Friday, December 31, 2010

4 Best Travel Value Destinations for 2011

Looking for the best travel value for your 2011 vacation? Visit one of these four destinations: Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula), Bermuda, Las Vegas or California’s Central Coast. RedWeek.com has many budget-friendly timeshare rentals available at these destinations that are sure to “WOW” you and your family.
  1. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (see photo) is where you'll find Cancun, Riveria Maya, and Cozumel. While Mexico tourism officials work to combat a negative media image, international travel to Mexico actually increased 20% through 2010. Both Cancun and Riviera Maya have been rated the No. 1 and No. 2 most safe places to visit in Mexico.

    Cancun is known as "Mexico's Caribbean Jewel" and the entire Yucatan Peninsula offers the best that any Caribbean vacation can offer. Timeshare rentals here can start as low as $29/night.

  2. Bermuda is one of the most accessible islands to the U.S. - less than 2 hours away from the East Coast. Its sub-tropical climate, pink sand beaches, and clear, blue ocean waters make it a popular vacation destination. The island is also a top-rated scuba diving spot where divers can explore numerous wrecks and coral reefs in relatively shallow water with unlimited visibility.

    Four airlines (American, Continental, JetBlue, and United) offer nonstop service from the U.S., some with fares as low as $69 each way from NYC. Timeshare rentals are available on Bermuda at the St. George's Club starting at just $100/night.

  3. Las Vegas is without a doubt the "Entertainment Capital of the World." This exciting city offers entertainment for everyone, including many free activities that children will enjoy. The erupting Mirage Volcano, the dancing Belagio Fountains, and the incredible laser light show on Fremont Street are just a few of these free attractions. Timeshare rentals can be found both on and off the Strip. You can stay at the Las Vegas Hilton for $79/night. Or stay off the Strip at the Carriage House for just $50/night.

  4. California's Central Coast is a spectacular region between San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you're looking for an alternative to the more highly trafficked California destinations, you've found it here. From a timeshare rental in the Montery Bay area in Carmel, Marina, or Pacific Grove, you can take the quintessential coastal drive along Route 1. The fee-based 17-Mile Drive winds through a forested area and along the oceanfront, passing Pebble Beach Golf Course, and the famed Lone Cypress tree. Paso Robles has more than 180 family-run wineries where wine often costs one-third the prices of Napa Valley.

Travel predictions compiled and source data referenced from travelzoo.com.

(Photo credit - yeah5.com)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Family Friendly New Years Fun in Tampa Florida

If you are wondering where in the country is a good place to ring in the New Year with your children, look no further than Greater Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Florida. There are many timeshare rentals available throughout this entire area, and many family-friendly New Year's Eve celebrations, too.

For starters, take the kids to Tampa's Lowery Park Zoo for "Noon Year's Eve." This daytime celebration is hosted by the Zoo and Radio Disney AM 1380. The party begins Friday (New Year's Eve) morning when the Zoo opens. Games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, educational displays, and more, will keep the kids entertained. Then families can ring in the New Year with noisemakers, hats and a juice toast as they watch a giant cookie clock strike 12 p.m. noon!

"First Night St. Pete" celebrates its 17th annual New Year's Eve celebration of the arts. Started in 1993, the intent of this event is to provide an opportunity to celebrate the many performing and visual arts, both individuals and organizations, in the St. Petersburg community. Alcohol-free family-oriented festivities include music stages, entertainment, drama, dance, games, art, fireworks, and plenty of food in 35 different venues around town.

Busch Gardens is celebrating the New Year with an exciting celebration on Adventure Island. The Guess Who will be in concert and there will be fabulous fireworks at midnight. Promoters point out that you can give 2011 the ultimate "wild" welcome with coasters in the dark, including SheiKra — America's only dive coaster.

All kids love a parade, and for a fun New Year's Eve parade, head to Seventh Avenue in Tampa at 5pm on Friday. The United Healthcare Children's Foundation's New Year's Eve Parade will feature 20 floats and a pep rally by the University of Florida and Penn State marching bands and cheerleaders.

Come watch the Tampa Attractions Association celebrate New Year's Eve in style with the annual New Year's Eve Fireworks in Channelside at midnight. The event will consist of a dramatic fireworks display choreographed to music and launched off a barge in the Garrison Channel.

(Photo credit – loweryparkzoo.com)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Blizzards with a Cancun Vacation!

With blizzards hitting on all sides, this winter is continuing to be one for the record books. Winter has just started and you're probably already tired of snow and cold. So don't wait another moment - rent a timeshare and head to Cancun, Mexico.

Along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula the weather is balmy, the turquoise Caribbean waters are warm, and the sand is soft. What better remedy for a freezing winter than a Cancun thaw?

You may already know that the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the foremost destinations in the world for a perfect beach vacation. You may also know that there is great nightlife here. But did you know that this is the gateway to one of the New 7 Wonders of the World?

The Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza, with its great pyramid, were voted by global participation to be on the revised list of the 7 Wonders of the World. Located in the northern end of the Yucatan Peninsula, visiting this fascinating ancient site is an easy day trip from your Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Cozumel timeshare rental.

The city of Chichen Itza began rising to regional prominence around 600 AD and reached its height as the Mayan capital around 980 AD. The area offers numerous and fascinating ruins to explore, including the Temple of a Thousand Warriors, a steam bath, and the Observatory where the ancient Mayans constructed their remarkably accurate calendar.

The Ball Court, with its 40-ft high walls, is the largest ball court of the ancient Mayan world. There are several temples built into the Ball Court walls, including the Temples of the Jaguar. The acoustics in the ball court are such that a word spoken in a low voice at one end of the field can be heard distinctly at the other end almost 150 yards away.

The centerpiece of the Chichen Itza ruins is the great pyramid that is actually the Temple of Kukulcan, or also called El Castillo (the castle). Built with 91 steps on each of the four sides leading to the top, and with the one final step at the apex, the number of steps (365) matches the 365 days of our modern calendar. The pyramid has also been designed in such a way that on the Spring and Autumn equinox at the rising and setting of the sun, the corner of the structure casts a shadow in the shape of a plumed serpent - Kukulcan, or Quetzalcoatl - along the west side of the north staircase.

Chichen Itza, named a World Heritage Site, is truly a remarkable site to visit and explore, and one not to be missed on your Mexican winter getaway vacation.

(Photo credit - chichenitza.com)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Travel Planning Starts Now!

As the holidays come to a close, January marks the time of year when most people start thinking about vacation planning. This can be quite a fun activity for the entire family and timeshare owners will tell you, knowing you are going to be staying in a timeshare rental or timeshare exchange certainly takes a lot of the stress and guesswork out of travel planning.

As VacationBetter.org reminds us, timeshares help provide a better vacation because there are no surprises:
  • As an owner, you know what your room looks like and how many people it will hold comfortably, because you stay there every year.

  • You know what activities the resort offers for all age groups in your travel party.

  • You don’t have to plan which week to take your vacation, or where.
Of course, if you are planning a timeshare rental or timeshare exchange to experience a new destination, be sure to ask the owner to provide all the details listed above so that your new resort becomes as familiar as the one you own.

And, more importantly, with timeshares, you’ve made the commitment to actually TAKE a vacation every year, spending quality time with your family, creating memories and allowing yourself some much needed down time from the hussle and bussle of daily demands.

Here at RedWeek.com, we wish you a healthy and happy 2011 and a wonderful vacation!

(Photo credit vacationbetter.org)

Monday, December 27, 2010

7 Free Things to Do at Walt Disney World

It may seem like wishful thinking, but yes, you can have an affordable family vacation to Walt Disney World. Take a look at this list of 7 free - yes, free - things to do at Walt Disney World.
  1. Downtown Disney
    It costs nothing to wander through this fun and fascinating area of shops. A visit to the Art of Disney store can be like exploring a museum; and check out the "Snoozing Man" made out of Legos.

  2. Boat Ride
    From Downtown Disney you can climb aboard a boat for a free ride to Port Orleans. Gliding along a scenic waterway, the hustle and bustle of the theme parks is left behind for a blissful 25 minutes.

  3. Nature Trails
    Believe it or not here are hiking trails at Fort Wilderness, winding through beautiful pine and cypress woods. The main 2.5 mile trail is joined by other small trails, and branches into even more, such as the Swamp Trail. Keep a look out for local wildlife, including a family of deer.

  4. Electrical Water Pageant
    A line of barges is transformed into a magical light show, every night on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. It can be seen from various points, including the beaches of the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, and the Fort Wilderness Marina and Beach.

  5. Petting Farm
    Tri Circle D Ranch Petting Farm (see photo) at Ft. Wilderness is well shaded with large elm and oak trees, and barnyard favorites such as goats, donkeys, roosters, peacocks, sheep, pigs and ducks all jockey for your attention. The Ranch is home to the huge Belgian horses that pull the trolleys over at the Magic Kingdom.

  6. Storytelling
    Each evening outside the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge you can join a storyteller at the firepit at Arusha Rock (If it rains the storytelling moves inside to the indoor firepit.)

  7. Street Entertainers
    The Boardwalk is alive with street entertainers of all kinds every evening, from musicians to jugglers to astounding gymnasts. Beware - they love to encourage audience participation!
And, if you are budget-conscious, check out these timeshare rentals for great accommodations: Disney's Old Key West Resort for just $114/n or at Disney's Boardwalk Villas for just $126/n. Or stay in Orlando at Cypress Pointe for just $50/n. In Kissimmee you can find timeshare rentals for as low as $70/n at Holiday Inn's Club Vacation Orange Lake's - West Village.

(Photo credit - mouseplanet.com)

Friday, December 24, 2010

How to Visit 10 Cities in One Night on New Year’s Eve

If you're looking for a really fun but really different way of celebrating New Year's Eve, rent a timeshare and head to Washington, D.C. Things To Do® DC (TTD) produces "original events that enrich your social and cultural experiences," and they're pulling out all the stops for New Year's Eve.

TTD has worked with several of the Embassies in Washington, D.C., to offer black-tie galas where you can experience culturally authentic New Year's Eve celebrations as if you were truly in that foreign country.

If it's hard to decide just what country, or what city, you'd like to visit on New Year's Eve, TTD's New Year's Eve Gala at the Willard Continental offers you 10 cities in one night.

With ten city-themed rooms, you can hop around the world and around the United States in one night, and still be able to ring in the New Year at midnight!

TTD lists their world extravaganza like this: The majesty of Times Square, New York, The high energy of Europe's hottest, The fever of Las Vegas The mystery of the Pan African Nations, The salsa fiesta of Havanna, The spirit of Dublin, The ecstasy of Bollywood, The charm of Tokyo, The stimulation of the Caribbean.

The city themes include music and food. For example, New York City, where hip and trendy DJs keep the vibe alive; Chicago in the Roaring 1920s with a fun swing band and, of course pizza; Havana with a Salsa band and a Cuban menu; and the Spirit of the Caribbean delivers the island feel with Reggae and Calypso.

There will also be strolling entertainers, and mock casino gambling. At midnight - a Midnight Champagne Toast under a huge Midnight Balloon Drop.

You can still get a timeshare rental at the Wyndham Old Town Alexandria over the New Year for just $113/night. Or, try the Wyndham Vacation Resorts National Harbor and enjoy such holiday festivities as a Tea & Hot Cocoa Social, Holiday Cookie Decorating, and Gingerbread House Making, just to keep you busy before the Big Night.

(Photo credit - thingstododc.com)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top Places to Ring in New Years Eve

Are you wondering where in the world a good place would be to ring in the New Year? The BootsnAll travel information web site posted an article by Adam Seper addressing just that question.

His "10 Places You Should Celebrate New Year's Eve at Least Once" list includes Sidney, Australia, where you'll welcome in the New Year on a hot summer night; Tokyo where the New Years celebration includes the ringing of the Night-Watch Bell at all of the temples; and Edinburgh, Scotland, where a huge torch parade starts things off in early darkness, and a massive street party lasts 3 days.

One of the best ways to enjoy New Year's Eve is by renting a timeshare. Paris is on Seper's list and if you rent a timeshare at Marriott's Village d'Ile-de-France, you'll get a New Year's Eve Double - Paris and Disneyland. The Champs-Elysees is ground zero for the Parisian New Year's Eve street party, with large crowds and an impressive midnight fireworks display around the Eiffel Tower (see photo).

Disneyland Paris is right next door to your Marriott timeshare rental, and here Disney does its New Year's Eve celebration up in grand French style. Be part of the crowd to chant down the seconds, and at the stroke of midnight you're rewarded with a blazing fireworks display lighting up the French sky over Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Las Vegas, where you can find many timeshare rentals both on and off the Strip, to fit any budget, is rightly known as the Entertainment Capital of the World. Vegas pulls out all the stops on New Year's Eve, and is another "must-do" experience, says Seper. The strip is closed down to vehicular traffic, with a spectacular midnight fireworks display shot off from the roofs of 7 different hotels and casinos.

In addition to the street party, all the clubs and bars in town have special plans for the night, and there are countless shows and concerts all over the city, including the biggest one this year - Jay Z and Coldplay at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the new casino and resort that just opened on the Strip December 15, 2010.

And the most iconic of all places to celebrate NewYear's Eve - New York City. As Seper points out, this is one of the largest celebrations in the world, where the giant ball has dropped over historic Times Square for more than 100 years. Over a million people attend the free event, with millions more watching on TV from all over the world. An astounding 1 ton of confetti is dropped over the city at the stroke of midnight.

Rent a timeshare at the elegant Manhattan Club, and from the corner of your own hotel you'll be able to watch that glittering ball drop.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Timeshare Rentals in a Ski Resort Make a Great Christmas Gift

PhotobucketHere's a great Christmas gift idea - a timeshare rental week at a ski resort. In North America Christmas means winter, and winter means snow, and snow means world class skiing.

And for avid skiers, finding out what new offerings the great ski resorts have each year can be just as exciting as opening Christmas presents. Free lance travel writer Walter Roessing has put together a list of what the ski resorts in the western mountains have been up to. Posted in his "Powder Play" column of the Dallas Morning News, Roessing gives you the information you have been waiting for.
  1. Utah
    A 'bubble enclosed' quad chairlift with heated seats has been added at the Canyons Resort in Park City. The Canyons Resort is No. 1 in improvements, with the largest on-slope construction project in a decade. The large expansion for the 2010-11 ski season includes two new high-speed quad chairlifts, redirection of the resort's existing gondola, the addition of 300 skiable acres, and unveiling of the Canyons Ski Beach complex.

  2. California
    Opening in February at Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Mountain Resort will be an 18,000-square-foot restaurant that's adjacent to the gondola summit at 9,157 feet. The dining area will offer 500 indoor and 250 outdoor patio seats. The daytime restaurant will overlook the ski runs served by the Tamarack Express six-passenger chairlift, which provides access to multiple slopes in California and Nevada.

    Among Squaw Valley improvements are the expansion of its day-night mountaintop (8,200 feet) Kids Zone, including more acreage for the ski school, a snow fort, miniature terrain park and chairlift. Renovation at the mountain base has been completed on the two-story Children's Center, which is adjacent to the Papoose snow-play turf and tubing hill.

  3. Colorado
    Copper Mountain is increasing snowmaking 25 percent and expanding free parking. Eldora has a new Magic Carpet lift named Tenderfoot, designed to help first-time skiers up the mountain. A remodeled main day lodge has given Wolf Creek a fresh look.

    Monarch upgrades include a new base terminal for the Garfield chairlift and a summit unloading ramp for the Pioneer quad. Monarch says its Starbucks coffee shop on the main lodge's top floor is "the world's highest in elevation."

  4. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
    A new thrill-packed public program was launched this month at the Whistler Resort Riding Center, the site of bobsled, luge and skeleton events in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Guests can experience a ride on a high-speed, piloted four-man bobsled or a solo skeleton spin down the world's fastest, most technical course.
You can find great timeshare rentals at each one of these ski resort areas, listed on Redweek.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Timeshares are Great for those with Special Diets

Do you have special dietary needs that you must deal with when you go on vacation? Perhaps you are among the many people who have food allergies these days, and find that eating organic foods is a safer way of going. If you're planning a trip to Walt Disney World, there is some good news.

First of all, renting a timeshare at one of the Disney resorts, or in Orlando, will go a long way toward helping you cope with your dietary needs. Not only will you find a timeshare rental to be budget-friendly, but you'll have a full-sized, fully-equipped kitchen for your use. What easier way is there to cook healthy meals with organic produce while you're on vacation than to have your own fully equipped kitchen?

Chris, who writes for Everything Walt Disney World, set out to discover just how one would be able to eat organically while visiting the Orlando Disney theme parks. If you're lucky enough to be doing your own menu planning and meal preparation in a timeshare rental, Chris offers these suggestions on where you can purchase organic produce with which to stock your timeshare kitchen:

You can find milk and other organic foods at Super Target, which has the lowest prices in the area, says Chris. There are several within a few minutes of Disney property.

A Whole Foods store only 15 minutes from Disney property has the widest selection of organic produce, dairy, and free-range meats, according to Chris. They also have a wide selection of gluten-free products. If you prefer a natural foods market, you might want to look into Chamberlin's, which has several locations in and around Orlando.

If you won't have a car, Chris suggests that you might want to try WeGoShop, which offers a shopping service and will go to the stores you specify.

Organic foods are cropping up on Disney property, says Chris, sometimes in the strangest places. For example, you’ll find a Bloody Mary made with organic vodka on the menu at The Wave Restaurant in Disney's Contemporary Resort, where they also serve organic beer and wine.

One area where chefs are beginning to make good use of organic foods is in Disney’s signature restaurants. Following the nationwide trend in telling diners where their food comes from and how it was grown or raised, you’ll frequently find references to “free-range,” “organic,” and “hormone-free” on these menus. Disney's signature restaurants include Victoria and Albert's, and Citrico's, both in the Grand Floridian; The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park; and the California Grill in Disney's Contemporary Resort. All of Disney's signature restaurants are happy to assist you with special dietary needs if you notify them at the time you make your reservation.

(Photo credit - en.wikipedia.org)

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Sea World Orlando Christmas Vacation Ideas

Much is made of the Christmas extravaganza that awaits adults and children alike at Walt Disney World each year. And rightly so, of course. But remember that there are other places in Orlando where you can enjoy spectacular Christmas activities as well. Rent an Orlando timeshare, and check out these 5 fun Christmas activities at SeaWorld.
  1. Polar Express
    SeaWorld's showcase Christmas event is based on the hit movie of the same name. SeaWorld and Warner Brothers created a one-of-a-kind motion simulation experience that combines this beloved holiday movie with an actual winter wonderland. "The result," says Michael Fletcher, vice president of entertainment for SeaWorld, “completely immerse guests into a thrilling combination of fantasy and reality.”

    When you arrive at your destination, you'll step off the train into the movie itself. Temperatures drop as you and your fellow travelers arrive at the frozen North Pole, complete with a towering Christmas tree, gift-laden sleigh, village décor and Santa himself. As the journey continues you'll also encounter other inhabitants of the North Pole – the animals themselves – including beluga whales, polar bears and walruses.

  2. Shamu Christmas
    You can join Shamu for the holidays with “Shamu Christmas…Miracles.” The 22-minute production comes to life daily through December 25 at Shamu Stadium.

  3. Fountain Show
    Here you'll also witness winter wonder as snow flurries descend from above, and where water literally dances to the beat of Christmas music during the “Christmastide” holiday fountain show through December 25.

  4. Mistify
    This nighttime finale December 26 – 30, takes place on SeaWorld’s center lake and features larger-than-life marine creatures on 60-foot mist screens, 100-foot fountains, flames on water and dazzling fireworks.

  5. Christmas Luau
    Too much "cold" for you? The winter season warms up South Seas-style at “Makahiki Christmas Luau.” This celebration includes succulent island cuisine served with the ancient holiday traditions of the Pacific Islands. The sounds of Christmas are reinterpreted with authentic Polynesian rhythms, music and dancers through January 1st (except Christmas Day).

(Photo credit - seaworld.com)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wyndham Opens Poipu Beach Grand Resort in Kauai

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies, has announced the completion of the first phase of the 322-unit Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort, its first new-build project in Hawaii. The luxury resort and residential development, located at Poipu Beach on the south shore of Kauai, is the first property in Hawaii to fly the Wyndham Grand® flag.

Phase One of the multi-phased development includes the opening of 85 villas, lagoon pools, fitness center, marketplace and upscale sundry shop. Construction on the resort development began in June 2008 and the project ultimately will include one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom luxury residences. The second phase of construction is expected to begin in May 2011.

“The completion of Phase One at Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort is an exciting moment for the resort and the Wyndham Grand Collection portfolio of distinguished properties,” said Jeff Wagoner, president of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. “This resort is a truly remarkable addition to our growing brand and we are proud to provide travelers with such luxurious accommodations in one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations.”

Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort offers luxurious resort amenities in a master-planned community, as well as shoreline access to some of the most popular beaches in Hawaii. Upon completion, the resort will feature a central pool with water slide, sand bottom area, cascading waterfalls and swim-through grotto, lagoon-style pools, several hot tubs, fitness center, day spa, poolside bar and grill, covered parking and semiprivate elevators to each front door.

Villas include gourmet-style kitchens, Sub-Zero® and Wolf® appliances, granite countertops, spacious walk-in closets, exotic hardwood and natural stone flooring, central air-conditioning and state-of-the-art technology. In addition, each villa includes a custom furniture package with premium finishes, indoor and outdoor living spaces and floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to spacious lanais, the Hawaiian term for terrace.

“We have eagerly anticipated opening the doors of this one-of-a-kind property to those looking for high-end vacations and residences in Hawaii,” said Kent B. England, president of Poipu Beach Villas, LLC. “We are pleased to celebrate this milestone with a renowned brand like the Wyndham Grand Collection and look forward to further developing the resort to provide the utmost in world-class amenities and services.”

(Photo credit - wyndham.com)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hawaii Timeshares: The Top Dream Vacation

Hawaii has been named the top "Dream Destination" in a recent 2010 Holiday Study conducted by Leisure Trend Group (LTG) of its 1.2 million Most Active Americans Panel.

Hawaii topped Australia and New Zealand for the number one spot when those surveyed were asked where they would take their favorite person on vacation if money were no object. Hawaii captured 9 % of the vote, while Australia and New Zealand each had 5 % of the vote.

"Hawaii has long been a dream destination for many and we're proud to see the demand remains strong among domestic travelers," said John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. "With six unique islands, a rich culture and history, regional cuisine, and diverse activities covering land, air, and sea, the Hawaiian Islands offer an experience like nowhere else in the world."

For those of you who agree with the findings of LTG's survey, and consider Hawaii a dream destination of your own, the good news is that even if money is an object, this dream can still come true.

Timeshare rentals on several of the most popular Hawaiian islands can be found to match almost any budget. A timeshare rental can give you accommodations that are up to 50% less than hotel rooms; are spacious with separate bedrooms, a living area and a dining area, as well as a full-sized kitchen; and are attached to luxury resorts where the cost of your timeshare rental includes many of the resort's special amenities.

For example, on Oahu you can rent a timeshare at the Imperial Hawiian Vacation Club for just $57/night. Head to Maui for a timeshare rental at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club for only $72/night. On the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai you can find a timeshare rental at the famous Hanalei Bay Resort for $86/night. And on the Big Island, the Kona Coast Resort II has timeshare rentals starting at $71/night.

You almost can't afford not to go to Hawaii with these and other great bargains available on Redweek.com.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

RCI Timeshare Owners see Value of Exchange Upfront

Last month, RCI announced that their members will now able to see the value of their timeshare exchange before depositing their week. This is a service that RedWeek has always provided with their timeshare exchange program from the start. We call it “Transparency”, which refers to how a timeshare owner will know the exact value of their week, before they decide to deposit it. RedWeek also shows you all the weeks available that you can exchange for, up front, which is another feature that is new to RCI.

RCI members will also be issued a “Deposit Credit” if the trading power value of their deposited week is greater than the one they want to exchange into. These new benefits were added to meet the increasing demand from their members for more control over their vacation.

“Transparency is important because people want to have more control over how they trade their timeshare vacation for another vacation they’d like to take”, said Geoff Ballotti, CEO, RCI. “We’ve brought together our entire company to solve for our members’ request to give them what they want in terms of knowing the trading power value of their deposited timeshare week and what it will take to get them to where they want to vacation, allowing them access to vacations that they might not have been able to book in the past.”

RedWeek applauds RCI for their efforts as this is something we have always done and will continue to provide our customers. As a timeshare owners advocate, RedWeek is always striving to provide the best vacation experience to timeshare owners and help connect them with travelers looking for affordable timeshare resorts for rent.

(News Source - Perspective Magazine)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

5 Tips to Endure Airport Boredom on the Way to Your Timeshare

PhotobucketIf you are flying to a timeshare rental vacation this holiday you can find yourself stuck in an airport with nothing to do if (1) you followed expert advice and got to the airport early so as to slip through security hassle-free, (2) your cheap airfare has you changing planes several times before getting to your destination, or (3) you're grounded due to a Midwest blizzard.

Here are some great tips from LonelyPlanet.com author, Ali Lemer, on how you can endure airport boredom:
  1. Lounge Around
    Once reserved for those in First Class, deluxe lounges can now be your home away from home - for a few hours, anyway - for a small fee. At minimum they usually have comfy seating, newspapers and magazines, a food buffet and free wi-fi.

  2. People Watch
    If there’s anything airports are rarely short of, it’s people. Take an interest in your fellow travelers: play detective and see how much you can figure out about them through your powers of observation (or play fashion police and judge their bad taste in clothing instead). If you enjoyed the film Love, Actually, reenact the opening scene by watching the emotional reunions at the international arrivals gate. Bring your own tissues.

  3. Take a Day Trip
    If you’ve got an extra long layover between flights, consider skipping the airport experience altogether and play tourist downtown. An easy way to quickly have a sight-seeing tour is by Greyline bus tours, available in most major cities. Many city airports have direct shuttle or bus service downtown.

  4. Exercise
    If you can feel your muscles atrophying from all those hours in the air, hit the gym. Many airport hotels have fitness centers with day passes available for the public and some are even open 24 hours. If you don't have time to go to a gym - get on your feet and take a brisk power walk around the terminal, mall-walking-style.

  5. Enjoy Some Quiet Time
    Most airports have chapels and ‘quiet rooms’ that are good for a little bit of solitary introspection, whether you want to pray, meditate or just contemplate life in silence for a while. If you feel like you really need some spiritual guidance, many large airports have Anglican and Catholic chaplains, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faith representatives on call.

Monday, December 13, 2010

LA Times Article Names RedWeek for Timeshare Resales

It was nice to read the recent Los Angeles Times article by Liz Pulliam Weston where she mentioned RedWeek as a great resource for timeshare resales. Liz writes the Money Talk column for the paper and a timeshare owner had written in with this question:

“Dear Liz: We bought a time share in Orlando, FL. We tried to sell it through someone who turned out to be a con artist and lost $2,600 to him. Please help us unload this curse.”

Liz offered a few suggestions and RedWeek was mentioned as one of the top choices for an online solution when you need to list a timeshare for resale. In addition, she also suggested that you contact the resort's developer to see if you can transfer the time share back.

“You're unlikely to get any money from the developer”, says Liz, “but you could at least get out from under maintenance and other fees. If you borrowed money to buy this time share, you'll have to figure out a way to pay off the loan or risk a default that could trash your credit.”

Don’t be a victim of timeshare resale scams. Never pay a large, upfront fee to any company, even if they insist that they have a buyer ready and waiting. This is a typical scamming tactic and, in this economy especially, people are taking advantage of the desperation of others. If you do need to sell your timeshare, see the resources section of RedWeek.com for more information.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What’s Cookin’ at Your Holiday Timeshare?

From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, millions of Americans travel to celebrate the holidays with friends and families. With a timeshare rental being a natural choice for a spacious, homey vacation, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) recently surveyed its members to discover what exciting holiday events their resorts were offering.

"Timeshare resorts across the country are rolling out the sleighs and cooking up the turkeys to help guests have fantastic, memorable holidays," writes ARDA.

Timeshare guests at Marriott's Canyon Villas at Desert Ridge in Phoenix are treated to a Candy Wonderland Gingerbread Village (see photo), set up in the grand lobby at the adjacent JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. This Christmas extravaganza features a Willy Wonka-esque fantasyland with a chocolate river, fudge room, chocolate eggs, and hidden golden tickets in addition to numerous hand-crafted gingerbread houses.
Created by World Pastry Champion Executive Pastry Chef Kaushik Chowdhury, the amazing gingerbread display features 500 pounds of gingerbread dough, 250 pounds each of dark, milk and white chocolate and 150 pounds of sugar.

On the other side of the country, Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando caters to the vacationers wanting to escape winter and celebrate the holidays in a warmer climate. An oversized gingerbread house provides a great setting for family photos, and guests can order a full holiday meal - including turkey with all the trimmings - to eat in their comfortable, large in-unit dining areas.

"From our tree lighting ceremony on the day after Thanksgiving through our multiple New Years' parties we have a very active and fun holiday season for our guests," says Stacy Sutherland, vice president of corporate communications for Orange Lake Resorts, home to Holiday Inn Club Vacations.

"Spending Christmas in a special place with the ones you love not only provides fun times, it creates important memories," said Howard Nusbaum, ARDA president and CEO. "We encourage everyone to explore timeshare for their next holiday get-together."

Leave a comment below and tell us what’s happening at your resort this holiday.

(Photo credit - fabulousarizona.com)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

5 Timeshare Destinations for Big City Christmas Celebrations

Family Vacation Critic.com is a highly rated web site that offers reviews, advice and suggestions with the mission to assist families in having fun and memorable travel experiences. For December they have compiled some "awesome" destinations for big city Christmas spectaculars.

Following are 5 cities that made their list and that not only offer extravagant Christmas fun, but great timeshare rentals as well.
  1. Orlando - Walt Disney World. Everyone knows why WDW in Orlando is at the top of a "Christmas Extravaganza" list. With real snowfalls, glittering ice-covered palaces, and huge holiday parades, Walt Disney World pulls out all the stops in December. Add to that strolling carolers, free cocoa and cookies, and nightly fireworks displays choreographed to Christmas music, and you have it all.

  2. Newport, RI. Take the family on a tour of the famed Newport Mansions this Christmas (see photo). Stunning in their opulence, the mansions are decked out in dazzling glamour. Give your children the opportunity to see the grand Christmases of a by-gone era at The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House.

  3. New York City. Of course the king of cities that sparkle and dazzle at Christmas is New York City, featuring a number of holiday-themed events to enthrall the entire family. The city's centerpiece is Rockefeller Center's towering Christmas tree, covered in 30,000 lights. The city's heralded shops also feature award-worthy window displays, including Macy's, Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue. This year the magic of digital technology is being used to bring a number of the window displays to life in a way never seen before.

  4. San Diego. Yes, this is a great destination for a beach vacation - especially during Christmas. You'll be wrapped in warm weather as you enjoy a number of special holiday season activities. The Holiday of Lights at Del Mar illuminates San Diego County with more than 400 animated and lighted holiday scenes. Hop aboard the Holiday Hayride for an evening tour and end with hot chocolate and cookies. On December 12 and 19, 2010, head to San Diego Bay for its 39th annual Parade of Lights. Fireworks kicks off the event as boats bedecked in holiday lights sail from Shelter Island into the downtown waterfront.

  5. Washington, D.C. The first must-see for the kids is the Capitol Christmas Tree put up and decorated on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The second must-see is the National Christmas Tree, across the street from the White House on the Ellipse, this year donated by Wyoming. Also take the kids to Gaylord National's ICE! At the National Harbor. More than two million pounds of ice and 15,000 square feet of interactive attractions allow kids to play in and through sculpted ice.

(Photo credit - newportmansions.org)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

10 Holiday Travel Tips from the Twittersphere

Are you headed out and about this holiday season? Perhaps you'll be renting a timeshare at a dream Christmas vacation destination. 'Tis the season to be jolly - or at least try to be - which can be a challenge if you'll be part of the busy holiday travel scene. Well, here's some help. US Airways turned to its more than 80,000 @USAirways Twitter followers to offer travel-savvy hints for breezing through the hustle and bustle of the holiday travel season.

For five days in November @USAirways asked members of its Twittersphere to tweet their helpful travel tips across several categories, including traveling with children, staying healthy and packing light. The two best tips of each day were selected and each Tweeter received a $100 US Airways gift card for their helpful tips. Here, in 140 characters or less, are the top 10 travel tip Tweets:
  1. @RNDMTHNKR: Make sure you remain calm- kids pick up the stress in adults. Make it fun by explaining what's going on, they're curious.

  2. @kctravels: Put items on the security belt in the order of how u would put them back together when they come out (shoes, belt, then suitcase).

  3. @avoidingregret: Travel tip: Make sure all your electronics (laptop, phone, camera) are fully charged before your flight!

  4. @VaReynolds: Pack either a black or brown wardrobe, not both. You'll pack fewer shoes/boots. Less weight or space to bring more home!

  5. @SGelfond: Intl travel: Photocopy passport, lock all valuables in hotel safe, and alert credit card company about your trip before you go.

  6. @inanothercast1e: Always check in online. When you do, check your seat assignment as a preferable seat may have opened up after you booked!

  7. @ElizabethElmore: Order beverages on the flight that can help combat the "ickies," like OJ, H20 or tea. Add vitamin C/Airborne for addtl. defense.

  8. @Cizzle1: forget the usual reading magazines & books, how about you personalize regular greeting cards with a message from the heart!!!

  9. @beazkidz: Don't embarrass your mother. Make sure you don't have holes in your socks when you check in at security for your holiday travel.

  10. @OSBO1102: Size matters! Flat (calendars), folding (scarf), fluffy (soft & takes no space), fine (jewelry). Big or breakable=bad potential!
"We hope that the helpful tips shared by our travel-savvy Twitter community will help provide a more joyful journey for our seasonal holiday travelers," said US Airways Senior Vice President, Operations Planning and Support, Kerry Hester.

What is your top holiday travel tip? You can "tweet" about it in our comment section below or on twitter @redweektravel and include #traveltips.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Visit SNOW and ICE from Your Nashville Timeshare

When is snow a musical event? When it's in Music City USA - Nashville, Tennessee - at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. And this Christmas season there's not only snow, but ice as well! Oh, and the Radio City Rockettes, too.

Gaylord Opryland Resort’s 27th annual A Country Christmas in Nashville is where you'll find "the most captivating holiday resort entertainment, décor and food in America." A Country Christmas includes more than 2 million lights and more than a dozen shows and attractions including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes; Louise Mandrell’s ‘The Gift’ Christmas Dinner & Show; and midday and evening Christmas shows aboard the General Jackson Showboat.

And what about all of that SNOW!™? Gaylord Opryland Resort invites you to find your inner child as you romp with your kids in its winter wonderland made of real snow. Check out the Snowball Throwing Range, the Snow Maze, and build a Snowman - the resort makes sure you have all of the accessories. Afterwards, enjoy S'mores by a roaring fire.

Gaylord Opryland’s popular ICE!™ (see photo) event returns again this year with an all-new attraction. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the holiday classic, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town®, with an interactive world of colorful ice sculptures. Join your favorite characters in this interactive, fascinating ice sculpture world that tells the story of how favorite Christmas traditions came to be. All hand-carved in 2 million pounds of ice!

Start a very merry Christmas family tradition by renting a timeshare at the Wyndham Nashville. The elegant Wyndham Nashville is located in the heart of Music City, USA, within walking distance of the Opryland Hotel, and the Grand Ole Opry. This December you can find timeshare rentals starting at just $71/night.

While you're enjoying the snow and ice spectacular at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, explore other aspects of Nashville, too. You can visit The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, tour plantations decked in Christmas finery, and experience a "holly jolly 19th Century Christmas" at the Nashville Zoo.

If you find yourself traveling to Florida this holiday season, you can rent a timeshare in Orlando or Kissimmee and also enjoy the Gaylord ICE! Celebration at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

(Photo credit coolsprings.com)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Top 3 Places to Travel this Holiday

Do you love holiday travel? Those in the industry know where people want to go this year and the top 3 places most requested US destinations (per travel agents and tourism trend specialists) is listed below:
  1. Las Vegas – Las Vegas ranks as #1 and no wonder, it has it all! Elaborate shows, concerts, great food, golfing and of course, gambling! Stay at Marriott's Grand Chateau, in the center of the legendary Las Vegas Strip, with timeshare rentals as low as $43 per night.

  2. Orlando – If you are planning a trip to Orlando this holiday, you’re probably traveling with kids. The family will have a great time spending a week (or two) riding rides and experiencing thrills at the vast array of theme parks, such as Sea World, Disney World, Universal Orlando or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For luxury accommodations, spectacular views, world-class golf, and loads of activities for the entire family, rent a timeshare at Marriott's Grande Vista, starting at $43 per night.

  3. Honolulu –Oahu is Hawaii's most visited island. There are endless activities for you to experience on the island with historic tours, such as a visit to Pearl Harbor, or reveling in nature at Waimea Falls (see photo). Surf, sand and sun can be on your to do list every day! For a resort that has everything you could need, shopping, restaurants and beach activities galore stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Timeshare rentals start at $114 a night.
Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 03, 2010

7 Gift Ideas for People who Love to Travel

For people who love to travel, whether it's across the country or across the world, there's nothing better than receiving a travel-related gift for the holidays. If you're looking for ideas for your favorite globe trekker, here are 7 to get you started.
    Practical:

  1. Noise Canceling Headphones
    Noisy airplane engines, noisy kids, noisy seatmates - it's blissful to be able to tune out the world and relax in silence, or with a personal choice of music. Noise canceling ear buds are also available.

  2. Head Rest
    A number of different types of inflatable head rests have been created that not only provide that much needed opportunity to just let go and rest, but also can take up very little room in pocket, purse, or carry-on.

  3. Apps for Smart Phones, I-Pods and I-Pads
    There is a fascinating plethora of travel apps available, and more coming out every day. Full guide books can now be found as apps. Individual apps are available for monetary conversion, language translation, weather, restaurant reviews, upgrades - think of any information a traveler might want, and you'll probably find an app for it!

  4. Cord Organizer
    Your traveler will undoubtedly be bringing a number of electronics that trail along their own baggage of cords. A good cord organizer will help keep everything untangled, and they'll just need to plug in one thing.

  5. Electric Plug Converter
    The United States and Canada use 110-volt electricity, but most countries outside North America use 220-volt electricity. In order to use electrical appliances (think hair dryer) or electronics in foreign countries your traveler will need a converter.

  6. For the Fun of It:

  7. Talking Globe
    Touch a spot on the globe and your traveler will be treated with information about the country, places for sightseeing, even history. This is a great gift if your traveler is still in the "Wishful Thinking" stage.

  8. Priority Pass Membership
    For travelers who have to be budget-minded and travel with few frills, this will be a real treat. They'll have access to airport business class lounges even if they're schlepping their backpack in coach.
Bonus
And remember - the gift of travel itself is always a good idea to wrap up and put a bow on, too. A week at a timeshare rental that's part of a luxury resort at a dream destination is sure to make your traveler's eyes sparkle this holiday.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Give Yourself the Gift of a Timeshare Vacation!

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When is a timeshare rental more than a timeshare rental? When it's a gift you give yourself.

Kim Orlando is the founder of Traveling Mom, a top website and blog network dedicated to empowering the travel experience of moms everywhere. As a top media source on moms who travel, she has been featured in leading newspapers and publications, including Forbes, CBS News Blog, and BetterTV.com. "It is important to me to enjoy my family, take care of myself, and help others," says Kim.

And her suggestion for a special gift this holiday season for "taking care of yourself" is that couples take the time after the holidays to go away together to reconnect and rejuvenate.

"This year I am going into the holidays with a recovery plan," said Kim. "I am booking a vacation NOW that my husband and I can use to wind down from the holiday mayhem."

All of the holiday cheer, good will and festive vibe of the season can be completely lost on you as a couple because you will be working, she explained. "And I don't mean working at the jobs that pay for the presents. You'll be working to find the best buys and the best gifts, and the best sausage for the cornbread dressing."

"So allow me to intervene on your holiday and start a new tradition. Plan now some time away to do nothing but maybe reminisce about the weeks before - it is well deserved - kinda like whip cream on the pumpkin pie after a holiday dinner."

There are many timeshare rentals available all across the country, so if you're looking for one within an easy drive of your home, look no further than the listings on redweek.com. You can also find beautiful timeshare rentals at luxury resorts that are very budget friendly. For example, stay at the Cypress Pointe Resort II GrandeVillas in Orlando for just $39/n. You can relax in French-Mediterranean style at the Club de Soleil in Las Vegas for just $48/n. For just $71/n you can enjoy a timeshare rental at the elegant Clarion Suites Crystal Beach and Health Club, Miami Beach.

Do yourselves, your family, and the New Year a favor, and enjoy a gift of fun, togetherness, and relaxation on a great timeshare rental getaway with your honey.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Walt Disney Worlds Notescast App is Perfect for Orlando Timeshare Vacations

TimeStream Software has announced the latest version of its popular "Walt Disney World" Notescast for the iPhone and iPod touch (and now Android). This app just may be a "must-have" for your next family timeshare rental vacation to Orlando, Florida.
"Walt Disney World is constantly changing and improving, and our newest release stays on top of all those changes." said Mike Westby of TimeStream Software. "It's another improvement to one of the most highly regarded Walt Disney World iPhone apps."

Now with over 300 pages of information, more than 500 colorful photos and rich detailed content, the newly updated Walt Disney World iPhone app is rated as the "go-to" app for Walt Disney World. It is considered a comprehensive vacation planner and in-park guide covering nearly every aspect of the entire resort and all four theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom®, Epcot® Disney's Animal Kingdom®, Disney's Hollywood Studios™ and more.

Available from the iTunes App Store, the new Walt Disney World Notescast contains a wealth of valuable information, including attractions, annual events, dining information, parades, and tickets. It also covers What's New, What's Coming, and Hidden Mickey Tours. Other helpful information includes Toddler Tips, How to Plan your Vacation, and even Photo Tips.

In addition, the app offers information dear to any Disney lover's heart such as Walt Disney World Secrets, Walt Disney World Main Street, U.S.A. Windows, Disneyland Secrets Gold, and Explore the Magic.

Founded in 2001, TimeStream Software produces leading Mobile Marketing and Guidebook apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as the iPod Legacy Devices, and Android powered smartphones.

Armed with every bit of important information and fun trivia that you could ever want to know about Walt Disney World, you'll find your next trip to WDW not only exciting, but a breeze. And budget-friendly, too - Orlando timeshare rentals start at just $39/n at Cypress Pointe Resort II GrandeVillas; or rent a timeshare at the Blue Tree Resort at Buena Vista for just $89/n.