Friday, May 31, 2013

3 Top Disney Resorts for a Family Timeshare Vacation

It’s summer – so‘tis the season for all things Disney! The May RedWeek Newsletter has highlighted these 3 top resorts at Walt Disney World for a budget-friendly timeshare rental vacation with the Mouse.

1. Bay Lake Tower, Lake Buena Vista, FL, is by far the closest to Magic Kingdom - just an easy walk away. Because of that, it may be the best choice if you're doing Disney World with young children.

Built as an annex to the existing Contemporary Resort, it is actually the newest addition to the Disney Vacation Club family, and houses studio, one and two bedroom units.

Bay Lake Tower timeshare rentals start at $196/night.

2. Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. Are you on the east coast but would really like to be taking a summer vacation out west? Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge was created with the spirit of the Rocky Mountains in mind.

Complete with wildlife motifs and Native American decorations, the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge meld the comforts of home with the serenity of the great outdoors. Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge is just a short ferry ride to Magic Kingdom - making it another good option for young kids.

Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge timeshare rentals start at $250/night.

3. Disney's Beach Club Villas.   Disney's Beach Club Villas, Lake Buena Vista, FL, is all about the pool. The Beach Club's pool, Stormalong Bay, is more like a waterpark on 3 acres, complete with pirate-ship waterslide, lazy river, hot tub, waterfalls, and sandy-bottom beach area.

At this resort you can lose yourself in the 20th century Eastern seaboard architecture of intricate wood accents, winding wooden porches, and pastel colors, and choose from a garden or pool view.

Disney's Beach Club Villas timeshare rentals start at $214/night.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reggae Sumfest - World's Premier Reggae Festival


Reggae Sumfest - World's Premier Reggae Festival



Are you a music aficionado? Then what are you waiting for! The world’s premier reggae festival “Reggae Sumfest 2013” has already been announced to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The festival is scheduled to be held from July 25 to 30 this year. It’s about time that you book your flights to Montego Bay well in advance. This would help you in getting the best flight deals on your air tickets.

Considered as the premier reggae festival in the world, the “Reggae Sumfest” brings together the hottest and most famous dance hall and reggae artists from around the world to Montego Bay, the reggae capital island of the world.

There are many international airlines that operate direct flights to Montego Bay from North America and other parts of the world. Book cheap tickets on any of these airlines and head to the second largest city in Jamaica, which has been home of the renowned Reggae Sunsplash and has become the permanent home of the “Reggae Sumfest” festival.

This year the concerts during the Reggae Sumfest festival will be held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex. The festival attracts a number of local and international artists.

Renowned artists who have participated in the Reggae Sumfest festival in years past have included Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, LL Cool J, Kerri Hilson, Toni Braxton, Jazmine Sullivan, Morgan Heritage, Elephant Man, Queen Ifrica, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Nicki Minaj, among others. Top U.S. artists like Usher, Chris Brown and Beyoncé have also performed in earlier events.

Launched in August 1993, Reggae Sumfest has now emerged as the world’s biggest reggae music event. The motto of Reggae Sumfest, “Promoting music, the Universal Force," has worked as an inspirational force in attracting a large number of music fans to attend the Reggae Sumfest year after year.

Like July every year, the Reggae Sumfest festival is all set to attract thousands of reggae and dance hall lovers who would be taking flights to Montego Bay to attend one of the best reggae music festivals in the world.

Why not book flight tickets to Montego Bay and maximize your Reggae Sumfest experience. This is indeed a must-attend event for all reggae and dance hall music lovers.

Take a look at budget-friendly Caribbean timeshare rentals, too.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Buying Disney Vacation Club - What are “Right of First Refusal” and “Lease Terms?”

The Ask RedWeek question in the May RedWeek Newsletter gives insight into the legal side of purchasing a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) membership.

I'm thinking of buying a DVC membership, but I don't understand the Right of First Refusal, and the Limited Right to Use clauses. Can Disney buy the timeshare out from under me? Will I lose the timeshare in 30 years and have nothing left? 

The simple answers to your questions are "Yes" and "Yes". But you are right to ensure you thoroughly understand what you are buying, and how the purchase process works, before making an offer.

1. The Right of First Refusal.
This gives Disney the option to buy back any timeshare at the sales price that has been agreed upon by the owner and buyer. Disney has the right of first refusal on all of their properties, and DVC memberships.

Once the buyer and seller sign a sales contract, the closing company must submit the right of first refusal paperwork to Disney. Disney then has 30 days to decide if they will waive their right to purchase the timeshare, and let the sale proceed.

If they exercise their right to refuse the sale, then Disney becomes the buyer under the same terms and conditions outlined in the original contract.

2. Limited Right to Use Clause. 
This is a DVC lease-hold deed. DVC memberships are essentially long-term leases where you may use the property for the term outlined in the ownership paperwork.

If an owner purchased a 40-year lease, and 10 years later decided to sell the lease then the new owner would have use of the timeshare for the duration left on the lease, which in this case would be 30 years.

At the end of that the term, Disney may offer an extension for a fee, but there are no guarantees this will happen. You would need to purchase it knowing that your ownership could expire at the end of the lease.

Take a look at Disney Vacation Club resales listed by RedWeek members.

This month's answer comes from Janet Erimie, owner of Timeshare Resale Partners.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – Devils Tower

Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming, submitted by Laurie Nightingale, Oklahoma.

“Devils Tower rises above the surrounding grassland and Ponderosa pine forests like a rocky sentinel.” – National Park Service

Also known by the Lakota as “Bear Lodge,” by the Arapaho as “Brown Buffalo Horn,” and by the Cheyenne as “Bear’s Tipi,” the name Devils Tower was created by an expedition in 1873 from a misinterpretation of “Bear’s Lodge” to mean “Bad God’s Lodge.”

It was officially designated a National Monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The National Monument gained popularity when used as a centerpiece in Steven Spielberg's 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Hundreds of parallel cracks make Devils Tower one of the finest traditional crack climbing areas in North America.

From the Grand Tetons to Yellowstone National Park to Mount Rushmore, and Devils Tower along the way, your summer vacation to the West can be comfortable, fun and budget-friendly when you stay in timeshare rentals.

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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

How to Infuse Your Travel Photography with Emotion - Part 2

For great photos that truly capture the memories of your timeshare vacation, follow these tips from award-winning travel photographer Andrea Johnson - Part 2.

Ms. Johnson takes us behind the scenes on a recent trip to Australia’s Northern Territory, where she traveled with a group of journalists while testing the newest Canon camera.

Capturing Mood 
The illusion of early morning tranquility in Kakadu National Park was broken as dozens of prehistoric reptiles that lurked underwater silently surfaced.

Close up photos of the crocodiles are menacing but I prefer the feeling the wide-angle image evokes, contrasting the tourist boat with the primordial scene in mysterious dawn glow.

Gesture, Scale and Perspective in Landscape 
It can be difficult to look through a viewfinder directly at the sun so I found the interactive, swivel touch screen of the Canon EOS D650 handy to compose and even shoot these scenes. This screen essentially acts like the touch screen of an iphone, allowing you to zoom, lock focus and exposure, and even shoot with a simple touch of the finger.

The sunset colors add drama to the scene, but it’s the gesture of the people that make the shots come alive.



Power of Play 
I’ve found the easiest way to bring a playful spirit to my work is to find others that share my enthusiasm and make sure they are a part of the adventure.

All three people in this scene are professional photographers: Working together we immersed ourselves in the scene and experimented until we captured a moment where all elements came together.


With this assignment I re-learned my early travel lessons:
 • The importance of recharging your creative batteries by trying something new.
 • Flexibility to allow the place to make its imprint on me instead of trying to manipulate a scene to work for a preconceived idea.
 • Most importantly, coming full circle to my early days of travel, remembering that the experience is more important than the photographs. I photograph to freeze moments, to communicate the nuances I can’t easily put to words, and to respond to emotions I experience but may not immediately comprehend. These images become seared in my mind, and I never feel more alive and in harmony with my surroundings then when I am immersed in a scene working to capture this sense of place in my photographs.

Plan a timeshare rental vacation where you and your family can capture memories of a lifetime in wonderful, emotion-filled, photographs.

For more tips for taking pictures on your vacation see Andrea Johnson's suggestions in Part 1.

View more photographs from her Australian adventure.

Andrea Johnson is a freelance photographer specializing in adventure travel, food and wine.  She regularly contributes to the industry's top wine and travel publications and has photographed three wine books.  

Andrea recently won the Gold Award by the Society of American Travel Writers for her work in Vietnam, judged by National Geographic editors and based on her storytelling ability in a photo essay.  She can be reached at www.andreajohnsonphotography.com

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Disney Pulls an All-Nighter to Celebrate Memorial Day

Disney is keeping three theme parks open for 24 hours on Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the family travel season, to kick off its Monstrous Summer on both coasts.

Disney’s first-ever, three-park all-night party is happening at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks in California. The three parks will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time.

•In Florida, Magic Kingdom Park will feature a “Monsters University” theme where Mike and Sulley of Monsters, Inc and the soon to be released Monsters University will be the Grand Marshals of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” day parade and make appearances in Tomorrowland.

• There will be extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella’s Castle.

• In California, you’ll be able to party the night away at both parks with special entertainment including: a “Monsters University” “TLT Monstrous” Dance Club and Star Wars characters in Tomorrowland, and late-night Character Pajama Party in Mickey’s Toon Town at Disneyland park.

• The new Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre at Disneyland park will become a Royal Dance Hall late at night with a live band and dancing.

• Guests of Disney California Adventure park will find Monstrous photo opportunities with new Monsters University “Dorms” in Hollywood Land and a new Monsters University float leading the Pixar Play Parade.

“Guests can start Memorial Day Weekend with a 24-hour-marathon of memory-making as three parks stay open all day and all night to celebrate the bi-coastal kick-off of our Disney Parks Monstrous Summer,” said WDW president George Kalogridis.

All three parks will feature limited-edition specialty merchandise and food and beverage offerings plus other surprises throughout the entire day.

Also at Disneyland the Downtown Disney District will have extended hours during the Memorial Day All-Nighter. The following will be open 24 hours on May 24-25:
Café Renee
Planet Popcorn
Wetzel’s Pretzels
Jamba Juice
La Brea Bakery Express

Downtown Disney District stores will be open 24 hours on May 24-25

There will also be live entertainment through the night, and many restaurants will be open until 2am and 3am.

Disney timeshare rentals and Orlando timeshare rentals are budget-friendly.

When going to Disneyland check out Anaheim timeshare rentals.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May is National Pet Month - Plan a Pet-Friendly Timeshare Vacation

Hooray for the furry critters we all know and love! National Pet Month "celebrates the benefits of pet ownership and supports pet adoption."

This month is the official time to "celebrate the joy your pet brings to your household." For those of you who have pets and love them as the family members they are, you don't need a "national month" to be reminded of what those little dears mean to you, but it's always fun to have an excuse for a celebration.

Since the over 82 million pet owners in the U.S. actually celebrate National Pet Month every day of the year, you'll be glad to know you can consider taking your cat or dog along with you when you vacation, by staying in a timeshare. RedWeek.com has a special "pet friendly" link under its "Features and Attractions" section, where you'll easily find pet friendly timeshares, available across the U.S. and in many parts of the world.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) numbers indicate that the pet industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. America’s spending on pets has grown despite the recession, with a 10.4 percent increase over the past three years.

In honor of National Pet Month, here are some more fun statistics.

  • 90% of pet owners surveyed say they consider their pet a member of the family. 
  • 63% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners surveyed said they give their pets presents at Christmas. 
  • 36% of dog owners give their pets presents on their birthday, as do 20% of cat owners. 
  • 64% of surveyed pet owners said they include news about their pet, and 36% include a photograph, in their holiday cards. 
  • About a third (37%) of dog owners and a similar proportion of cat owners (31%) have their pet's picture prominently displayed in their homes, and 14% and 10%, respectively, display it at their place of work. 

In the U.S. over 43 million households have at least one dog, and over 37 million households own at least one cat. That represents a lot of vacationers - and who wants to go off and leave Fido or Fluffy at home alone?

There are many pet-friendly timeshare rentals, and timeshare exchanges, too. Check them out!

Also read Timeshare Travel - The Smart Guide to Traveling with Pets Abroad

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – Springtime Green

Stadtwald Forest near Cologne, Germany, submitted by M. Vikuari, Boston, MA.

“We had the forest to ourselves on our hike, and it was truly enchanting.”

The StadtwaldForest was first planted in 1895, on the premises of the former Kitschburg manor. It was later extended by several parks. “Now boasting three artificial lakes, the Stadtwald Forest is very popular for its enchanting ambiance and healthy relaxation.”

Many European countries have beautiful forests that are maintained for hiking. Take a look at the timeshare rentals and timeshare exchanges available throughout Europe.

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, May 20, 2013

4 Tips for Flying with Your Family to Your Summer Timeshare Vacation

This summer many of you will be flying with your family for the first time in a long time, and while airport security regulations seem to be constantly changing, there are tips that can help you get your family through security and on to your timeshare vacation as easily as possible.

If you’re marshaling a family group, and especially younger children, through airport security, doing these four things ahead of time will give you a much smoother experience:

Ahead of time:

1. Have a talk with your children to make sure they have some understanding of what will be happening going through security, such as they will be required to walk through the metal detector by themselves, but that you’ll be right there.

To prevent tears make sure your children know ahead of time that toys and electronics need to be placed on the conveyor belt, but that they will all be returned in just a couple of minutes.

Children over 12 will also need to understand that they will need to be prepared to remove their shoes and place them in the bins.

2. Before leaving the house, place all cell phones, cameras, iPods and other electronics in a see-through zip-top bag. This allows you to keep these items in one place. You’ll be able to easily remove the bag from your carry-on to place them all on the conveyor belt.

3. Dress all family members to avoid such things as belts, clothing with metal clasps, and shoes that tie. Clothing with metal adornments, such as seen on many children’s outfits, will set off security alarms.

Underwire bras and metal hair clips will set off alarms, too, as well as heavy jewelry.

4. Before entering the security check area, have everyone remove everything from their pockets and put them in the carry-on bags. Nothing can be in pockets when walking through the metal detector, and it’s much easier to take care of this now before you are trying to manage the entire family through security.

You can bring along another zip-top bag in which to place the pocket contents - either one large bag for all, or several individual bags for each family member. The bags will make it easy to return the items to the proper person after going through security.

If you have just started the process of planning your family’s summer vacation, remember that timeshare rentals are available almost everywhere you might want to go, offer spacious accommodations, and are generally up to 50% less the cost of a cramped hotel room.

Photo Credit: visualphotos.com.

Friday, May 17, 2013

For the Graduate – 3 Top Exciting Timeshare Vacations in Europe

‘Tis the season – Graduations are in full swing across the country. If you are looking for the perfect graduation gift – think out of the wrapped box, and consider the gift of travel with a budget-friendly timeshare rental.

And to make it even more special, send your grad (and friends) to one of these exciting European destinations.

1. Ibiza, Spain.
As one of the party capitals of the world and Spain's most stunning island retreat, Ibiza is known for its exotic nightclubs and warm, turquoise waters. This makes it a great getaway destination for grads looking for a young, hip crowd and lots of beach time.

Just as important - starting right after graduation (in May) the island has its best summer weather with beautiful, clear, sunny days - perfect for anyone wanting to unwind and people watch on the beach, or just frolic in the waves.

The summer months also attract some of the best DJs from all over the world, so at sunset the island transforms into a vibrant party that's fun for all.

2. Paris, France. 
Those looking for a romantic vacation after graduation should look no further than Paris. This city is always a favorite among graduates wanting that quintessential European experience. Filled with art, fashion, food and culture, the City of Light offers a broad range of experiences.

Your grads can luxuriate in an afternoon at a Parisian café, visit the top of the Eiffel Tower or pay their respects to Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde at Pere-Lachaise cemetery.

If your grad is a wine enthusiast, make sure a visit to Willi's Wine Bar with over 300 wines and a hip atmosphere is on the itinerary. And right after graduation the Parisian May climate is mild, with warm and pleasant days.

3. Rome, Italy. 
Amazing food, colorful locals, and warm summer days make Rome a fantastic post-graduation destination. Combining the old and new unlike any other destination can, this city encapsulates the history and culture of Italy, with iconic sites like the Coliseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and the Vatican.

And more importantly, your graduates can celebrate with the tastes of Italy by spoiling themselves with pasta, pizza, gelato and wine.

Even though there is a bustling club scene, suggest they do as the Romans do and enjoy an evening at a local piazza or café to mingle with locals over a glass of wine or a cappuccino.

Take a look at timeshare rentals in Europe for these and other exciting destinations.

Photo Credit: kellyhellwig.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: mapamondtravel.com
Photo Credit: eurail.com

Source: Reuters

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Infuse Your Travel Photography with Emotion - Part 1

Award-winning travel photographer Andrea Johnson offers tips on how to make sure that the pictures you take on your timeshare vacation are infused with the emotion of the moment.

Known for her storytelling abilities using photos, in Part 1 Andrea discusses lighting, setting, and engagement.

I’ve been working as a professional photojournalist for over a decade yet I still face the same challenge wherever I travel. It’s a never-ending quest to create photographs that create the same emotional impact in the viewer as I experienced during the assignment.

It takes time to allow a place to impress itself on you and to reflect on its significance afterwards. And time and attention are the two resources we lack most in today’s fast paced “ADD” culture.

I was reminded of this challenge on a recent trip to Australia’s Northern Territory, traveling with a group of journalists while testing the newest Canon camera.

To complete my assignment I’d be required to shoot almost exclusively with the ‘prosumer’ model (the EOS D650 also known as the Rebel T4i in the United States) aimed at the market between consumer and professional.

Be Fearless, seek engagement. 
The Bark Hut Inn is an iconic pub in the Northern Territory.

This first photograph I took of the bartender, Kevin Carter, is nothing more than a snapshot. It’s essential to get eyes in focus in portraits but there wasn’t enough light in this dimly lit inn for the camera to quickly auto focus. The fluorescent lighting was horrible, but the tiny on-camera flash was not a good alternative either.

In despair I began joking with Kevin that I didn’t know how to use my camera, which fortunately put him at ease. As we talked about the stories behind his tattoos, his thick Aussie accent was hard to understand but it was easy to see nearly every part of his body was covered in ink.

While he was initially reluctant to pose for our group of twenty-six, after our conversation I was able to coax him away from the bar to open shade next to a door at the back of the pub.

The second portrait is a dramatic improvement not only for the lighting, but also for the direct and confident gaze that comes from a more engaged encounter.

These portraits were still lacking a ‘sense of place' but when Kevin turned to walk back into the bar I saw what I was looking for. Portraits don’t always need to show the subject’s face; sometimes the body language provides enough context to reveal character.

I love how the natural light from the doorway illuminates his tattoos, the threatening appearance from a pose that showcases his formidable size, and the out of focus tourist in the front door which adds a layer of intrigue.

In Part 2 Andrea Johnson discusses photography outdoors.

Timeshare rentals are available all over the world, where you can find fascinating subjects with which to hone your photography skills.

Andrea Johnson is a freelance photographer specializing in adventure travel, food & wine.  She regularly contributes to the industry's top wine & travel publications and has photographed three wine books.  

Andrea recently won the Gold Award by the Society of American Travel Writers for her work in Vietnam, judged by National Geographic editors and based on her storytelling ability in a photo essay.  She can be reached at www.andreajohnsonphotography.com


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marriott Vacation Club’s New Golf School

Just in time for your summer timeshare vacation, Marriott Vacation Club has introduced the new Marriott Golf Academy℠, with locations at Marriott’s Grande Vista resort in Orlando, FL, and Marriott’s Shadow Ridge resort in Palm Desert, CA.

Formerly the Faldo Golf Institute, the new Marriott Golf Academy℠ debuted on May 1, 2013.

Marriott Golf Academy℠ offers a wide range of expert instructional programming for golfers of all skills levels, whether you're a low-handicap golfer seeking a competitive advantage or a newcomer wanting an introductory golf experience that is matched to your needs.

Among the Academy’s premier golf school programs are 2- and 3-day golf schools, 3-hour full swing and short game sessions, private lessons, on-course instruction, corporate programs, junior programs and a selection of programs and services from the Club Fitter’s Workshop™, an important complement to any golf instructional experience.

Located in highly desirable golf destinations, Marriott Golf Academy℠ is based at two acclaimed Marriott Vacation Club resorts, each offering luxurious one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas, complemented by an assortment of on-site amenities and activities for golf groups, couples or the entire family.

The Orlando based location, adjacent to Marriott’s Grande Vista resort, offers a 35-acre instructional facility offering full swing and short game areas, a 9-hole golf course, Swing Analysis Studio, Club Fitter’s Workshop™, and is located next to Marriott’s Grande Pines Golf Club, which provides the perfect 18-hole championship golf experience for students.

Marriott’s Shadow Ridge resort is located in the scenic Coachella Valley, a popular international destination for golf aficionados set against the beautiful backdrop of the snow-capped Santa Rosa Mountains in Palm Desert, Calif.

This golf resort, which boasts acclaimed luxury villa accommodations and unmatched amenities for the whole family, is complemented by a world-class practice facility, a state-of-the-art swing studio, Club Fitter’s Workshop™ and an 18-hole championship golf course.

The Alumni Clubhouse™, a popular web-based resource center, is available for all golf school attendees, and enables you to communicate with your school instructors, review lessons, view video-swing analysis and study archives of your game-improvement history.

In addition, as a golf school attendee you can access a complete library of video drills designed to support your individual game improvement plan, at your desired pace.

Timeshare rentals at Marriott’s Grande Vista Resort currently start at just $68/night.
Timeshare rentals at Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Resort also currently start at just $68/night.

Photo Credit (top): bleacherreport.com

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – You Need to take the Ferry

Port Angeles Ferry from Washington to Victoria, BC, Canada, taken from Vancouver Island by George G., California.

The beautiful snow-capped Olympic Mountain range is in the background.

Vancouver Island, the second largest Pacific island after New Zealand, is home to the world famous Butchart Gardens, Pacific Rim National Park, and the Parliament buildings of the city of Victoria.

The capital city of British Columbia, Victoria is 62 miles from the Canadian mainland and British Columbia’s largest city, Vancouver. Airplane and ferry are the only ways to get to Victoria across Puget Sound.

Check out Vancouver Island timeshare rentals.

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, May 13, 2013

Renting a Condo at Disney World – Which to Choose??

Planning a Disney World vacation in the near future? There are so many options for places to stay, where do you start? If there are more than two of you traveling, you want to stay for 5 - 7 days, and would rather save money than have daily housekeeping, there are several condo-style accommodation options available. Disney’s deluxe villa resorts are part of a timeshare ownership club called Disney Vacation Club. You can rent them straight from Disney at a huge price tag... or you can rent them directly from an owner at RedWeek.com and save more than 50%. And, trust me, you'll need that extra money for all the other things you'll want to do while you're there!

There are eight different options for deluxe villa accommodations and they are all quite different, so it can be overwhelming to sift through listings and reviews. Luckily for you, we've done that work for you while preparing this article!

First, decide where you plan to spend the majority of your time: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Epcot, or the resort pool? The resorts all have access to complementary transportation to all the parks, but you should expect lots of walking and waiting to be involved. It's a good idea to stay close to the place where you plan to spend the most time, especially if you have young children who will need breaks. Once you have that figured out, check out our quick guide to the pros & cons of each Disney resort on the WDW property and find the one that's best for you!

Magic Kingdom Area:

Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
  Pros:
  • Location! This is by far the closest to Magic Kingdom - just an easy walk away. Because of that, it may be the best choice if you’re doing Disney World with young children. 
    Bay Lake Tower - closest to the Magic Kingdom
  • Views: Some units have views of the nightly fireworks. 
  • Pool: Great one on-site
  Cons: 
  • Lack of Disney Magic. The resort itself may not be as magical as some of the other options 
  • Availability: It can be hard to get in here!  RedWeek has just 7 by-owner Bay Lake Tower rentals starting at $196/night.

  Pros: 
  • Fun theme: Grand northwest lodge retreat. RedWeek member robertj389 calls it, “Quaint, comfortable, and quiet.”  
  • Disney's Wilderness Lodge with tons of Disney magic!
  • Location: Just a short ferry ride to Magic Kingdom, making it another good option for young kids. 
  • Pool options: Guests of the villas have access to a smaller “quiet” pool which is a nice alternative to the resort’s main pool with waterslide.
  • Restaurants: Whispering Canyon Café is a good, casual option for the whole family, and Artist Point offers a more upscale alternative.  

  Cons:
  • Walking: if you have a load to carry, or other trouble with walking long distances, you may have trouble with the long hallways and trek from your parking spot to your room. You can request a room close to the lobby or elevators. 


  Pros:
Stormalong Bay pool area at Disney's Beach Club Villas
  • Pool! If you care more about the pool than the rooms, stay here! The Beach Club’s pool, Stormalong Bay, is more like a waterpark on 3 acres, complete with pirate-ship waterslide, lazy river, hot tub, waterfalls, and sandy-bottom beach area. And, you can’t access it if you aren't staying at the Beach Club or Yacht Club (a non-DVC resort). 
  • Theme: Beachy resort getaway 
  • Location: Walking distance to Epcot, and walk or take a boat to Hollywood Studios. 
   Cons: 
  • Villas: Some of the villas at Disney's Beach Club are a bit more worn than units at the other resorts, and the views aren't quite as spectacular as some of the other resorts can offer. 


  Pros:  
  • Boardwalk Villas - in the heart of the action
    Dining and Entertainment: Along the resort’s boardwalk, there are tons of restaurants and things to do. One RedWeek member said, “The evening walk around the boardwalk watching the entertainers, having a drink, mingling with people is our favorite way of unwinding after a Disney day because the magic still continues.” 
  • Location: Walking distance to Epcot, and walk or take a boat to Hollywood Studios. 
  • Pool: Great theme and waterslide. 
   Cons: 
  • Accessibility: long hallways, lots of walking required. May be difficult with young children.


Downtown Disney Area + Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark:

  Pros:
Old Key West - a quiet Disney World retreat
  • Quiet and Relaxing: may be best if you want a peaceful retreat from Disney craziness. Our members’ reviews say, “Beautiful, quiet and relaxed on Disney property” “quiet, secluded” and “Have stayed at many Disney 'on property' locations but Old Key West is the best if you're looking for a peaceful break from the parks”… “Old Key West can be fully booked and it still never feels crowded. Tons of space to stroll around, 5 pools, great restaurant, bar, and of course Disney activities” 
  • Location: Nice boat ride to downtown Disney. 
  • Villas: Some of the largest of the Disney timeshare options. 
  • Availability: Easiest to rent because more owners have posted rentals here than any of the other properties.  As of May 13, 2013, Disney's Old Key West rentals available from $153/night, or you can buy a timeshare package with this as your home resort for less than $20k and go to Disney every year.
   Cons: 
  • Accessibility: There are not elevators in all buildings, making getting around a challenge for some, and you can expect to do lots of walking. 
  • Dining and Entertainment: Not as many options as the other resorts. 

  Pros: 
  • Quiet & Relaxing: The location provides a retreat from Disney parks. 
    Lots to do on-site at Saratoga Springs
  • Proximity to Downtown Disney: Just a walk or boat ride.
  • On-site Activities: Great pools and things to do on-site make Saratoga Springs a good option if you want a Disney experience without having to park hop.
  Cons: 
  • Location: Farther from Magic Kingdom. Free transport is not the most convenient for quick trips back. You may want to rent a car for convenience. 

Animal Kingdom Area:

We have two resort pages for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort. The Jambo House accommodations are studio, one, two bedroom units, and one-story grand villas in the main Animal Kingdom lodge building – a bit grander, and more central to all the resort features. Kidani Village is also impressive.  It’s a newer building, much less crowded, and the rooms tend to be a bit larger. You still have access to all the features of the main lodge, but it can be a far walk because of long corridors.
Animal viewing at Disney's Animal Kingdom

  Pros: 
  • Theme and on-site entertainment: The animal viewing here is unreal, even if you don’t have a view room. There is also a spa and fitness center, 24-hour playground, etc. Wonderful choice if you want to primarily enjoy the resort’s amenities. 
  • Restaurant options: The four restaurants are arguably the best on-site options among these resort choices. Though, it also made our cons list below. 
  • Villas: This is one of the newer Disney resorts (Kidani Village was completed in 2009), and the villas reflect that. These villas may be the best of the Disney World timeshare options. Kidani's "Savannah" view rooms can see African animals throughout the day.
  • Pools: Two excellent pool areas. 
  Cons: 
  • Accessibility: Lots of walking required in the Kidani Village, unless you get a room close to the lobby. Jambo House isn’t as much of an issue, since the rooms are in the main lodge.
  • Location: Far from Disney World parks other than Animal Kingdom.
  • Lighting: Several visitors have complained about the lighting within the resort – too dark for the taste of many.
  • Restaurant options: While the restaurants are good, Kidani Village only has a full-service restaurant, no quick dining options. Also, guests without a palate for spicy, non-American foods might be dissatisfied, and need to rely more on bringing in groceries. 
Our takeaways for all the resorts: extensive walking is a constant theme.  If you have trouble getting around or have young kids with you, you'll want to make sure to request a room close to the resorts' lobbies and transportation (and bring a stroller!).  Also, when renting a Disney timeshare, don't expect daily maid service… this is one of the cut-backs for the timeshare owner savings.  You will get some minimal service on the 4th day.

No matter which you choose, you can't REALLY go wrong - a condo at any of the Disney resorts is going to be a good base for exploring the parks.  But, choose one that fits your travel party's individual needs and you will have an AMAZING time!  Go to RedWeek.com to browse owners' Disney listings today.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day - A Timeshare Vacation of Beauty

Every woman loves things that are pretty, and your mother is no different. Let her indulge her beauty-appreciation side by sending her on a timeshare rental vacation to Washington, D.C.

The Nation's Capital offers many things to see that are lovely and enchanting, including:

1. Gowns.
What woman (even a mom) doesn't dream of dressing up in a gorgeous, expensive designer gown? The next best thing might be seeing how America's First Ladies dressed for their President husbands' inaugurations.

Starting with a white chiffon one shoulder floor-length gown worn by Michelle Obama, and going through 23 other first ladies, the "First Ladies at the Smithsonian" exhibition features a total of 24 dresses actually worn by our First Ladies.

Other objects owned by our First Ladies include portraits, White House China, and personal possessions. For nearly a century the First Ladies Collection has been one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian Institution.

2. Gardens.
The U.S. Botanic Gardens (see top photo), on the Mall next to the Capitol Building, is where Mom can see beautiful and exotic flowers from all over the world, including lilies, rare orchids, huge tropical rainforest flowers, and strange-looking jungle blooms.

 The National Arboretum (see photo) exhibits plants that are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes, including cherries, giant hollies, and lovely uncommon wildflowers.

Right along Constitution Avenue are the Constitution Gardens. Covering 50 acres, the landscaped grounds include an island and a lake. These gardens actually border the Reflecting Pool, and include the Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial. Alluring and tranquil, the Constitution Gardens are the perfect place for Mom to find real relaxation.

3. Sculpture. Part of the National Gallery is the 7-acre Art Sculpture Garden on the Mall, where seventeen major sculptures are on display by internationally renowned artists, amid a beautifully landscaped informal garden. During the summer on Friday evenings, Mom can be entertained by jazz musicians along side the reflecting pool.

Washington, D.C., area timeshare rentals are available at the Wyndham Old Town Alexandria currently starting at just $88/night, and at Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor  currently for $129/night.

Both of these are located near stops for the city's highly-acclaimed Metro - clean, safe, fast, and convenient to all major sights in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: womenshistory.about.com

Photo Credit: aecom.com
Photo Credit: gardenvisit.com
Photo Credit: en.wikepedia.org

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Timeshare Travel - The Smart Guide to Traveling With Pets Abroad

If you're a pet owner who is preparing to embark on a timeshare vacation out of the country with your furry-friend close by, preparation is key.

Follow our pet-travel guide and begin to prepare systematically at least two months before traveling with your pet.

1. Paperwork. First things first: collect all the necessary paperwork related to your pet’s health. The demands and restrictions of bringing pets into an area are country-specific, which means you’ll need to do new research each time you and your pet visit a different country. For each new destination, you will have to learn about government regulations concerning traveling with pets, and these can vary wildly.

Your vet should provide you with a mandatory pet passport and also offer travel related advice for your pet. Alternatively, if you are visiting the EU from a non-EU country, the pet will need an official veterinary certificate specific for that country. This paper guarantees your pet a four-month stay abroad, but only if you cross the border in less than ten days from the date of the veterinary certificate issuance.

The demands are easiest to comply with when traveling within the EU. Prior to all other requirements, you need to microchip the traveling pets. Then you can take them for the rabies vaccination, but plan this well ahead, as there is the minimum 21-day waiting period before the vaccinated pet can leave the country.

If you own a dog, a tapeworm treatment is required for most countries, and it must be performed up to five days before the departure date.

2. Flying with your pet. Before buying the plane tickets, check if your carrier and the route in question are approved for pet travel. Naturally, you want your pet as an in-cabin traveler, right by your side, if possible. 

Research online to find flights from your nearest airport which allow in-cabin pets. There are also breed restrictions, so your dog stands a better chance if it is small.

If you don’t already own one, shop for an adequate dog or cat transporter. Ask the airline client-support staff about the allowed transporter dimensions.

If you are an owner of a ferret or another small animal, it will need to travel separately as a checked cargo. Most other small pets such as turtles, birds or fish need less paperwork than dogs, cats and ferrets, and these pets must also travel in the cargo section.

The easiest task to do when you decide to take your pets on holiday is to search for a pet-friendly timeshare resort. Many resorts are now competing in this respect, so treat your pet with a stylish holiday with minimum hassle so you and your beloved fur-ball can have a holiday to remember.

Our guest author, Jennifer, is a writer and travel blogger who loves exploring mainland Europe. She is based in York, UK.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Timeshare Travel – Around the World Without a Passport

All you have to do is plan a timeshare vacation to Washington, D.C. during May – for an international and cultural event that began on May 4th, and which continues through the month.

Presented by Cultural Tourism DC, the sixth annual Passport DC event gives you the opportunity to visit embassies and take part in numerous cultural events around Washington.

1. Around the World Embassy Tour.
The kickoff event took place on Saturday, May 4. This event allows you to travel the world by visiting over 40 embassies, and experiencing the food, art, dance, fashion, and music of the different countries.

You are able to tour embassies from Afghanistan to Australia, Ecuador to Egypt, Nepal to Nicaragua, and almost forty more (Canadian embassy in photo left).You’re treated to karate demonstrations, dance performances, sari wrapping lessons, and henna demonstrations.

The good news is that admission is free, and complimentary shuttle service is provided.

If you have missed it this year, now is a good time to plan a timeshare vacation to our nation’s capital for the first weekend in May, 2014.

2. Shortcut to Europe. 
Held this year on Saturday, May 11th, The European Union Delegation to the U.S. and the embassies of the EU Member States invite visitors to experience the authentic music, dance, food, film, and art of 28 distinctive nations.

You also have an opportunity for a rare behind-the-scenes look into the European Union embassies.

Again, admission is free, no reservations required, and complimentary shuttle service is provided.

3. European Month of Culture. 
This program is held all month long (May 1 – May 31), and highlights the diverse cultures of the 27 European Union Member States, plus Croatia (joining the EU July 2013).

Musical performances, art exhibits and tours, film screenings and lectures take place at the EU Embassies, and other venues including the National Gallery of Art, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, and the Katzen Arts Center at American University.

4. National Asian Heritage Festival. 
This over-the-top event is scheduled this year for Saturday, May 18th. The Asia Heritage Foundation’s 8th annual Fiesta Asia Street Fair will take place along Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 6th Streets.

More than 800 performers in 70 groups on 5 stages from over 20 cultures, a festive parade, interactive zones, and unique performances make this a day of celebration during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

You’ll find delicious food stalls, craft exhibits, and even cooking and martial arts demonstrations. There will also be kids talent contest and an organized mass street dance.

If you would like to travel the world but find yourself homebound, as it were, the perfect solution is a Washington, D.C. area timeshare rental and this amazing Passport D.C. international event.

Photo Credit: livingindc.com
Photo Credit: economic.com
Photo Credit: flickr.com
Photo Credit: passportdc.com

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday Photo – City Scape

Scenes of the city - downtown Denver, Colorado. Submitted by Brad Perkins, Durango, CO.

Over-sized sculpture of a flower blossom.

Double reflection in glass-covered office building..

Sunrise over Denver.

Denver is just an hour from some of the top ski resorts in the world, which offer awesome hiking and biking opportunities during the summer with a Colorado timeshare rental.

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, May 06, 2013

Timeshare Vacation – Flying? 5 Things You Should Know

As Memorial Day approaches and you start planning your summer timeshare vacation, you might be in for a few surprises if it’s been awhile since you've flown.

Travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott wants you to be particularly aware of these five changes:

1. New change fees. 
United Airlines and US Airways both raised fees to change a non-refundable airline ticket to $200 for domestic flights, a $50 increase. In other words, it now costs more to change a ticket than to buy one for most passengers. Now the pressure is on Delta Air Lines, the number-two airline, to follow suit. Most industry-watchers believe it will quietly do so.

2. Charge for carry-on luggage. 
Customers who purchase tickets for Frontier Airline flights through outside third-party websites will pay $25 to $100 for a carry-on bag. However, every ticket purchased directly on the airline’s web site will include a free carry-on.

Also, in July, Frontier will begin charging customers with Economy or Basic fares about $2 for onboard beverages – that includes water, sodas, orange juice, etc. Other airlines are predicted to follow the trend.

3. TSA delays knife policy.
The TSA decided to delay a new rule that would permit small knives on planes. This change to the prohibited “sharp items” list was to take effect 4-25-13.

At this time the TSA has issued this statement: “In order to accommodate further input from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) TSA will temporarily delay implementation of changes to the Prohibited Items List.”

Knives continued to be prohibited would have been: knives with locking or fixed blades, knives with molded grips, and razors and box cutters.

4. Tarmac-delay rule may be suspended. 
The rule that let passengers off the plane if they have to wait for more than three hours on the tarmac may be suspended in the wake of sequestration.

The rule prohibits U.S. airlines operating domestic flights from permitting an aircraft to remain on the tarmac for more than three hours without deplaning passengers.

5. FAA furloughs.
The government cutbacks, known as sequestration, caused the FAA to predict a wide range of delays due to the mandatory furloughs of air traffic controllers across the country.

When the furloughs went into effect April 21, planes were forced to take off and land less frequently, so as not to overload the remaining controllers on duty. Cascading delays held up flights at some of nation's busiest airports, including New York, Baltimore and Washington.

The good news is that on the following Sunday lawmakers rushed a bill through Congress allowing the agency to withdraw furloughs of air traffic controllers and other workers. Rescinding the furlough may also prevent suspension of the tarmac delay rule.

Plan a fun family timeshare rental vacation this summer, and fly easy now that you are updated on things for which you need to be prepared.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Timeshare Travel - Cinco de Mayo in Texas

What better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and all things Fiesta, than San Antonio,TX? Plan a timeshare vacation to this fascinating city which claims a remarkable Hispanic heritage.

San Antonio grew to become the largest Spanish settlement in Texas, and for most of its history was the capital of the Spanish, later Mexican, province of Tejas. Today it is the second largest city in the state of Texas, and the 7th largest in the entire U.S.

The citizens of San Antonio know how to do Cinco de Mayo up right. Enjoy these Cinco de Mayo festivities which celebrate Mexico's 1862 victory over the French at The Battle of Puebla

1. Traders Village 
 Join in the celebration here with a day of live music, food and family fun with games and activities for the kids, turkey legs on the grill, margaritas y cerveza, and more, including entertainment by the Guadalupe Cultural Dance Academy and Teresa Champuion Dance Academy.

Traders Village San Antonio is a swap meet, treasure hunt, shopping complex, county fair, and festival attraction all rolled into one.

There are high-flying midway rides, like the towering, all-new Star Dancer where riders soar 80 feet into the air, as well as an Allan Herschell-designed antique carousel and much more.

2. Arneson River Theatre 
La Villita presents Cinco de Mayo Rio Party at Arneson River Theater. This theater is on one side of the San Antonio River, its audience is on the other.

May 5th Fiesta Performances at this unique theater will feature live music with mariachis and top Hispanic acts including Elementos, Medianoche, Viet Ruse and Villela.

This Cinco de Mayo party, that also includes artisan booths, and traditional fiesta food and drink, is sponsored by the Department for Culture and Creative Development.

3. Market Square - El Mercado
Downtown San Antonio’s outdoor center of Mexican culture includes El Mercado shops, restaurants such as Mi Tierra and La Margarita, and galleries such as the Museo Alameda. The two day Cinco de Mayo event is filled with local entertainment, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and traditional food.

“Discover authentic Mexican dining and music, enriched with a fascinating legacy of public markets, full of bright, bold colors and beautiful treasures.”

4. May 4th - 3rd Annual Cinco de Mayo “PODER” 5K Walk/Run and Health Fair 
Held on May 4th, this race is an educational and historical journey through downtown San Antonio. The primary focus is an initiative to bring families and communities together to help fight children’s diabetes and obesity.

5. May 4th - Alamo Heritage Interpretation 
This interactive living history event is sponsored by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. It is designed to give visitors a glimpse of life at the time of early Texas with live demonstrations, living history and history talks.

Originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years.

Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo vacation with budget-friendly San Antonio timeshare rentals.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Top 3 Golf Courses in the Bahamas for a Timeshare Vacation

The Bahamas is one of the most sun kissed and opulent locations in the whole world, and it has a reputation as a leading and highly coveted timeshare vacation destination.

It is also a source of many delightful surprises, with more than 700 islands located in the Bahamas archipelago which spread across more than 500 miles of golden coastline.

This naturally beautiful region has been enhanced considerably over time, and as a consequence it is home to some of some of the world’s most spectacular and challenging golf courses. Given that the Bahamas is well populated with spectacular golf resorts, it is worth assessing which particular courses stand out from the crowd.

Consider the following:

1. The Abaco Club on the Island of Abacos. 
Situated just 150 miles to the east of Miami, The Abaco Golf Club is the jewel in the crown of the picturesque Winding Bay. Conceived, designed and constructed by British travelers, it sits on the very edge of the golden shore and takes in spectacular ocean views and distant, mountainous landscapes.

Distinguished by its stunning backdrop and predominantly low, sandy terrain, the Abaco Club course is renowned for its fast running greens and firm fairways. With lush greenery contrasting sharply with crisp white bunkers, this course remains the very embodiment of a Caribbean links experience.

2. The Ocean Club on Paradise Island.
Lying just north of New Providence is the aptly named Paradise Island, which is home to one of the most long standing and famous golf courses in the Bahamas. Established in 1962, The Ocean Golf Club has recently had its spectacular 18 hole course redesigned and relayed, while the site developers have also striven to clear much of the shrubbery that distorted the breathtaking ocean views.

Organized into two returning nines, the course’s fairways veer around wetlands and create a genuinely unique layout. This also provides a considerable challenge to golfing enthusiasts, especially those who are experienced and highly skilled in their craft.

3. Lyford Cay Club on New Providence Island.
Not all golf courses are created equal, and while some are accessible to the public others remain exclusive to a select group of private members. In the quest to meet the demand of such esteemed players, designers have striven to create a championship standard golf course that both challenges and engages players in equal measure.

The result here at the Lyford Cay Club is a series of lush greens and slightly raised putting services, which are punctuated by beautifully crafted bunkers and their glorious white sands. As if to complete the sense of opulence and luxury, this course is also surrounded by stunning residential resorts and the most breathtaking, tropical foliage.

Timeshare rentals in the Bahamas abound, and many are budget-friendly.

Our guest author, Lewis, writes on behalf of Lost Golf Balls. A leading supplier of branded, discounted golf balls and other necessary equipment, it has helped to make the sport more accessible to a host of customers.