Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reigning Diamonds: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and a Timeshare Vacation

All of London is preparing to witness the milestone celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. A long weekend of events will be held June 2-5 to mark this momentous moment in the life of this monarch. An exciting time for a timeshare vacation in London, this weekend of Jubilee celebrations promises to be an historic event. 

Throughout this year, members of the royal family are traveling throughout the Commonwealth, but the heart of the Diamond Jubilee festivities will occur in London.

As a landmark event, the Diamond Jubilee is poised to draw throngs to the city with its various celebrations and pageantry. Elizabeth II is the second queen to enjoy a Diamond Jubilee; Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Many events are planned over the long Jubilee weekend. For particular times and places of events, be sure to check the Diamond Jubilee website at

Londoners are particularly looking forward to the Thames flotilla pageant; as many as 1000 boats are slotted to join this historic flotilla that will escort the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal Barge. One of the many highlights of this celebratory weekend is destined to be the BBC Royal Concert at Buckingham Palace. Billed to be a musical event like no other, the concert will feature performers such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Annie Lennox.

With so much excitement filling the London air, travelers to the city during this time will find an extraordinary setting even if they won’t be attending the Jubilee picnic at Buckingham Palace or all of the other official events. London is loaded with historical and cultural attractions, and many of these venues will boast a jubilee state of mind that has washed over all of London.

When visiting the city at this historic time, be sure to check out the National Gallery’s exhibit The Queen: Art and Image; both formal and candid images of the Queen are included in this renowned exhibit. Dine with Londoners June 3rd for the Piccadilly Lunch or stroll Hyde Park June 2nd and 3rd to enjoy Jubilee entertainment and festivities.

As the city is gathered to celebrate its chief royal, it’s a great time to see historically important sites relevant to centuries of royals like the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace (residence of Henry VIII), Kensington Palace, the Queen’s Gallery, the Royal Mews, the Tower of London, and the royal parks. When visiting the Tower, be sure to catch a glimpse of the Crown Jewels.

Dining at one of the historic hotels or simply enjoying classic English pub food on the banks of the Thames is also a great way to spend time in jolly London Town during this spectacular Diamond Jubilee year.

U.K. timeshare rentals start at just $71/night.

This guest post is by Andrea Jones on behalf of Andrea is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring the world when she isn’t preoccupied organizing events and parties for other people.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Treat the Graduate With One of These 3 Top Timeshare Rental Destinations

With graduation ceremonies in full swing across the country, this is a good time to suggest to graduates 3 top destinations in the world where a timeshare rental vacation is the perfect release valve after those long years of academic work. Treat yourself to one of these, suggested by Reuters: 

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. In Spain, nightlife is a way of life, and Spaniards, perhaps more than any other people, take their nightlife and partying to epic proportions. 
More importantly, starting right after graduation (in May) the island has its best summer weather with beautiful, clear, sunny days - perfect for those wanting to unwind and people-watch on the beach or just frolic among 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.
Ibiza timeshare rentals start at just $199/night, and there are several timeshare exchanges available as well.

2. Paris, France 
Those looking for a romantic vacation after graduation often look right at Paris. This city is always a favorite among graduates looking for that quintessential European experience. Filled with art, fashion, food and culture, the City of Light offers a broad range of experiences.
You can luxuriate in an afternoon at a Parisian café, and visit the Eiffel Tower; or pay your respects to Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde at Pere-Lachaise cemetery. If you’re a wine enthusiast, a must-do is a visit to Willi's Wine Bar – over 300 wines and a hip atmosphere. Paris also offers great weather if you come right after graduation in May – the climate is mild, with warm and pleasant days. Take advantage and enjoy a particularly Parisian activity – a romantic stroll along the Seine.
Paris timeshare rentals start at just $100/night.

3. Rome, Italy
Warm, dry summer days, amazing food and colorful locals makes Rome a fantastic post-graduation destination. Combining the old and new like few other destinations can, this city encapsulates the history and culture of Italy, with popular sites like the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and the Vatican.
Rome is also a great place to truly enjoy eating. Celebrate your graduation with the tastes of Italy by spoiling yourself with pasta, pizza, gelato and wine. Even though there is a bustling club scene, do as the Romans do and enjoy an all-afternoon “pasto alfresco” (lunch at an outdoor café), or an evening at a local piazza, to mingle with locals over a glass of wine or a cappuccino.
Rome timeshare rentals start at just $189/night.

Source: TravelTicker/Reuters
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Jerusalem

The Wailing Wall on the west side of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. Submitted by Cheryl B, Seattle, WA.

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 28, 2012

Take a Timeshare Vacation and Celebrate the Real Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It was first officially observed on May 30, 1868, as Decoration Day, when flowers were placed on both Union and Confederate graves as a way of reconciliation and bringing both sides together.

After WWI the holiday changed from recognizing just the Civil War dead to honoring those who died fighting in any war.

On the Thursday before Memorial Day the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery (see top photo). They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.

On your Memorial Day visit to Washington, D.C., you’ll not only observe the stirring sight of all those American flags against the white marble headstones, but you can also watch the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Every Memorial Day there is a special ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This year the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the National Park Service, and the Department of Defense will be joined by President Obama at the Wall. The President will be the keynote speaker, helping to launch the DOD’s 2012 commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the war.

The National Memorial Day Parade has become a tradition that draws up to 250,000 enthusiastic spectators. This year the American Veterans Center, organizers of the parade, has announced that the "grand finale" will be designated a tribute to the sacrifices of the Iraq war generation.

Special guests of the 2012 parade include Grand Marshal and legendary pilot Chuck Yeager, as well as actors and supporters Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, and Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler.

A timeshare rental in the Washington, D.C., area can be a budget-friendly way of staying in our Nation’s Capital and discovering more about Memorial Day and the recognition of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Timeshare rentals at Wyndham’s Old Town Alexandria currently start at just $69/night.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

3 Top Memorial Day Destinations for a Timeshare Vacation

Along with picnics and barbecues, Memorial Day celebrations are also about parades, marching bands, and, yes – memorials. Below are three top destinations where you can have a timeshare rental vacation and enjoy some of the best that Memorial Day has to offer.
  1. Boston. Where is there a more patriotic destination that Boston? The first thing you’ll want to do is head to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Boston Common, America’s oldest public park. Here you’ll see The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund garden of flags — all 20,000 of them (see photo). These commemorate the Massachusetts service members who have given their lives to defend the United States and our freedom.

    A ceremony to honor Massachusetts service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan will be held on the Common on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 10am.

    Boston timeshare rentals start at $214/night.

  2. Phoenix. The heat of summer has not yet arrived, and generally the weather for a Memorial Day celebration is on the perfect side. Head to Phoenix for a Memorial Day full of great music. The Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts in Tempe hosts its 10th annual Memorial Day Celebration that celebrates Marching Music, highlighting The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, which will debut its 2012 musical production “Left of Spring.”

    Along with rousing music you’ll be able to enjoy family-style barbeque, raffles, auctions, and fun street performers.

    Greater Phoenix timeshare rentals start at just $71/night.

  3. Honolulu. This Hawaiian city is a fitting place to celebrate Memorial Day as it annually commemorates the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and those who lost their lives on that fateful Sunday. And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the USS Arizona Memorial.

    The 2012 Memorial Day observance of that anniversary will include instrumental and vocal ensembles from every state in the union, each acting as an ambassador from its individual state to the 5oth Anniversary commemoration.

    You also won’t want to miss the Lantern Floating Ceremony (see photo) held on Magic Island at the Ala Moana Park, every Memorial Day at sundown. More than 3,000 candlelit lanterns are set afloat on the ocean, a traditional Buddhist rite originating in Japan. The ceremony serves to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in war, and to pay respect to ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. Oahu timeshare rentals start at just $99/night.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to Make the Most of Your Las Vegas Timeshare Vacation – Think Outside the Box

Las Vegas may be renowned as the party capital of the U.S., but few appreciate the wide range of activities that are accessible from this fun-packed resort. Aside from 24 hour bars, nightclubs and spacious casinos, there are also places of stunning natural beauty and vast planes for outdoor enthusiasts to indulge in thrill seeking experiences. 

With this in mind, it is time to consider how best to enjoy your Las Vegas timeshare vacation, and devise an itinerary that provides fun for people of all ages.

Experience the Excitement of the Valley of Fire: The grand and expansive Nevada desert provides an idyllic backdrop for any outdoor enthusiast, especially those who enjoy fast paced quad biking or motorcycling. With sweeping sand dunes, sandstone cliffs and red rock formations illuminated by a the light of the golden sun, the Valley of Fire Quad Adventure combines pulsating action and adventure with the splendor of unusual and awe-inspiring sights.

Take an Air Trip Over the Grand Canyon: A trip to Las Vegas just isn't complete without a flight over the Grand Canyon, and this natural marvel stands as one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. With events organizers such as Chillisauce providing flights that traverse the whole of the Canyon and its numerous rims, you are guaranteed to get the most from the experience and take a series of photographs that will provide a lifetime of memories.
Fly the Strip and See the Sights: Of course, if you are a fan of flying then there are other options that you can pursue. Flying the famed Las Vegas strip (see photo) is one of the most popular, as you take to the skies in a luxury helicopter and traverse the full length of one of the world’s most famous locations. With bright neon lights that illuminate famous landmarks such as Caesars Palace, the Bellagio and Mirage hotels, there is a unique opportunity to enjoy a stunning aerial view and capture a number of memorable photographs.
The Bottom Line

Las Vegas is one of the few places in the world that you must see in your lifetime, but for a number of reasons that are not often associated with this iconic venue. With an open mind you can enjoy aspects of Las Vegas that are all too often overlooked, and experience a vacation that offers something to people of all ages.

Las Vegas timeshare rentals start as low as $54/night. 

Our guest author is Lewis Humphries, a professional blogger with a passion for travel, events and marketing. Chillisauce is a leading UK event planning organization, and has created adventure travel experiences in locations across the world.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top 3 Scenic Timeshare Destinations Where You Can Get in Shape for Summer

We’re well into the year now, so how are you doing on your New Year Resolution to keep in shape? There’s a way to have a great timeshare vacation and use that time not only to have fun but to get into shape and ready for the summer at the same time.
Thanks to our friends at Reuters for these three great destinations ideas where you can not only find budget-friendly timeshare rentals, but each offers its own unique solution for play and workout.
1. Hanalei Bay, Kauai. Paddle Boarding.
Are you up for stand-up paddle boarding? All of Hawaii is well-known as an outdoor paradise for getting exercise. Everything is available from surfing to biking down the slope of a volcano. And now there’s stand-up paddle boarding – a sport and exercise phenomenon that is growing exponentially. You get upper arm workout when you paddle, as well as strengthening those abs as you try to balance and stay on the board. While Hanalei Bay can have strong surf swells much of the year, during the summer from May through August it’s flat – perfect for beginning paddle boarding.
Kauai imeshare rentals by Hanalei Bay start at just $100/night
2. St. John, US Virgin Islands. Snorkeling. 
You can snorkel in many places around the world, and there’s no doubt that snorkeling provides a great workout for the entire body. So why not combine the exercise and joy of snorkeling, with unimaginable natural beauty? The island of St. John is accessible only by ferry, and two-thirds of the island is made up of the Virgin Islands National Park. That gives you 35 amazing white sand beaches from which to choose.
And one of the best snorkeling areas – Trunk Bay, which has the fun underwater snorkeling trail. Sign posts not only guide you along, but also inform you about the various species of colorful tropical fish that you’re in the midst of.  Of course, St. John offers numerous other outstanding snorkeling spots, including Hawnest Bay and Cinnamon Bay. Accessible on a trail that takes you past the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins is Watermelon Cay where you can snorkel among sea turtles and graceful rays.
St. John timeshare rentals start at just $143/night.
3. Los Angeles, CA.  Biking and Rollerblading
Only a handful of locations can provide a pedestrian-only route the length of which is almost a marathon - and none can do so while providing a view of one of the most beautiful beach areas in the world. "The Strand" is a 22-mile bike path that runs from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, California to Torrance County Beach.
The route passes landmarks such as the famous Santa Monica Pier and the infamous boardwalk of  Venice Beach.  If you've seen people rollerblading on TV or in movies, most likely it was filmed along "The Strand." Rental locations and public restrooms are about every half mile.
Southern California timeshare rentals start at just $113/night.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – San Diego Harbor

The "Kissing Statue" on San Diego Harbor, California - next to the U.S.S. Midway Museum, an actual WWII aircraft carrier - the first aircraft carrier built that was too large to pass through the Panama Canal. Submitted by Alice P of Wyoming.

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 21, 2012

3 Top Day-Trip Drives From Your Timeshare Rental

RedWeek’s May newsletter says it’s time to hop in the car and take a drive. With this warm weather bringing out the flowers of spring and summer, one of the best ways to truly enjoy the sight is with a fun drive. Some of America’s Best Spring Drives can be done as day-trips from budget-friendly timeshare rentals. Check out these three:
1. Alexandria, VA. Drive the George Washington Memorial Parkway along the Potomac River, from Turkey Run Park to Mount Vernon, where you’ll see a breathtaking variety of both naturally occurring and cultivated flowers, including delicate dogwood and banks of vibrantly colored azaleas.
Rent a timeshare at the Wyndham Old Town Alexandria - they start at just $79/night, and timeshare resales start at $1495.
2. Maui, HI. The Hana Highway is considered one of the most spectacular roads in the U.S. Its 68 miles pass over 59 bridges and its entire length is virtually through tropical rainforest. You’ll see colorful wild orchids, ginger blooms, and plumaria blossoms amidst lush deep green vegetation and numerous sparkling waterfalls.
Stay at the Kamaole Beach Club in Kihei where timeshare rentals start at just $114/night, and timeshare resales start at $1300.
3. Durango, CO. For a change of pace, head to the breathtaking San Juan Mountain range of the southern Rocky Mountains. When you drive on the San Juan Skyway you’ll enjoy views of everything from 14,000 ft high snowcapped peaks to rolling ranch land dotted with grazing horses. High mountain wildflowers bloom late in the season, so you’re still in time to bring your camera and take some spectacular photos.
Stay in Durango at the Wyndham Durango where timeshare rentals start at just $86/night, and where point resales are available.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Can You Pull Cash Out of Your Timeshare?

May's "Ask The Timeshare Crusader" question comes from Philip:
I own my Newport Coast timeshare and would like to pull some cash out. Who offers financing on timeshares. I am not interested in selling it, I just want to pull cash out.
Lisa Ann’s Answer:
If you are looking to get some cash for equity on your timeshare, those days have for the most part past; although I'm fairly certain there are a handful of lending institutions that would allow it.
If however, you are looking to refinance your timeshare (assuming you purchased it from the developer and are paying up to 18.9 % interest on the loan) then yes, you do have some options to lower your monthly payments assuming your original financing contract does not impose a pre-payment penalty.
At 18.9 %  most credit cards can come in lower. RedWeek currently has an agreement with Lending Club, a peer-to-peer lending site, and will give RedWeek members 1% cash back on any loan
I'd also check with the resort or the entity that's actually doing the financing to see if the interest rate can be lowered. Be advised however that the hypothecation of the loan is where many timeshare resorts make the bulk of their money, so they may not be open to negotiation.
Most financial institutions will finance the timeshare for you via a signature loan and, in most cases, the interest rate will be several basis points lower than whatever the resort is offering.
If you do find a financial institution that does offer home equity loans that include timeshare, I'd love to pass that information on!
Share Your Thoughts
Care to comment on Lisa Ann’s answer? Join the conversation on our Ask the Timeshare Crusader forumHave questions for the Timeshare Crusader? Please post them on her forums page, or e-mail them to us.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Great Summer Timeshare Vacation - Family Fun in Orlando

There are many wonderful places to visit in Florida, but Orlando is by far the most family friendly place. My family and I have had some of the most memorable experiences visiting Orlando.  Here are some of our personal favorite places to visit in Orlando.

Magic Kingdom – Whatever you do in Orlando, don’t miss the Magic Kingdom.  That’s like going to New York and skipping out on the Statue of Liberty.  My family is full of 7 kids of all ages, and we all had fun riding the rides (especially Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain). And everyone in our family enjoyed the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.  It is the biggest spectacular at Magic Kingdom, and includes a firework show like I’ve never seen before.

Epcot Center –The Epcot Center was probably our favorite place to visit as a family.  We don’t often have the opportunity to travel internationally as a family, but walking around the Epcot Center gave us a taste of what it’s like to be in 11 different countries all in one day. Each country in the park has fun bits of history, famous landmarks, and traditional garb from each country represented at the Epcot Center.

There is also an abundance of great international cuisine to try at the Epcot Center, so come with an empty stomach.  My family tried a lot of fun foreign food and we couldn’t help but stop a few times at the French pastry shop.  The pastries were delicious and worth every calorie. Visiting the Epcot center was the perfect way to see which countries sparked our interest the most.  We eventually travelled to Asia as a family later, based on our interest from the Epcot Center.

Universal Studios – Universal Studios is another place you won’t want to miss.  We felt like we were taking part in our favorite shows as we visited Spiderman, the Hulk, the Mummy and the Harry Potter attractions.  Harry Potter is a family favorite of ours, so we were pretty thrilled about the fact that you can explore the halls of Hogwarts, see magical creatures, and that you can even get your own wand.   Whatever you do, don’t miss out on Universal Studios.

NASA – Most places in Orlando celebrate creations of the imagination, but NASA is one place where you learn about spectacular events that are rooted in American history.  NASA is a great place to take the family to learn about various launchings of spacecraft’s and landing on the moon. 

There are great museums and presentations that provide an education unmatched by any book.  After visiting NASA, one of my brothers went on to go to space camp, and is now majoring in Engineering with an Aerospace emphasis.  NASA is a great place to foster family education.

Orlando is the perfect place for a family vacation. You can spend weeks in Orlando and still find other fun places that will help you build wonderful memories with your family. And for a budget-friendly family vacation check out the many Greater Orlando timeshare rentals.

Our guest author, Ashley R. Cummings, is an avid traveler and writer.  She loves going new places and meeting new people.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Four-Generation Disney Family Featured as May “Timeshare Fan of the Month”

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) is featuring a Disney Vacation Club owner during the month of May as part of the industry’s effort to share the amenities, experiences, and heartfelt memories of timeshare vacations. 

Four generations of the Sayers family have enjoyed their 15 years of ownership at Disney’s Old Key West Resort in Orlando, Florida and they say it’s provided some of the best memories and experiences they have had—and they look forward to making more.

From celebrating Dad’s 74th birthday, to watching the kids’ eyes light up at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to holding hands in sheer anticipation of their vacation, this family has never looked back.

“We started a family tradition that’s encompassed four generations by becoming Disney Vacation Club Members,” said Donald Sayers of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. “It’s worked out exactly the way we hoped it would.”

Their video is the seventh in a monthly series showcasing the passion of timeshare owners.

With more than 8 million owners, a satisfaction rate of 85 percent, and an occupancy rate that outpaced hotel occupancy by more than 20 percent*, it is clear that this segment of the travel industry is faring well. 

Next month, look for vacation memories from Festiva Hospitality Group owners who are passionate about their timeshare. All timeshare fans are invited to tell their story on ARDA's Vacation Better site

Timeshare and vacation ownership are often used as interchangeable terms. Timeshare may be purchased through deeded property ownership, right-to-use, or a points-based program. Owners purchase a villa, usually in one-week increments, within a fixed (same week each year) or “floating” system. Floating time allows the owner to schedule each year’s vacation for the desired week within a specified season. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Virginia Beach

Poseidon watching over the Virginia Beach Strand, Virginia Beach, VA. Submitted by Joe Gosha from North Carolina.

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 14, 2012

Appalachian Trail Magic and a Timeshare Vacation

Timeshares plus the Appalachian Trail can equal vacation magic. The Appalachian Trail is an amazing trail that stretches over 2100 miles across 14 eastern U.S. states. It goes from the hot, southern climes of Georgia to the most northern reach of the continental U.S. in Maine.  An unofficial extension continues on into Canada.

The Appalachian Trail offers varied natural beauty as it winds from lowlands in the south up through subalpine regions, and even some true alpine areas where you might find yourself above the timberline.

Out on the trail you have the rare opportunity to encounter any one of 2,000 rare, threatened, or endangered plant and animal species. You’ll also have a chance to see more customary animals such as deer, elk, and moose. Black Bear sightings are especially common in the Shenandoah National Park and the New Jersey sections.

Along the entire length of the Trail, hikers encounter “Trail Magic.” These are the “Appalachian Trail Angels” that volunteer as guardians and good-Samaritans for the hikers and day backpackers. Many do their good deeds anonymously – you might come through a thickly wooded area into a clearing to find coolers alongside the trail, filled with bottles of chilled water and cans of cold beer.

Other Angels offer their version of Trail Magic by inviting hikers to a free barbecue meal at their home. These volunteers can serve up to 2000 meals over the course of a season. And still other Angels will give you a free ride to the trailhead and then back to your timeshare.

The hikers of the Appalachian Trail have created a sub-culture of “thru-hikers” – those who make the entire 2100-mile trek in one season, generally a six-month commitment. Thru-hikers have “hiker handles” – names by which they are known along the Trail, and that become infamous in Appalachian Trail lore. 

If you’d like to hike the Appalachian Trail, but aren't quite ready for the thru-hiker experience, you can easily do day trips by having comfortable accommodations with budget-friendly timeshare rentals as your hub, available in every state that the Trail crosses.

An amazing three to four million people hike some portion of the Appalachian Trail every year. But that number is spread out over 2100 miles, 14 states, and an entire season. This is one activity where you can feel completely alone, enjoy a silent and precious communion with nature, and at the same time know you are not alone if are you’re ever in need of help, or just want to make new friends.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Timeshare Mother’s Day Idea – Fioli Flower Show

Just thirty miles south of downtown San Francisco is Fioli - one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. Rent a San Francisco timeshare and take Mom down to the town of Woodside for a Mother’s Day experience she’ll never forget.

The 654-acre Fioli estate, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, includes a 36,000 square-foot Georgian country house, and a magnificent 16 acre English Renaissance garden. 

And held every  Mother’s Day weekend, beginning on Thursday, is Fioli’s spectacular Flower Show.

Each year exhibiting professional and amateur floral designers from the greater Bay Area create  floral masterpieces depicting their interpretations of  the theme, which for 2012 is “The Secret Garden, Discover the Magic.”

This floral spectacle is staged throughout the country mansion and around its spectacular gardens. In addition are flower-arranging demonstrations, garden vignettes, horticultural exhibits, music and tours of the beautiful gardens.  

Continue a special day for Mom by taking her to Fioli’s Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch, or  Filoli’s High Tea; both are catered. Additionally, pre-ordered boxed lunches are available on Saturday and Sunday for a lovely picnic out by the gardens.  

Filoli, designed by prominent San Francisco architect Willis Polk, was built in 1915 for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose chief source of wealth was the Empire Mine, a hard-rock gold mine in Grass Valley, California.

Landscape designer, painter and sculptor Bruce Porter brought his artistic talents to the plans for the layout of the extensive formal gardens.

Bourn arrived at the unusual name Filoli by combining the first two letters from the key words of his credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.”

“Exquisitely beautiful and ever-changing, the gardens of Filoli offer visitors the chance to learn about the estate's renowned horticulture practices or to simply enjoy the serenity for which they were designed.”

San Francisco timeshare rentals start at an amazingly low $100/night.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Be a Responsible Timeshare Guest and Help Save the Environment on Your Travels

Thousands of tons of carbon dioxide are being thrown into the air every second of the day. How long can nature handle such tremendous stress? And what is your role in this scenario as a globe-trotting traveler?

Caused due to the burning of fossil fuels and the carbon dioxide that's released, global warming is a true symptom of travel. Yet in order to halt the march of global warming, we can all do our bit. Here are a few ideas to help you on your way to becoming a more responsibly minded timeshare guest.

Use Public Transport. Whenever you are out away from your timeshare, ensure that you travel by public transportation systems instead of private cars or taxis. This will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also help you learn a lot more about the place you've chosen to holiday in too!

Since using public transport will often involve you having to ask for directions and interact with the locals, you get a richer experience. You can also give preference to electric trains rather than buses or diesel vehicles; or if the place you're going sight-seeing is not that far away, you can always walk too.

Keep Your Energy Expenditure in Your Timeshare to a Minimum. Another important thing you can do to become more eco-conscious is to remember to turn off the power in the rooms of your timeshare when you don't need them. If the temperature is normal and bearable, you do not need to turn on the heater or the air conditioner on either. If the weather is balmy, turn off the air cooler in your room. The environment will thank you for it!

Switch off the lights of the bathroom don't leave your timeshares TV running all night and day long, no matter how good those foreign programs are! Heavy electrical devices like the television consume a lot of energy and let's face it, who goes on a vacation to watch TV anyway? Go for a walk around the neighborhood of your timeshare and get to know the place better instead!

Opt for a Green-Energy Efficient Timeshare. Another way to cut down on your energy use is to select your timeshare carefully. Many options do their bit to help save the environment - you can even find examples with solar energy panels and solar water heating systems too! 

By maintaining cleanliness, limiting your waste and recycling during your stay, you can rest assured that you're really doing your bit to help. It's not too late for you to become the eco-conscious traveler you always wanted to be!

This post was written by Will Peach, editor of the gap year travel site and the overland travel magazine

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A Phoenix Timeshare Rental - and The Best Mother’s Day

Greater Phoenix is the place to be on Mother’s Day.  And renting a budget-friendly timeshare is the way to give Mom a special time. Here are 4 top ways to give her a Mother’s Day weekend she’ll always remember.

1. Cowboys and Jazz. What a combination! And one that works when you take Mom to “Whistle A Western Tune – Songs of Cowboys and Jazz.” Renowned cowboy fiddler Ron Privett joins forces with the extraordinary Carolyn Eynon Singers (12 of whom are mothers!) as they celebrate Arizona’s Centennial.

The program has not one but two highlights. The first is the world premier of Michael Frassett’s “To The Grand Canyon.” And the second is a sing-along when all Moms in the audience are invited to raise their voices in tribute to the grand state of Arizona by singing the Arizona State Song! This evening is not to be missed by any Mom and will be held May 12 at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

2. Mother’s Day Tea. Maybe Mom is more the Tea and Crumpets type. Take her for an elegant high tea experience at the Rtiz-Carlton in Phoenix, hosted on both Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, by Tea Maitre d’ Jeffery Hattrick. Mom will enjoy a variety of teas, as well as tea-infused sandwiches and pastries, and entertainment.

3. At the Improv. For lots of laughs take Mom to a special Mother’s Day event at Jester’Z Improv in Scottsdale. Here local actors, comedians, and stand-up comics will perform improvisational comedy just for Mom, based on suggestions from the audience. These shows are suitable for all ages, so the entire family can join Mom for some good fun. There are two performances each on Friday and Saturday nights.

4. Mother’s Day With Butterflies. If Mom is a nature lover, she’s sure to love the idea of spending Mother’s Day amidst colorful fluttering butterflies. Take her to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for the final day of its special Spring 2012 Butterfly exhibit on May 13.  Hundreds of butterflies are housed in the spacious Marshal Butterfly Pavilion – a flight enclosed lush garden that recreates an appealing butterfly habitat.

Your Mother’s Day trip can be budget-friendly and relaxing with Greater Phoenix timeshare rentals that start at just $70/night.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – Amsterdam

Flower bulb market in Amsterdam, Holland. Submitted by Shirley V of California.

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Monday, May 07, 2012

San Diego Harbor: 3 Ways for Fun on Your Timeshare Vacation

A timeshare vacation to San Diego not only gives you great beaches, but San Diego is also known for a number of world-famous activities. These include the San Diego Zoo, Safari Animal Park, Legoland, and the very first Sea World.

What doesn’t seem to get as much attention is San Diego’s real centerpiece – its beautiful harbor. There are so many activities to do just around – and on – San Diego Harbor that you could spend your entire San Diego timeshare vacation exploring it. Here are 3 must-dos:

  1. San Diego Harbor Tours. There are a variety of ways to cruise the San Diego Harbor. Two favorites are the 1-hour Harbor Cruise, and the Speedboat Tour.

    The Harbor Cruise carries you on a comfortable tour boat for the 13-mile tour of both the North and the South bays, covering over 50 points of interest. You’ll see all types of ships, from the Star of India – an 1863 full-rigged windjammer – to the most modern U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. San Diego is the home port to both the U.S. Ronald Reagan, and the U.S. Carl Vinson, among numerous Navy cruisers, destroyers and even submarines. You might get to see a full regatta race of personal sailing yachts skimming across the harbor, and some private tuna clippers making their way home.

    The Speedboat Tour is a clever spin on harbor sightseeing. You actually navigate and drive your own speedboat, following trained guides. You get the thrill of speedboating, combined with a narrated tour of the harbor using wireless headsets.

  2. Maritime Museum of San Diego (see photo right). This exciting museum is actually on the water – on various boats and ships. You’ll be able to board the Star of India – the oldest seafaring ship in the world. You can try to imagine living and working on this ship in the 19th century as it made its way across oceans and stayed at sea for months at a time.

    Other boats in the museum’s collection include the Berkley, an 1898 steam ferry that operated across San Francisco Bay for 60 years, and the Californian – the official Tall Ship of the state of California.

    A surprise for most people is the HMS Surprise – the replica of a 24-gun frigate from the Nelson era of the English Royal Navy. This ship was actually used in the academy-award winning movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” starring Russell Crowe.

  3. USS Midway Museum. Have you ever wondered what it’s like on a real aircraft carrier? Here’s your chance to find out. The USS Midway was completed in 1945, and was the first aircraft carrier to be too big to transit the Panama Canal. The flight deck itself is four acres. There are 25 restored aircraft, some that you can climb into.

    And three real operational flight simulators from which to choose, so all ages can have fun pretending to be a Navy aviator stationed on an aircraft carrier. There are single-seat simulators, and two-seat simulators for a pilot and co-pilot. You’ll get to “fly” fighter jets with take-offs, landings, and even engage in dogfighting in very realistic conditions.

Keep your vacation budget-friendly with San Diego timeshare rentals. There are many available throughout San Diego County.

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Timeshare Vacation – 3 Top Cities for Cinco de Mayo

Plan a timeshare vacation to a city that really knows how to throw a great Cinco de Mayo party! While the Cinco de Mayo celebration originated as a commemoration of the victory by the Mexicans over the French occupational forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, Cinco de Mayo has morphed into an American celebration of Mexican culture.

Below are three top cities in the U.S. where not only is Cinco de Mayo a great day, but you can find budget-friendly timeshare rentals for a great stay.
  1. Los Angeles. A large percentage of the Los Angeles population is Hispanic, so its no surprise that Los Angeles hosts the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world. So much so that typically the celebration starts a couple of weeks ahead, in order to get all of the parades and festivities in. This year special pride is taken with a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the new La Plaza (officially known as LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes). A cultural museum dedicated to telling the story of the Mexican origins of Los Angeles, it also showcases the evolution and contribution of Mexican culture to the city. Find a budget-friendly California timeshare rental – they start at just $93/night.
  2. Las Vegas. Never a city to pass up the chance for a good party, the Las Vegas Strip lights up for Cinco de Mayo. Most casinos and clubs will be offering music and fun, along with wild specials on margaritas and you might even find a tequila-tasting or two. The Luxor’s Tacos & Tequilas restaurant will be holding its second annual “CHiPS and Salsa” event, featuring drinks, food and – Erik Estrada. If you’re looking for a show you can catch Latin comedian Carlos Mencia in his stand-up act at Treasure Island May 6. It’s easy to have a budget-friendly stay with a Las Vegas timeshare rental that starts at just $50/night.
  3. New York City. While typically the further east you go the smaller the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, New York City steps up to the plate with its annual “insanely cheap” Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl. There is also the 20th annual Cinco de Mayo Mariachi - the Mariachi Real de Mexico seranades partygoers Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina. Or you can show how strong you are by hopping a mechanical bull for the Cinco de Mayo Bullriding Fiesta at Johnny Utah’s where you can also sample “the strongest margaritas this side of the Rio Grande.” Midtown Manhattan offers great deals on New York City timeshare rentals that start at just $111/night.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

London Olympics Go Green

Global warming and ozone depletion are words with which we are all increasingly familiar thanks to the widespread pollution problems surfacing across the globe. The United Kingdom has taken a stand and London has shown that fair play and sportsmanship too can go the green way as the fine tuning of Olympic preparations enter the home run.

Since London is to play host again, British ingenuity has kicked off to make use of this event as a showcase of what can be done if one really is bothered about the environment.

Olympic Zone Park. 
The waste and industrial land of Stratford will be no more, not that any of the residents of East London are complaining. It has been turned into the venue for the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Village as well as Aquatics Centre.

Olympics to go green all the way. 
Carbon emissions can bid adieu as there have been low carbon emissions during the building of the Park and other venues by cutting down on construction waste and using ecologically compatible resources as well as promotion of healthy living. Thus, it follows the sustainability plan that ensures biodiversity is nurtured, waste eliminated, healthy living in citizens inspired as well as green house gas emissions minimized.

A plan to build on. 
One thing to note is how building without a plan swallows up green spaces and forest lands. The Games in London aren’t going to add unnecessarily to the concrete jungle and here’s how:
  • Usage of existent venues
  • Building temporary structures with waste management and low emissions
  • Focus on permanent structures that can be reused even later
To construct with thought:
  • Dust is a waterloo for most people as it is an allergen and noise is a headache especially from construction sites. It hinders humans as well as animals and birds and so its monitoring is one of the thoughtful measures inculcated
  • Preserving the habitat of wildlife is important. Reptiles have been removed from the construction site and will be re-introduced later once the process is over so they are not affected by the noise and dust
  • Pollution of waterways is kept in check. Chemicals and oils or construction materials are prevented from merging with water by observing a code for construction practice
On the side of travel.
Admittedly, traveling and commuting is one of the most stable forms of pollution. Low-carbon travel options are the focus along with health-based projects so that ordinary people too become a part of the One Planet initiative:
  • Rent bicycles to see London and the Olympic venues during your London timeshare vacation.
  • Interested walkers can turn the venues of the Games into exploration areas
After the Games:
  • A wildlife spot in the middle of city life
  • Sports facilities and playing fields open to all
  • Economic upsurge of new jobs due to Park maintenance
  • Cross-city improvements in transportation and the like
So, it’s a win-win situation for all Londonites and timeshare visitors as well.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Timeshare Crusader's Manifesto: All Timeshare Owners Must Read

Lisa Ann Schreier, The Timeshare Crusader, has written a manifesto addressed to all timeshare owners.


Her post deals with the unsolicited phone calls, e-mails, and direct-mail pieces that timeshare owners are flooded with to either “get-rid of” or sell their timeshare.

At the just-concluded Timeshare Board Members Association (TBMA) meeting, of which Lisa Ann took part, there was a lot of talk about the need to educate consumers, as well as about the financial damage that is being done when owners fall for, “I have a buyer for your timeshare, just send me $1500 for the paperwork” schemes that seem to multiply daily.

While the TBMA works on coming up with one concise message for unsuspecting timeshare owners, Lisa Ann has published her own manifesto. “It’s simple. I’ve been saying it for years. But now I’m asking everyone to read it, remember it, and pass it on.”

Read Lisa Ann’s article in its entirety

The Timeshare Crusader is a monthly contributor to where she answers questions from members about timesharing and the timeshare industry.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Timeshare Travel #TravelTuesday – British Columbia

Full moon near Kamloops, British Columbia. Submitted by Sue Giguere of California.

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.