Travel: Destination Clubs

Sorting Out The Difference Between Destination Clubs and Timeshares

By Craig E. Friesen

What are Destination Clubs?

Destination clubs are vacation clubs that offer their affluent clientele the use of an array of executive vacation properties. Membership in these clubs costs participants in the 6 figure range.

In addition to the one time membership fee, clubs charge annual dues that range in the tens of thousand dollars. Club members are entitled to the use of the club’s vacation properties for a prescribed number of weeks.

The amount of time each member is allowed varies from club to club. If you choose to leave your destination club, you can expect to get a portion of your membership fee returned. Some clubs return a certain percentage while others may allow you to benefit from any increase in property equity.

What are Timeshares?

Traditionally speaking, timeshare is purchasing a time-linked share of a property.

Shares are sold in one week chunks, with 51 shares typically sold for each property. The 52nd week is reserved annually for maintenance down time. In the years since the idea blossomed in Europe some 40 odd years ago, the concept has expanded.

Most timeshare properties are usually now affiliated with a timeshare trading club. Your time slot in any given property is yours to use, give away, loan, trade, or sublet as you choose.

These trading clubs give you a forum to find other timeshare owners to swap with or sublet to. Of course there is a membership fee and transaction fee involved in the use of these clubs.

Which is Right for Me?

The cost involved in destination clubs is undoubtedly higher than that for timeshares. Properties offered by destination clubs are usually much more luxurious and offer a selection of destination as part of the membership agreement.

With the innovation of timeshare trading groups the flexibility has increased. Ultimately you should be guided by what your finances allow and by which option offers properties and destinations you desire.

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