Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year’s Eve in Party Town USA – Las Vegas

Christmas is now behind us, but that doesn’t mean we’re done celebrating the holiday season. Next up – New Years. If you’re looking for a great spot to party-hearty on New Year’s Eve, head to the “Party Capital of the World” – Las Vegas. With budget-friendly timeshare rentals galore, this is the place to be to ring in the New Year.

The nightclubs, the hotels, and the city all offer New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations that run the gamut, so you’re sure to find an exciting way to greet the New Year.

An example of a New Year’s Eve celebration at a major hotel/casino is the Stratosphere, where no less than four different parties are offered. Whether it’s contemporary music, or jazz, or high-energy dancing, or a gourmet dinner, each of these celebrations, held on different levels of the hotel, will give you the best view in Las Vegas for the city’s spectacular fireworks that start at midnight.

The party that takes place in downtown Las Vegas under the dazzling lighted canopy of the Fremont Street Experience rivals that of New York's Times Square. You can party all night to the sounds of several popular live bands and watch fireworks on a gigantic Viva Vision LED screen.

Experienced Las Vegas New Year’s Eve party-goers offer several tips to help you enjoy the night:

1. The Strip (officially Las Vegas Boulevard) is closed to cross traffic by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on New Year’s Eve, beginning at 6pm, between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road.

The best way to get around The Strip on this super-crowded night is by taxi, walking, or taking the Las Vegas Monorail which runs behind most of the casinos. And this way everyone in your group can party since you won’t have to worry about having a designated driver.

2. If you’ll be walking along The Strip, watching the outside light show on Freemont Street, or viewing the midnight fireworks from an outdoors vantage point – dress warmly. Remember, Las Vegas is in high desert country, which means chilly nights during the winter.

3. The city of Las Vegas goes all out for its spectacular midnight fireworks show – a once-in-a-lifetime New Year’s Eve experience you won’t want to miss. But with the streets and sidewalks jammed with people, and lots of tall buildings in the way, for best viewing you’ll need to plan ahead and find a spot that’s elevated above the street – a hotel, a high-rise, or even a parking garage will do.

Las Vegas timeshare rentals start at an amazing $57/night.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 4 things to do with your Kids on a Timeshare Vacation to Destin, FL

If you are like many people, you go to the same beach every year; you have your favorite restaurants, your favorite resorts, and your favorite activities. But have you ever wanted to try something new? Check out the great timeshare vacation destination of Destin on Florida’s stunning Emerald Coast, with its amazing emerald-green waters and white sugary-sand beaches. Here are four ways you can enjoy your trip with the kids to Destin, Florida.

#1 Sand Sculpting
Sand sculpting lessons creates a whole new definition for playing in the sand. There just happens to be a guy in Destin, Mark Flynn of Sand Odyssey, who is a professional sand sculptor and gives lessons to groups, families, kids, or anyone else who’s interested in his art form. It’s a great team building activity that your kids will take with them for the rest of their lives. Imagine being the best sand castle builder on the beach, every year! From erecting perfect sand castle walls and arches to creating doors, windows, and staircases, this is a unique skill that will truly impact your children’s vacation in a very positive way.

#2 Deep Sea Fishing
There are tons of fishing charter boats in Destin just waiting to take you and your kids out on the ocean and teach them to fish! You can take a half-day or full-day out at sea, and many boats have restrooms, showers, and indoor cabins, complete with televisions and kitchens. Most of the time all you’ll need to bring is sun block and your lunch—they provide everything else for you. You can even have your catch cleaned right on the boat and take it back to your timeshare rental and cook it for dinner. One of the best memories I have as a child visiting the beach is going deep sea fishing with my dad and grandfather.

#3 Water Adventures

A parasail ride over the ocean is you’ll a view you’ve likely never had before. Looking straight down into the water to see the tops of manta rays gliding through the water is truly an unforgettable and inspiring site. Other water sports that you may not have thought of include riding the banana float, taking a ride in a party speed boat (I recommend the Sea Screamer in Panama City Beach), or even jet skiing (kids can ride on the back with mom and dad!).

#4 Glass bottom boat cruise
This is a great activity to do with the kids. On this type of boat, you can sit comfortably above water with your kids safely beside you, gazing at the ocean beneath the glass bottom of the boat. Children love this, as it provides an opportunity for them to actually see the marine life in the ocean.

There are great timeshare rentals and timeshare exchanges in Destin, Florida, just waiting for your next family beach vacation.

Our guest author, John, is the owner of, which reviews the restaurants, accommodations, golf courses, shopping, nightlife and more. Visit the site today to learn about more things to do in Destin.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Still on Christmas Vacation? Take a Timeshare Trip to Colorado for Real Winter Adventure

For many people there is still some time left of Christmas Vacation, Winter Break, Holiday Time, or whatever you want to call this wonderful week off between Christmas and New Year.

Some of you might be thinking about a timeshare beach trip, but many of you are probably anxious to hit the slopes with all of that new winter sports gear you just unwrapped.

There’s one place that has it all – Colorado and its majestic Rocky Mountains. With the many budget-friendly Colorado timeshare rentals available, you can afford to make this year-end winter vacation a spectacular one.

As every skier knows, the Rocky Mountains are home to world-class skiing, From Breckenridge to Vail to Steamboat Springs, the number and variety of runs, with the extraordinary Colorado powder, can’t be equaled.

But if you’re the adventurous type, you may want to try a couple of winter sports that are a somewhat out of the box.

1. Ice Climbing (see photo). As if rock climbing and mountain climbing weren’t strenuous enough sports, now there’s ice climbing. These winter climbs on vertical walls of frozen water are becoming increasingly popular with traditional climbers and adventurers alike.

Vail has one of the most popular ice climbing and mixed climbing areas in Colorado, and is, in fact, considered the birthplace of modern mixed ice climbing.

Without a doubt, however, Ouray is the premier ice climbing destination in Colorado, where you’ll see more ice climbers than any other place in the world. The Ouray Ice Park has 14 distinct climbing areas included in over 3 miles of vertical terrain. More than 200 ice and mixed climbs range from beginner to expert.
A Ouray bonus is the natural outdoor hot springs where you can relax in steaming water and soak those sore muscles after your climb.

For Colorado ice climbing news, conditions reports, and destination descriptions go to Mountain Project.

2. Backcountry Snowboarding. A true snowboarder agrees that snowboards were not meant for a crowded, groomed ski slope. The backcountry is where the snowboard is most at home, where it can carve its own path through virgin powder. The trick is getting out there. The answer is the splitboard. This innovation creates a pair of skis for climbing the mountain slopes into the backcountry, which then slide back together and become the snowboard for the downhill run.

While you must remain vigilant for adverse snow conditions, and the smart splitboarder always checks with the official snow conditions report and off-path warnings, often you can find untracked snow 10 or 15 minutes from the ski runs. The backcountry of the Rocky Mountains is a snowboarder’s dream.

The concept of splitboards gained popularity first in Europe, where most splitboards are manufactured. However, Colorado has its own custom-made splitboard company, Cold Smoke Splitboards, and we thank them for this magnificent video that is sure to whet your appetite for serious backcountry snowboarding. And always remember – safety first.

Rent a Colorado timeshare now, and jump into the spectacular winter sports that only Colorado can offer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Timeshare #TravelTuesday - San Diego Skyline

San Diego

Thank you to Redweek member Tony J. for his submission of the beautiful San Diego City skyline taken from the balcony of the Hotel Palomar Timeshare Suite in Downtown San Diego.

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

Browse San Diego timeshares.

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Years Eve Travel Destination: Hawaii

Christmas may be just behind us, but there’s not a lot of time to lose in planning for the next big event – New Years. And what better place to ring in the New Year than a tropical paradise. Have you ever considered renting a timeshare and experiencing New Year’s Eve in Hawaii? You’ll be glad you did – all over Hawaii the New Year is greeted with spectacular fireworks displays.

Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year's Eve is believed to have originated centuries ago, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits, and thus ensure good luck for the new year. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks, and were the first to use them to spectacular effect in their new year celebrations.

More and more cities and towns in the U.S. are following that tradition, and happily, due to Hawaii’s large Asian immigrant population, fireworks have been the mainstay of New Year’s Eve celebrations for years on the Islands.

Following is a list of the biggest and best of Hawaii’s fireworks displays:

  1. Oahu
    Midnight, Waikiki Beach fireworks display - Waikiki beachfront Free, open to public. Visible from the entire Waikiki beachfront, this annual fireworks show—sponsored by Waikiki hotels and businesses and the Waikiki Improvement Association—has a fun fireworks countdown before the main event.

    Midnight, Aloha Tower Marketplace fireworks show - Downtown Honolulu. Fireworks are shot from platforms docked in Honolulu Harbor so the best spots to watch are along the Marketplace long pier. Dining specials and entertainment are offered New Year’s Eve at many Marketplace restaurants.

    Midnight, JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. Ko Olina Resort, 92-1001 Olani St. Fireworks are shot from Ihilani Resort beachfront, so they are visible to the public on the beach.

    6 p.m., “Family New Year’s Eve Celebration” at Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii - 400 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, Admission to the West Oahu water park required. The water park will open at 10:30 a.m. for full day of family activities. The fireworks show ends the day. Perfect for enjoying a New Year’s Eve fireworks display with your younger children.

  2. Big Island of Hawaii
    Midnight, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Free to guests of the Haulalai resorts. Public viewing is available throughout the area.

  3. Maui
    Midnight, The Grand Wailea Resort – Free and open to the public viewing from Wailea Beach Park. The best spots for viewing are along Vailea Beach Park. If you’re staying in Wailea, just take the Wailea Coastal Walk to Wailea Beach.

  4. Kauai
    10pm, Sheraton Kauai Resort on Poipu Beach, Kauai’s south shore – Free, open to the public. The best views are at the Sheraton Kauai Resort and Poipu Beach Park, but you can catch the aerial display from many of the Poipu area resorts and condos.

Rent a Hawaii timeshare and enjoy a start to the New Year as only the beautiful Hawaiian Islands can offer.
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Friday, December 23, 2011

5 Reasons to Make it a Disney Christmas

One of the most magical places on earth to celebrate Christmas is – the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland! When you rent a California timeshare and spend some of your Christmas holidays with Mickey and the gang, you’ll be making non-stop memories to last a life time.

Erin Glover, of the Disney Parks Blog, put together a list of fascinating facts that you might find interesting when you head to your Disneyland Christmas vacation.
  1. The Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square stands 60 feet tall and has 280,000 pine-tip branches. It is decorated with more than 2,000 ornaments, including the three-foot star on top, and nearly 4,800 energy-efficient LED lights.

  2. When Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle show reaches its finale, more than 60,000 LED lights and 1,200 strobe lights combine to create the effect.

  3. The graveyard in the Haunted Mansion Holiday finale is covered with 7,500 square feet of snow. Trees in the graveyard are decked out with 1,000 tiny orange lights.

  4. Decorators use 50,000 Christmas lights on the fa├žade of”it’s a small world” Holiday and an additional 200,000 mini-lights in the trees, hedges and topiaries surrounding the attraction.

  5. Each performance of “A Christmas Fantasy” parade features 105 performers, 18 float drivers and 12 musicians. With daily parade performances, it takes approximately 200 performers to stage the parade during the holiday season.

Special holiday experiences your entire family will enjoy at Disneyland include:
  • A snow-capped Sleeping Beauty Castle shimmering with icicles and lights

  • “It’s a small world” Holiday

  • “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade

  • “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks show

  • Santa’s Reindeer Roundup in Frontierland

  • Haunted Mansion Holiday

With Christmas almost here, take a moment to relax, and enjoy a look at this year’s Disneyland “A Christmas Fantasy” Parade.

Merry Christmas from RedWeek to all of our wonderful members! Happy Timeshare Traveling!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Party in Palm Springs

If you’re wondering where the perfect warm-weather destination is to plan a holiday vacation – there’s a Party going on in Palm Springs! Beautiful this time of year, with its verdant green valley surrounded by snow-covered peaks, Palm Springs offers a timeshare vacationer more than just the sun’s warmth.

Nestled in the Coachella Valley of California, Palm Springs brings up images of celebrities, sun, and fun. Whether you like shopping at high end stores or hiking through beautiful valleys, here are the 8 best places to see while on your timeshare Palm Springs vacation.

  1. VillageFest. Every Thursday night from 7-10 pm Palm Canyon Drive shuts down its streets to cars and a street fair takes over. Artists set up shop along the street selling anything from wood carvings to photographs. Grab some kettlecorn from a street vendor and spend some time people watching.

  2. The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies is a throwback to the Broadway shows of the midcentury featuring song, dance, and comedy by the Long-Legged Lovelies and the Follies Gentlemen, all ranging in age from 58 to 82!

    A special holiday production “Christmas in Folliesland” is performed 8 times/week through December. On December 31, the Follies presents two special New Year's Eve performances, each with a glittering champagne reception, hats and noisemakers.

  3. Agua Caliente Indian Canyons. Even in the hot California sun, the Agua Caliente Indian Canyons can't be missed. The Palm Canyon Trail is an easy three mile hike with beautiful scenery ending at an oasis, a great place to bring a lunch.

  4. Palm Springs Art Museum. The Palm Springs Art Museum boasts a variety of modern art, from a glass exhibit to sculpture gardens. With admission free on Thursday nights, it's an ideal end to an evening spent at VillageFest.

  5. Walk of the Stars. Hollywood may have been the first to immortalize stars on sidewalks but only in Palm Springs can you find Marilyn Monroe alongside Earl C. Strebe (Who? Exactly!)

  6. Palm Springs Cemetery. If you're looking for a different kind of tour of the stars, head over to the Desert Memorial Palm Springs Cemetery. Take a personal tour of the final resting places of Frank Sinatra and Sonny Bono, among others.

  7. Palm Springs Air Museum. Whether you're an aviation fan or not, this museum is not to be missed. The museum is housed in an air conditioned hangar to preserve the still usable WWII airplanes, one of the largest collections in the country.

  8. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Located right outside Palms Springs in Palm Desert, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is not your momma's zoo. Displaying animals indigenous to desert environments, watch Mexican Wolves and Reticulated Giraffes frolic in the sand and sun.

Many budget-friendly timeshare rentals are available throughout the Palm Springs area – great for honeymoons, retirees, family reunions, and especially a Christmas winter getaway.

Heather Johnson writes for, the best honeymoon research and planning website. Discover some great honeymoon ideas today!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Enjoy a Dazzling Timeshare Christmas in Branson

The Christmas celebration in Branson, MO, gets more and more popular each year. Rent a timeshare and take the family to this Ozark Mountain oasis of family fun.

The Branson Christmas 2011 celebration offers a theme park, hundreds of live shows, shopping, family fun and activities for all to enjoy. Now in its 24th year, the holiday season transforms Branson into a spectacular wonderland, filled with lights, displays, rides, shows and everything families look for to make lasting memories.

During the Christmas season stars from all over the country come to take part in the celebrations along the Strip, with its 50 live-performance theaters. Star studded entertainment includes performances by greats Tony Orlando, Andy Williams, and the Lennon Sisters. The world famous Oak Ridge Boys have a limited Christmas engagement in Branson, along with The Osmonds celebrating Christmas Broadway style.

Other Branson Christmas experiences include caroling with family performers such as the Hughes Brothers, Baldknobbers and the Presleys, and fun shows such as Kirby VanBurch’s Christmas Spectacular. This magic show has very special “assistants” – full grown tigers.

Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed family-oriented amusement park, celebrates with its Old Time Christmas – and includes holiday themed multimedia shows and millions of dazzling holiday lights that sparkle throughout this old-west park.

Families will enjoy participating in the Holiday Light Parade and Silver Dollar City’s interactive musical — “Frosty”. Of course there are many thrilling rides in the park all decked out for the holidays and ready to bring chills and thrills to all visitors.

One of the main attractions of a Branson Christmas is the Trail of Lights that blaze along a winding drive-through animation through the quaint Shepherd of the Hills village. You’ll through themed countries with holiday music playing and lovable characters roaming about inviting guests to peek inside their abodes.

Every building is a glow with multi-colored Christmas lights as are other displays including The Nativity, Jingle Bell Jungle and a Hawaiian Mele Kalikmaka. As part of the grand finale, a ride in a glass elevator high above the Shepherd of the Hills village gives all a bird’s eye view of the lights and all the festivities of a Branson Christmas celebration.

Branson area timeshare rentals start at just $60/night.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - Merry Christmas!

City and County Building of Denver, CO, lit up for the Holidays - submitted by Nathan P of Maryland.

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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Buying a “Pre-Construction” Timeshare

In RedWeek’s December Newsletter, the"Ask The Timeshare Crusader" question comes from Erin: In last month's article you stated that you do not recommend buying a pre-construction timeshare. Could you elaborate on this recommendation?

Lisa Ann Schreier’s answer:

Purchasing a timeshare can be an expensive proposition and, in general, quite tricky. There are so many questions that a consumer needs to have answered before making a purchase decision on a timeshare, and buying "dirt" just leaves so many more questions unanswered.

The most basic concern is whether the property will actually be built, and will it be built with all of the promised amenities. We all know that money is not readily available to resort developers lately, which makes it easier for the promised pool area, general store, or fitness center to be "postponed."

Most consumers do not purchase a timeshare that they see every day or even every month. When you buy a timeshare sight-unseen, through for instance, you have a number of resources available to you to check out the resort. Buying a sight-unseen pre-construction resort does not come with those safety nets.

It's well documented that the vast majority of timeshare owners don't take the time to read all of their documentation and, in most cases, have no idea how much power the resort, individual owners, or HOA have. With a resort that only exists on paper, there are too many issues and questions that prospective owners either don't bring up or don't know to ask about.

No doubt there are satisfied timeshare owners out there who purchased pre-construction. I would say that those are the exceptions rather than the norm. Bottom line for me: timeshare can be tricky and I advise my clients to ONLY purchase something that they are familiar with or something that is verifiable by a number of sources.

You can read more insightful information about timeshare by Lisa Ann at The Timeshare Crusader.

If you are considering a timeshare purchase, read The Timeshare Crusader's "7 Reasons to Buy an Aftermarket Timeshare."

Friday, December 16, 2011

3 Top Timeshare Winter Resorts for a White Christmas

If you're a ski buff, snow buff, or just like to get away for the Christmas holidays to somewhere that “Dreaming of a White Christmas” brings the real stuff, the RedWeek December Newsletter has listed three fabulous timeshare rental resorts that are worth checking out.

1.The Village Green at Stowe. RedWeek Members rate this resort 4 of 5 stars.

Stowe, VT, lies in a broad, fertile valley between Mount Mansfield and other peaks of the Green Mountains. The area is known for its cross country ski trails, and is close to downhill ski runs. Nestled on 40 acres in this beautiful valley is The Village Green resort. On-site recreation includes a heated swimming pool, hot tub, tennis courts, and an arcade game room. The timeshare rental units are equipped with working fireplaces.

Rentals start at just $100/night.

One reviewer has written about The Village Green at Stowe: Excellent place for a true skier. Stayed 10 times in the past 2003 - 2009. Bought a 2 bedroom in 2008 and another in 2009. Will definitely go every year along with Park City, Utah and Wolf Creek, Colorado trips.

2. Club Intrawest–Blackcomb Whistler, British Columbia. RedWeek Members rate this resort 5 of 5 starts.

In 2002 the two ski resorts of Whistler and Blackcomb merged to create the largest ski area in North America, 54% larger than now second place Vail, Colorado. Details like Tibetan carpets, Mexican tile floors and original artwork adorn the timeshare units. Club Intrawest-Blackcomb is a true mountain home, nestled in the heart of Whistler, just steps away from the lifts of Blackcomb Mountain.

Rentals start at $200/night. Resales start at $5,100.

One Reviewer has written about Club Intrawest – Blackcomb: I love this place so much

I bought several years ago. It is an ideal location in the upper village. Blackcomb lift is a mere 5 minute stroll, lockers for your equipment on site.

3. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Steamboat Springs, CO. RedWeek Members rate this resort 5 of 5 stars.

Known as “Ski Town, U.S.A." this northern Colorado town tucked in the Rockies is internationally known for its Champagne Powder® snow. The Wyndham Vacation Resort is located just minutes from some of the best snow skiing and boarding that Colorado has to offer. There is a ski shuttle provided from the resort as well as an indoor/outdoor pool, spa and gas grills.

Rentals start at $143/night. Resales start at $28,000

One Reviewer wrote this about Wyndham Vacation Resorts Steamboat Springs:

Outstanding accommodations! Had a beautiful kitchen, gas fireplace. Hot tubs were great and also the gas grills. I would highly recommend this property with shuttles running every fifteen minutes to the slopes. Great views and close to shopping!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas in Wanaka

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere has a completely different feel than in other climes and can make for a delightful change of pace for a timeshare rental vacation as Christ’s birth is celebrated and the New Year is rung in. One spot that is proving to be increasingly popular for Christmas is the alluring Lake Wanaka region on New Zealand’s South Island.

The town of Wanaka sits at the lake’s southern edge, and can be a particularly delightful destination during early summer that surrounds Christmas Day in the lower hemisphere. The town is surrounded by mountains that beckon one and all for hiking and camping. The lake covers 193 square kilometers and is a favorite spot for numerous outdoors activities, from jet boating to sailing, from kayaking to water skiing, all of which are possible at Christmastime in New Zealand.

In the hills and mountains that ring the lake in breathtaking fashion, many tourists try canyoning (guided deep descents into canyons), climbing and even skydiving. Others fish the lake’s waters for an abundant catch - which you can cook up in your own timeshare kitchen - before scouring the town for its noted bars and restaurants. The clear blue waters and skies set a relaxed and invigorating tone for this resort town, which forecasters predict will continue to boom due to its enviable lifestyle.

Wanaka also abuts Mount Aspiring National Park, a vast wilderness set aside for all manner of outdoor activities in both organized and informal modes. After exploring the park, many tourists spend the evening in town, and it’s an easy walk to shops and restaurants from most accommodations. In addition, taxis and bikes are readily available for in-town excursions, but if you want to explore more of the cultural richness and rugged beauty of South Island, you should rent a car to ensure maximum flexibility in your schedule. There are many Queenstown car rental depots around the airport if you are flying in there.

Leading up to Christmas this year, Wanaka will welcome the Auckland ensemble Carolina Moon, a heralded group that loves to breathe new life into fiery ancient melodies with a fusion of past and present musical styles. The group’s latest CD continues a tradition of conveying the gorgeous songs of Judeo Spain, which have spread across the world for almost a millennium. Blending Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic flavors with a twinge of jazz, Carolina Moon will perform on December 17 at The River House in Wanaka.

In the days immediately before the big holiday, the local churches of Wanaka offer special services for those who want to awaken their spiritual side before this sacred day. Shops will offer their yearly specials as they seek to capitalize on the season of gift giving and also reduce their year-end inventories.

Christmas in Wanaka is not a cold winter day spent indoors around a fire. After spending the days before and after December 25 in pleasant temperatures warmed by the southern sun, you might not want to go back to being homebound during December’s final week. Wanaka will change the way you see the entire season as you get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions to be fitter and happier.

Check out Wanaka and other New Zealand destinations for timeshare rentals and exchanges.

Thank you to Omega Rental Cars for submitting this guest blog. Omega is a New Zealand car hire company which specialises in providing late model rental cars at bargain prices. They have depots through New Zealand, including their Christchurch car rental depot.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

6 Best Pizza Spots in the U.S. Near Your Timeshare

‘Tis the season for holiday feasting – prime rib, roasted turkey, baked ham. Add homemade fudge, Christmas cookies, flaming bread pudding – and it’s time to get back to the basics. Food and Wine’s online magazine has listed its picks for the top places in the U.S. to find a great pizza. Each one of the 6 pizzarias listed below is near a timeshare rental – so here’s your chance to take a break from rich holiday fare, and chow down on just some really good pizza.

1. Boston, MA. Santarpio’s Pizza. This super traditional pizzeria, with wood paneled walls covered with pictures of famous athletes, has been around for more than a century. Signature Item: Homemade Sausage Pie.

Rent a Boston timeshare, or budget timeshare rentals within easy driving distance, including Cape Cod.

2. San Francisco. CA. Flour + Water. Their puffy, charred cornicione (end crust) is the result of just two minutes in the 800-degree wood-burning oven imported from Italy. Signature Item: Margherita - with tomato sauce, Fior di Latte (an especially flavorful type of mozerella), and extra-virgin olive oil.

Take a look at San Francisco timeshare rentals.

3. Brooklyn, NY. Di Fara. 72-year-old owner Domenico DeMarco (see photo) makes all the pies at this Brooklyn pizza mecca, so they come out with the perfect balance of tomato sauce (made fresh daily), mozzarella, and Grana Padano cheeses. You can find a Di Fara spin-off called Tagliare at LaGuardia Airport. Signature Item: Plain Pie.

Stay in New York City timeshare rentals for up to half the price of the city's hotels.

4. Los Angeles, CA. Pizzaria Mozzo. This powerhouse team combines the best California ingredients (squash blossoms, trumpet mushrooms) with Italian tradition (big wood-burning ovens and house-made mozzarella) to form L.A.'s best pies. Signature Item: Squash blossoms, tomato and burrata (a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream).

Check out these budget-friendly California timeshare rentals.

5. Providence, RI. Al Forno. In 1980, this pizzaria launched a new era of ambitious cooking in Providence with their thin-crusted grilled pizzas topped with superfresh ingredients. Signature Item: Margarita - with house-made pomodoro (a thick sauce that uses diced fresh tomatoes), fresh herbs, two cheeses and extra virgin olive oil.

Rhode Island has many budget-friendly timeshare rentals from which to choose.

6. Phoeniz, AZ. Pizzaria Blanco. The pizzas here are arguably America's best, with beautiful, wood-fired crusts made with organic flour, fresh mozzarella and house-made sausage. There's almost always a line out the door. Signature Item: Marinara pizza (star pizzaiolo Chris Bianco’s favorite).

Stay in a Greater Phoenix timeshare rental and enjoy a warm winter getaway along with your pizza.

Read Food and Wine’s entire article for all 25 of their best pizza picks.

Do you have a favorite pizza place? Tell us what and where!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Jackson Hole, WY

A frosty morning in Jackson Hole, WY, near the Grand Tetons Mountains. Submitted by Hannah J of Colorado.

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

5 Tips for Flying with Pets on Your Holiday Timeshare Vacation

Many of you are planning on taking your pet with you as you head out for your Christmas timeshare vacation. If you’ll be flying, here are some tips offered by Reuters:

1. Visit the Vet. Almost all domestic airlines (JetBlue and US Airways excepted) require veterinary vaccination certification and health documents, generally issued less than 30 days prior to the flight. And make sure you have a vet’s name and number available at your destination.

2. Prepare the Kennel. Invest in a carrier that leaves your pet room to turn and stand up without hitting its head on the top of the carrier. The USDA has laid out universal must-haves: food and water dishes, "Live Animal" stickers, upright arrows, bedding and other necessities. And remember to include objects that the animal is familiar with, whether it's a favorite toy, blanket, or even a piece of your clothing (a soft t-shirt for example) with your scent on it.

3. Attach ID Tags. It’s important to mark your pet - as well as the carrier - with proper ID tags. Attach to the kennel a note with your flight number, contact information and pet's name. Do the same on your pet's collar; remember that a reachable phone number is the most important detail. You might also want to consider a microchip.

4. Pack Food and Water. The dry air of an airline easily causes dehydration. The USDA requires that pets be offered food and water within four hours of checking in for a flight. Some airlines require a signature to show when your pet was last offered nourishment. Having said that, avoid giving any edibles to your pet within an hour of flight time.

5. Rehearse. Schedule trial runs before the big day of the flight. If you live in a city, take your pet for a ride on the subway or other modes of public transportation to familiarize it with both the movement and the crowds. Since the American Veterinary Medical Association frowns upon sedation - the combination of tranquilizers and high altitudes can prove fatal - it's best to travel with calm, drug-free pets.

There are a number of Pet-Friendly timeshare rentals available all around the globe.

Read Reuters’ entire article for all ten tips.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

ARDA Unveils its Timeshare Fans of the Month from Hilton Grand Vacations

The American Resort Development Association’s (ARDA) second installment of a new series “Timeshare Fans" of the Month, features leading shared ownership hotel group Hilton Grand Vacations. In the series, owners explain why they’re happy with their timeshare purchases and why they love the shared ownership lifestyle.

Hilton Grand Vacations quizzed its international owners while they were out and about on holiday, and captured some stunning locations as well as very positive feedback. In the Timeshare Fans video, owner experiences were recorded as far and wide as the beaches of Hawaii, the Hoover Dam and the streets of New York City.

This month’s featured couple are Bill and Phyllis Hopkins of Ohio who have been Hilton Grand Vacations Club Members since 2007. The Hopkins own at West 57th Street by Hilton Club in New York City and at Parc Soleil (Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Orlando).

They’re timeshare fans because, as they explained, “Membership resolves the potential ‘beach house dilemma’ of vacationing in the same place year after year. Our passion is to explore new places and discover new cultures.” The couple have visited Paris, Brussels and London as well as many U.S destinations.

Read more of Bill and Phyllis’s timeshare story here.

Timeshare’s occupancy rate has fared better than the hotel industry during the recession, with a historically very high satisfaction rate among owners, in the region of 85% according to recent surveys.

Timeshare owner? Share your best experiences with ARDA and help get the word out that timeshares can be a good thing!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tasty English Food with Odd Names

It’s time to start making those plans for your timeshare trip to England for London’s 2012 Summer Olympics. While in merry old England you’ll undoubtedly come up against its interesting local dishes. Our guest author, Analise Marcus, is here to help you make sense of it all.

The English might not be known for their fancy food, but you don’t have to be fancy to be filling and tasty. Here is a whirlwind tour of some tasty English foods the flavors of which are more than equalled by their colorful names.

Bubble and Squeak

This was one of my all-time favorite dishes, a real down to earth fry-up that uses leftovers as the base for a great breakfast or lunch meal. I used to have it with tea for lunch at the Eagle and Child in Oxford; its name comes from the sounds it makes cooking in a hot pan. All the dish needs is leftover veggies and some potatoes. Mash everything together and fry it up in a shallow pan until it’s crispy. Serve with a runny egg and a giant slab of bacon to start your day with a full tummy.

Bangers and Mash
Bangers are English sausages and mash is, as you can guess, mashed potatoes. Bangers are slightly larger than the typical American sausage; they are thicker and longer, making them the centerpiece of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. You can have a banger with a traditional English breakfast or “fry up” or over mashed potatoes in gravy for a very filling dinner. They get their name from the sausages made in England during WWII. Rationing meant that real meat was expensive, so average sausages were made with anything from cereal to water which often banged or even exploded while cooking.

Spotted Dick
You laugh now, but this is actually an incredibly tasty treat so popular that Heinz even offers a canned variety. Spotted Dick is a type of English dessert, much like a pudding or custard, with currants or raisins mixed throughout. “Spotted” refers to the dried fruit in the mix, though different reasons have surfaced as to the “dick” part of the name. One theory has “dick” stemming from an abbreviated form of the word “pudding” and here’s how: pudding becomes puddink becomes puddik becomes dick.

Black Pudding

This traditional breakfast side in England might be more easily identifiable if it were called by its alternative name: blood pudding. Yes, this breakfast sausage (a savory pudding, not like your neighborhood Jell-O) is made with dried animal blood mixed with a filler, usually suet or vegetables. And I’ll tell you this: it’s a lot tastier than some of the other pseudo-animal byproduct meat dishes that we get served up in the U.S. If you want an authentically English meal, try a black pudding

Cornish Pasty
I must’ve eaten at least one pasty every week while I lived in England. They’re like fast food but not fried: they’re sold at little pasty shops (the one near my house was the West Cornwall Pasty Co.) and you can take it on the go. The small to medium ones can fit in your hand; the larger ones take a little more care since they’re pretty darn big.

Traditional pasties are filled with stew beef, potatoes and onions but there are all sorts of variety like breakfast pasties with egg to Thanksgiving pasties with turkey and cranberries. Cornish refers to the county of Cornwall which is strongly associated with the food; pasty is derived from pastry which is used to make the baked dough pocket for the food.

Rent a timeshare in England, and you’ll have a good excuse to become proficient in English – food, that is!

Analise Marcus is an avid anglophile and food lover. She recommends booking affordable airline travel with an Travelocity promo code so you have plenty of funds to research all the local culinary delights wherever you go.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Timeshare Spotlight – The Luxurious Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa

Have you been thinking of spending some of the Christmas holidays at a beachfront timeshare? For true luxury, at true budget prices, you can’t beat Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort overlooks the deep blue Pacific Ocean from its location on the western side of the tip of Baja California. Its 50 acres sets it away from the heavy concentration of hotels along the Sea of Cortez. Although you’ll find the resort secluded and tranquil, you are still within just a few minutes’ drive of exciting downtown Cabo San Lucas, as well as Cabo golf courses, and numerous beaches.

A popular nearby attraction is Cabo Dolphins, which offers a unique opportunity for the entire family to learn about dolphins in a safe and interactive environment. Cabo Dolphins programs including Swimming with Dolphins, Dolphin Encounters, and Trainer for a Day.

Organized tours of all kinds are also available for all types of interest and all budgets. The tours range from whale watching and off-road ATV tours, to snorkeling and diving tours.

Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort offers timeshares high on a coastal bluff with sweeping ocean views, or right down along the expansive private beach. Each unit is beautifully appointed with marble baths, cedar woodwork, feather-top beds, and regional art. A spacious balcony or patio opens to views of the Pacific Ocean for each unit. High-speed Internet access, satellite TV, climate control, and purified water are standard .

On-sight resort amenities include six swimming pools, including a kiddie pools, tennis courts, an award-winning spa, gourmet restaurants, and, of course, access to that very private beach.

Here is what Reviewers have to say:

We have been owners since this resort first opened and have truly enjoyed every moment here. Excellent family resort with kiddie pools in the 5 pools. All rooms have an ocean view, and maintenance is excellent. Highly recommend this place for a luxury vacation. We give it a five-star rating.

We enjoyed our stay at PBSB immensely. Stayed in a 2 bedroom presidential suite with a family of 6 adults and never felt crowded. Especially enjoyed the Sky pool with its gorgeous views.

This resort is beautiful and the staff is excellent. The rooms are big and comfortable and excellent daily maid service. The pool on top of the mountain has a great view. It was really hard to decide whether to stay high up on the mountain or low down by the ocean. It is a great resort and worthy of your visit.

There are 60 reviews of this resort. Read more reviews here.

You can rent a Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa timeshare and have a luxury vacation here for only $70/night. Resales start at just $200.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - The Netherlands

A contented cat and a Dutch Barn, taken by Mary L of Maryland.

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

Monday, December 05, 2011

Military Family Officially Kicks Off Holidays at Disneyland

Disneyland Resort’s manager of media relations, Betsy Sanchez, posted the following article on the Disney Parks Blog.

Gunnery Sgt. Derrick Poteat, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s S-6 communication platoon, and his family “flipped the switch” on more than 300,000 lights blanketing It’s a Small World,” transforming the popular attraction into a visual wonderland and officially launching the holiday season at the Disneyland.

The festive ceremony, presented by the attraction’s sponsor, Sylvania, honored Poteat and his family for the contributions they have made to our country. Poteat, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996, has completed three tours and recently returned from the latest, a seven-month deployment in the Middle East. He was joined by his three children, nephew, niece and wife, Clarice, an advisor to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unity’s family readiness team, for a day of play at the Disneyland Resort followed by this special honor.

Tune in to the video below to see how the holidays were made especially bright for the Poteat family.

Now that the holidays are official at Disneyland and at Walt Disney World, it’s time for you to take your family and immerse yourselves in the excitement of Christmas that only Disney can offer. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is well underway, along with Dickens carolers on Main Street USA, hot chocolate with peppermint sticks, Christmas cookies waiting to be decorated by your kids, and even a magical snowfall at night. How does Disney pull all of this off? Only the magical Mouse knows!

A Disney Christmas is an exciting, enchanting experience not to be missed. Rent an Anaheim timeshare for your visit to Disneyland. In Orlando, when you head to Christmas at all of the resorts that make up Walt Disney World, rent a budget-friendly Orlando timeshare or Disney timeshare. And have the time of your life this holiday season!

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Timeshare’s 4 Big Priorities

Lisa Ann Schreier, the Timeshare Crusader, wrote an article for RCI Ventures, which we are reproducing here. Lisa Ann explains what she believes are the timeshare industry priorities for the future:

I go to a lot of timeshare events, talk to a lot of owners and am part of a network of savvy timeshare professionals that I’m honored to be associated with. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there’s a LOT of talk, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of forward motion. I have yet to discover whether it’s based on fear, apathy, confusion or something else.

The timeshare industry has taken a financial hit that it is very slowly recovering from, and the general non-timeshare owning public still eyes timeshare with a dose of skepticism.

However, I do not feel that all is lost. I do feel strongly that everyone associated with timeshare needs to put their egos aside and take an honest look at where we are, where we can, or should, be and most importantly, concentrate on the 85% of issues that we all can agree on and not concentrate on the other 15%.

Where to start? How about these four issues:

1. Value proposition. There’s no such thing as a new or a used timeshare. Timeshare developers and the legitimate resale market must come together, much like the car industry, and clarify the value of a timeshare.

2. PR and outreach communications. Timeshare developers and timeshare industry associations must reach out to the general public and the mainstream media about what timeshare is, how it works, why it makes sense and most of all, acknowledge the fact that there is a great amount of fear and distrust based on the past.

The past must be acknowledged and then and only then can we move forward. There is absolutely no reason for an exceptional product such as timeshare to struggle with a less than 7% market penetration after all these years.

3. Exit strategy. This is not the 1980s. People don’t want things forever. The timeshare industry must come up with a viable timeshare exit strategy. Timeshare owners are frustrated, angry and confused when the resort that sold them the timeshare for $20,000, 10 or 15 years ago will not buy back the exact same timeshare for even half of that.

4. Education and certification. Timeshare owners, timeshare salespeople, exchange company representatives, resort directors - in fact, everyone associated with the industry must be educated about what timeshare will and won’t do, and how to get the most out of it. Consumers need to know that they are dealing with honest people. Liars must be brought to light and thrown out.

Every month Lisa Ann answers questions from RedWeek members – read more here.

This article is reprinted by permission.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Plan a Timeshare Winter Vacation and Enjoy These Popular Things to do in Florida

Florida is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the world, as over 50 million people visit the state each year. Nicknamed The Sunshine State, Florida is known for its beaches, oranges, and Everglades. There are so many places to see while visiting Florida.

Rent a timeshare and while touring the Sunshine State, you may want to stop at the following popular destinations:

1. Orlando
Orlando is the most popular tourist destination in the state. Walt Disney World is known as a magical place where dreams come true. The attractions at Walt Disney World Resort include:
Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Epcot Theme Park, Hollywood Studios Theme Park, Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Blizzard Beach Water Park, and Lagoon Water Park.

There are also many other things to do in Orlando. Tourists love to get up close and personal with the fabulous creatures of the sea at SeaWorld Orlando. You can see the fascinating dolphins, the enormous whales or the cute sea lions. At the park, there are also many theme rides and roller coasters, such as Journey to Atlantis, Wild Arctic and Shamu Adventure. After a thrilling day of fun, you can sit back and relax while watching the fireworks over the lagoon.

2. St. Augustine
St. Augustine is an historical city, as it is considered the oldest European settled village on the continent. You can relax on the beaches or walk around to see the charming sights and sounds of the city. The Spanish Quarter Museum will teach you all about the history of St. Augustine.

The city also has amazing cuisine to fit the tastes of anyone, as there are so many restaurants and bakeries in the city. If you want a little romance, you can take a carriage ride around the city, or you can just take a quiet walk on the gorgeous beach.

3. The Florida Keys (see photo)
These islands out in the ocean are the perfect destination when you visit Florida. You can enjoy golfing, camping, hiking or many other activities in the Keys. Many people love to dive in the waters around the islands, offering spectacular views of the interesting sea. There is so much nature to be discovered in the keys, such as exotic plants and animals.

If you would like to visit numerous attractions throughout the state, it would take you approximately five hours to travel through Florida, and you may want to rent a vehicle. When renting a car, you want to make sure there is car insurance, which will be a large part of the cost.

Check with your current car insurance company or credit card company, as some companies cover the cost of car rental insurance. It is wise to research online for the best deals on rental cars in Florida.

Florida is an exciting state with adventures waiting. There is a wide-range of activities fun for the entire family. The Sunshine State is the perfect place for a vacation and memories! There are numerous Florida timeshare rentals available, many of them as low as $30-$50/night during this off season.

Thank you to our guest author, Becky, a freelance writer for a website that is able to compare all types of car insurance. She travels America regularly and always rents a car for her travels. She makes sure that her car has the proper rental car insurance and is ready to run for the long haul. When she isn't traveling, you can find Becky painting under her palm trees!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

7 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Timeshare Traveler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Peter Greenburg’s entire article.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - New York City

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

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Timeshare Travel Begins! Enjoy This New York City Tradition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, November 25, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Read the entire ChipandCo article.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New TSA Policies in Time for Your Thanksgiving Timeshare Travel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday - Germany

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, November 18, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Plan a Fun Timeshare Winter Escape - Go Scuba Diving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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