- Julie J. from Corcoran, CA
A few months ago, many of you probably watched the news and saw the devastation firstly caused by the horrendous floods and then followed by Cyclone Yasi. This would be enough to make you think that it may take years of recovery. WRONG. Queensland is definitely open for business with the major tourism destinations of the Gold Coast, Whitsundays and North Queensland ready to welcome you. It takes more than a few natural disasters to close Queensland down.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said "It's no secret the Tourism industry, like many industries in Queensland, has taken a hit by the floods and is still haemorrhaging because of the negative publicity that spread world-wide.
"That's why we're taking action now to get the message out to our interstate and international guests - Queensland is still a world class destination and we have our arms out ready to welcome you.
"While the floods tried to do their worst, the Queensland spirit is well and truly alive and a Queensland holiday is a holiday of a lifetime.
"We said it before the floods and we say it now, Queensland is where Australia shines and never has it shined as brightly as it does now."
Now is a great time to take advantage of your exchange options and try some of the great Australian destinations. Whether it is the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast, The Great Barrier Reef, or you may even fancy a bit of trout fishing in Tasmania. The options are endless, and the opportunities to explore are abundant.
With any holiday, the most important part is in the planning. Do your research first so that you know what resorts are of interest to you.
If you are coming in from overseas use the opportunity to save your Weeks or Points so that you can stay longer by using them together, and while you are here why not look at cruise options as well. What a great way to see the Australian coast line and visit some great ports on the way. There is nothing better than unpacking once, visiting a range of new holiday destinations, and relaxing, eating and drinking on the way.
Whatever choice you make, I hope you have a ball.
To learn about the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council go to www.athoc.com.au.
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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A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry called "A Few Timeshare Exchange Tips". In that post, I shared what I learned from a subscribing member when I first started with RCI ten years ago as a Vacation Guide. If you thought that members knew everything about timeshare resorts, keep reading to see what another veteran vacation planner taught me!
It was my very first call with multiple bookings. The member was a self-proclaimed family reunion planner, and planned a huge event for her family every other year. Her requirements? A new vacation destination each year, at least five 2-bedroom units, and it had to be in the summertime. To top it off, she only owned one week per year!
Here’s how she planned: She saved her deposits for two years at a time, and then used them for two of the units. She always planned a year in advance, deposited early to help maximize the Trading Power of her week, and picked an area where there was Extra VacationsSM getaways inventory so that she could easily get the extra three units. She explained that timing is everything. This is true whether you need five units or one unit!
I’m not saying this strategy will work for everyone, but the biggest thing I learned is that no matter what kind of vacation you are planning - whether it’s for a reunion, a romantic getaway for two, or a place the kids would enjoy – you can be really creative in using your existing timeshare resorts ownership (plus, if you familiarize yourself with our Extra Vacations getaways inventory available to RCI members, you open up the doors to even more vacation opportunities beyond just your exchange options!).
Are there any additional tips you have? If so, please comment below.
Trading Power is very important for you when you are booking a timeshare exchange with RCI! This is how we determine what timeshare exchange offers to provide you.
The RCI Weeks program is based on a like-for-like principle. This means we will always work to provide you with a timeshare exchange similar to the deposit you provided us. That is, if you provide us with two weeks in a very popular destination, we will try to give you two weeks in another equally popular destination.
Most of the inventory in our timeshare exchange program is provided by members who deposit their ownership week with us. RCI members have up to 24 months before their start date to make a deposit. Within that two year window, other members may ask for that same start date for their vacation. So our job is to try and match everyone we can with all the deposits we get from other members.
Although all exchanges are made based on Trading Power, it takes higher Trading Power to travel to highly demanded areas with limited supply, or during highly demanded weeks of the year (like Christmas Week, 4th of July, etc.).
The Trading Power of your deposited week is based on a lot of factors, including how many members have historically asked for your type of deposit, how many deposits like yours we get, the quality of your resort, and the size and season of your deposit, just to mention a few. We compare all of these to the vacation that you request, and if the Trading Power is similar (or if your deposit has more Trading Power), then you will have a great chance of getting what you are asking for.
You probably have heard our Guides talk about depositing early. That's because you can usually help to maximize your Trading Power by depositing early. If you don’t deposit your week until 3 to 4 weeks before your vacation, we cannot give your week to someone else until then. And I'm sure most of you would want to know if you had an exchange long before that!
Also, other members are depositing into our timeshare exchange program all the time. So, if the vacation you want is not available right now, enter an ongoing search for your choice of destination or time of year! These searches get prioritized for matching new member deposits. So an ongoing search helps improve your chances of getting the timeshare exchange you want.
Finally, to maximize the number of people we can send on vacation, we are always acquiring inventory from our resorts and other sources like hotels, especially in big cities where there are not many timeshares.
Our goal is to use every unit we get and to get you on the best resort vacation we can. So deposit early, enter ongoing searches if a unit is not immediately available, and be as flexible as possible! Have a great vacation!