Monday, December 31, 2012

Timeshare Travel - Top 7 U.S. New Year’s Eve Party Towns – Part 2

5. New Orleans. The stroke of midnight in New Orleans is just the start for an all-night bash. Jackson Square is the center, with live musical entertainment leading up to the countdown that culminates by the drop of an 8-foot-tall, lighted fleur-de-lis (symbol of the Big Easy) from an illuminated perch that it shares with “Baby New Year,” five stories atop the Jax Brewery.

Fifteen minutes of fantastic fireworks follow, shot into the night sky from a duo of barges on the Mississippi River, before crowds disperse to the surrounding French Quarter with its boisterous Bourbon Street, and to nearby music club-dotted Frenchman Street, where you can whoop it up till the wee hours.

6. Vail. Take your New Year’s Eve celebrations to the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, with some revelry in the world-famous ski resort of Vail.

The evening festivities kick off with a spectacular torchlight parade on Golden Peak (see photo left), featuring as many as 300 skiers and snowboarders from the Vail Ski & Snowboard School who schuss the slopes in an illuminated train, glow sticks in hand.

The first round of New Year’s Eve fireworks in this Colorado ski town follow up the spectacle, as does the family-friendly First Night festival, held at the mountaintop Adventure Ridge, accessible by gondola.

Food stands, activities just for kids, a choral group, and a live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop assure the festivities maintain their momentum.

A secondary fireworks display explodes above Vail Mountain for more merriment at midnight, as does some rather explosive nightlife at bars and restaurants throughout town.

A massive dance party at the Dobson Ice Arena is the biggest event in town, featuring three DJs and a midnight balloon drop, with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes tucked inside the balloons.

7. Key West. A warm-weather winter magnet, this town in southernmost Florida offers a trio of unusual “drops” that showcase Key West’s outlandish take on the Times Square countdown tradition.

The descent of a costumed “pirate wench” from a schooner’s mast is set to the sound of booming canons and the cheers of spectators and the ship’s “pirate” crew (at the Schooner Wharf Bar in the Historic Seaport area).

Thousands more gather on anything-goes Duval Street to watch a mammoth man-made conch shell descend from atop Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, Sloppy Joe’s Bar (live music is inside).

And yet more crowds congregate for the “Red Shoe Drop” (see photo) just down the road, where bedazzled local drag queen legend Sushi is lowered in a super-sized red high heel from above the Bourbon Street Pub (peek inside for over-the-top performances by female impersonators).

Across the U.S. anything goes when it comes to ringing in the New Year. Find great budget-friendly timeshare rental bargains in each of these fun and fascinating New Year’s Eve destinations.


Photos Credit: travel.yahoo.com


Timeshare Travel - Top 7 U.S. New Year’s Eve Party Towns – Part 1

Friday, December 28, 2012

Timeshare Travel - Top 7 U.S. New Year’s Eve Party Towns – Part 1

From the traditional to the unbelievable, Americans find many different ways to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Elissa Richards, correspondent for Yahoo! Travel, suggests these top 7 destinations across the U.S., each offering its unique take on the biggest party night of the year.

Stay in a timeshare rental and ring in the New Year in whatever style you jive to!
  1. New York City. The most famous New Year’s Eve celebration in the world will see 1 million revelers pour into Times Square (while another billion watch the spectacle from their TV screens). This year the center-of-the-New-Year’s-Eve-universe for more than a 100 years will usher in 2012 with star-studded performances by Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, part of Dick Clarks’ New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Following the sparkling12-foot, Waterford Crystal-covered, illuminated ball drop will be a blitz of confetti, balloons, and pyrotechnic displays. Check out New York City timeshare rentals.
  2. Walt Disney World. The theme park’s nightly occurring fireworks and entertainment are ratcheted up by the Mouse for this special night. The Magic Kingdom offers a double dose of pyrotechnics lighting up the skies above the Cinderella Castle at 8:30 p.m. (prime time for the little ones), and again just before midnight. Epcot combines music, fire, lights, lasers, and fireworks for two showings of its “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” display, ideal for viewing from the various international pavilions and restaurants. Hollywood Studios brings together music, fireworks, lasers, and water effects for two showings of its “Fantasmic” Disney movies-and-music spectacular, followed by a midnight fireworks presentation. Check out Disney timeshare rentals.
  3. San Antonio. This New Year’s Eve celebration is Texas-sized proportioned. A quarter of a million revelers will participate in one of the biggest free fiestas in the country, dubbed Celebrate San Antonio. HemisFair Park, near the city’s famed River Walk, is the hub. Musicians perform on four stages, food stalls offer international dishes, and family activities abound, all in a buildup to a fireworks extravaganza at the stroke of midnight. The pyrotechnic pageant launches off of the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas in a dazzling 17-minute display. Check out San Antonio timeshare rentals.
  4. Las Vegas. On New Year’s Eve, The Strip is blocked to vehicular traffic and becomes pedestrian-only for “America’s Party.” Head up high and watch mesmerizing pyrotechnic effects shot off above Sin City’s neon lights from surrounding rooftops. Or, wander downtown to the Fremont Street Experience, where the fourth annual TributePalooza street party sees a dozen metal and classic-rock cover bands play underneath a dazzling illuminated overhead canopy. Meanwhile, A-list headliners swooping in to ring in 2012 include Stevie Wonder at The Cosmopolitan and John Legend at The Palms. The party at the Mirage’s 1-OAK nightclub will be hosted by Fergie. Check out Las Vegas timeshare rentals.
Timeshare Travel - Top 7 U.S. New Year’s Eve Party Towns – Part 2 Photos Credit: travel.yahoo.com

Thursday, December 27, 2012

4 Unusual Things to do on a Timeshare Vacation in Hawaii

Hawaii is full of obvious attractions. Endless white sandy beaches, year-round sunshine, thousands of square miles of unspoiled rainforests and a stunning mountainous backdrop… Hawaii is a paradise for those looking to fully escape the hustle and bustle of life.

And a timeshare is a fantastic way to appreciate Hawaii’s charms on a regular basis; but with a combined area of 28,310 km, you might think that after a few visits, you’d run out of things to do… That couldn’t be more wrong. Hawaii is brimming with things to do… from the obvious to the not so obvious.
  1. Hike in Kaupo Gap. Many people visit Maui’s famous volcano - 10,023 ft. Haleakala, in Haleakala National Park. However, the majority of visitors head back to their hotels once the sun has set. What many people don’t experience is the sheer adventure of staying at the crater after all the tourists have gone. Here you can explore the network of off-the-beaten-track hiking trails lining the floor of this imposing crater. Kaupo Gap is a valley on the remote eastern side of the island and is Haleakala’s most challenging hike. Tours start at the summit of Haleakala and proceed down onto the 7,000 ft crater floor.
  2. Swim with predatory sharks. Instead of snorkeling you might want to try something a little different. For the more adventurous types cage diving with sharks is a popular extreme activity in Hawaii. Drive your budget-friendly rental car out to Oahu’s north shore, where a handful of tour operators will offer this terrifying – yet strangely intriguing – pastime. Boats depart from Haleiwa – a small harbor – and head about three miles out to sea. You are then lowered into the water inside a metal cage where you can witness a wide range of shark species, including Whitetip reef sharks, Tiger sharks, and the large Galapagos shark that is common in Hawaiian waters (see top photo).
  3. Zipline in Kauai. A new craze in Hawaii is ziplining – and it is particularly big in Kauai. Head to the island’s back-country, through rugged terrain and you will stumble upon ideal conditions for ziplining. Ziplines consist of cables hung between two poles. You will be harnessed onto the cable, and then can simply let yourself fall, sailing among the jungle trees, dropping into holes and dipping in and out of valleys.
  4. Listen to the songs of Humpback Whales. If you are lucky enough to visit Hawaii’s Oahu island between December and April, you are in for a real treat. Every year, hundreds of Humpback Whales migrate into the seas off the island, often treating passing vessels to playful breaches and squeals. Although this activity is fairly well-known in Hawaii, it is a truly unique and enlightening experience for visitors that is difficult to match. Sightings are almost guaranteed during Humpback Whale season so head out to sea with one of the island’s many whale watching tour operators. Good spots for whale watching include Ka’ena Point, Shark’s Cove, Turtle Bay Resort, Lanaikai and Hanauma Bay – where you can watch the whales blow, tail-slap, head-slap and breach – a truly incomparable experience.
Plan a Hawaii timeshare rental vacation this winter – the islands are warm, beautiful, and filled with adventure.

Our guest author, Laura Burton, is a freelance travel writer originally from Phoenix, AZ, and currently writing from Sardinia where she has family.

Photo Credit: seattletimes.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 5 Adventures for Your Winter Fort Lauderdale Timeshare Vacation

It’s time to start planning your timeshare vacation to warm sunny beaches. Once there, however, you might find yourself earning for something more than sun, sand, and lapping waves. Florida’s Greater Ft. Lauderdale area will give you the lazy beach experience in spades. It also offers adrenalin-pumping adventure activities as well. Here are the top five:
  1. Billie Swamp Safari. Aboard bouncing swamp buggies and roaring airboats you are taken on an in-depth wildlife viewing tour through the Big Cypress Reservation. As you traverse wetlands and hardwood hammocks you see Asian water buffalo, North American bison, wild hogs, alligators, and even Florida panthers.
  2. Kitesurfing (see photo). When you combine surfing, water skiing and parasailing, you get one of the newest and most popular water sports activities. Riders hop a surfboard, hold onto a control bar connected to a large mini-sail, and take off, jumping high above the waves. Experts can reach heights of 50 feet or more and travel long distances down the beach. If you’re new to this sport, there is generally a three- to five-hour training session provided before riders can launch themselves.
  3. Kayaking Through the Mangroves & Intracoastal Waterway. Ft. Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America. In fact, much of Fort Lauderdale and neighboring communities, residential areas, even downtown business districts, have more canals than streets. The Intracoastal Waterway passes right through the city, connecting the Mid-Atlantic states with the Florida Keys. Inland lakes, rivers, and tidal mangrove swamps create a real kayaking adventure.
  4. The Wild Everglades. Greater Fort Lauderdale is the gateway to the Everglades, where wild beauty makes up almost two-thirds of the destination’s total area. Besides airboat rides, biking and hiking, there’s the Shark Valley Tram Tour. This is a two-hour tour along a loop trail that runs 15 miles through the Everglades. The Observation Tower at Shark Valley is one of the highlights of an Everglades visit. On a clear day you can see for miles, observe wildlife in the park’s swampy habitat, and get a high-level perspective of the famous River of Grass. And, there’s the option of staying overnight in the Everglades in a traditional Seminole Chickee hut.
  5. Go Weightless. For a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience true weightlessness, the Zero-G Experience is a must. On a specially modified Boeing 727, parabolic arcs are performed to create a weightless environment allowing you to float, flip and soar as if you were in space. Your ZERO-G Experience includes 12-15 parabolas, your own ZERO-G flight suit, ZERO-G merchandise, a Regravitation Celebration, certificate of weightless completion, photos and video of your unique experience. When you do the Zero-G you’ll be joining the likes of Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, and Martha Stewart among other thrill-seekers who have enjoyed this unique adventure.
Greater Fort Lauderdale timeshare rentals are available for budget-friendly prices in luxury resorts.

Photo Credit: kitepower.com

Monday, December 24, 2012

Timeshare Christmas Vacation Destination Ideas

Christmas is celebrated all around the world and the many different cultures result in many different traditions. But one tradition that seems constant is the Christmas tree. A timeshare vacation in any of these 5 countries will bring both the familiar and the new.

  1.  Paris. The famous Galeries Lafayette is the epitome of Parisian chic. and in Paris, this tree glistens in the famous Galeries Lafayette. With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it’s no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. The up-scale Galeries Lafayette is the epitome of chic, and so is its glistening Christmas tree. In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic. Check out Paris timeshare rentals.

  2. London. London's tree in Trafalgar Square is a gift from Norway, a tradition dating back to 1947. A token of gratitude for Britain’s aid during World War II, the Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar Square has been the annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947. Check out London timeshare rentals.
  3. Rome. The tradition of placing a Christmas Tree in the Saint Peter's Squarestarted in 1982 during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II,[1] when the Polish-born Pope introduced the northern European symbol of Christmas spirit. Interestingly up until that time there had been no tradition of a Christmas tree at the Vatican. Now each year the Vatican accepts a tree donated by a different European country or region. In addition to the tree, St. Peter's Square hosts a larger-than-life nativity scene in front of the obelisk. The nativity scene has seventeen life-size statues. wikipedia.org Check out Italy timeshare rentals.
  4. Bangkok. Christmas in Thailand’s capital city is all about the Thai peoples’ love of creative lighting and festivities. Buildings, trees, bridges, lamp poles and sometimes even tuk-tuks and pavement food stalls are adorned with colorful, twinkling lights, turning Bangkok into a fairy wonderland. Since the tropics don’t easily offer up fir trees, a popular Christmas tree in Bangkok is made out of recycled water bottles. easytobook.com Check out Bangkok timeshare rentals and timeshare exchanges.
  5. Washington, D.C.
    Everyone knows of the Christmas trees in front of the U.S. Capitol Building and the White House. One you may not have heard about is this 32-foot Christmas wonder that is presented to the people of Washington by the Norwegian Embassy in DC. It lights the path for holiday travelers in Union Station. Check out Washington, DC, area timeshare rentals in Alexandria, VA and in Fort Washington’s National Harbor, MD

Photo Credit (1): timiacono.com Photo Credit (2): londonconnection.com Photo Credit (3): anythingbeautiful.blogspot.com Photo Credit (4): blog.easytobook.com Photo Credit (5): dc.about.com

Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for the Timeshare Traveler – And These are Free!

Anyone on your list who likes to take a timeshare vacation will appreciate how these Apps will make the entire trip easier, more convenient, and fun. And, these travel Apps are free:

1. Kayak. This mobile app helps take the stress out of trips by letting you track flights and find a car rental.
Price: Free
Available for: Android, iPad, iPhone,Nokia devices, Windows Mobile 7

2. TripIt. A must for families or frequent fliers, simply forward airline and car rental booking confirmations to a designated TripIt email to sync itineraries with your mobile device and calendar, which you can then share with family, friends and co-workers.
Price: Free
Available for: iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry andWindows Phone 7

3. RoadNinja. Hit by a Burger King craving on the road? In need of a pharmacy pronto? Wondering how much further the next rest stop really is? RoadNinja will tell you.

Search by name, or browse through categories like Food, Gas, Lodging and 24-hr Pharmacy, to find what you’re looking for—and have RoadNinja navigate you there. Tap the promotions icon to learn about specials and savings from nearby chains.
Price: Free
Available for: iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

4. Photogram. Adults and kids will love this fun app, which lets you make virtual postcards out of photos on your mobile phone. Choose a theme (like Airmail or Sandcrab Shuffle, created by independent artists), write a message, and send to family and friends via email or your favorite social network.
Price: Free
Available for: iPhone

Bonus Ideas – These Apps have a small charge:

1. Trip Journal. It’s like a scrapbook, but on your phone. Integrated with social networks like Facebook and Flickr, Trip Journal uses Google Earth so you can document your location through photos and video, and even pinpoint the exact route you took to get there.
Price: $2.99
Available for: iPhone or Android

2. Flight+. Frequent flyers will love this app that tracks flights happening at almost every airport worldwide. Additional features include real-time information on any gate changes or flight delays, as well as maps and weather for your ultimate destination.
Price: $2.99 for: iPhone and iPod Touch
Price: $4.99 for iPad

When you give these Christmas gifts your recipients will head out on their timeshare rental vacation relaxed and confident that their timeshare vacation will be as good as you can help make it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Family Timeshare Vacation: 3 Tips for Saving Money When Abroad in the U.S.

The United States remains a popular family vacation destination among citizens throughout the world, and its reputation as a land of opportunity is something that distinguishes it from other nations.

The nature of the country is such, however, that it often takes a long and well structured vacation to sample all it has to offer, and this can be a huge challenge given the current global economy.

Your task is to be creative in your thinking and save money where possible when planning your timeshare vacation to your chosen corner of the U.S. It is important to be selective in the areas that you choose to make savings, and prioritize the quality of your vacation ahead of everything else. 

1. Seek Out a Good Car Rental Deal: Affordable car rental deals save long term wear on your own vehicle and allows you to take flights or other modes of transportation where necessary. Most operators also offer significant discounts on long term hire agreements, so it is possible to save even more money during extended stay visits.

2. Invest in Good Quality Technology: Interacting with friends and other family members back home can be an expensive business when on the road, but the right kind of technological equipment can help to negate these costs. For example, the cost of using Smartphones as communicative tools and Internet browsers is gradually decreasing when overseas, thanks to the fact that operators are beginning to cap roaming charges. Similarly, devices with reliable Wi-Fi often allow you to tap into local Internet connections, which cut your costs even more with certain packages.

3. Enjoy a Rustic Experience: Eating out as a family can be an expensive business, especially in known tourist spots where prices are usually inflated. With this in mind, it is worth targeting areas and eateries where locals are known to dine, as this way you will be able to sample a rustic experience that is also affordable. 

Similarly, be sure to locate the local convenience stores and markets, as these are a source of good value products in instances where you choose prepare meals in your timeshare kitchen, or picnic at local parks and beaches.

The Bottom Line. The U.S. provides a wonderful traveling experience for families, with sites and activities nationwide to keep people of all ages occupied. Being aware of costs and showing a willingness to save money where possible will also help you to enjoy a longer and more rewarding vacation, and with so much to see in the U.S. this can hugely beneficial.

Check out budget-friendly timeshare rentals throughout the United States.

Author Bio: Dylan McCabe is a professional blogger and freelance writer with a passion for international travel. He works predominantly for the automotive financing firm Carfinance247, which specializes in providing funds for those with bad car credit.


Photo Credit: swilsonwhatisgood.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pet-Friendly Timeshare Resorts for Your Holiday Travel

The holidays are about travel and the December RedWeek newsletter focused on one aspect of timeshare vacations – do you take your pet along? Some airlines allow small pet carriers to be taken on-board as carry-on luggage, while others will accommodate pets in the cargo hold.

For some people a vacation without a pet is an excruciating separation from a beloved companion. If you plan to take Fluffy and Fido, be sure your final destination will accommodate them.

RedWeek's Pet Friendly Timeshare Vacations page offers a list of resorts, like the ones below, that may accept pets.

1. Banff Rocky Mountain Resort (see top photo). Located in one of the most beautiful scenic areas in all of Alberta, Canada, this resort accommodates small pets for an additional daily $25Canadian fee per pet.

The Canadian Rockies are a veritable winter enthusiast’s dream , offering many winter activities such as downhill skiing, cross country skiing, heli-skiing and sleigh rides. The Sulphur Mountain Gondola Lift is one of the area's many attractions.

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort timeshare rentals start at $114/night. Resales start at $550.

2. Vacation Village in the Berkshires. This resort in Hancock, MA, welcomes pets for an additional fee of $125 for the entire stay.

Punctuated by hills and peaks and cut by river valleys, the Berskshires is a popular retreat to get away into nature. The area also enjoys vibrant tourism based on music and the arts. A bonus here is the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Timeshare rentals at Vacation Village in the Berkshires start at just $100/night. Resales start at $500.

3. Quarter House. Located in New Orleans, this resort allows dogs up to 25 pounds, with a $100 non-refundable deposit per week, due on check-in.

Situated in the heart of the Vieux Carre, this resort has been a part of New Orleans’ French Quarter since 1831 when it was designed by renowned architect James Gallier. Now a luxury suite resort, it underwent historical renovation in 1983.

Quarter House timeshare rentals start at just $100/night. Resales start at $4,500.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Christmas Market

Christmas Market near the cathedral in Aachen, Germany. Submitted by Agnes De Crites, Brussels.
Aachen is in western Germany near the borders of Belgium and Holland. The town was the royal residence of the Emperor Charlemagne, and originally was a Roman spa.
The Aachen Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a look at timeshare exchanges in Germany.

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 3 U.S. Cities for Best Christmas Timeshare Vacation Destination

Travel + Leisure asked their readers to vote on the top U.S. cities for Christmas destinations. These are the top 3, and each has budget-friendly timeshare rentals for a relaxed and luxurious Christmas vacation.

1. San Juan, Puerto Rico. This Caribbean city made number one for two reasons: it’s a warm tropical getaway for Christmas, and the Puerto Rican view of the Christmas season is "not so much a spirit, as a marathon." The revelry starts in November, and can last well into mid January. 

Spending Christmas here you’ll enjoy some wonderful island traditions:

Christmas Eve trumps Christmas Day for most Puerto Ricans. This is when a typical Puerto Rican Christmas dinner is served, consisting of lechón (roast pork),pasteles (patties), and arroz con gandules (rice ‘n beans).

The traditional Christmas dessert is tembleque, which is a kind of custard with coconut, cornstarch, vanilla, and cinnamon. Instead of eggnog, you’ll have coquito, or coconut nog.

After dinner, many Puerto Ricans attend a midnight mass known as the Misa de Gallo. You might just catch a live reenactment of the nativity scene.

A Puerto Rico timeshare rental can start as low as $65/night.

2. New Orleans. Christmas in New Orleans is comprised of event after event spanning the last week of November to the last week in December ending with New Year's Eve. The events are unique, holiday oriented, and all are family friendly.

City Park's celebration In the Oaks is said to be one of the best holiday lighting displays in the country. This walking path, amusement park, synthetic ice rink, and train route has become the gem of New Orleans' Christmas celebrations.

Caroling in the Square (see photo right) is perhaps one of the most amazing things to behold all season long. This event brings tourist and locals, like moths, to a candle-lit Jackson Square for caroling. Led by local musical talent, the crowd is handed the lyrics and candles to complete what has been called the most moving event all season long.

Consider a New Orleans timeshare rental for just $86/night.

3. New York City. Of course the Big Apple had to make the cut – its Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and the Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes Christmas Show, are two of the most iconic Christmas events in the country.

But get out of Manhattan and head to Brooklyn and you’ll run into a New York City Christmas treasure – the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour (see top photo).

The residents of this Italian-American neighborhood unabashedly practice one-upsmanship every Christmas season. Where homes can go for $1 million or more many of these residents now hire professional decorators to use the latest in LED technology. Professional displays can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $10,000 or more, depending on how elaborate they are.

Regardless of how the displays are created, the result is pure Christmas delight, prompting comments such as "You can probably see that house from space!" and "That house looks like a dessert!" from wide-eyed visitors that come from all over the world.

A New York City timeshare rental in downtown Manhattan is currently just $125/night.

Photo Credit (Puerto Rico):.tumblr.com
Photo Credit (Jackson Square): southernliving.com
Photo Credit (Dyker Heights): examiner.com

Friday, December 14, 2012

Leaving for a Holiday Timeshare Vacation? Don't Do These 4 Things

When you head out on your timeshare vacation to celebrate the holidays this month, you’ll want to keep your home safe while you’re gone.

Here are 4 simple tips:

1. Don’t look empty. There are several easy things to do to keep a lived-in look. Put a hold on your mail and your newspaper delivery. Nothing announces “vacant” more than piled up newspapers in front of the door, and a bulging mail box.

Put lights in various rooms in the house on timers to go on and off at appropriate times. You can also put a radio or the television on a timer, too, so your house sounds like someone is home, as well.

If you live where it snows, make arrangements for someone to clear the sidewalks in front of your house, the walkway to the front door, and the driveway.

2. Don’t advertise. In other words, don’t announce to the world “I’m spending Christmas in Cancun and will return after New Year's.“

This goes for the answering machine on your home phone, and Twitter and Facebook as well. This time of year criminals are trolling. And be sure that you set your answering machine to pick up on the second or third ring so a phone ringing numerous times doesn't also announce an empty house.

3. Don’t Display Christmas Gifts. Just a peak in the window can get a criminal interested if they can easily see Christmas presents under the tree. The same goes for electronics such as flat screen televisions, and computers.

If at all possible, place those items in closets, or hallways away from prying eyes. You can also discourage peeping by partially drawing the curtains or blinds. Fully closing them is another indicator of vacancy, so compromise by keeping them partly open, but closed enough that much of the interior cannot be seen .

4. Don’t Do it all Alone. In many cities and towns you can ask the police department to do a periodic drive-by, checking on your home and the neighborhood. Often just the occasional presence of a police vehicle is enough to send criminals scampering.

And, of course, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your home, too. After all, they’re close by all the time, and they also know who belongs in the neighborhood, and who is a stranger.

Although home burglaries increase during the holidays due to an increase in the numbers of people traveling and thus homes being left vacant, use these suggestions to help keep your home safe when you travel any time of the year.

And now that you know what to do to help keep your house safe, you don’t need to stay home this holiday! Check out the many timeshare rental options that can give you and your family a memorable holiday vacation just about anywhere in the world.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Timeshare Vacation Options for Pet Owners

Having pets can often make travel challenging, and many pet owners are quick to rule out any opportunities to travel for fear that things will be too complicated. Taking a vacation with a timeshare, especially one that allows pets, may sound complicated but in fact it’s usually not.

Most timeshares, such as the lovely Alpenland Sporthotel in Austria will say where or not they allow pets and RedWeek® has an entire section dedicated to pet-friendly timeshares worldwide.

Travelling with Pets. While finding a timeshare that allows pets is important, it’s also important to consider how easy it will be to get to the location of the timeshare with pets. If the timeshare is in the same country as you, this will probably be considerably easier although keep in mind that you may have a long drive with pets in tow.

If you’re travelling to another country with pets, this is an entirely different matter. The first thing to think about is the rules and regulations about bringing pets into and out of the country you’re visiting. Although travelling with pets is considerably easier than it used to be, there are still plenty of hoops to jump through and paperwork to fill out.

USA Today provides a complete list of the steps you’ll need to take in order to travel with pets from the US to Europe and just skimming through it is enough to put most pet owners off. The good news however is that some of the steps only need to be done once in a pet’s lifetime, not for every trip.

Finally you’ll also need to fly with an airline that allows pets either in the hold or up in the cabin with you. Pet Travel Store lists the pet policies for most international airlines.

Alternative Options. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get the timeshare you want, in the location you want, with pet-friendly options. In these cases it’s good to have a few alternatives. Here are some ideas...

1. Ask friends and family to look after your pets: This is great if you’re only going away for a few days and most people are usually happy to oblige.

2. Get a pet sitter: Join one of the many pet sitting websites such as Trusted Housesitters. These websites will put you in touch with sitters nearby who are willing to look after your pets (either in your home or theirs) while you’re away. Some charge and some don’t. For more information read the Trusted Housesitters FAQs. 

3. Consider a kennel: This is usually the last resort for most pet owners, and one that many pet owners can’t bring themselves to. While this writer isn’t a big fan of most kennels, not all are bad and it’s always good to have options.

If you have pets and that’s put you off travelling and maybe even buying a timeshare abroad, don’t let it. Travelling with pets is considerably easier than it ever has been before; both in terms of getting to and from other countries without worrying about quarantine and in the increasing number of pet-friendly timeshare properties to stay in within the US and abroad.

Our guest author, James, is a full-time pet sitter currently living in the South of France where he's looking after Thomas and Cassie, a Russian Blue cat and an Alsatian and trying to work his way through the 350 different types of cheese.

Photo Credit: work.chron.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

‘Tis The Season – Timeshare Scam Alert

During the recent ARDA Southeast Regional meeting in Orlando, Vice President of Florida state government affairs, Jason C. Gamel , moderated a panel on consumer protection, which featured Florida government officials. Florida is the state with the highest number of consumer complaints and victims of timeshare scams in the country.

Richard Thrawl, a member of the timeshare section of the Florida Bureau of Compliance, said his office is devoted to the resale scam issue. He advised that the first rule is to educate owners over and over about transfer companies.

“It’s a major difficulty to hit the scammers when they can empty out and move to a different apartment or house in a heartbeat. They don’t care about going to jail. The greed for more money is just too strong,” Thrawl said.

Minimum Processing Fee? A typical way that timeshare scammers work, explained Thrawl, is by calling a timeshare owner to say they have a buyer and there will be no cost to them other than a $200 processing fee. In a few days, they’ll call to say there will be another $1300 fee for the condominium documents.

“Later, it’s $2000 of unpaid maintenance fees and so forth. By the time the consumer has forked over $3,500, they are easy targets for more, having ‘invested’ so much,” said Thrawl.

Talk to the Happy Buyer? The scammers will even give owners the phone number of the “prospective timeshare owner.” They tell the victim they are welcome to call and check.

“Sure enough,” says Thrawl, “when they call, a fellow-scammer pretends to be a very enthusiastic buyer. In one case, an elderly woman eventually gave as much as $87,000. That’s how good these scammers are at what they do.”

How do scammers get lists of owners? Reviewing recorded deeds at the courthouse is too much trouble. Instead, they get contracts by buying them from low-level resort employees. If they can buy a flash drive for $25,000 and make $2500 or more from each victim, it’s well worth the cost for them.

Another major source is Craig’s List where they can buy a link and download a file. These lists will even have notes if a lead has been scammed in the past, is sick, widowed, has Alzheimer’s, or is just an easy mark.

Thrawl said timeshare owners should be aware of ARDA-ROC.org, where you can sign up for fraud alerts. And most of all, never, never send money to a post office box or through Western Union.

Owners can contact Thrawl's office before they send money. “It is hard to believe, but consumers are still sending thousands of dollars to a post office box,” he said.

Whether it’s due to the economy, or simply that these scammers are becoming wealthier and more polished, Thrawl believes this is the worst he’s ever seen.

Avoid the scammers. List your resale on RedWeek.com and follow the simple instructions on how to stay safe. 

Or, read how RedWeek® can help you sell your timeshare with its Full-Service Timeshare Resale Program.

Source: ResortTrades
Image Credit: transfersmart.org

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Barcelona

Colannaded pathway at the Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain. Submitted by M. McDonnell, Mesa, AZ.

A garden complex with architectural elements, Park Güell was designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This colonnaded footpath was built under the roadway viaduct with external columns sloping to take the diagonal thrust from the vault supporting the road.

See more of Antoni Gaudí’s work and stay in a timeshare rental in Spain.

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Top 4 Christmas Lights Events for Your Holiday Timeshare Vacation

With so many places going all out with lights and decorations each Christmas holiday, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go.

Below are America’s top 4 Christmas Lights destinations. They crisscross the country and offer just about every holiday experience imaginable, making them great holiday timeshare vacation destinations.

1. New York City, NY (see top photo). One of the most iconic American Christmas lights displays is Rockefeller Center. The towering tree is covered with 30,000 lights, and appears twice as bright as it reflects off the ice of the skating rink.

Since 2007 the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas trees have “gone green,” with use of LED lights. When the tree is taken down after January 6, the day of the Feast of The Epiphany, the wood is used for such things as supplying lumber for Habitat for Humanity construction.

A New York City timeshare rental right in mid-town Manhattan is just $57/night.

2. Newport Beach, CA. The Newport Beach Boat Parade began a century ago with 9 small water craft. Today hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes from kayaks and canoes to multi-million dollar yachts are bedecked in dazzling Christmas lights in this world-famous Christmas Boat Parade that attracts over 1 million spectators.

Each parade takes approximately 2 ½ hours as the boats wind their way 14 miles through the harbor. This Christmas boat parade is actually a 5-day event, beginning on the 3rd Wednesday in December and ending with a spectacular fireworks display on the final night.

Stay at the Newport Coast Villas where timeshare rentals start at just $100/night.

3. Orlando, FL. The Streets of America in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios become completely enveloped in Christmas lights with “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.”

The statistics for this breathtaking sight are as formidable as the experience itself: 5 million lights, 32 miles of extension cables, 66 snow machines, and 100 gallons of snow fluid each night.

Many Greater Orlando timeshare rentals are available, starting at just $43/night.

5. San Antonio, TX. This southern Texas town’s River Walk has become one of the most visited attractions in all of America. A network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River wind and loop under bridges and create a lovely pedestrian-only experience one level below the downtown streets.

When the River Walk is decorated with Christmas lights it becomes a must-see Christmas vacation destination.

Two hundred Christmas trees, each covered with 10,000 energy-efficient LED lights, line the River Walk reflecting beautifully in the water. The rest of the 1.8 million holiday lights wrap the 20 bridges. Adding to the festive atmosphere are passing river barges carrying carolers offering happy holiday tunes and beautiful Christmas carols.

You can stay in a San Antonio timeshare rental starting at just $86/night.

Photo Credit (1): nycinsidersguide.com
Photo Credit (2): localmagazine.com
Photo Credit (3): dads.blog.dadsguidetowdw.com
Photo Credit (4): wilsononline.com

Friday, December 07, 2012

RedWeek.com Launches Full-Service Timeshare Resale Program

RedWeek.com issued a press release this week announcing the addition of its full-service timeshare resales option to its growing list of product offerings. 

Working in conjunction with a licensed real estate brokerage, RedWeek is able to provide owners with the knowledge of licensed agents and exposure to its nearly 2 million registered users. 

The RedWeek.com full-service resale program is a departure from the site’s traditional do-it-yourself method. Owners who are not Internet savvy, or who simply do not have time to manage the sale of their timeshare, can now turn to RedWeek.com for their resale needs.

The process to register for a full-service resale is simple. Timeshare owners need only complete an online form and submit their one-time payment of $125 for a 12 month resale posting. Once the form and payment are submitted, a dedicated RedWeek agent will verify the ownership information with the resort, create the resale posting, and field inquiries from interested buyers.

Once a sale is negotiated by a licensed real estate agent, the agent will then manage the entire closing including contracts, estoppels, coordination with the closing company, and deed transfer.

Only after a sale is complete will RedWeek collect a marketing fee of 3% or $399, whichever is greater.

The next phase of the RedWeek.com full-service resales offering is the launch within the next few months of a dedicated toll-free number. The addition of phone support will allow timeshare owners with limited computer knowledge to advertise their timeshare resale on RedWeek, and also provide additional real-time support to existing full-service posters that wish to modify their advertisement or ask questions.

Learn more about RedWeek.com and timesharing.

About RedWeek.com:
RedWeek.com is a member-supported marketplace for timeshare rentals and resales. You can find reviews, ratings, prices, availability, full-service exchange, and complete resort descriptions for all timeshare resorts to make vacation selection easier.

Boasting an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, RedWeek has more than 1.5 million registered users and includes 5,000 timeshare resorts worldwide. RedWeek® is a registered trademark of RedWeek, Inc.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Holiday Timeshare Travel – 5 Top Places to Shop in London

Are you considering a timeshare vacation this holiday season? Why not combine it with some of the best shopping on the planet.

London has long been part of a central axis of fashion and shopping, alongside Paris and New York City. But unlike the other cities, the shopping scene in London is renowned for extending its scope beyond the tastes of the Blair Waldorfs of the world.

From high-end designer stores and boutique shops, to hip markets and bazaars, when it comes to things do to in London, shopping is a must. Depending on your tastes and your budget, here are a few of the world-famous areas for those looking to fill their closets.

1. The Apple Market. (see top photo) Located right in the heart of the Covent Garden district – a district jam-packed with funky stores and constant entertainment – is the Apple market. Sometimes referred to as the Covent Garden market, it is an indoor swath of boutiques, specialty shops and jewelry stores, clothing stands, cafés, and bars.

The market has a reputation for its authentic English feel and moderate prices. Every Monday the market holds a Vintage day for those looking for unique items hard to come by anywhere else. 

2. Portobello Road. Every Saturday the Portobello Road Market takes over the entirety of Portobello Road, stretching over ten football fields in length, so visitors should be prepared for a marathon of shopping.

The market, located in Notting Hill and most famous for its portrayal in the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts film, is actually the largest antiques market in the world. The street invites all walks of life, catering to everyone from tourists and locals to the most hardcore artifact-seekers.

Vintage stores and cafés dominate the bottom of the hill, but as one heads further up the road, a younger vibe prevails as the stands transition into fashionable flea markets.

3. Regent Street. In the Mayfair/Knightsbridge districts of London is the crown jewel of ritzy shopping: Regent Street. Posh locals and affluent travellers patrol along Regent Street, where you can step into designer stores and luxury boutiques to survey the latest fashion trends.

4. Oxford Street. Those looking for the latest fashions at more affordable prices know that there is no better destination than Oxford Street. Intersecting with Regent Street at what is known as Oxford Circus, Oxford Street is the home to stores like H&M, Niketown, and Kate Moss’s ultra-trendy Topshop. 

Here you’ll find younger crowds and college kids looking for a stylish something without having to worry about the price tag.

5. Camden Market. Many would argue that Camden Market is one of the best marketplaces in the world, and after one visit here you will be hard-pressed to disagree. Located in the über-hip Camden Town district, the local market certainly reflects its surroundings.

It’s hard not to get lost within the sprawling clothing bazaars, handcrafted jewelry shops, independent market shoot-offs, bars, and restaurants, and if the shopping isn’t enough, tattoo parlors litter the walls along the buildings.

For those looking for something a bit more vibrant, there is even an EDM (electronic dance music) store in the mix, full of neon clothes and glowing accessories. The alternative clothing and overabundance of hipster attire for bargain prices should be enough incentive for any young traveller in the area to stop by.

After a day of exciting shopping, relax in your London timeshare rental.

Our guest author, Daniel Hogan, is a writer at Party Earth, an international media and entertainment company that features reviews, editorials, and listings of the best clubs, bars, festivals, concerts, events, and more, in 19 cities around the world.

Photo Credit (1): pc-mytravels.blogspot.com
Photo Credit (2): europeupclose.com
Photo Credit (3): en.wikepedia.org
Photo Credit (4): yourstylentrend.com
Photo Credit (5): standard.co.uk

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Take a Timeshare Vacation to WDW for the New Captain Jack Sparrow Attraction!

If you’ve enjoyed Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise, you’ll be excited to hear that The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction is opening tomorrow, December 6, 2012, at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is a walk-through attraction that will allow guests to follow in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow to see if they have what it takes to join his rowdy and daring pirate crew!

In this video clip Disney Imagineers take you behind the scenes of the making of this new experience. According to them, creating an entirely new attraction based on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise was a dream come true, as was working with the film’s lead actor, Johnny Depp, who reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow for the attraction’s film elements.

See what they had to say:

Following an introduction room, guests move together in a large group into the main show, which lasts approximately 10 minutes. Visitors step into a cave lined with seaside skeletons, bottles, and a tattered old pirate ship somewhat resembling the film’s Black Pearl.

The experience begins as a disembodied pirate skull appears, floating in the sky, narrating the adventurous moments that unfold, each representing a memorable part of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.

The skull calls for Jack Sparrow to come up from the ship’s cabin and take the lead. With the famous role once again played by Johnny Depp, Jack appears in a most realistic way, believably standing up on the ship’s bow for the remainder of the show.

It’s a clever use of projection similarly featured in other theme park attractions like Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, to bring Harry, Ron, and Hermione to life in stunning realism.

While Jack looks fairly real in Audio-Animatronics form in the refurbished original Pirates of the Caribbean ride, this projected version may very well fool you into thinking Depp is standing there in person.

The exciting visuals are presented in a unique high-tech way, making this show a new must-see stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

A Disney timeshare rental, or an Orlando timeshare rental can be easy on your budget and will give you and your family luxurious vacation accommodations while you see if you have what it takes to become one of Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate crew.

Photo Credits: insidethemagic.net

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Israel

Open market in Israel – dates, dried apricots, grains – and cellophane-wrapped candy! Submitted by Scott R., California.

To create your own fun memories, check out budget-friendly timeshare rentals – available all around the world.

Submit your photo to #TravelTuesday! Just send it via email to us at: learnmore (at) redweek (dot) com. Let us know your name, where you are from, and where the photo was taken.

Monday, December 03, 2012

7 Top Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Timeshare Traveler

If you have people on your holiday gift list who vacation with timeshare that means they are connoisseurs of luxury, whether that be a budget-friendly timeshare rental or owning their own timeshare at a luxury resort.

However, getting to that timeshare destination can often mean enduring a long flight, often with airport layovers. So give them gifts of luxurious comfort and convenience – after all, they’ll expect nothing less. Associated Press travel editor Beth J. Harpaz offers these 7 top gift suggestions:

1. Noise-Cancelling Head Phones. For music lovers, how about upgrading flimsy earbuds to a set of headphones? While top-pick Bose headphones are pricey, Consumer Reports also gives high ratings to many models under $100, including headphones from Able Planet, JVC and Audio-Technica.

2. Travel Pillow. Here is comfort with a twist – a neck pillow with built-in speakers. It plugs into an MP3 player or iPod. The speakers are inside the U-shaped pillow so they sit beneath your chin on either side. You can hear the music without disturbing the person sitting next to you.

3. Packing Cubes. (see photo) Typically made from lightweight fabrics with zippers, packing cubes come in various sizes designed to fit inside luggage. They not only compress clothing so you can fit more in, but also make it easy to organize belongings. If checked luggage exceeds weight restrictions, a cube can be removed and carried.

4. Personal Care. This can include things such as the Air Repair skin care kit, which includes cleansers and moisturizers; garment care items like The Laundress Crease Release spray; and the Go Smile kit that has toothpastes and fold-up toothbrush.

5. Comfy Legs. Socks with treads, soft washable slippers or compression socks can make flights more bearable. A lift underfoot while seated can also make a long flight more comfortable. Portable footrests come in lightweight plastic fold-up types or in an inflatable cushion style.

6. Chargers. With travelers taking more and more electronics with them, a convenient way of charging all of these gadgets is a must. There are a number of travel chargers available that can power electronics on the go, including battery-powered and solar-powered chargers that work even when you have no access to an electric outlet.

7. De-Stress. Help your travelers de-stress while en route. A gift card for XpresSpa offers manicures, pedicures, haircuts, facials, shaves, massages and other services at 46 airport spas.

RedWeek.com does not endorse this list.

Photo Credit: ebags.com

Friday, November 30, 2012

Timeshare Travel – Disney Helps Rescue Animals from Hurricane Sandy

Whether you plan a Disney timeshare vacation to Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida, you know you will be staying with an organization that has your best interest at heart. This same sense of responsibility is extended by Disney to our planet, as well.

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF), with your contributions, has enabled wildlife conservation projects around the world, but it has also aided animals in need right here in the US.

The DWCF recently awarded $250,000 to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), whose animal rescue team rushed to join the effort to save animals after Hurricane Sandy.

This grant helped equip a disaster response trailer used by IFAW responders and it will continue to provide immediate resources for disaster response as well as help IFAW to plan for the future by providing training sessions for disaster preparedness globally.

Hurricane Sandy rescue team members found that, time and time again, families affected by the storm were more concerned about their pets than they were about themselves — and that they were overwhelmed with relief knowing that their pets were going to be safe thanks to the animal agencies responding to provide care and housing for pets.

“It is good to know that animals affected by the disaster are receiving care while impacted families can focus on rebuilding and recovery,” said Jackie Ogden, PhD., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks.

The DWCF has supported IFAW’s efforts for more than 10 years, including the rescue of 20,000 endangered penguins from an oil spill in South Africa in 2000, and support for the animal victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami and the Haiti earthquake.

“In this season of giving, it seems especially fitting to give thanks for the people who tirelessly work to help animals every day,” said Ogden. “If you have contributed to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund you have joined Disney in supporting their noble efforts.”

Consider a Disney timeshare rental when you plan your next Holiday timeshare vacation.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Timeshare Travel - Europe’s 5 Finest Fashion Museums

If you’re tired of visiting European cities and checking out the usual art galleries and history museums, why not explore their fashion museums instead? Clothes tell us just as much about a culture as paintings or documents, and many capital cities have costume collections dating back hundreds of years.

London and Paris, in particular, have several great places where you can learn more about the history of fashion and get a glimpse of pieces by Europe’s top contemporary designers at the same time. Here are my five favourites, which includes one in Spain, for you to check out.

1. Museo del Traje, Marid. (see top photo) It may be slightly off the beaten track in Madrid’s university district, but Museo del Traje is well worth the journey. This collection contains 160,000 costumes and accessories dating back to the 16th century, as well as work by modern day designers like Dior and Versace.

One of the museum’s great strengths is how it uses paintings to show how fashion has changed through the years and the explanations of why.

2. Musee Galliera, Paris. As you might expect from the world’s fashion capital, Paris doesn’t disappoint when it comes to museums dedicated to clothing. Musee Galliera is a prime example, documenting French fashion history from the 1700s to the present day with over 70,000 pieces on rotation.

Some of the highlights are actual clothes worn by Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, as well as contemporary costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent.

3. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. London’s epic V&A museum has literally thousands of objects on display and a dedicated Fashion department. Here you’ll find the most comprehensive costume collection in Britain, with thousands of pieces once belonging to wealthy people and spanning the last several hundred years.

The museum regularly holds fascinating temporary exhibitions – including the largest retrospective on Vivienne Westwood – and live fashion shows bringing clothing into the 21st century.

4. Musee de la Mode et du Textile, Paris. Located in one of the wings of the Louvre, Musee de la Mode et du Textile houses an impressive private collection of costumes, accessories and textiles including silk, cloth and lace. Witness how French fashion has evolved over the years through textiles dating back to the fifth century and costumes from the Regency period.

This experience is enriched by regular exhibitions from contemporary French design houses like Dior, Chanel and Sonyia Rykiel.

5. Fashion and Textile Museum, London. London’s other famous fashion attraction is the quirkily designed Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey. This converted warehouse is home to an array of contemporary pieces from 1947 to the present from the likes of Christian Dior, Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood.

You’ll also find frequently changing exhibitions of textile and jewelry design, and a comprehensive educational programme.

The museum, which was set up by eccentric fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, gets just as much tourist attention for the outrageous colour scheme on the outside!

Stay in a Europe timeshare rental where you can vacation in luxury while enjoying the high fashion of these unique museums.

Guest Author: When Matt isn't globetrotting around Europe, you’ll find him in the U.K. blogging for Miinto where you can find fashion clothing and inspiration.