The Caribbean has it all … including Puerto Rico

Eugenio M. - Travel Information from the CaribbeanMy family loves vacationing in the Caribbean, and due to its wide variety of destinations, the fun starts when we plan the specific country we want to visit. And once again, we got it all and more...when we traveled to Puerto Rico.

We were impressed by how much fun we could pack in a week on this island. It all started with a short “domestic” flight to San Juan where we were able to experience the Spanish heritage of this beautiful city, including the amazing forts, beautiful streets with great architecture, fantastic food and great shopping. We were even able to spend a little time in a nice casino.

A couple days of culture and flavor were followed by days full of activities and magnificent views as we drove to our resort on the northeast coast, Sol Melia Vacation Club at Gran Meliá Puerto Rico. We love outdoor activities so we greatly enjoyed playing golf and tennis, snorkeling around beautiful coral reefs, experiencing the beach and hiking through the miles and miles of mountain-jungle paths that El Yunque Rainforest Park offers. Days ended with great food and some of us escaping briefly to the resort’s spa for a well deserved treatment or even to enjoy a disco night.

With all this activity, we didn’t read more than a few pages in our books… but it was an extraordinary vacation week worth repeating.

Come back to the RCI blog this week and take a look at stories and photos about the Caribbean from RCI subscribing members. And if you have a story or picture to share, do it here!

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Cabo at 33

For my 33rd birthday, we went on our first vacation as a family since having our son. He was 16 months old. We stayed at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. It was heaven on Earth and they treated us like royalty, including the baby. My husband said it was so beautiful and the service so good, we couldn't possibly deserve it and surely they would make us use the service entrance if they found out we are actually regular working-class people! From the unforgettable views and 9 swimming pools to the luxurious spa and delicious gourmet food, the resort was more than we had dreamed of. We had planned on seeing some sights in Cabo but ended up only leaving the resort twice during our week-long stay. We just couldn't tear ourselves away from this vacation of a lifetime.

- Sarah A. from El Cajon, CA
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Breezy Point 2008

2008 was the year of my 50th birthday. What to do was the question. Since I love going on vacations, I decided to bring my family with me on this special vacation. I was able to get Extra Vacations getaway for my entire family to spend a long weekend together. Breezy Point in MN was able to put all the rooms next to each other so we could go between them. We had an excellent time golfing, swimming, and the girls going to the nearest spa. The new marina night club was a definite hit with the crowd. It was so nice to have all the family members in one place. Spending time together with my family creates my most valued moments. Thanks RCI and Breezy Point Resort in Minnesota.

- Lynette D. from Minneapolis, MN
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California, 2009

It was April, 2009 and we flew from Columbus to Sacramento, California on our adventure to Gold Rush Territory, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. My staying at an RCI affiliated resort in Angels Camp, California we were able to fulfill all our desired locations and found ourselves in the middle of wonderful Wine Country. The resort was beautifully located at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada on a Golf Course. 2 Outdoor pools and 3 Spas to choose from. We selected the same spa each day and had it all to ourselves. It was nice to do the day trips to Yosemite, San Francisco, Giant Sequoia State Park and Murphy California where the town had 25 tasting rooms, so we didn't have to travel to the individual wineries. We were in Calaveras County, home of the Leaping Frog, (Mark Twain) and found some interesting facts about the area. Our unit was beautiful with a balcony over looking the 10th Green. We enjoyed afternoon cocktails there. I have been a member of RCI since 1982 and have only been to the home resort one time. I cannot say enough about the memories made each during each of the stays at RCI affiliated resorts over the past 27 years. We have already booked our next adventure to Hilton Head this Thanksgiving.

- Patti K. from Mansfield, OH
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LeBlanc 3/09

My husband and I went to LeBlanc Spa in Cancun March of 2009 to celebrate our 10 years of marriage. We absolutely loved it! We were treated better than royalty, our room was beautiful, the beach was amazing. We loved everything about the trip. Although we won't travel again without our children for many years, we look forward to returning to LeBlanc. What a wonderful resort. So glad it's part of the RCI exchange.

- Mary C. from Hackettstown, NJ
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Los Cabos

Last summer we traded our points with RCI for a week long stay in Los Cabos. My husband and I left the kids with family and went on our way to Cabo. The Playa Grande resort was fabulous. The staff was friendly and helpful. I had somehow lost our reservation confirmation in the airport. However, they were very helpful and checked us in with very little effort after talking to the great people at RCI.

For seven wonderful days we enjoyed fishing, the amazing spa at the hotel and the wonderful food. My husband caught a huge marlin and I was able to relax by the many pools at the resort. Everything we needed was either at the resort or within walking distance. We were just steps away from the marina with shopping and restaurants included.

This was our favorite trip so far. We take at least one week away each year without the kids. This was the first time that we exchanged points using RCI but it will not be the last.

- Mary Beth C. from Hattiesburg, MS
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Our Williamsburg Trip

One of our more memorable family trips was to Williamsburg with a timeshare exchange to the Kings Plantation resort. The units and resort amenities were perfect for a young active family. The children enjoyed the pool and mom took advantage of Fitness and Spa-type services.

It was easy driving to the great historical sites to visit nearby. We went back in time at Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. Came back to modern days for great fun and amusement at Cypress Gardens. A short drive to the coast and we were set for another grand beach day for a family reunion. That summer vacation is in our book as one of the top favorites. We'd love to go back again.

- Joseph B. from Cleveland, OH
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Cabo, Mexico Trip

Pueblo Bonito Rose' and Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in Cabo, Mexico are two gorgeous resorts! We stayed at the Rose' however took the free shuttle several times to the Sunset Beach Resort. Dine at the restaurant at Sunset Beach and ask for a table overlooking the ocean. Be pampered at their fabulous spas or schedule a romantic dinner for two at a private table on the beach at sunset. Relax and unwind!

- Joyce M. from Spanish Fork, UT
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Yellowstone Winter

We traveled to West Yellowstone last winter with several friends. We had such a wonderful time, at a very reasonable rate. I would recommend the WorldMark resort to anyone, especially in the winter. Activities we had a blast doing include snowmobiling around the national forest land, a guided tour in Yellowstone, snowboarding at Big Sky and Moonlight Basin areas, and snowshoeing around the woods. In the evenings, we cooked our own meals and hung out around the pool and spa, and one evening checked out the local IMAX theater. Animals we saw in Yellowstone include bald eagles, a fox, otters, swans, and of course bison. The bears were all sleeping sound, thankfully, and the wolves are elusive. The wolf/grizzly center in the town is worth mentioning as well...go with your family, go with your friends. It's a winter wonderland you'll never forget

- Heather K. from Denver, CO
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My Trip to Austria

My daughter and I took a ski trip to Austria and stayed in an RCI affiliated resort. It was unbelievable how we could step outside our resort and go up on one gondola that would allow us to ski for hours. We were able to ski between Austrian villages. It was a lot of fun. The resort had a lot of evening activities in which we were able to meet other people staying at the resort. The resort also had a wonderful spa. The spa was a great way to relax after a long day of skiing. We had a memorable time due to staying in such a great resort.

- Suzanne M. from Issaquah, WA
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Our Goal…High Fives By The Pool!

Phil B. - Timeshare Exchange and Resort Vacation NewsA few months ago, I blogged about the fun and exciting tools we created to help you learn about RCI and our affiliated resorts. Well, we are adding to the list!

We recently launched an RCI Facebook page and Twitter account (we're @RCI_Timeshare) and we’re also planning big additions to our RCI app for the iPhone®. All of these are fantastic ways to stay in touch with RCI, but Facebook and Twitter are great ways to meet and interact with other RCI subscribing members. Which brings me to today’s topic: What are we trying to accomplish with all this social and online stuff?

Simply stated, we’re giving you more useful information in a setting where you can hear from other folks who love to travel. I love the idea of creating a tight-knit community of RCI members who share travel ideas and tips and wish each other well on vacation travels. I can see a day where someone may spot an RCI hat or beach towel at one of our affiliated resorts, and approach that person and say, “Hey, are you an RCI member? So am I!” (This is where the high five comes in.) “This is my wife. How is your vacation going? Have you tried the spa yet?”

So jump into Facebook and Twitter and start hanging out with others who are passionate about travel. While doing so, you’ll find fun and informative updates from RCI – like vacation tips, polls, trivia, updates on our affiliated resorts, and suggestions on FS2D (Fun Stuff to Do) when visiting destinations.

But more importantly, you’ll see what other members are saying about their trips and you can post your own suggestions and tips. And the best part of our Facebook page? Our new app called Share Your Vacation by RCI! It lets you plot all of your vacations on a map and see where your Facebook friends have been. Or, you can just see where other RCI members are traveling to get an idea of where the new hot spots are. Now that’s cool!

If you like hearing from RCI, but prefer to keep it short and sweet (like 140 characters or less short and sweet), then follow us on Twitter.

And by all means, if you’re at one of our affiliated resorts and hear someone talking about RCI, introduce yourself and jump into the conversation. And give them a high five!

iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

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Dan the RCI Guy: Off to Asia!

Dan "The RCI Guy" - Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"On my way to Asia — for the first time!

Traveling has been a part of my job description for the past 20 years. And while I have been to dozens of different countries and to every state in the U.S., I have never been anywhere in Asia…until now!

I'm packing my bags and heading off to Bangkok, Thailand and Nha Trang, Vietnam to film a beautiful timeshare resort and to film another episode of our RCI® TV travel show, "New Ways to Play." The travel show will take place in Bangkok and the timeshare resort is on an island off the coast of Nha Trang. Villas overlook the sea and have their own plunge pool right outside your door. They have a renowned spa and feature ancient, traditional Far East massage treatments. Sounds perfect to me!

In Bangkok, we are going to meet up with one of the city’s most famous tailors to have him make my own custom silk suit in just 24 hours (I've been told I clean up fairly well). We're also taking a bicycle tour of the city with a company whose name says it all: "Grasshopper Adventures."

I've always admired the rich history of the many cultures that make up Asia and I cannot wait to experience a part of two of them in the coming weeks. What places have you visited in Asia? Any tips you can give me for my travels? Or timeshare locations you can recommend? Please comment below to let me know!

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All-Inclusive Resorts Have More Than Just Food and Beverages!

Gonzalo S. - RCI Timeshare Exchange and Vacation ExperiencesMost people think all-inclusive resorts are just swimming pools, tennis courts and food…but the “all-inclusiveness” doesn’t stop there! My job is to work closely with our affiliated timeshare resorts in Mexico and I have been onsite to personally check out what they have to offer, especially the all-inclusive ones.

We all know the main reason all-inclusive resorts are so popular is because of food and drinks, and the amount of them! But did you know that most resorts offer a lot of different dining options? There are many with 24-hour buffet style restaurants with a kids' buffet area, smaller restaurants that cater to sit-down dinners, and fine a-la-carte dining restaurants. So no matter what your taste buds like, you will find something to enjoy!

An abundance of activities is another plus to an all-inclusive resort. They usually have every water sport under the sun, and some may even be free of charge. Some resorts also include golf, tours and even spa discounts on selected treatments. No need to worry about the cost, you can let yourself have fun!

For children, the opportunities are even greater. All-inclusive resorts that cater to families have many options to keep your child entertained and happy. They may have a separate pool just for playing and splashing, water slides, and large gaming centers. Many all-inclusive resorts also offer classes like arts and crafts, acting, and even puppetry. Some all-inclusive resorts even have nannies available!

We worked with Dan the RCI Guy to create a video on RCI TV which tells you all about all-inclusive resorts. You should take a look; it’s very informative and a lot of fun!

What do you think about all-inclusive resorts? Share your experience by commenting below!

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Try an RCI Timeshare Exchange for a Romantic Getaway

Jen V. - RCI Timeshare Exchanges and RCI.comI can't think of any better way to spend a vacation than with the person you love (or want to get to know better!).

Whether you’re sitting together in front of a fireplace in a Breckenridge ski resort, or lounging on a beach on your Myrtle Beach vacation, sharing a relaxing experience is a great way to not only get some down time, but to strengthen your relationship with your significant other.

I went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with my boyfriend last year — our first vacation together, in fact — and had a great time. Cabo is one of those places that you can take your family, or just one person, and there's something for everyone. The place we stayed in had different pools for families and adults. Some restaurants were family friendly, and some were fancier, so they didn't have kids. At those places, we had dinner at our own little table on the beach, watched people play live music, and listened to the waves. And some nights, we just sat on our balcony, drinking wine and looking out at the ocean.

A couple years ago, I stayed in Snowbird, Utah for a resort vacation, but that was with my brother, which is hardly romantic. But I could see how it could have been for a couple in love. This was one of those cozy ski lodges where you can cuddle up by the fireplace with a glass of wine and some snacks. But again, there were several families, so there is something for everyone there too.

Of course, I know everyone has different tastes and wants a different vacation experience. RCI tries to provide this for you. Try out our improved search engine (I’m very excited about this – I’m on the Online Team). You can search for amenities and experiences, not just dates or locations, and see what places are available.

Say you want to find a spa or a ski vacation. Go to our search engine, set the filter to show only spa or ski vacation types, and see what locations and dates are open. You can be a little more specific and add additional filters for date ranges and geography. So if you only want skiing locations in February in the western US, if they're available, they'll show up in the search results. Then you can easily see additional information, photos and videos, and member reviews to figure out which site is just right for you and your special someone.

Now it’s your turn – what was your most memorable romantic getaway that you booked with RCI? Comment below and let us know.

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