Wednesday, November 30, 2011

7 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Timeshare Traveler

Holiday shopping is in full swing! If you are looking for that perfect gift for the Timeshare Traveler on your list - Travel expert Peter Greensburg has posted a list of the “Gadget Guy” Phil Baker’s favorite travel gadgets that make great holiday gifts.

1. Compact Computer Bag – Seattle-based designer and manufacturer Tom Bihn has introduced the Cadet, a laptop briefcase designed to carry your laptop or iPad, a few files or magazines, power supplies, pens, notebooks, and other small accessories. The Cadet, made in America, is also security check-friendly with a slide-out protective laptop sleeve.

2. Portable Scanner – The Fukitsu ScanSnap portable scanner works with any computer. It’s great for scanning receipts, sketches, documents, information from guidebooks, etc., turning each into a PDF that can be emailed or saved.

3. Electronics Case. The Bomber Jacket Electronics Case is a zippered leather case for the electronics that have become necessities in modern life, such as cell phones, smartphones, MP3 players and digital cameras — and all of which need their accompanying cords for connectivity and charging. Carrying them all is easy in this Hold-All Case, which can be used alone or easily stowed in a briefcase or a tote.

4. LifeProof Case. This case protects the iPhone from 7-foot drops and immersion in up to 3 feet of water. It’s no bigger than an ordinary iPhone case and everything functions normally. Now there’s no need to be concerned with spilling coffee on it or letting your kids use your phone. You can also get an accessory for mounting the case on your belt.

5. Canon PowerShot S95 – The Canon S95 is one of the new breed of pocket-sized cameras that take pictures that are superior to normal compacts. It has an oversized sensor, and a 4 to 1 zoom lens with full autofocus.

6. Wireless Speaker (see top photo). Jawbone’s Jambox wireless speaker provides amazing sound from a small brick-sized box that’s great for your timeshare. It connects to your music player or smartphone by Bluetooth and doubles as a speakerphone. Two drivers and a small dome speaker produce a wide audio spectrum. It can be updated with apps, software and new features.

7. Stereo Headphones. Bowers & Wilkins, a British audio company, has created the P5 Headphones that are well designed and provide excellent sound. Made of steel, aluminum and leather, with no visible plastic, it unbelievably folds into a thin, padded fabric case less than an inch thick, making it great for travel. While they’re sound-isolating headphones, they have no electronic noise cancellation.

If you’re looking for noise reduction earphones, you can’t beat the Bose Quiet Comfort 15.

Whether you own a timeshare, love to do timeshare exchanges around the globe, or enjoy the benefits of timeshare rentals, travel is involved and any one of these travel gadgets is just the ticket for a more pleasant travel experience.

Read Peter Greenburg’s entire article.

Photo Credit (top): jawbone.com
Photo Credit (center): levenger.com
Photo Credit (bottom): audiophilia.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - New York City


Photo taken on the New York City Harbor tour by RedWeek Member Joe Gosha of North Carolina.

To submit your photo to #TravelTuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Timeshare Travel Begins! Enjoy This New York City Tradition


Radio City Music Hall has been wowing the Holidays with its Christmas Spectacular since the first version was presented on stage in 1933. Don’t you think it’s time that you treated the entire family to this traditional start to the Christmas Holiday Season? Rent a timeshare in mid-town Manhattan and make this a Christmas your family will never forget.

The 2011 show runs until January 2, 2012, and besides showcasing new scenes and songs, this show introduces a production number of a 3D live scene for the show titled “The Rockettes’ Magical Journey.”

The first show in 1933 consisted of an overture with the Radio City Symphony, a solo on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, a Toy Shop Ballet, The Rockettes' performance of “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” choreographed by Rockettes founder Russell Markert, and a Living Nativity.

Originally the Hall was a lavish movie theater showing first-run major motion pictures to which it had exclusive rights, and the Christmas show was a 30-minute add-on. After 1979, due to a change in the way films were distributed, Radio City stopped showing movies, and transformed the Christmas show into a 90-minute spectacular, incorporating state-of-the-art technology.

Two of the original 1933 production numbers continue to this day. The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers is performed by the Rockettes wearing toy soldier costumes of the same design created in 1933 by famous Hollywood director Vincente Minelli. Each costume is made for the individual dancer.

The living Nativity continues in the show, but is updated with special effects and a pageant including live camels and sheep, along with the choral number "One Solitary Life.”

This year, the 3D production number uses cutting-edge technology, allowing the audience to be part of an interactive experience, as the scenery extends beyond the stage onto the ceiling and walls transforming the interior of Radio City Music Hall into a massive magical canvas.

From Santa Claus and his reindeer to the Nativity celebrating Christ’s birth, from favorite songs and classic carols to state-of-the-art special effects, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular is guaranteed to dazzle, excite, and immerse everyone in the thrill of the Christmas holidays.

Check out budget-friendly New York City timeshare rentals that will put some holiday cheer in your wallet.

Photo Credit: radiocity.com

Friday, November 25, 2011

It’s Black Friday! 5 Must-Have Droid Apps for A Disney Timeshare Vacation

Are you Christmas shopping this Black Friday? For anyone on your Christmas list who has an Android powered smart phone, and enjoys a Disney timeshare vacation, the Disney fan website ChipandCo has put together a list of 5 Must-Have apps for the fast growing Disney Droid market. And the best part? Black Friday or anytime - all of these apps are Free!

  1. Touring Plans is where you go to check out wait times for each ride and attraction. Check out “Crowd Calendar,” while you’re there, too. With this app you’ll see which WDW park is the least crowded, and which to maybe avoid completely. Info for both WDW and Disneyland is updated by the minute.

  2. U Stream Broadcaster. Before you leave for your vacation create an account and upload to your Droid phone. Now you can share your Disney vacation with your friends and family via a video stream from your phone. The stream goes straight to your account, so you aren’t using your phone’s drive space. The length of your video is limited only by your battery (so be sure to pack your charger!).

  3. TimeStream Software “Walt Disney World Secrets of Gold.” Although available only for WDW at this time, this app is sure to excite any Disney fan. Revealing over 200 magical and surprising secrets of Walt Disney World Resort, the app is an innovative guidebook. And because these “secrets” are arranged as a tour, complete with photos, it makes for an exciting new way to experience all of Walt Disney World. Also included is a fun bonus tour of over 80 Hidden Mickeys.

  4. Carr Matey. This app is perfect for anyone who has ever had nightmares of forgetting where their car is parked among thousands of other cars at WDW or Disneyland. This simple program allows you to “drop anchor at your car and when you are ready to leave find your vessel again when it is time to embark.” Now you can relax and enjoy your Disney day, knowing that at the end you’ll be taken straight to your car!

  5. TiKL-Touch To Talk. As any family or large group knows, keeping in contact while scattered about a Disney park is paramount for keeping the trip organized, and simply for peace of mind. Most of us these days use cell phones. However, this app allows your phone to act as a walkie-talkie – quick and easy communication without the dialing or the texting- at the press of a button.

Since you’ve been able to get these 5 apps for free for those on your Christmas list, how about throwing in a budget-friendly timeshare rental for a Disney vacation? Orlando timeshare rentals start at just $53/night and Disney timeshare rentals start at $130/night. Headed to Disneyland? Anaheim timeshare rentals start at just $73/night.

Photo Credit: tvguide.com
Read the entire ChipandCo article.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New TSA Policies in Time for Your Thanksgiving Timeshare Travel

As you head to your timeshare for a Thanksgiving vacation, you are joining millions of other travelers for the most heavily traveled holiday of the year. If you’re flying, you’ll want to take note of new TSA (Transportation Security Administration) policies.

1. Children. As we mentioned in our recent article 7 Tips for Braving Airline Security with Your Children, the TSA has recently changed its policy, and now will allow children 12 and under to pass through airport security without having to remove their shoes.

In addition, children will be given a second chance to walk through the metal detector instead of being subjected to an immediate pat down.

2. Pre-Check Program. Volunteer participants of this program are pre-screened to give accurate risk assessment of each traveler prior to travel. The participants who are selected to meet TSA criteria are then be given a faster security lane with less of the hassles.

“As TSA moves further away from a one-size-fits-all approach, our ultimate goal is to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.

“By learning more about travelers through information they voluntarily provide, and combining that information with our other layers of security, we can focus more resources on higher-risk and unknown passengers. “
This program is currently being pilot tested at four major aiports: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, and Miami.

3. Behavior Recognition Program. If you’ll be passing through Boston’s Logan International Airport you’ll encounter this pilot program that aims to analyze the behavior of passengers when asked basic questions. Although taking into account that many passengers are already feeling hassled due to leaving loved ones, running late, etc., agents will be looking for changing story lines, excessive nervousness, and lack of eye contact.

4. Full-body Scan. The full-body screening machines employed by the TSA have been met throughout the past year with a huge public outcry citing privacy concerns. TSA is now installing upgraded software that displays a generic outlhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifine and highlights concealed items, rather than the previous images that were highly revealing and passenger-specific. Over half of the airports (260) using the full-body scan have been upgraded prior to the Thanksgiving travel rush.

Knowing ahead of time what to expect as the family faces airport security will make the process easier, quicker, and less stressful. Enjoy your Thanksgiving timeshare rental family vacation!

Photo Credit: air-savings.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - Germany



A rainy Autumn day on a road near Sotrum, Germany. Taken by Ruth R of Idaho.

To submit your photo to #TravelTuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Take a Timeshare Family Vacation to Williamsburg for a Rich Colonial Thanksgiving Experience

In the years after the Pilgrims had their first harvest celebration of giving thanks, a special Day of Thanksgiving feast had become an annual event throughout the colonies. Rent a timeshare and experience a Virginia Colony Thanksgiving Day in Colonial Williamsburg.

Williamsburg was actually a bustling town of 5000 souls after it became capital of Virginia Colony in 1699. During the American Revolution Thomas Jefferson, governor of the new Commonwealth of Virginia, moved the Virginia capital to Richmond where it would not be as vulnerable to British attack, and the town of Williamsburg began its slow decline.

However, for three quarters of a century Williamsburg was the hub of Virginia’s political and social life, and many of America’s forefathers lived, worked, stayed, and encouraged American Independence in Williamsburg, including Jefferson, George Washington, and Patrick Henry. When you visit Colonial Williamsburg for Thanksgiving, you’ll be walking in the very footsteps of these and many other colonists who helped America become an independent country.

Restoration of Williamsburg as a prosperous colonial town of the 1700s was begun in the early 20th century as one of the largest historic reclamations ever undertaken anywhere in the world. Today you can visit The House of Burgesses where men of Virginia Colony gathered to champion American Independence, and dine at the Raleigh Tavern and the Kings Arms where George Washington and Patrick Henry discussed the day’s events over a meal and a pint of ale.

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner is served throughout the day in Colonial Williamsburg, where you can experience first-hand what Thanksgiving was like for the colonists 150 years after the Pilgrims began the tradition in Plymouth, MA. Unlike the Pilgrims, by this time the colonists had access to sugar for pies and for sweetening cranberries for sauce. Also made part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner by the colonists was Virginia peanut soup, a rich and creamy appetizer that many who taste it today feel could well be the main course.

What you do find on the main course menu at the various Colonial Williamsburg taverns, however, is roasted turkey with giblet gravy, cornbread stuffing, cranberry chutney, and yams candied with delicious maple syrup - after starting your day with fresh pastries and bread baked at sunrise. Dinner at the Kings Arms Tavern also includes wines from French vineyards that were visited and written about by Thomas Jefferson in the 18th century.

As a living museum, Colonial Williamsburg gives you the unique opportunity to time-travel to the 1770s. You might encounter George Washington striding purposefully to the House of Burgesses, but always ready to stop and discuss the “current” political climate with you.

Or you could spot young red-haired Thomas Jefferson getting into a lively discussion with fellow colonists on a street corner, and he’ll ask you what you think about the “current problems with Mother England.”

From American Forefathers to a Colonial Feast, spending Thanksgiving in Williamsburg is a memory-making event of the first order for your entire family. You can find many Williamsburg timeshare rentals available for a comfortable and budget-friendly stay.

Photo Credit (top): colonialwilliamsburg.com
Photo Credit (center): homeschoolblogger.com
Photo Credit (bottom): history.org

Friday, November 18, 2011

Take a Timeshare Vacation to Plimoth Plantation: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Destination

The tradition of our American Thanksgiving has a fascinating history, and at no place does that come more alive than in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To really become immersed in what the first Thanksgiving was all about, take a timeshare rental trip with your family to Plimoth Plantation.

Starting at the beginning – where the Pilgrims actually built their homes and began their new lives in the New World – Plimoth Plantation brings to life what it was like to live as the Pilgrims did in 1627.

A Pilgrim village, a Wampanoag homesite, and the Mayflower II are all part of the living museum of Plimoth Plantation. Set on the shore of Plymouth Harbor, Plimoth (the old English spelling) Plantation (a word that was used interchangeably with “colony”) depicts a 17th century village that would have had only 200 residents, 60 of them children.

Museum docents dressed in 1627-style clothing, go about their daily business, from picking the last cabbages in the garden, to repairing thatched roofs, to mending a wool cloak. You can interact with these “residents” and learn history as each speaks to you as though you were a time-traveler to their “present” day.

Plimoth Plantation offers three different styles of Thanksgiving dinner from which you can choose.

The Harvest Dinner is a true journey into the past. This meal is the closest to what the pilgrims would have been eating in the early 1600s. The menu includes such items as “a beet sallet,” “a dish of turkey, sauc’d” and “stewed pompion.” During this meal, which is served on various weekends through October and November, you’ll also learn 1600s table manners and be entertained with psalms and songs.

The Thanksgiving Day Buffet, available on the one day only, offers history lessons as well, but with a more modern “traditional” menu. The early Pilgrims would not have had sugar for pies, or fresh greens for tossed salads. But for this dining experience you’ll not only have your choice of pumpkin or apple pie, and a fresh garden salad, but Cape Cod cranberry sauce (another item lacking from the pilgrims’ table).


America’s Thanksgiving Dinner
is the third choice. Here you’ll sit down with a classic menu of roast turkey with all of the New England trimmings. Cider cake and Ginger bread are also a part of the main course. While you enjoy your meal costumed Pilgrim role players and Native interpreters greet you. This dinner offering is available on both Thanksgiving Day, and on Friday.

Advanced reservations are required for the 3 different dinner plans, and tickets go on sale as early as June 1st. However, currently there are some reservations still available from Plimoth Plantation for two of the several seatings of the 2011 Thanksgiving Day Buffet. Budget-friendly timeshare rentals are available in Boston and on Cape Cod – both within easy driving distance of Plimoth Plantation.

Photo Credit: plimoth.org

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Plan a Fun Timeshare Winter Escape - Go Scuba Diving

It’s time to start planning a warm winter timeshare getaway. Whether you use your own timeshare, do a timeshare exchange, or a timeshare rental, one way to escape from chilly winter is to head to warm waters and learn to scuba dive!

We all love to be by the sea. The fresh salty air, the sandy beaches, the wide sea views - there's a lot to enjoy, but most people never get to see many of the most interesting things the ocean has to offer because those are underneath the waves.

Sure, you can try snorkeling or go on a glass-bottom boat ride and see a little of what lives down there, but by far the best way to explore the underwater world is to scuba dive.

The best dive sites are rich with animal and plant life. Sometimes it's all about coral reefs. Take the Florida Keys for example. It's a beautiful place above the water line, but down below you'll find masses of brightly coloured tropical fish and, of course, the stunning and strange corals themselves.

The presence of a healthy reef brings in bigger animals too. Divers around the Florida Keys sometimes encounter manta rays - gigantic but gentle plankton feeders. They might be 25ft across but they're safe to dive with. A travelling manta is striking to look at, not only for its size but also for its grace, so they are real favorites with divers.

In other places there is less tropical coral, but still a great deal to explore. Much of the diving in places like the Mediterranean coast of Spain is dominated by caves and rocky walls (and the occasional wreck). The caves are an attraction in their own right but such places are also popular with fish. The Spanish Mediterranean is home to several species of grouper, and a variety of rays and wrasses.

Most beginner divers start in a swimming pool or even a classroom, before progressing to simple dives in open water. The Open Water Course is usually spread out over weeks rather than days. There's a lot to learn, but don't let that put you off. The learning is great fun, and even diving in a swimming pool is a very interesting experience. Being able to breathe underwater is a huge novelty and just moving around with flippers and scuba gear feels very different to ordinary swimming.

Diving is as close as most people will ever come to visiting outer space. It's a totally different environment where physics seems to work in a different way. The inhabitants may be familiar but seeing fish on their own reef is totally different to seeing them in an aquarium. You never know quite what you'll find under the surface, and it's a rare dive that doesn't bring the sight of something new and fascinating.

There are many timeshare rentals available where there are great diving opportunities, including the Florida Keys and the Costa del Sol of Spain.

Thank you to our guest author, Jess Spate, who has been a keen diver for many years. She began with her family on Australia's south-eastern coast and these days lives in Wales (where the water is clear but chilly) and works with the folks at Mozaik Underwater Cameras, suppliers of underwater camera and housing products.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spend Your Timeshare Thanksgiving with a Big Parade

Don’t look now, but Thanksgiving is just a week away. Besides eating turkey and watching football games on television, one of the most popular Thanksgiving Day activities is viewing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year’s 85th anniversary of the parade will be marked with the appearance of some of the most beloved past-parade characters, including helium balloon versions of Kermit the Frog, Spiderman, and Snoopy.

Did you plan ahead and rent a New York City timeshare so your family can watch this iconic holiday parade live and in person? Here’s some tips and info to make your parade experience fun and memorable.

1. Map out the Parade Route. Plan your strategy ahead of time – not only the best viewing spot for your family, but the best way to get there (think public transportation). The parade route is apparently going to change for 2012, but the 2011 route is the same as it’s been for a few years.

2. Arrive Early. Many people arrive before 6:30 in the morning to stake out space. This can even be part of the adventure – sharing the excitement so early in the morning with other families just like yours, who start out as strangers and end up as friends.

3. Stay Warm. Be sure to dress warmly, and that includes hats and gloves. A few blankets would be a good idea, too. It’s November in New York, and that means your odds of encountering winter weather are high. But wear layers in case the day warms up. Bringing thermoses of coffee and hot chocolate will make you a hit in the chilly pre-dawn.

If you prefer to watch the parade on the television in your timeshare rental rather than deal with the crowds, you can still get up close to the balloons by going to the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation the day before.

From 3:00pm to 10:00pm on Wednesday, outside the American Museum of Natural History, your family will be able to watch the balloons fill with helium and take on the shapes that will float high above the crowds on Thanksgiving morning. Since the balloon inflation takes several hours people come and go all afternoon and evening, allowing you plenty of chances to get close to the action. Your children will also have the opportunity to meet and greet, and have their pictures taken with, many of their favorite characters, such as Dora the Explorer and Scooby-Doo.

If you’ve only seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television it’s hard to get an idea of the gigantic size of the helium balloons. As you can see in this video, workers look miniscule standing next to a fully-inflated balloon.


Whether you’ll be headed to NYC and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next week, or are thinking it sounds like a fun thing to do with your family next year, you’ll find wonderful budget-friendly timeshare rentals right in mid-town Manhattan – the perfect location for a fun Thanksgiving family vacation.

Photo Credit: blog.mydot.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - The Grand Tetons


The Grand Tetons near Jackson, Wyoming - taken by Randy S of Poway, California.

To submit your photo to #TravelTuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Spotlight on Timeshare Resort: Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club

Now is the time to start planning your winter getaway and what better destination than Aruba in the Caribbean? Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club in Palm Beach is rated 4.5 stars by RedWeek members.

Marriott's Aruba Surf Club sits beachfront on glittering white sands next to the brilliant turquoise water of the Caribbean. The resort offers everything from the 10,700 square foot Stellaris® Casino to a lazy river and an outdoor swimming pool with a thrilling waterpark slide. The Serenity Pool is perfect for those who want to relax away from the action.

The resort’s spacious villas are designed to provide high-quality accommodations within a relaxing, escape resort-atmosphere.Each villa has spacious living and dining areas, full kitchens, multiple TV sets, VCR, and a private balcony.
Guests of Marriott's Aruba Surf Club have access to services at the Mandara Spa in neighboring Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club's lobby.

Here is just some of what RedWeek members have to say about Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club:

Best vacation we ever had. Beautiful large suite. Very clean, staff was very good. Pools, food, weather were perfect. Every day 83 and sunny.

My wife and I along with three other couples and their grown children just spent two weeks at the Marriott Surf Club in Aruba. We have been going there now every year for two weeks in January and two or three weeks in March. We have found that it gets better every year. Hats off to hotel director Scott Derrickson for the outstanding job that the resort does. We will go back year after year for sun and fun. Try it, you love it.

Best Resort ever!! Service is so committed, the amenities are fabulous, villas are large and comfy and so pretty. Love the pools and lazy river and the beach is right there! What more could anyone ask for?

Read more interesting reviews of Marriott's Aruba Surf Club.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day - In Honor

Today is not only Veteran’s Day, but a unique calendar date of 11-11-11. Those master numbers are a reminder to us of how deeply important Veteran’s Day is and how much we all owe our service men and women for their sacrifices – not only of life and limb, but of the harsh reality of their daily lives, as well.

One way to truly connect to our Veterans, past and present, is to visit the memorials in Washington, D.C., that commemorate their service.

D.C. War Memorial
National Mall, west of 17th St. and Independence Ave. SW.
This lesser known memorial commemorates the 26,000 citizens of Washington, DC who served in World War I. Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has been approved for $7.3 million to restore the memorial.


World War II Memorial

17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues.
This beautiful structure serves as a peaceful place to remember those who served our country during World War II.

Iwo Jima Memorial
Marshall Drive, next to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. This memorial, also known as the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, is dedicated to the marines who gave their lives during one of the most historic battles of World War II, the battle of Iwo Jima.

Korean War Veterans Memorial Daniel French Drive and Independence Avenue, SW. Our nation honors those who were killed, captured, wounded or remain missing in action during the Korean War (1950 -1953). Nineteen figures represent every ethnic background. The statues are supported by a granite wall with 2,400 faces of land, sea and air support troops. A Pool of Remembrance lists the names of the lost Allied Forces.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive, NW
A V-shaped granite wall is inscribed with the names of the 58,209 Americans missing or killed in the Vietnam War. Across the lawn is a life size bronze sculpture of three young servicemen.

Women in Vietnam Memorial
Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive, NW.
This sculpture depicts three women in the military with a wounded soldier to honor the women who served in the Vietnam War. The sculpture was dedicated in 1993 as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Arlington National Cemetery Across the Memorial Bridge from DC. America's largest burial ground is the most iconic and encompassing of all the war memorials. Its acres of white crosses, the sound of the distant firing of a gun salute during a new burial service, and the Tomb of the Unknowns with its reverent and precise guard regimen, all help you feel connected to our nation’s veterans as nowhere else.

While visiting the war memorials in Washington, D.C., stay in timeshare rentals at Wyndham’s Old Town Alexandria and Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor.

Thank you to about.com and its article on Monuments and Memorials in Washington, D.C. For information on other war-related memorials to visit in our Nation’s Capital on Veteran’s Day, read the article in its entirety.

Photo Credit Top: wn.com
Photo Credit Center: members.virtualtourist.com
Photo Credit Bottom: cspan.org

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Your Timeshare Vacation to England Take a Short Break to Explore the Countryside

Oakham is the county town of Rutland, England’s smallest county and is a great place to go on holiday. With the surrounding countryside, lakes, towns and parks of Rutland and Leicestershire to explore there are plenty of things to do and see.

Below we give our top 5 activities to do when you take a short break to Oakham and the surrounding area.

1. Visit Oakham itself- It seems an obvious place to start, and Oakham itself is a town rich in history and beauty. At its heart it’s a traditional English market that has lots of things to do and explore. Included in the town is a traditional butter cross (the tradition of a butter cross dates from medieval times when locally produced butter, milk and eggs were laid out and displayed on the circular stepped bases of a cross on market day) whilst nearby on the 3rd Saturday of every month there is also a traditional farmers market. Near to the market place there is also Oakham Castle which showcases an unusually large collection of horse shoes due to a custom where every peer of the realm for the past 500 years has given a horseshoe on their first visit to Oakham!

2. Rutland Water- One of biggest artificial lakes in Europe, Rutland Water offers plenty of activities to get involved in such as water sports, fishing and sailing. Alternatively if you don’t like getting wet, the lake offers fantastic views and is just great to walk around on a nice day. There is a sailing club based on at the lake, which is set on 13 acres of shoreline that offers the chance for you to go sailing or to rent a yacht which is open to all types of experience from novices to experts.

3. Drive a Steam Train! - Has it always been your dream to drive an old fashioned steam train? Well at the Rocks by Rail (Formerly the Rutland Railway Museum) they offer you a chance to do so in a full day’s experience of how to prepare and drive an industrial steam train on an authentic quarry railway line. This is surely a great day out and gift for any Dad and young family.

4. Rockingham Castle- Originally built by William the Conqueror it is one of the most impressive Norman castles in the country and was a Royal residence for over 450 years. The Tudor mansion there has architecture, furniture and works of art for you to discover, Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to Rockingham Castle and it is thought he based some of his characters and novels from the experiences he gained there.

Also near to Rockingham is the Norman castle of Belvoir which was the home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland since the 11th Century (see photo).

5. Barnsdale Gardens- The gardens attract thousands of visitors every year because enjoy the fantastic gardens which were originally built by the late Geoff Hamilton of Gardener’s World. At Barnsdale there are 38 individual gardens to discover as well as a gift shop and a plant nursery where specimens are stored.

Overall there are lots of things to do in and around Oakham with many more things we could have included on our list. The County of Rutland truly is an underrated gem of the English countryside and is a lovely place to stay and visit.

Several timeshare exchanges are currently available in Oakham. Exploring Oakham and the County of Rutland is an easy day-trip from either Edinbridge or London where you can find both timeshare exchanges and timeshare rentals.

This article is a guest post by Daniel from wish.co.uk - for more fun “short break” experiences when visiting England, please click here.

Photo Credits: lateroms.com, planet-q.com

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

ARDA Fall Conference to Look at Timeshare Secondary Market

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is a Washington D.C.-based trade association representing the timeshare industry. ARDA has almost 1,000 corporate members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded corporations with extensive experience in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.

ARDA promotes the growth and development of the timeshare industry through a variety of capacities. The membership also includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), as well as timeshare owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC).

Every Fall ARDA convenes a conference to offer bottom-line analysis of the implications of the timeshare industry, including economic and political trends.

It’s an opportunity for industry attendees to work with many industry leaders who are volunteering their time and expertise to help guide ARDA and the industry into the future.

The 2011 ARDA Fall Conference is being held November 9-11 in Washington, D.C. One of the main focuses of this year’s Conference is a look at the timeshare secondary market. The subject of timeshare resales (“aftermarket” or “secondary” market) is a hot topic right now. For more information read 7 Reasons to Buy an Aftermarket Timeshare on RedWeek’s blog.

The conference’s “Town Hall on the State of the Secondary Market” will look the biggest issues in the current resale market with moderator Howard Nusbaum, President and CEO of ARDA. Along with speakers Dan Harrill, CEO of Holiday Inn Club Vacations and Bob Miller, President of Marriott Leisure, the discussion will also cover how ARDA can influence these issues and what ARDA has already done to ensure that it comes up with solutions to make a healthier secondary market.

The ARDA Fall Conference Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, who is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

At the Chairman’s League Breakfast on the final morning of the conference, the keynote speaker will be Tucker Carlson. A contributor to FOX News, Carlson is also the editor-in-chief of the Daily Caller news site and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

A final topic at the Fall Conference will be the results of the mandate created at the March, 2011, ARDA Convention - an emphasis on more research as a feature of 2011. ARDA commissioned an owners study asking information from potential buyers, finding out about their internet capabilities, and asking what they know about the product and how they want to be sold.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - Wisconsin



Autumn at Old Dells Mill, Wisconsin, submitted by Tami A of Wyoming.

To submit your photo to #TravelTuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Timeshare Travel this Holiday? Follow These 7 Tips for Braving Airline Security with Your Children

We’re rapidly heading into the busiest travel days of the year, and many of you are undoubtedly planning holiday timeshare vacations with your family that involve airline travel.

You’ll be glad to know that the TSA is changing the pat-down rules for children. Many of the world's busiest airports are taking steps to make security more family friendly.

In the United States, the TSA is in the process of making pat-downs less likely for children, writes Jill Martin Wrenn, special reporter to CNN. Passengers who are younger than 12 will be allowed to pass through the metal detector more than once rather than getting patted down immediately after triggering the alarm.

"These modified procedures offer options to greatly reduce, but not eliminate, a pat-down for children 12 and under," says TSA spokesman Greg Soule. Under the new guidelines, the younger travelers also will be able to keep wearing their shoes instead of sending them through the X-ray machine.

The following 7 tips listed by Wrenn in her online article should help streamline the security process for you and your children:

1. Review restrictions: If you plan to bring breast milk, formula or other baby-related liquids for the flight, check the online guidelines of the TSA, or the international airport operator.

2. Arrive early: Make sure to leave plenty of time at the airport to allow for security surprises, or other unexpected delays.

3. Pick the right lane: Many airports offer security lines earmarked for travelers with young children, who will need extra assistance.

4. Preview the process: The best thing is to prepare the children for what's going to happen. Check out “Traveling with Kids” on the TSA web site.

5. Free your hands: Putting a baby in a carrier attached to a parent leaves hands free for luggage - and for keeping toddlers from running amok.

6. Share the load: Families with two adults can divide and conquer. One can supervise the children while the other folds the stroller and gets the bags through the X-ray machine.

7. Keep calm: If you lose your cool, your children probably will, too.

Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving or Christmas in your own timeshare, a timeshare exchange, or a budget-friendly timeshare rental, these suggestions can help make the plane flight a bit easier.

Read Jill Martin Wrenn’s article in its entirety.

Photo Credit: mommybrown.com

Friday, November 04, 2011

Whole Weeks? Points? Our Timeshare Crusader Explains

Do you have questions about timeshare whole weeks vs. timeshare points? You’re not the only one. Our own Timeshare Crusader, Lisa Ann Schreier, talked about this issue in RedWeek’s October newsletter. In case you missed it, we are reprinting her article here to help shed light on this complicated subject:

The whole weeks versus points issue can be confusing. In evaluating which is better for your specific needs, I would start off by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do you plan on using the timeshare at the home resort or to exchange?
2. Are you able to plan very far in advance or with very short notice?
3. Are you willing to put in some "extra time" in planning and getting to really know the timeshare rules?

Here's my advice based on your answers:
1. If you are looking to use the timeshare more at the home resort, I would suggest weeks.
2. If you are able to plan very far in advance or with very short notice, I would suggest points.
3. If you are willing to put in the time, points may be the way to go.

However, there are differences between all the point systems, further confusing the issues. Disney Vacation Club points don't equate in any way to Marriott Vacation Club points for instance.

Continue to read the forums; you'll find all sorts of great advice and comments. Also, stay tuned to RedWeek.com for future news… without saying too much, we may be able to offer you some really useful services in the near future.

Oh, and one more thing, if you are looking to purchase RCI points and are thinking of using them to trade or exchange, you might want to look at getting the most points you need at the lowest annual fees.

Thanks and happy travels!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Enjoy a Timeshare Exchange Vacation to Sunny Morocco


With winter already showing its chilly bite, now is the time to start planning a winter getaway to warmer climes. Have you considered a timeshare vacation to Morocco?

Past the beautiful Sahara Desert, the High Atlas Mountains, the belly dancers in Fez and your intimate riad, you’ll find Tetouan nestled in the heart of Northern Morocco. Here you’ll find a camel ride waiting for you, an endless stretch of beautiful beaches, and fortresses ready to explore. With many cultural and historical sites, Tetouan is one of Morocco’s most valuable gems not to be missed.

The Beaches of Tetouan. The beaches are beautiful here, and the perfect place to relax, soak up some rays and unwind from a busy day of touring. With many beaches to choose from, there is bound to be one close enough for a walk or bike ride.

Riad Saada. Enjoy a night of great food and entertainment while you eat! A true Moroccan experience, you can’t get more authentic than the Riad Saada. From belly dancing to an endless assortment of food (wait until you try their kabobs, grilled cakes and couscous) you’ll feel part of the Moroccan culture instantly. There are also musicians here that give a great ambiance, as well as interesting architecture to keep you engaged.

Tetouan’s Archeology Museum. For any history buff, the archeology museum shouldn’t be missed. Within walking distance from the palace, al-Jala, you will find a museum chocked full of Roman ruin artifacts. Just be sure to check their website before coming here, as they close down for renovations from time to time.

Visit the Old City (Medina). Nothing can make you feel transported to what Morocco was at one time than strolling through the Medina. Muslim and Jewish refugees of the 15th century built walls in this city for protection and their fine craftsmanship fascinating to visitors today. Enjoy strolling through the Medina and try out unfamiliar but delicious fruits and vegetables, witness gorgeous architecture of the 15th century, mosques, and the tanneries.

Admire Tetouan’s Towers. Many centuries ago, Tetouan was the city of towers. Today, 20 towers still exist which can be a great tourist destination for anyone who wants to be part of Morocco’s history. Many of the towers are connected to the defensive walls while others you can find independently removed. Visit the Alisqalah tower (build in 1820) and spend some time admiring the tower in its grand splendor from the inside – a truly spectacular sight.

Exotic Morocco is an intriguing destination for any timeshare vacation. Check out the timeshare exchanges that are available in this beautiful country.

Thank you to our guest blogger, Heather J., who writes on behalf of Morocco Tours, your source for the Moroccan excursion of your dreams!

Photo Credit: tourlimoserv.com

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

7 Reasons to Buy an Aftermarket Timeshare

The aftermarket, also known as the secondary market, is a great place to pick up a timeshare week at brand-name resorts for a fraction of the cost charged by the developer. Unfortunately, many owners aren’t aware of the secondary market when they purchase their timeshare and pay top dollar to the developer.

Unlike developers who fold their overhead costs into the price of the timeshare, owners selling on the secondary market have no overhead and are often eager to find a buyer and willing to negotiate.

“Buying a timeshare in the aftermarket can save you thousands of dollars off retail,” says Gary Prado, RedWeek.com director of marketing. “As much as half of the upfront price of a timeshare goes to pay sales commissions and marketing - otherwise known as those ‘free’ gifts they give you to sit through a sales presentation.”

Timeshare marketplace RedWeek.com is the leading website for buying and selling aftermarket timeshares. Along with price as the number one reason to purchase a timeshare on the secondary market, below are 7 benefits to buying owner-direct.

1. Price: Up to75 percent less than developer prices
2. Convenience: No high pressure sales presentations
3. Selection: RedWeek.com has a large selection of inventory world wide
4. Experience: Try it before you buy it (rent first)
5. Education: Learn the ins and outs of timesharing from experienced owners rather than a sales person with an agenda
6. Flexibility: Ability to shop around for the best price
7. Financing: Availability of financing through peer-to-peer lending sites such as Lending Club.

When buying a timeshare you do have to remember that you will have to pay annual maintenance fees and taxes. The maintenance fees are necessary to keep the resort in good repair.

Most buyers will also need to pay closing costs, which vary in price depending on the closing company they use. A title search is also recommended and ensures that the deed of the timeshare is clean and without any liens on the property. It is a small investment that could save you from buying someone else's debt.

“With a little bit of research and asking the right questions, a consumer can buy the exact same timeshare being sold by the developer for a fraction of the cost,” says Prado.

Pictured is the Harborside Resort at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, one of many resorts worldwide where RedWeek members have listed available aftermarket timeshares for sale.

Photo Credit: harborsideresort.com

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - Virginia Beach, VA



Sunrise at Virginia Beach, VA, submitted by Joe Gosha of Concord, NC.

To submit your photo to #TravelTuesday, just email us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.