- Norma V. from Burnsville, MN
For Joan K. from Northamptonshire, England, an RCI subscribing membership unleashed her inner adventurer and she has enjoyed two decades of travelling the world with RCI. Joan has always been passionate about travel and this independent divorcee made sure her son, Mark, grew up with the same appreciation for the wonders the world holds for the curious mind. For Joan, a week’s timeshare in Antigua was the perfect gift for Mark. “I wanted to enable him to see the world and to share the experience with friends,” she explained. “Through travel I’ve discovered that I have a real sense of adventure – not for me lying around on a beach all day! I want to get out into the local communities to experience different cultures and the different ways of life the world over.”
After joining RCI in 1991 when she bought a week at Club Tarahal in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Joan immediately exchanged for a week in Acapulco in Mexico and loved it so much she bought a second week of timeshare, there and then at the resort. Joan shared some of the most exciting and memorable moments of two of her RCI exchange holidays in the European edition of Holiday, The RCI Magazine. Her story (read it here!) sees her on safari in South Africa where she witnessed a ‘kill’ first-hand, and sharing a quiet bathing spot in a hilltop lagoon with monkeys in India. Of course, she got some much needed R&R in fabulous RCI affiliated resorts along the way to recharge her batteries!
This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from those of you who have been RCI subscribing members for 20 years or more. Be sure to check back to hear about all the great places our members have traveled over the years.
When you received your last copy of Holiday magazine you may have noticed we’ve had a bit of a revamp. Like it? We hope so, because many of the ideas came from you!
At the end of 2009, we sent out some member surveys, and we got so many great ideas and feedback from you that we decided to incorporate them into the magazine (updates were also made to RCI North America’s subscribing member publication Endless Vacation® Magazine – you can check those out here) . And as someone who is very involved in the management of Holiday magazine, I can tell you that feedback is always very helpful!
One of the things you told us is that you find travel and vacation tips, RCI information and hearing from other members very useful. So we now have an all-new, revamped member section called Your Holiday. This is where you’ll find details about your membership, all the latest RCI news, new timeshare resorts for you to try, exclusive offers, recommendations and stories from other members, and much, much more.
We’ve also introduced a new regular feature, Ask the RCI Experts, where you can send us your vacation queries and travel questions to be answered by us.
From the October issue we will be including a Member Travelogue featuring interesting travel tales from RCI members (we’ve already heard from one member who slept in the same bed as Bill Clinton on holiday – albeit two weeks apart!).
And we’ve introduced regular food features as you told us you like eating out and trying new foods on holiday. (Who doesn’t!?)
We hope you love the new-look Holiday magazine and we’re really keen to hear your opinions and feedback. Let us know what you think by commenting below.
This week marks the 37th anniversary of RCI. 37 years! We have definitely come a long way since 1974, when our exchange requests were kept on index cards! Since then we have reached so many milestones, some of them including the launch of the resort directory (1975), our website (1996), the RCI Points® program (2000), and Enhanced Search Online (2008). And during the last year alone, we introduced the RCI Points Platinum® membership tier, enhancements to the RCI Weeks program with more transparency, and a bunch of ways to stay connected with RCI in social media including a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter handle, an iPhone® app, and this blog. And trust me, there will be more to add to this list this year!
First of all, we’ve already launched a cool new version of our “Share Your Vacation” Facebook app. This version allows you to compete against your friends and other users and to earn fun online trophies – all based on the information you enter about vacations (you can check out the app on our Facebook page by clicking on the “App” tab). Also, the RCI app is now available on your iPad® (with the RCI Affiliated Resort Directory, RCI TV and RCI SnapBook features) and you will see the Endless Vacation® magazine app for the iPad in a few weeks! This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to come as we continue to completely transform your timeshare experience.
This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos with you from RCI subscribing members who traveled to celebrate an anniversary. Be sure to check back. And if you have an anniversary story of your own, please feel free to share it by commenting below.
The RCI Blog is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.
I’ve got some exciting news for you. Probably the most exciting news I’ve ever shared about the revolutionary transformation taking place as we speak, for all of you loyal RCI Weeks members out there. RCI may look like it’s closed for business this weekend, but I can assure you the office is anything but closed. The office is buzzing with activity like I’ve never seen before. RCI teams are working around the clock, across all departments to revolutionize the RCI Weeks membership. This takes a lot of work and coordination. RCI’s technology systems are going through a big redesign. This is an upgrade that has been practiced, tested and planned for over the course of years, as the changes we are making to our systems are nothing short of monumental.
Why, you might ask, is RCI going through all of this effort? To bring you, members, vacation enthusiasts, the best, most flexible weeks exchange program in the history of timeshare! You asked for it and you deserve it!
My colleagues at RCI are so excited about these membership enhancements and are so dedicated to making this upgrade a huge success that it feels as if there is nothing the team here wouldn’t do to accomplish this mission. During the wee hours of Monday morning, while I hope all of you are enjoying the last few hours of weekend rest, RCI will be turning the systems back on. One-by-one, they will launch into action, as the team at RCI carefully monitors each step of the way, checking that everything is working seamlessly.
As many of you know, working with technology is challenging. All of the best planning in the world sometimes cannot predict system issues that may arise with a system upgrade of this scale.
My colleagues and I are optimistic and I know that each and every RCI Associate will not rest until our systems are back up, performing at a high standard of quality. So, stay tuned, and once the changes are complete, I think you’ll be in for a very pleasant surprise.
Just in case you wanted a first-hand look at what is going on here at RCI, check out this photo…
As the head of North America retention and loyalty at RCI, I sometimes hear from RCI subscribing members who are interested in knowing what types of non-exchange benefits are available to them. There are many members who use their own timeshare week the same time each year, and some of them don’t know all the valuable advantages they have just by being members.
There are many more reasons than ever before to be a timeshare exchange member. Our focus has always been on you as a consumer as well as you as a timeshare owner. The benefits we’ve added recently are what I call "everyday benefits" for the simple reason they can provide value every day in your regular non-timeshare consumer life. For example, do you travel on business or for long weekends? Take advantage of the up to 20% discount RCI members get on select hotels. Buying something for your home or a gift for family? Go right to an online "shopping mall," the RCI Shopping PerksSM program, and get Cash Back rewards on thousands of qualified items — it’s like getting paid to shop!
At the same time, your RCI timeshare exchange membership provides you with great travel perks including low-cost Extra VacationsSM getaways and cruise benefits such as cabin upgrades or savings of up to $500 USD!
Benefits for travel and benefits for every day tell the whole story of why an RCI Subscribing Membership can be a good value all the time. If you have any ideas for new benefits to enhance your membership, I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment, and let us know what you think.
With so many new additions to RCI this year (the RCI® app for the iPhone®, new RCI.com search functions, RCI TV and the RCI channel on YouTube, etc.), you didn’t think we’d forget about Endless Vacation Magazine, did you? We know that you are always looking for more ways to get the most out of your vacation timeshare ownership – and as the Publisher of the North American version of Endless Vacation Magazine, I know you’re excited when we add more to the magazine - so, starting with our first issue of 2010, we added a 10-page RCI Member Section.
In every issue, you’ll now find tips and information to help you understand your RCI subscribing membership and member benefits (like when it’s the best time to deposit or how RCI.com can help you plan your vacations), updates on RCI, and membership news (did you know that RCI follows environmental-sustainability best practices?). You can also see a listing of newly affiliated resorts that have recently joined the RCI exchange network, special member-only offers, and RCI vacation stories from subscribing members like you!
We’re constantly working on ways to make it easier for you to get on vacation. I know the RCI Member Section will help you in your planning journey. So, what do you think of this new section? What other information would you like to see? Let us know by commenting below.
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When I started at RCI as a Vacation Guide 10 years ago, I was a college student with absolutely no discretionary income so needless to say, my exposure to “timesharing” was quite limited. I can guarantee that when you first joined RCI, you knew more than I did in my first days.