn the "One Bag" Plan. A couple of reasons why - First is cost - the airlines now charge $20 - $50 per checked bag. Make it a carry-on and you'll also save time - while others are wasting their time at the baggage carrousel you'll already be on your way to your resort. (Note: for a carry on use only soft-sided duffel bags or shoulder bags. Even if your upright roller is within carry-on dimensions, many airlines are now requiring them to be checked - increasing your cost and decreasing your convenience.)

Whether or not your one bag is carry on or checked, follow these suggestions for easy and smart packing.
  1. Make a list then check it twice. Write down everything you think you need to take, then circle "absolute musts" (underwear) and leave the "might" needs at home. Remember you can buy just about everything, if you end up needing it, and you probably won't.

  2. Pack travel-sized toiletries. Smaller bottles take up less space, and only pack the basics. You can find these at sundry stores, on-line as free samples, and as hotel freebies (gather them as you travel). Or consider buying these at your destination.

  3. Make all clothes count. Be creative and mix-and-match each piece to create at least 3 different outfits. Make it easy by choosing one color scheme. If you must take bulky things such as a heavy coat or hiking boots, wear them on the plane.

  4. Start stuffing. Many items can be stuffed inside each other. For example don't waste the space inside shoes, or all those pockets in slacks and jackets.

  5. Do "double-duty." Look for things that can double their use, such as sun-screen with moisturizer, men's swim trunks for gym shorts, a simple fleece jacket that can be combined with layers of other clothing.

  6. Plan to do laundry. There is almost always a laundry facility at your timeshare rental, so, packing light is easy!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Plan a Ski Vacation at the Smuggler's Notch Timeshare Resort

If you're looking for a truly wonderful place for a family ski vacation this year, look no further than Smuggler's Notch Resort in Vermont. Timeshare rentals at this resort start as low as $99/night allowing you to plan a real budget family vacation.

Tucked into the very heart of the beautiful Green Mountains, Smuggler's Notch is known for its family activities and children's training programs, and consistently ranks among the top family ski resorts in North America. The resort's Snow Sport University provides learning programs for ages 3 to 17, and the Junior Knuckle Draggers (aka snowboarders) begin as young as four. Adaptive skiing programs for children with special needs are also available.

The resort's "Treasures" is a state-of-the-art child care center created for infants and toddlers, and earns raves for its well-trained, attentive staff. The care center includes a safe outdoor area where the little ones can romp in the snow, and a snow table indoors that is filled up with fresh snow for the children to play with. Even toddlers start learning about skiing with the Little Rascals on Snow program's Magic Carpet ride located on the Treasures grounds.

The children's programs also include a kid's ski race every Thursday afternoon - all participants get a cookie at the end and lots of laughing parents with cameras to cheer the little tykes on.

Besides skiing, other family activities at Smuggler's Notch include snow tubing, snowmobile tours, dog sledding, and ice skating, as well as arts and crafts workshops and teen centers and events.

One member has this to say: “If this isn't the best place in New England for kids and adults, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter - I'll eat my ski helmet. This is like Disney but real."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Everyone Loves Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club Timeshare Resort

Take a look at the Oahu timeshares resort page for Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club on RedWeek.com. You'll see that almost every reviewer gives this outstanding resort 5 stars! When you begin your vacation planning this year, put this resort at the top of your list. Rent a timeshare here starting as low as $100/night and take your family on vacation to a true Hawaiian luxury resort.

Located on Oahu's western shore, the Ko Olina is just a 30 minute drive into downtown Honolulu but feels a world away. It's easy to enjoy the great restaurants of Honolulu, the fun shopping along Waikiki, and even the awesome surfing on Oahu's North Shore, and then forget the hustle and bustle as you relax in a quiet oasis away from the crowds. A bonus is that when the tropical rains hit Honolulu and Waikiki Beach often the guests of the Ko Olina are not affected since Oahu's western shore is the dry side of the island.

Lavishly landscaped, the Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club welcomes you with splashing waterfalls and shimmering fountains as soon as you drive through the covered entrance. Not only does the resort sit on beach-front property along the sparkling Pacific, but it's also surrounded by the blue waters of seven lagoons complete with swaying palm trees and colorful flowers. The beach in front of the Ko Olina is beautiful and wide with pathways for walking and jogging. And don't miss the resort's fun Monday evening complimentary manager's party.

Although parking is available at the resort, you might want to opt for Oahu's efficient and easy to use public transportation system, and Marriott also provides shuttle service to the Marriott Golf Club, and the Marriott Hotel where outdoor seating at the Azul restaurant puts you next to a pool where you can watch small sharks and graceful rays. The close town of Kapolei, just ten minutes away, offers more restaurants and shopping, including grocery stores such as Costco and Safeway for easy stocking of your timeshare kitchen.

When planning your vacation this year imagine renting a timeshare at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club, watching breathtaking sunsets from a secluded beach, and not even having to leave the resort to enjoy Hawaii's famous shaved ice treat!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Grand Lodge on Peak 7 Timeshare Resort Now Open in Breckenridge

If you love to ski in Breckenridge, you will be pleased to know that Breckenridge Grand Vacations has opened the second phase of their newest resort, the Grand Lodge on Peak 7. This luxurious ski-in/ski-out timeshare resort is located at the base of the Independence SuperChair and at a turn station of the BreckConnect Gondola in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Grand Lodge on Peak 7 is the third resort to be built by Breckenridge Grand Vacations, who also developed the Gold Point Resort and Grand Timber Lodge. This new resort is considered to be one of Breckenridge’s premier lodging and timeshare developments.

In June of 2009, phase one of the resort opened and included 14 residences. With the phase two opening complete the resort now has an additional 21 residences. Resort amenities include: concierge desk, lobby bar, Sevens restaurant, indoor/outdoor aquatics area, Soothe Day Spa and Salon, fitness facility, grotto, Family Fun Center with game room and 2 theatres.

The resort is still in development with a third phase scheduled to open in December of 2010. After that, there will be two more phases left to complete which will bring the resort to a total of 114 residences by the year 2014.

(Image from ThePerspectiveMagazine.com)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Be Prepared on Your Timeshare Vacation

With the start of a new year vacation planning is well under way. Vacations are always an adventure of a sort, and these tips will help you have a great experience.
  • Expect the Unexpected
    There is yet to be invented a vacation that didn't have at least one snafu. Though as a timeshare owner, it is comforting to visit the same resort every year because at least it takes the surprise out of wondering what the room will be like. Go on your trip knowing that every situation will be resolved, and in the end you may even have a great story to tell the folks back home.

  • Be Adaptable
    Good planning is important, and a must if you'll have schedules to meet such as flights, boat trips, etc. But allowing for a surprise along the way and being willing to change course can open up amazing experiences for which you couldn't have planned. You never know what serendipity has in store for you.

  • Learn from the Locals
    This can apply if you're traveling out of the country, or to a different part of America. Take time to get away from the touristy areas and explore what makes the area tick. Visit with the local people and be open to trying foods and activities that they can suggest. Spending time getting to know people will give you rich memories of your trip.

  • Get a Quick History Lesson
    You might enjoy a vacation spot more when you understand how the town, city, National Park, theme park or even country came to be. It's easy to get quick information on the history of even the smallest town by doing a search on line. After all, part of the point of traveling is to learn more.

  • Broaden Your Language Skills
    Go online and research a few basic words and phrases of a new language. Don't worry about speaking fluently, just find a few words that can enhance your experience. It will be more fun to order “Tres cafes, por favor" (three coffees, please) in Barcelona and to know that a dinki-di is something good in Australia.